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    School and Department Responsibilities for Communicating with Families Whose Primary Language is NOT English

     

    Contracting Translation and Interpretation Services

     

    All schools and departments who generate communication to families MUST reasonably attempt to provide that communication in the language requested by the family on the Enrollment Survey registration document. Questions about preferred languages of oral and written communication are asked annually during re-enrollment and at initial enrollment through the district online registration platform (These answers correspond to PowerSchool field ‘Oral Communication Language’).

     

    Each school or department should contract for interpretation and/or translation services directly with a district-approved vendor. Budget codes have been provided to each school and department. Please see the district memo and approved list of vendors shared with school principals and department leaders on August 17, 2022.

     

     


    Schools and departments should consider the following guidelines when allocating personnel and financial resources to interpretation and translation procedures:

     

    • For official meetings or written communications, the services of a certified interpreter/translator must be used; official meetings include but are not limited to IEP meetings, disciplinary conferences, or issues related to Student Health Services, attendance, Hearing Office, etc.

    • Each school or department should open a purchase order with suggested vendors for services as needed; for a list of vendors, contact the ESOL Program.

    • A representative(s) should be designated to process requests from within the school or department; at ESOL schools, it is suggested this responsibility be shared between an ESOL teacher and a designated administrator.

    • Interpretation and translation services MUST be scheduled in advance with enough time to reasonably accommodate all stakeholder schedules; a two-week notice is recommended.

    • Specific personnel at each school or department should be designated and trained to use, schedule, and complete payment for these services.

    • Bilingual staff may be designated as informal interpreters for limited services (i.e. minor phone calls/ reminders; not official meetings or school-wide events, i.e. open house) to be conducted outside of scheduled instructional times but within contracted work hours. Administrators should designate an amicable policy respectful of the personnel’s primary work responsibilities and comfort level with conducting these services; all requests for these services should go through an administrator (i.e. not from teacher to teacher).

    • See document Translator and Interpreter Procedures for further guidance including how to respectfully communicate in English when a language barrier is present; as is the responsibility of all school and district staff.

       


    Assuring timely and accurate communication to families whose primary language is not English is a shared responsibility of all district stakeholders.

    Questions regarding this policy can be referred to the World Languages and ESOL Coordinator.