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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 54 Pa.B. 1032 (February 24, 2024).

22 Pa. Code § 4.3. Definitions.

§ 4.3. Definitions.

 The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

   ACTS—Area career and technical school—A public school that provides career and technical education to secondary school students, out-of-school youth and adults in a geographical area comprised and operated by one or more school districts and established under sections 1840—1853 of the School Code (24 P.S. § §  18-1840—18-1853).

   Academic standard—What a student should know and be able to do at a specified grade level.

   Apprenticeship program—A competency-based program that coordinates and integrates classroom instruction with a structured work-based employment experience designed for students.

   Assessment—A valid and reliable measurement of student performance on a set of academic standards in a subject area that captures student understanding of the set as a whole and the central concepts, knowledge and skills of each content area.

   Board—The State Board of Education established under sections 2601-B—2606-B of the School Code (24 P.S. § §  26-2601-B—26-2606-B).

   Career and technical education—Programs under public supervision and control which provide an organized process of learning experiences designed to develop integrated academic and occupational skills, knowledge, attitudes, work habits and leadership ability for entry into and advancement within various levels of employment in occupational areas of agriculture, business, marketing and distribution, health, home economics and trade and industry and for participation in postsecondary education and training.

   Chief school administrator—The superintendent of a school district, the superintendent of an ACTS or the chief executive officer of a charter school.

   Cooperative career and technical education—A planned method of instruction developed through a signed cooperative arrangement among school representatives, students, parents and employers in the community to provide students with an opportunity to alternate in-school academic and career and technical instruction in entry-level paid employment in an occupational field, in which the student’s total occupational work experience is planned, coordinated and supervised by the school in close cooperation with the employer.

   Curriculum—A series of planned instruction aligned with the academic standards in each subject that is coordinated and articulated and implemented in a manner designed to result in the achievement at the proficient level by all students.

   Department—The Department of Education of the Commonwealth.

   ESOL—English to speakers of other languages.

   Employment area—A geographic area where career and technical education program completers are most likely to be employed.

   Individuals with Disabilities Education Act—20 U.S.C.A. § §  1400—1482.

   Intermediate unit—A regional educational service agency established under sections 951—974 of the School Code (24 P. S. § §  9-951—9-974), which provides educational services to participating school districts as part of the public school system of this Commonwealth.

   Keystone Exams—State-developed end-of-course exams. Designated exams will be used to determine, in part, a student’s eligibility for high school graduation.

   Local Assessment Validation Advisory Committee—An advisory committee established by the Department composed of up to two representatives each from the Department and Board, four representatives from the Pennsylvania School Boards Association and up to four additional members who are jointly selected by the Committee. The purpose of the Committee is to develop the criteria for the local validation process and criteria for selection of approved validation entities.

   NOCTI—National Occupational Competency Testing Institute.

   PSSA—Pennsylvania System of School Assessment.

   Parent or guardian—A person legally responsible for a student’s care.

   Pennsylvania Core Standards—Academic standards for English language arts and mathematics based upon a Nationwide, state-led process coordinated by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers and in collaboration with teachers, content experts and other education stakeholders. The standards define the knowledge and skills students should have within their K-12 education careers so that they will graduate high school able to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing academic college courses and in work-force training programs.

   Performance Level Advisory Committee—An advisory committee established by the Department to assist the Department in developing Keystone Exam performance level descriptors and performance level cut scores. The Committee includes teachers, principals, school administrators, school board members, higher education officials, representatives of the United States Armed Forces, employers and others with at least 1/2 of its members selected from nominations made by Statewide teachers’ unions and other education stakeholder organizations.

   Planned instruction—Instruction offered by a school entity based upon a written plan to enable students to achieve the academic standards under §  4.12 (relating to academic standards) and any additional academic standards as determined by the school entity.

   Prekindergarten—A program operated by a school district or by a community agency under contract from a school district that is open to children who are at least 3 years of age and completed prior to the school district’s entry age for kindergarten.

   School Code—The Public School Code of 1949 (24 P. S. § §  1-101— 27-2702).

   School entity—A local public education provider (for example, public school district, charter school, cyber charter school, ACTS or intermediate unit).

   School organization—The organization of a school district’s programs into kindergarten, primary, intermediate level, middle level and high school programs, including programs operated at ACTSs.

   Secretary—The Secretary of Education of the Commonwealth.

   State assessment—A valid and reliable measurement of student performance on a set of academic standards as measured by the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment or the Keystone Exams.

   State Assessment Validation Advisory Committee—An advisory committee established by the Department to advise it on its plans to conduct a validity study of the Keystone Exams and review and provide feedback on study findings. The Committee is composed of up to two representatives each from the Department, Board, Pennsylvania State Education Association, American Federation of Teachers-Pennsylvania and up to four additional members who are jointly selected by the Committee.

   Tech-prep program—A combined secondary and postsecondary program which leads to an associate degree or certificate and employment by providing technical preparation in engineering technology, applied science, mechanical, industrial or practical art or trade, agriculture, health or business, including development of competence in mathematics, science and communications through a sequential course of study.


   The provisions of this §  4.3 amended under the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P.S. § §  1-101—27-2702).


   The provisions of this §  4.3 amended December 15, 2006, effective December 16, 2006, 36 Pa.B. 7542; amended February 15, 2008, effective February 16, 2008, 38 Pa.B. 872; amended January 8, 2010, effective January 9, 2010, 40 Pa.B. 240; amended October 15, 2010, effective October 16, 2010, 40 Pa.B. 5903; corrected April 6, 2012, effective January 1, 2011, 42 Pa.B. 1859; amended February 28, 2014, effective March 1, 2014, 44 Pa.B. 1131; amended July 15, 2022, effective July 16, 2022, 52 Pa.B. 3946. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (371071) to (371073).

Cross References

   This section cited in 22 Pa. Code §  4.23 (relating to high school education); 22 Pa. Code §  4.28 (relating to special education); 22 Pa. Code §  338.2 (relating to definitions); and 22 Pa. Code §  339.1a (relating to definitions).

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