What are translation services?
All parents and guardians, including non-native speakers, are entitled to meaningful communication in a language they can understand. The Essex Westford School District provides translation services for families in order to support access to their child’s educational program, including parent conferences, special education meetings, truancy hearings, open house events, field trip permission forms, report cards/progress reports and other critical school events and documents. Translation services provided by the school district are limited to only to school-related events and materials.
How does translation services work?
Translators can provide both oral and written translations depending on the task and the needs of the family. Our translators are able to attend meetings, parent conferences, make phone calls, translate progress reports and any number of things we need so that our EL students and families have equitable access to their child's education. We have several on-call translators as well as a full time Nepali-speaking Liaison Prem Bhattarai. All translators sign a Translator Confidentiality Agreement which ensures that student or family information is kept in strict confidence.
How do you access services?
During the school year your ELL teachers will be your key contact and will help parents/guardians access translation services. Ideally, materials that are sent out to the entire student body will be translated before being sent out. This helps to ensure that all students and families have pertinent information in a timely manner. The translators are contacted and are sent the work or are asked about availability to attend a meeting. You may also contact the district English Language Learner Coordinator Jackie Tolman at firstname.lastname@example.org or the district Translation Coordinator Eliane Barrett at email@example.com.
What can the translators translate?
- Translators can be hired to attend meetings and school events such as parent conferences, open houses, curriculum nights, IEP meetings, truency hearings, discplinary meetings.
- Translators can provide written or oral translation of important documents such as progress reports, report cards, state assessment results, and other important school or classroom announcements.
- Translators can provide help completing important school forms such as school registration forms, field trip permission slips, health forms, Free & Reduced Lunch forms, etc.
What do we not translate?
We do not have the capacity to translate everything so we can not manage requests for translating every Friday newsletter, every classroom website or blog, etc. We also do not translate for family needs outside of school-related needs. So for example, we do not provide translation services for our familes to attend medical appointments, complete financial forms, find housing and such. While we may be aware of those needs and empathize with it, we can not extend our services outside of school issues so we work to point them to other social services such as VRRP or AALV who also provide translation services.
Please remember that anytime students are asked to provide input on surveys or through other communications, these must be translated for all students who need this service. Students needing translations are flagged in PowerSchool. To access translation services for your students, please reach out to the ELL teacher at your school or to Eliane Barrett @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have translation services available for our families in several languages including:
- Cantonese Chinese
- Maay Maay
- Mandarin Chinese