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Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166

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Monday-Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166

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Procedure 4218 – LANGUAGE ACCESS PLAN

The following procedures are intended to implement Policy 4218, establish meaningful, two-way communication between the District and parents with limited English proficiency (LEP), and promote access for such parents to the programs, services, and activities of the District.
 

  1. Definitions
     
    1. LEP refers to Limited English Proficiency.
    2. Primary language” means the primary language spoken by a student’s parent or guardian, or the predominant language spoken in the student’s home. Parents may have more than one primary language and/or dialect. 
    3. Language services” refers to a broad spectrum of services used or required to facilitate communication and understanding between speakers of different languages, and typically includes interpretation and translation services.
    4. Interpretation” means the act of contemporaneous communication between a speaker of English and a speaker of another language wherein the words of one person are communicated to others orally in a different language.
      The District will take reasonable steps to utilize interpreters who have demonstrated language proficiency through certification or who are employed by a particular vendor or service contracted to provide interpretation services.
    5. Translation” means the written communication between a speaker of English and a speaker of another language where in the written words of one person are communicated to others in writing in a different language.
    6. “Request” means indicated communication in a language other than English on the enrollment form or a verbal or written request.
       
  2. Parent Identification
     
    1. Upon student enrollment and periodically through a student’s education, schools will utilize a survey to identify parents who need language access services and the languages in which they may need assistance. The survey will be translated into the most commonly known languages spoken in the district and will be included in the standard enrollment packet provided to all District parents. 
       
    2. Schools must determine within thirty (30) days of a student’s enrollment the primary language spoken by the parent of each student enrolled in the school, and if such language is not English, whether the parent requires language services in order to communicate effectively with the school or District.
       
    3. Schools will maintain an appropriate and current record of the primary language spoken by a student’s parents, and such record will be available to the District.  
       
  3. Interpretation and Translation Services
    1. Each school and District office will, consistent with this policy and procedure, provide free oral interpretation services to all parents who require language services in order to communicate effectively during any interaction with the District significant to the student’s education. Additionally, each school and District office will provide free translation of vital documents as required below in Section 8.  
       
    2. All interpretation and translation will be provided by competent and fluent speakers of that language as demonstrated by certification or similar means. The District will take reasonable steps to ensure that interpreters and translators have the knowledge in both languages of any specialized terms or concepts to be used in the communication at issue, and that they have been trained in the role of an interpreter or translator, the ethics of interpreting and translating, and the need to maintain confidentiality. 

      In the event that the District cannot provide an interpreter that is either certified or employed by a vendor to provide interpretation services after taking all reasonable steps to do so, the District must still take reasonable steps to ensure that the interpreter utilized is trained regarding the role of an interpreter, the ethics of interpreting and translating, and the need to maintain confidentiality. 
       
    3. Parents may voluntarily choose to decline the District’s offer of an interpreter and choose instead to rely on an adult friend/companion or relative for language and interpretation services, but school staff may not suggest this as an alternative to providing appropriate language and interpretation services. 

      Students and other minor children under the age of 18 may not serve as interpreters for school staff and parents during any formal or informal meeting or process.
       
    4. The District will facilitate staff access to appropriate interpretation and translation services in order to communicate with parents and guardians who have requested communication in a language other than English consistent with federal and/or state law and this policy and procedure. If no interpreter can be present, District staff should utilize a language bank, resource line or online service to communicate with parents. 
       

The following interpretation and translation services are currently available in the District:  

 

ORAL INTERPRETATION

The Student Support & Family Engagement Department (SS&FE) is responsible for providing translation and interpreting services to students and their families to the *extent feasible. SS&FE can pay for the following oral interpretations as funding allows:

  • Open houses
  • Curriculum nights
  • Grade-level transition
  • Student-led Conferences
  • *General parent/family meetings
  • *Parent/family phone calls

Separate funding sources are available for the following oral interpretations:

  • Title 1/3 Family Engagement Activities outlined on AAP (Categorial funds)
  • Jump Start/WA Kids and other grant-funded programs/activities (grant funds)
  • Inclusive Education related meetings (Inclusive Education funds)
  • 504 related meetings (504 funds)

For any other requests, the school/district department will need to provide SS&FE with a budget number at the time of the request.

Oral Interpretation Requests

Before requesting outside oral interpretation, please check Synergy to confirm the correspondence/home language and place a phone call to the family to ensure the need for an interpreter.

Interpreting services are available by making a scheduled appointment through SS&FE for the following languages: Spanish, Somali, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Punjabi, and Amharic/Oromo.

Interpretation can be scheduled for parent/family meetings, evening activities, and phone calls to families. For languages other than those listed above, interpretation may be available through contracted services. Before requesting outside oral interpretation, please check Synergy to confirm the correspondence/home language and place a phone call to the family to ensure the need for an interpreter.

For oral interpretation requests (except requests for SPED programs), please send your request by completing the online request for the online request form.

The form will require you to have the following information:

  • Student name or Event
  • Language - Check the drop-down menu
  • Meeting Date and Time
  • Zoom Meeting Link – if the meeting will be by zoom
  • Person Making Request and School Making Request
  • Meeting Location
  • Reason for Meeting – Only use the drop-down menu
  • Budget number

Special Education oral interpretation requests:

Inclusive Education will be responsible for providing the budget to pay for interpretation/ translation services for students who qualify for special education services. Please send your request via email to gina.vendetti@highlineschools.org. Please include the following information in your request:

  • Student name
  • Parent/family’s name
  • The best number to reach the family
  • Meeting type
  • Date/time/location of the meeting
  • School/department contact

Gina Vendetti is the liaison and point of contact between the schools and Translations & Interpretation Services and will ensure that an interpreter or written translation is secured.

504 oral interpretation requests:
504 Department is responsible for providing a budget to pay for interpretation/translation services for students who qualify for 504 services or are in the evaluation process. Please reach out to the 504 Coordinator for the budget number before submitting your request. 504 Coordinator: Lauren Thompson: lauren.thompson@highlineschools.org or 206.631.3250.

Language Line/Quick Phone Calls:
For short, 20 minutes or fewer phone calls or emergencies (i.e., health or medical emergency, suspensions/expulsions, etc.), Translation & Interpretation Services has access to on-demand Telephonic Interpretation Services for short 20 minutes or fewer phone calls.  Please complete the online form, and you will be provided with the necessary information to place a call. If a more extended meeting/conversation is needed, please access an interpreter through the standard process. *If you have difficulty accessing the form, please contact interpreterrequest@highlineschools.org.

 WRITTEN TRANSLATION
Many documents/forms are translated and available through TransAct, Collab, or Translation & Interpretation Services for your convenience.

Procedure for accessing translation services:
TransAct:
Please check the TransAct (www.transact.com) website for documents already translated and posted. If you need assistance in accessing TransAct, please email interpreterrequest@highlineschools.org 

District Written Translations: Please submit written translation requests to interpreterrequest@highlineschools.org to obtain a translation. Please include a budget number with your request.

  • Spanish allow 1 to 5 business days
  • Somali, Vietnamese, and Cambodian allow 3 to 7 business days
  • For other languages, when feasible, we will use an outside agency, allow 5 to 7 business days.
  • Please ensure that Translation & Interpretation Services has the final draft of the document before requesting the translation.

 School-Specific-Translations – Please check interpreterrequest@highlineschools.org before having your bilingual para or family liaison complete translations. For short notes home to families, often a building bilingual para can fulfill the request; however, not all bilingual staff may have the skill set necessary for translating more involved or lengthy documents. A budget may be requested 

  1. District staff will be informed of when and how to access interpretation and translation services available within the District and the administrator responsible for ensuring the availability of such services. District staff may contact, Interpretation and Translation, at 206.631.3003 or  Interpreterrequest@highlineschools.org with questions or concerns, or to obtain information or assistance regarding interpretation and translation services.”]
  2. District administrators, including those involved with registration and enrollment, certificated staff and other appropriate staff as determined by the superintendent, will receive guidance and information regarding:
     
    1. the rights of parents and guardians who have requested communication in a language other than English under state and federal law to language access services provided by the District;
       
    2. the importance of meaningfully and effectively communicating with parents and guardians who have requested communication in a language other than English;
       
    3. the most effective ways to communicate with parents and guardians who have requested communication in a language other than English regarding the District’s available language services;
       
    4. the importance of utilizing competent translation and interpretation services when communicating with parents and guardians who have requested communication in a language other than English;
       
    5. the availability of translation and interpretation services within the District, whether through in-person interpretation, telephonic services, online services, or videoconferencing;
       
    6. the mechanisms and processes for accessing translation and interpretation services when working with parents and guardians who have requested communication in a language other than English, including ensuring the correct language service is being accessed, checking parents and guardians who have requested communication in a language other than English understanding once interpretation has commenced, and proper vetting of translations for audience-appropriate content; and
       
    7. the process for reporting concerns or complaints. 
       
  3. Interpretation Services: Whenever requested by a parent or whenever school staff or District officials can reasonably anticipate that interpretation services are necessary to meaningfully communicate with parents regarding important information about their child’s education or school activities, the District will provide interpretation services in accordance with this procedure. 

    Such interpretation services may be provided either at the location where the parent is seeking to communicate or by electronic means, such as telephone or video conferencing.

    Upon three days’ notice that such services are required, the District will provide interpretation services at public meetings organized or sponsored by the District (e.g., board meetings).   
     
  4. Translation of Student-Specific Documents:  The District will take all reasonable steps to provide parents, in a language they can understand, a translation of any document that contains individual, student-specific information regarding, but not limited to, a student’s:

    a. health;
     

    b. safety;
     

    c. legal or disciplinary matters; and
     

    d. entitlement to public education, eligibility for special education services, placement in the English Language Learner Program (ELL), the Highly Capable Program, accelerated courses such as Advanced Placement, or any other non-standard academic program.

  5. Alternatives to Translation: When translation for a document otherwise required to be translated is unavailable or cannot be done, such as in an emergency situation, a school or District office will provide an attached notice to parents in appropriate language(s) that free translation and/or interpretation services are available and how to request a free translation or interpretation of the document.​

 

  1. Providing Information to Parents
     
    1. District staff and parents will be annually notified of this policy. Staff will be regularly provided written guidance regarding how and when interpretation and translation services should be accessed, and such guidance will be updated as needed to reflect available services. 
       
    2. To the extent practicable, the District website will provide information in designated languages concerning the rights of parents to translation and interpretation services under federal and state law and how to access such services. 
       
  2. The Collection and Analysis of LEP Data
     
    1. The District will periodically collect and analyze data related to preferred oral and written communication languages so as to assemble a list of primary languages spoken predominantly in the homes of students and their parents. Such information will help to ensure the provision of appropriate language access services and assist the District in effectively planning and budgeting for services necessary to communicate with students and their parents.
       

Highline School District 401
Adopted by the Superintendent: December 2020