A student’s present level of performance on a particular skill, established using a student’s median (middle) score across three probes on instructional level material.

Basic Education Circular (BEC)

Policy briefs issued by Pennsylvania’s Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education.ᅠBECs can be accessed on the PDE website.

Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS)

BICS is often referred to as playground English or survival English. It is the basic language ability required for face-to-face communication where linguistic interactions are embedded in a situational context. This language, which is highly contextualized and often accompanied by gestures, is relatively undemanding cognitively and relies on the context to aid understanding. BICS is much more easily and quickly acquired than CALP (Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency), but is not sufficient to meet the cognitive and linguistic demands of an academic classroom.ᅠ


Basic Education Circular


An observable and measurable act by an individual (e.g., student screams).

Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Services (BHRS)

Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Services, also known as wraparound services or Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) are community mental health services that are prescribed by a doctor and may be provided in the home or school setting. This service is funded through insurance based on Medical Necessity Criteria (MNC) and requires that an individual is Medical Assistance eligible. Different types of wraparound services can be provided simultaneously; including a Behavior Specialist Consultant (BSC), Mobile Therapy (MT), and Therapeutic Staff Support (TSS). Either an MT or a BSC must supervise a TSS.


Continuous, systematic process for evaluating programs, services, or work processes of programs for the purpose of improvement


Specified levels of achievement, for expectations for educational outcomes that provide a basis for measuring learning outcomesCollecting and analyzing data to investigate what’s been achieved in a program

Bilingual Education

An educational program in which two languages are used to provide content matter instruction.

Blind for Legal Purposes

Legal blindness is defined as having a visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye after best correction with conventional lenses or a restricted visual field with a diameter or no more than 20 degrees.


The inability to see; the absence or severe reduction of vision.


Bookshare is an online library that provides accessible books and periodicals to individuals with print disabilities.


A system of raised dots that enable blind students to read and write.

Braille Embosser

A computer printer that embosses Braille by using software to convert from print to Braille.

Braille Literacy:

A student’s proficiency in using Braille to accomplish reading and writing tasks.

Braille: Uncontracted and Contracted

Braille is a system of reading and writing that uses raised dots. The braille code used for writing regular text in books, magazines, school reports, and letters is known as literary braille. Literary braille can be contracted or uncontracted. In addition to literary braille, there are other codes that allow individuals who are blind to write many other things, from math problems to music notes to computer notation. Uncontracted braille, which replaces the term grade 1 braille, represents words in braille code in a letter for letter correspondence, just as in print. Contracted braille, which replaces the term grade 2 braille, is shorthand for words and part-words.


A machine used for embossing Braille.

Brain Injury

There are two types of brain injuries. Non-traumatic brain injury results when the supply of blood or oxygen to the brain is interrupted for reasons other than trauma, such as brain tumors, strokes, infections, near drowning, and some neurological disorders. In traumatic brain injury (TBI), the blood or oxygen disruption results from injuries such as motor vehicle accidents, falls, sports accidents, assaults, and gunshot wounds to the head.

Brain Stem

The region at the base of the brain that connects the brain to the spinal cord. That is where breathing, heart beat, and being awake and alert are controlled.


Bureau of Special Education