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Pine Ridge Secondary School
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Special Education Definitions
​​Special Education Definitions

The terms differentiation, accommodation and modification are vastly different. Please do not confuse them. Here are some basic definitions for each.


This applies to gifted students who may require a difference in kind, pace depth or breadth of course expectations. (i.e. opportunities for independent study and open ended activities, less repetition, more compacting of program, finding extensions to assignments which require in depth analysis of evaluation, making connections between seemingly unrelated topics).


Accommodations apply to the majority of our students with special needs. An accommodated Individual Education Plan ( IEP) is only three pages long. Accommodations are found on the second page of the IEP. Accommodated students do not require changes to curriculum expectations, but rather adaptations/changes in the method of delivery or assessment which will make the expectations more accessible to the student with exceptionalities. (i.e. extra time but same test, photocopied notes, oral tests, remedial support, and so forth.)


Modifications apply to very few of our students with special needs. These students with modifications require changes to the curriculum expectations. The IEP is four pages or longer. Any accommodations these students need are found on page two of IEP. Pages four and onward are used to denote all needed modifications. If there are significant changes to the expectations of a course this statement should be used on the report card:  "This percentage grade is based on achievement of the expectations specified in the IEP which differ significantly from the curriculum expectations for the course."​