• Definition of Terms

    Adolescent: typically defined as a child aged 12-17, this is the transitional stage of physical and psychological development that generally occurs during the period from puberty to legal adulthood . The period of adolescence is most closely associated with the teenage years, though its physical, psychological and cultural expressions may begin earlier and end later.

    Circadian Rhythm:   often referred to as the "body's clock", the circadian rhythm is a 24-hour cycle that tells our bodies when to sleep and regulates many other physiological processes.  The Circadian Rhythm is different in adolescents than it is in young children or adults.

    Civil Twilight:  the period of 'dusk after sunset' or 'dawn before sunrise' during which the sky is partially lit by atmospheric scattering of sunlight. It is a time of decreased visibility which can create dangerous conditions for students walking home after school. Click here to calculate the twilight hours in Maryland during the different seasons of the year.

    Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR): the official compilation of all administrative regulations issued by agencies of the state of Maryland.

    Bus Driver Certification: People seeking to become school bus drivers in Maryland must meet specific requirements before receiving certification to become a bus driver. These regulations are outlined under  COMAR 13A.06.07.06  .

    Executive Summary short document or section of a document that summarizes a longer report or proposal or a group of related reports in such a way that readers can rapidly become acquainted with a large body of material without having to read it in its entirety. It usually contains a brief statement of the problem or proposal covered in the major document(s), background information, concise analyses and main conclusions.

    Hybrid Course also referred to as "blended courses";  hybrid courses are courses in which students engage in learning in both face-2-face and online formats. The structure of hybrid courses can vary, but often include student-teacher face-to-face interactions occurring inside a classroom, with course-related readings, lectures, and activities occurring online during a student's own out-of-school time. The purpose of a hybrid course is to take advantage of the best features of both face-to-face and online learning.

    Magnet Programs:  an educational program with a specialized course of study or an emphasis on instruction that is different from the traditional curriculum offered in non-magnet schools.

    • Students attend their Magnet school in place of their home school (exception: CAT students attend one of the technology centers in conjunction with their home school attendance.).
    • Students must reside in Anne Arundel County, complete an application, and be eligible to participate in the selection process to attend a Magnet Program
    • Transportation is provided from consolidated bus stops to schools that house magnet programs. It is the family’s responsibility to provide transportation from the home to the bus stop.

    Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE): provides leadership, support, and accountability for public education, library services, and rehabilitation services across Maryland. Click here to learn more .

    Nonpublic:  refers to the learning placement of special education students who because of their special needs cannot be placed in an AACPS public school. If a student’s IEP (Individualized Education Program) requires a nonpublic learning environment/placement, AACPS is required to transport this student to an appropriate nonpublic placement. Examples of nonpublic schools include Kennedy Krieger Institute, The Summit School, and The Children’s Guild.

    Route: the physical distance a bus will service in a day, including AM travel, Noon travel, and PM travel.

    Start Times: also referred to as "Bell Times" or "Bell Schedule," these times are the start and end of the instructional school day. These times do not take into account the time that buses need to arrive at the school to drop off or pick up students.

    Tier: also known as “stacking" or "runs,” tiering refers to the levels within bus routes through which AACPS transports students to and from school. The simplest route services three tiers: transporting students to a high school (tier 1) then to a middle school (tier 2), and finally to an elementary school (tier 3). However, depending on the start time of each school within their route, some buses may service multiple middle or elementary schools in a variety of orders. While all buses currently begin their service at high schools, many then travel to an elementary school and then to a middle school (three tiers), some travel to two different elementary schools and then a middle school (four tiers), and some go to a middle school followed by two elementary schools (four tiers). In addition, to use each bus as efficiently as possible, some buses transport students during the day to the Centers of Applied Technology, the Performing and Visual Arts Studio 39, half-day Prekindergarten, ECI, and community/ work-based special education programs. These buses could serve up to seven tiers daily.

    Transportation Software: used to not only plan bus routes but to provide efficiency of busing and better utilization of a School District’s existing bus fleet.  Transportation software companies also offer upgraded software packages that provide GPS tracking, student tracking, driver attendance, and payment programs.

    Twilight Hours: see "Civil Twilight."

    Twilight School an opportunity for ninth grade students to take a class for remedial credit. The class is taken after school at the comprehensive high school. Twilight School is offered second semester for those students who did not receive credit for a first semester class. Second semester seniors may participate in Twilight School offerings in order to complete necessary credits for graduation.

    Virtual Course a "virtual education course" refers to any instructional course in which all, or at least a significant portion, is delivered online so that students do not have to go to the physical classroom to learn. Virtual courses often include online readings, lectures (often with the instructor joining the student on-line in real time), and online interactive activities. Many also include space for online group discussions among peers.