Skip Navigation
Crisis Data Management: A Forum Guide to Collecting and Managing Data About Displaced Students
NCES 2010-804
February 2010

Appendix B: Common Core of Data Glossary

Terms used in this guide

Crisis: Any natural or manmade event that causes an unstable or dangerous situation. A crisis sometimes, although not always, results in the displacement of students. In this document, a crisis is defined as "any natural or manmade event that causes the displacement of students."

Crisis event table: A data table that identifies and describes a crisis.

Displaced student indicator: An indicator that flags a student displaced by a crisis (usually associated with a specific crisis code in a student record).

Disaster recovery team: High-level agency staff responsible for minimizing the impact of a crisis and preserving or restoring educational services to students during and following a crisis.

Data steward: An individual (or individuals) responsible for ensuring the quality of statistical information generated by an organization. Data stewards also generally assume responsibility for enhancing the information reporting process through staff development and by sharing data expertise with the various offices and programs that produce data and information in an organization.

Disaster: A sudden, calamitous event causing substantial damage, loss, or destruction. See also FEMA-declared disaster.

Disaster recovery: The process, policies, and procedures related to restoring or continuing critical business activities in an organization after a natural or human-induced disaster. With respect to data, it is the process, policies, and procedures for regaining access to data—records, hardware, software, etc.—and communications.

Disaster recovery planning: A subset of a larger process known as "business continuity planning" that focuses on the creation and validation of a practiced logistical plan for recovering and restoring interrupted critical functions following a disaster or extended disruption. With respect to data, it is the preparation for the resumption of applications, data, hardware, communications, networking. and other IT infrastructure following a disaster.

Displaced student: A student who was enrolled, or eligible for enrollment, but due to a crisis has enrolled in another place.

FEMA-declared disaster: An event that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has formally recognized as a disaster based on its predefined criteria. The federal disaster law restricts the use of arithmetical formulas or other objective standards as the sole basis for determining the need for federal supplemental aid. As a result, FEMA uses a number of factors to determine a disaster’s severity, magnitude, and impact. In evaluating a state governor’s request for a "major disaster" declaration, a number of primary factors and other relevant information are considered in developing a recommendation to the President for supplemental disaster assistance. Primary factors considered include

  • the amount and type of damage (number of homes destroyed or with major damage);
  • the impact on the infrastructure of affected areas or critical facilities;
  • imminent threats to public health and safety;
  • the impact to essential government services and functions;
  • the unique capability of the federal government;
  • the dispersion or concentration of damage;
  • the level of insurance coverage in place for homeowners and public facilities;
  • assistance available from other sources (federal, state, local, voluntary organizations);
  • state and local resource commitments from previous, undeclared events; and
  • the frequency of disasters over recent time period.

FIPS County code: A five-digit, Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) code that uniquely identifies counties and county equivalents in the United States, as well as certain U.S. possessions and freely associated states. The first two digits are the FIPS state code and the last three are the county code within the state or possession. For example, in the code "48453," 48 represents Texas and 453 is Travis County. (See and

Homeschooling: The education of children at home, typically by parents but sometimes by tutors, rather than in a formal setting of public or private school. Homeschooling is a legal option for parents who wish to provide their children with a different learning environment than exists in nearby schools.

Nonpublic school: An institution that provides educational services and is primarily funded by nonpublic funds (e.g., tuition).

Student record: An education document or system maintained by the district in which a student is enrolled. Student records typically contain demographic data, school enrollment, grade assignments, promotions and retentions, grades, credits earned, participation in special programs, test scores, etc.

Temporary data exchange: An agreement of limited duration between two organizations that permits data to be shared. Depending on the nature of the agreement, the receiving agency generally is expected to destroy or return the data at the end of a specified period of time.

Acronyms used in this guide

ADA: Average Daily Attendance

ADM: Average Daily Membership

FEMA: Federal Emergency Management Agency

FERPA: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

FIPS: Federal Information Processing Standard

FTE: Full-Time Equivalent

IEU: Intermediate Education Unit

LEA: Local Education Agency

NCES: National Center for Education Statistics

SEA: State Education Agency

SIS: Student Information System

USED: United States Department of Education