“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.”
Do we have to provide translation and interpretation for parents of non-English Learners?
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
- All ESSA documents are currently available in Spanish, Arabic, Bengali, Burmese, Cambodian (Khmer), Chinese, French, Gujarati, Haitian Creole, Hmong, Karen, Korean, Marshallese, Nepali, Portuguese, Russian, Somali, Swahili, Urdu, and Vietnamese.
- General Education documents are currently available in Spanish, Albanian, Arabic, Bosnian, Cambodian/Khmer, Chinese, French, Gujarati, Haitian Creole, Hmong, Japanese, Korean, Lao, Marshallese, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Somali, Tagalog, Thai, Urdu, and Vietnamese.
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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.
Translation refers to written language
Interpretation refers to spoken language