“Schools must communicate information to limited English proficient parents in a language they can understand about any program, service, or activity that is called to the attention of parents who are proficient in English.”

U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division

Do we have to provide translation and interpretation for parents of non-English Learners?
Yes, you do! Remember, parents may not speak English proficiently even if their child speaks it proficiently.
What do we have to do to provide effective language assistance to parents that are limited in their English proficiency?
  • School districts must provide effective language assistance to parents who have limited English proficiency such as by offering translated materials or a language interpreter. Language assistance must be free and provided by appropriate and competent staff, or through appropriate and competent outside resources.
  • School districts should ensure that interpreters and translators have knowledge in both languages of any specialized terms or concepts to be used in the communication at issue, and are trained on the role of an interpreter and translator, the ethics of interpreting and translating, and the need to maintain confidentiality.
  • It is not sufficient for the staff merely to be bilingual. For example, a staff member who is bilingual may be able to communicate directly with limited English proficient parents in a different language, but may not be competent to interpret in and out of that language or to translate documents.
What are some examples of things that need to be provided in a language the parent can understand?
  • registration and enrollment in school and school programs
  • requests for parent permission for student participation in school activities
  • information on the English Language Development program
  • parent handbooks
  • report cards
  • parent-teacher conferences
  • gifted and talented programs
  • student discipline policies and procedures
  • information and meetings relating to special education and related services
  • grievance procedures and notices of nondiscrimination
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Hidden Box
PDE Translation Library

Documents may be used by schools to communicate with parents for various purposes required by state and/or federal laws and policies. Documents are translated into the most represented languages in Pennsylvania within the constraints of the program budget.

Click here to go to the library.

YouTube Videos
TalkingPoints

Teachers use a web browser or mobile app to communicate with families who use text messages or a mobile app.  This assists in supporting family engagement and teacher-family connections.  Click here to learn more.

i Translate
Easily translate text in over 100 languages. The translation through this program is generally more accurate than Google Translate. To try it out, click here.
Google Translate
Translate text, documents, and websites through the use of a website interface or app.  Translated text can also be read aloud in the target language.

To try it out, click here.

Microsoft Translate

Translate text into different languages in Excel, Word, OneNote, Outlook, and PowerPoint.

To learn more, click here.

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Translation Resources:

Translation refers to written language

Interpretation Resources:

Interpretation refers to spoken language

Over-the-Phone Interpretation (OPI)
School districts within Montgomery County, PA have contracts with companies to provide OPI services.  Most districts either use TransPerfect or Language Line.  Please reach out to your ELD Coordinator to determine how these services are utilized within your district.
Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Translator allows parents and teachers to communicate, in-person or virtually, in their preferred languages. Pairing Teams with Microsoft Translator allows teachers to call parents, caption what they are saying, and have it translated for parents. In turn, parents can talk or write back in their preferred language. Multiple parents can join a conference, and each can communicate in their own language. 

For more information, click here.

Zoom

Users that would like to include interpreters in their meetings or webinars now have the ability to enable language interpretation. This allows the host to designate participants as interpreters on the web portal or during a Zoom session.  For more information, click here.

Zoom translated captions are also available and enable users to have the speech in a meeting or webinar automatically translated in real-time to captions in another language. For example, if a meeting participant is speaking in English, other participants can view captions German, Italian, Japanese, etc.

Available caption languages are determined by the host in web settings before the live session, but participants can self-enable captions and switch languages without the need of the host.

Supported languages currently include:

  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Portuguese
  • Italian
  • Chinese (Simplified)(Beta)
  • Russian
  • Japanese (Beta)
  • Korean (Beta)
  • Dutch
  • Ukrainian

To learn more about this option, click here.

Google Meet

Try Translated Captions in Google Meet

You can use translated captions to translate spoken English into these languages:

  • French

  • German

  • Portuguese

  • Spanish

To learn more, click here.

SayHi

SayHi Translate is an Amazon Company app that supports two people speaking different languages to communicate more effectively.  The app allows you to speak or type and it is automatically translated into the selected languages.

To learn more, click here.

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