Glossary of Terms
Active – A common status code that is used in several Aspire applications. This code is used to describe courses that are offered in the current scheduling run, students who are enrolled in the current scheduling run, or faculty members who are teaching courses in the current scheduling run, etc.
ADA – "Average Daily Attendance". A value used to calculate state funding.
ADM – "Average Daily Membership". A value used for in analysis ADA reporting.
Arena scheduling – A method of defining a master schedule in which students circulate through stations where they request a course, and receive a token (sticker, bar code, sticker etc.) indicating a reserved seat in that course.
Attendance code – Codes to designate the type of attendance such as excused, absent, truant, present, medical, late. Also how each relates to ADA calculations.
Attendance marks – A code used to designate an attendance status for a student on a specific day. For example, "A" for absent, "T" for tardy, etc.
Attendance track – (see "track")
Bar-code – A grouping of lines of varying thickness representing alphanumeric codes which can be interpreted by a scanner.
Block scheduling – A method of defining a Master Schedule in which groups of students who share common characteristics are scheduled together or apart in classes.
Boolean – Having two possible values (such as 0 or 1, on or off, true or false). Referring to a system of algebra and logic developed by English mathematician George Boole.
Button – A raised (usually square or rectangular) screen object which causes the program to perform some action when pushed, or selected with the mouse. In most instances, the button is labeled with the action to be performed.
Category – A method of subdividing and organizing tasks within the Gradebook system.
Client/server – An architecture in which one computer can get information from another. The client is the computer that asks for access to data, software, or services. The server, which can be anything from a personal computer to a server, supplies the requested data or services for the client.
Code – An abbreviation used to represent a data element.
Code table – A simple database table usually consisting of two fields, one used to store a code value, the other for the description of that code. Many code tables in Aspire may be user defined via the Table Editor application.
Comment – Usually a text string that is entered in a field by the user. Comments are attached to a particular record or data element. For example, in Marks Reporting, a report card comment may be attached to a specific grade a student receives for a class. Also, global comments may be pre-defined (canned) and printed on all report cards for a specific term. Comments may also called "notes" when they appear in other applications. A comments or notes field is often provided as an area where the user can enter anecdotal information about a specific record.
Compare – An operator field which defines the relationship between the field and value specified.
Conjunction – An operator field which defines the relationship between two specified records. You may select from AND/OR.
Corequisite – District Courses: Any courses which must be taken by students at the same time as this course. This field may be left unset if desired.
Course code – A unique code to identify each course within the Aspire System.
Credit – Graduation Requirements: The number of credits required to be completed in each subject area. This should reflect the total number of courses required over all grade levels e.g., 40 English credits, 80 Elective credits etc. District Courses: The standard number of credits awarded upon completion of the course.
Credit type – District Courses: The type of credit awarded for the course. Carnegie is the accepted standard (5.00 credits for a semester long course) which most schools use.
Cycle – A repeating pattern of days and periods to accommodate all meetings. In some schools the length of time to complete the full range of meetings may be a single day or it may be a range of days. In situations where classes meet Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and others meet Tuesday and Thursday, then a five-day cycle is defined. In a five-day cycle the days may be named for the days of the week.
Cycle day – A cycle day is a single day in the cycle. In a five-day cycle a cycle day may be "Monday", "Tuesday", etc. or may be referred to as "Day 1", Day 2", etc.
Database – A database contains all of the information about the school, each student, and each faculty member. Data is stored in units called fields. Fields are grouped together into records. Records are grouped together to make a table. Tables grouped together form the database.
Default values – Information which is filled into a field automatically by the system. Default values in Aspire may be set up using database management techniques or by setting preferences.
Delete statement – A statement which defines records to be deleted. May be implemented using SQL in the Database Manager program.
Description – The full descriptive name of a data item, such as a course or status code. Most descriptions are user defined via the Table Editor program according to the particular needs of a district. Descriptions are assigned codes. In reports, the codes are often used instead of the full length descriptions, in order to save space.
District / Charter– The jurisdiction to which a school is assigned.
Edit statement – A statement which defines records to be edited, and the information which will be modified. May be implemented using SQL in the Database Manager program.
Entry code – Reason for enrolling in a school, track, or course. Entry codes are used by Attendance applications to establish students as being eligible for attendance. Examples: "New to district", "Transfer from within district". Most entry codes are user-defined via the Table Editor program according to the needs of the district.
Event – An occurence which effects a day in the school calendar, such as a beginning or ending of a term, a snow day, a holiday, etc.
Event marker – Indicates a particular event in the track calendar, such as holiday, in-service day, or snow day, etc. Event markers are set in the Track Editor application.
Exit code – Reason for leaving a school, track, or course. Exit codes are used by Attendance applications to establish students as being ineligible for attendance. Examples: "Transfer within district", "Transfer outside district", "Deceased", "Juvenile hall", "Dropout". Most entry codes are user-defined via the Table Editor program according to the needs of the district.
Faculty identification number – The faculty member's assigned identification number within the Aspire System. This number is normally system-generated at the time a new faculty member is entered into the Faculty Editor program. It is recommended to use the suggested number, however, the number may be edited at this time, as long as the new number is not in use by another faculty record.
FERPA – Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (see: www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/index.html)
Field – One of the items in a database record: for example, Name, City, Zip Code, etc. A field may have a specific number of characters or may vary. A group of fields make up a record.
Field button – Button (marked with a down arrow) to the right of the field which, when selected, will display a list of items available for that field. In fields which allow a partial entry to be made, only items which match the criteria entered will be displayed.
Focus – Solid or dotted rectangle which surrounds the active screen object.
Form – A collection of data fields about a particular subject that are arranged in a format that is convenient for viewing on entering data.
Full day – The number of periods equivalent to a full day of attendance. Used only if the state you are in allows ADA credit by the partial day.
Geo code – A user-defined code assigned to a geographical area within the school district. Geo codes are assigned to valid address ranges in the Address Validation Table Editor application. In the Address/School Mapping application the "School of Residence" is then assigned to each geo code area according the grade level of the students living in that area. This procedure provides the district with a means to manage the geographical proximity between the residences of students and the school site they will be attending. It also provides for various other apportionment functions, such as managing the number of students enrolled at each school site, etc.
Graded – Course Editor: Indicates whether students will be awarded a grade for the course. This integrates with the Grade Book module. If checked, teachers will receive a grade book for the course.
Grading marks – A code used to represent a grade, such as "A" for excellent, "B" for good, etc.
Graduation requirement code – Graduation Requirements: A code to identify the graduation requirement subject area. It may be a single subject area, such as ENG English, or a requirement comprised of multiple subject areas such as Fine Arts/Foreign Language. It may be up to 4 alphanumeric characters.
Graduation requirement set – Graduation Requirements: A set of subject and credit requirements which is used in conjunction with the scheduling system and the career plan program to generate and approve course requests for students.
Graduation requirement set code – A code to identify each graduation requirement set within the system. It may be up to 2 alphanumeric characters.
Group – Grouping is a method of keeping like data together on a report for the purposes of aggregate functions.
Half day – The number of periods equivalent to a half day of attendance. Used only if the state you are in allows ADA credit by the partial day.
High grade – Course Editor: The highest grade level of students permitted to take the course. This may be left unset if there is no upper limit or if the upper limit is the highest grade of the school.
Home language – The language spoken by the primary care giver of a student. School mailings, announcements, and report card comments are mailed to the home in this language.
Household address – A parsed address stored in the Aspire database that can be associated with any number of students or student contacts residing in that household. Household addresses can only be used when the 'Use households' preference is set to "On" in the Address Validation Table Editor or the Preference Editor applications. The use of Household addresses is required if address validation or enrollment validation will be used in the district.
Honors – District Courses: Indicates if the course is an Honors or Advanced Placement course. This feature is used in GPA calculation.
Hosed – Corrupted. As in, "My data was hosed". Refers to data that was scrambled in such a way that it cannot be recovered.
IEP – Individualized Education Program. A procedure of Special Education.
Icon – A picture which appears on buttons. When a window is minimized, the icon will be displayed on the screen. You can double click on the icon to view the window at full size.
Identification number – A unique number which is assigned to a record in the system. For example, a student or faculty number, or user number.
Inactive – A common status code that is used in several Aspire applications. Course Editor: code is assigned to courses which are not offered in the current scheduling run. Students/Faculty: Those which are not enrolled in or teaching courses in the current scheduling run.
Initialize – Functions which prepare the system for a new year's data processing.
Initial record – Indicates the first course history record to be used when calculating GPA. It will be the first Aspire record available for calculation, although not necessarily the first record in the student's course history listing. There may only be one initial record.
Incident – A Behavior or Medical History occurrence recorded. Most Behavior reports utilize an incident count, which includes all types of conduct/offense codes.
Insert statement – A statement which defines records to have information inserted, and the data which will be added. May be implemented using the SQL via the Database Manager program.
Justification – Justification determines the alignment of text appearing in a report.
Layout – The report layout determines the fields or columns contained in the report and the organization of the page. Report layouts in Aspire can be customized to some degree by defining Options and Sort order in the report's user interface.
Legal bindings – Any legal restraints affecting the school's handling of the student, i.e., who may pick up the student, etc. Entered in the 'General' information screen of a student' demographic record via the Student Editor application.
Logical field – A Yes or No field, viewed as a box which can be checked on or off by a single mouse click. You may also use Tab to place the focus on the field and press Spacebar to check on or off.
Low grade – District Courses: The lowest grade level of students permitted to take the course. This may be left unset if there is no lower limit or if the lower limit is the lowest grade of the school.
Mapping – The process of linking or associating fields from one table to fields of another table in a database. Used in data conversion to copy data from a source table to a destination table when the field names of the two tables are different. Mapping is used in Aspire to allow user-defined codes to represent system-generated codes for ease of use. It is also used to associate two or more data elements, as needed by the user, in order to accomplish certain functions in the database.
Mark – A code used to represent a value. Used in reporting grades and attendance.
Master schedule – The roster of student enrollment in classes, including class teacher, room number, class capacity and availability. Typically is defined using the Master Schedule Editor and then loaded with students via the Student Loader application. May be edited using the Student Schedule Editor.
Meeting – A period of time in which teachers and students of a specific course section come together.
Menu – A list of available options within a program.
Menu bar – A listing of available menus which appears in each program. In Windows applications, the menu bar appears just under the title bar of each window. In Macintosh applications, the menu bar appears at the top of the screen and will change as different windows are activated.
Native language – The student's native language (used in the student's home). Mailings and report card comments are generated in this language.
Negative attendance – A method of tracking attendance where students are assumed present unless marked absent.
Objective – A collection of test items. An objective is an object that has a description and a mastery percentage associated with it which is used as a container for test items. Each objective may also have a number of instructional resources associated with it as well. Each contained test item is a child of the parent objective.
Operator – An algebraic operation, such as "greater than" (>), "less than"(<), "equal"(=), etc. Operators are combined to make "expressions", which are used to specify criteria for a field that is being queried.
Parsed – To be subdivided in component parts. For instance, a street address in a database is often subdivided into several fields, each containing a specific part of the address. The components can, in turn, be recombined into one large field for viewing in a form or aggregated for printing purposes, if desired. Parsing facilitates a higher degree of data manipulation. Parsing is used in Household addresses in Aspire.
Passing minutes – The number of minutes between classes (periods) for which students receive credit. Defined in the bell schedule of a track via the Track Editor application.
Period – Unit of time during which course sections meet.
Period minutes – The number of minutes in each period. Do not include minutes between classes.
Permissions – Different types of system access may be granted for each Aspire user. User permissions to access specific Aspire applications are set in the Faculty Editor program. Individual permissions for specific features within an application are defined in the Permissions Editor.
Positive attendance – A method of tracking attendance where students are assumed absent unless marked present.
Prerequisite – District Courses: Any courses that must be successfully completed by students before enrolling in this course. This field may be left unset if desired.
Primary language – The language a student speaks most of the time.
Query – Noun: a set of criteria used for retrieving information from a database. Verb: To request information from a database.
Record – In a database, a group of fields that make up one complete entry. A record about a student might contain fields for name, address, telephone, etc.
Relational database – A database in the form of tables which have rows and columns to show the relationships between items, and in which information can be cross-referenced between two or more tables to generate a third table. A query language is used to search for data. If data is changed in one table, it will be changed in all related tables. A database that has only one table is called a flat file database.
Record – In a database, a group of fields that make up one complete entry. A record about a student might contain fields for name, address, telephone, etc.
Section – One of a set of meetings for a course. May be taught by one or more teachers. The same students will normally attend each meeting of a section.
Segment – One meeting of a course section. For a course section that meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday during period 1, Monday, period 1 is referred to as a segment of the section.
Select – The "Select" tab in a report is an interface for defining which records are chosen for a report by means of applying queries.. The 'select' statement in SQL is used to query data and may contain many levels, using AND and OR to conditionally combine multiple selected fields.
Service type – The type of educational service the student receives. In general, selection would be "Regular" or "Special Education."
Session minutes – The number of minutes per session. Equal to the number of periods multiplied by the period minutes. Used only if attendance accounting is kept by session.
Session periods – The number of periods in each session. Used only if attendance accounting is kept by session (i.e. mornings or afternoons).
SIF – Schools Interoperability Framework (see: www.sifinfo.org)
Sort – Sort determines the order in which records are presented on a report. Sorting may be ascending or descending on multiple fields.
SPEEDE/ExPRESS – A standard adopted for the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) of student transcripts and other records. Standardization of Postsecondary Education Electronic Data Exchange / Exchange of Permanent Records Electronically for Students and Schools.
SQL – Structured Query Language (pronounced SQL or Sequel). A language used to create, maintain, and query relational databases. SQL uses regular English words for many of its commands, which makes it easy to use. It is often embedded within other programming languages.
Standard – A collection of objectives. A standard is an object that has a description, grade level and subject associated with it that is used as a container for a group of objectives. Each contained objective is a child of the parent standard.
Status – Faculty Status: The faculty's status for Aspire purposes. Selection may be Active (currently working within the Aspire system), or Inactive (former employees, on leave etc.) Status codes may be modified using the Table Editor program located in the System area of the Shell. Student Status: The student's enrollment status for Aspire purposes. Selection may be Active (currently enrolled in classes), or a variety of non-active status codes, such as Inactive, Future, Graduated etc. Status codes may be modified using the Table Editor application located in the System area of the Shell.
Student identification number – The student's assigned identification number within the Aspire system. This number is assigned in the Student Editor program.
Subject – The subject area to which a course is assigned. For example, Algebra-1 would likely be assigned to the subject of Mathematics.
Subject priority – A method of indicating which subject grouping is to be considered first by the system when fulfilling graduation requirements. Higher subject priority area will be considered first.
System date – The system date in Aspire is the assumed virtual date for database purposes. The date is advanced by the host computer's internal clock. The Aspire system date is normally set to match the actual date in real time. However, the system date can be changed from within Aspire for the purpose of manipulating data. Changing the system date in Aspire does not affect the date set in the operating system of the host computer.
Tab – An information screen within a window. To save space, these type of screens are usually lined up behind each other so that only one can be viewed at a time. The desired screen can be activated and brought to the front by clicking on its tab identifier visible at the top.
Table – In a database: a container for data about a particular subject. Tables are made up of records, which are collections of fields. A flat file database uses only one table to hold all data. A relational database uses numerous tables that are linked together.
Task – A specific assignment or project assigned to students within the Gradebook application.
Term – District Courses: The term of the year the course is offered. This integrates with the Scheduling program. If a course is only offered in the first half of the year, the term should be set to Semester 1. If the course is offered at any time throughout the year, this may be left blank. Mark Reporting: The term of the year for which data is being entered or removed. This will affect which courses are available for data entry.
Term description – The descriptive name for the term type being used within a track, i.e. Quarter, semester, trimester.
Term marker Indicates the beginning or end of a term in the track calendar.
Test item – A question to be included on a test. A test item may be multiple choice, matching, true or false, or an essay question. Each question usually covers material described by the objective. Each test item is a child of its parent objective.
Title – The full descriptive name of a report, which will appear in the report header. Many reports allow editing of the default title.
Track – A scheduling run for a specific school site for a specific date range. A track is the foundation for school operation. In a traditional school, there will be one track that may be referred to as the "calendar". In a year-round school there may be multiple tracks. For every track the beginning and ending dates for a school year are defined, as well as the period structure, cycle days, and number of terms. A Master Schedule will be created for every track. Students and faculty are enrolled into specific tracks.
Track calendar – The track calendar specifies the beginning and ending dates for each track, terms within the track, and associated events such as holidays, in-service days, snow days etc.
Track code – A code to identify each attendance track within the Aspire system. It may be up to three alphanumeric characters.
Track description – The descriptive name given to each track via the Track Editor application, such as "Traditional", "A Track", "Track 1" etc.
Transcript – A report of a student's academic history.
Update statement – A statement which defines records to be updated, and the information which will be modified. May be implemented using SQL in the Database Manager program.
User identification number – All users of the Aspire system must be registered as faculty members via the Faculty Editor. Thus, this number is the same as a Faculty identification number.
Value – Normally thought of as a numerical value entered in a field. However, values in Aspire can also be non-numerical. For example, the field "status" may have values available of "Active", "Inactive", "Graduated", while the field "ethnicity" may have values available of "Black", "Hispanic", "White", etc.
VCR buttons – Buttons which may be used to scroll forward and reverse through records on file. The single arrow will advance to the next or prior record, the double arrow will advance to the next/prior alpha heading, and the arrow/line will advance to the first/last record on file.
Weekend – Saturdays and Sundays. Automatically skipped by the Track Calendar when setting up a track, unless overridden.