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Glossary of Key Terms

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Term Definition
Reflective Thinking

Cognitive process that involves personal consideration of one’s own learning based on criteria; sometimes referred to as metacognition


The application of knowledge in real-world situations, from predicable to unpredictable.

Religious, Spiritual, Moral, and Ethical Dimensions of Learning

Knowledge, skills, understandings, and dispositions that acknowledge the transcendent nature of human beings and creation. In Catholic schools, learning in the content areas includes raising questions of right and wrong, good and bad, examined from the perspective of faith and Catholic worldview.


Resource is an allocation or supply from which benefit is produced. Typically resources are materials, energy, services, volunteers, staff, knowledge, or other assets that are transformed to produce benefit and in the process may be consumed or made unavailable.


A focus on outcomes rather than inputs or intentions.

Retirement Plan

A retirement plan is a financial arrangement (usually an income plan) designed to replace employment income upon retirement. These plans are based on employee goals, and cover a wide range of options from pensions, individual retirement arrangements, profit sharing plans, define benefit plans, stock ownership plans, government plans and others. Guided planning for retirement should be provided by the diocese or the school. [Most often these plans are set up by employers, insurance companies, the (arch)diocese or other institutions.]


Withdrawal for a period of time from one's usual surroundings and activities to a place of solitude for meditation, self-examination, and prayer, in order to recognize God’s presence in one’s life.

Revenue Portfolio

A revenue portfolio is a compilation of how much income you receive and the sources of that revenue. In a Catholic school, typically, the portfolio is broken into tuition (almost always the largest source), income from fund-raising activities, donations, interest or investment income (for schools with an endowment or other large asset base) and unrelated business income – (examples: income from renting the building to summer camp or adult education program).


Deep conceptual understanding that allows students to use knowledge automatically and routinely to solve problems and create solutions.

Rigorous Academic Standards

Standards that are judged by appropriate experts to set high learning expectations based on college and career readiness. Rigorous academic standards designate learning goals that are challenging yet doable with effective instruction.

Rigorous Curriculum

An inclusive set of intentionally aligned components – clear learning outcomes with matching assessments, engaging learning experiences, effective instructional strategies—sequenced to result in students’ achieving delineated learning standards based on college and career readiness.


A criterion-based scoring guide that enables judges to make reliable judgments about student work and enables students to self-assess their performance.