Interpretation and Translation

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Visit Information for Families: Interpretation and Translation.

Schools must communicate with all parents in a language they can understand. This includes notifying limited-English proficient parents - in a language they can understand - about all programs, services, and activities that are called to the attention of other parents.

Relevant Laws & Guidance

Language Access Planning

Developing a language access plan is critical to ensuring that your school district communicates effectively with families with limited-English proficiency.

Informing Families About Their Rights

Schools should take steps to inform parents that free translation and interpretation services are available and how to request these services.

  • Important Document Notice
    If a situation arises when a school is unable to translate a document immediately, consider including a notice on the document, translated into the parent's primary language (e.g. on pre-printed stickers) informing families that they can contact the school to have the document translated.
    Sample Important Document Notice - in 22 languages

Interpreters & Translators

  • Qualified, Competent Interpreters and Translators
    Schools must provide language assistance to limited-English proficient families effectively with appropriate, competent staff-or appropriate and competent outside resources. It is not sufficient for the staff merely to be bilingual. For example, some bilingual staff and community volunteers may be able to communicate directly with limited-English proficient families in a different language, but not be competent to interpret in and out of English (e.g., consecutive or simultaneous interpreting). Schools 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. In addition, schools should ensure that interpreters and translators are trained on the role of an interpreter or translator, the ethics of interpreting or translating, and the need to maintain confidentiality.

Resources & Support