Good Things to Know Glossary

  • Academic Leadership Team (ALT)

    Shepherd’s leadership team led by Principal Russell.

  • Advisory

    DCPS term for the 9 weeks of each quarter of the school year.

  • Alexander R. Shepherd

    The territorial governor of the District of Columbia in the early 1870’s for whom the school is named.

  • All School Morning Meeting

    Our monthly Friday gathering in the school multi-purpose room that launches the day; it includes what every Morning Meeting shares: a greeting, a sharing, an activity, and news & announcements. These meetings are led by students each month, with each grade presenting at least one morning meeting throughout the school year. While parents are not the primary audience, you are welcome to join in. The only requirement is when we sing, you sing! When we dance, you dance!

  • ANet

    Shortened form of Achievement Network, the company DCPS has contracted with to provide benchmark tests to Grade 3-5 three (or four) times a year. The tests are taken electronically, in part as a step towards preparing for PARCC testing in the Spring.

  • Atrium

    The main entry hall of the school; parents and caregivers are asked to access the school via the set of atrium doors on 14th Street. During morning drop off and afternoon pick up, these doors are accessible/unlocked. At all other times of day, they are locked. Please do NOT use other entrances to enter the building.

  • Cluster VI

    Our DCPS home base group of schools, led by Instructional Superintendent Carolyne Albert-Garvey.

  • Community Center

    The connected Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) Community Center provides our students access to a full cafeteria, regulation-size gym, and additional swing space during school days.

  • Comprehensive School Plan (CSP)

    A schoolwide action plan that focuses on academics, family & engagement, school culture, and shared leadership.

  • Comprehensive Staffing Model (CSM)

    Model utilized by DCPS to allocate staff and funds to schools. Click here for more information on the DCPS budget process.

  • Dynamic Indicators of Early Literary Success (DIBELS)

    A set of procedures and measures for assessing the acquisition of early literacy skills; completed three times per year by students in Kindergarten through 2nd Grade.

  • Early Childhood Education (ECE)

    A term used to collectively refer to our Pre-K3 and Pre-K4 classes.

  • Fall Fest

    The community-building and FUNdraising event put on by the PTO in October every year. Each classroom hosts a station or activity, and the PTO uses the money raised to support teachers and their classroom needs. The is a fun festival event held on 14th Street in front of the school and is a great way to meet families, teachers and neighbors.

  • GOLD (Assessment)

    An observation-based tool that allows teachers to capture and organize data related to student’s development across multiple areas, including cognitive and social-emotional skills; assessed throughout the year for ECE students.

  • iReady

    An adaptive online assessment that identifies students’ strengths and weaknesses across Common Core math standards; completed three times per year by students in 2nd through 5th Grades.

  • LSAT

    A DCPS school-based organization team (Local School Advisory Team) that includes teachers and formally-elected parent advisors; the team is particularly active around budget season. Click here for more information on Shepherd’s LSAT and access minutes from previous LSAT meetings.

  • Multi-purpose Room

    The large gathering room that we use for All School Meetings, indoor/inclement PE, After Care, PTO meetings, and voting! But with the new Community Center opening in Fall 2020, the school will have even more indoor space!

  • Mustang

    Our “mascot”.

  • OSSE

    District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education


    Acronym for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career, the computer-based testing students in Grades 3-5 take once annually in Spring to measure students’ mastery of the Common Core State Standards in ELA and Math.

  • PTO

    Shepherd's Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) hosts monthly meetings, puts on fundraising events like Fall Fest and the Annual Spring Gala and Auction, provides supplies and materials for the teachers and their classrooms, and plans events like Jazz Night and Summer Camp Expo to foster a collaborative, engaged and supportive culture. Learn more about the PTO and how to get involved.

  • Reading Inventory (RI)

    An adaptive, computer-based reading assessment that measures student’s reading level and progress; completed three times per year by students in 2nd through 5th Grades.

  • Responsive Classroom

    A socio-emotional learning approach used at Shepherd; it helps adults understand the importance of a developmental, flexible, and intentional approach to organizing time, classroom environments, use of language, and response to both behavior and learning.

  • Response to Intervention (RTI)

    A team approach to gathering all we need to know about the learners in our midst (strengths, challenges) through observation, clear goal-setting, and informal assessment.

  • Room Parent Network

    Each homeroom at Shepherd has duo or trio of parents/caregivers who assists with communication, volunteers, and special events for parents and caregivers within a classroom. These individuals make up the Room Parent Network (RPN), which is led by a Room Parent Coordinator.

  • Shepherd Elementary School Star Achievers (SESSA)

    Our wonderful Before and After Care program. Click here for more information on SESSA.

  • Spring Gala and Auction

    Shepherd PTO’s biggest fundraising event doubles as an absolutely fun night out with friends, parents and staff. There's an online/silent and live auction on the night of the event - usually in April. The event requires many hands to contribute in many ways.

  • Teacher Leadership Innovation (TLI)

    The TLI program allows designated Shepherd teachers to spend part of the day teaching and part of the day leading other adults in the building. Shepherd's Math and ELA coaches also serve as Teacher Leaders.

  • Text Reading and Comprehension (TRC)

    An assessment of oral reading accuracy and comprehension using a set of calibrated benchmark books; completed three times per year by students in Kindergarten and 1st Grade.

  • Ward 4

    DC is divided into 8 Wards; ours is 4.