EHBD: Communication with Parents
Administrative Regulation - EHBD Federal Regulations
Emergent bilingual parents are parents or guardians of students whose primary language is other than English and who have limited English proficiency in one of the four domains of language proficiency (speaking, listening, reading, or writing). School districts and local education agencies (LEA)s have an obligation to ensure meaningful communication with emergent bilingual parents in a language they can understand and to adequately notify emergent bilingual parents of information about any program, service, or activity of a school district or LEA that is called to the attention of non-emergent bilingual parents.
At the school and district levels, this essential information includes but is not limited to information regarding: language assistance programs, special education and related services, Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings, grievance procedures, notices of nondiscrimination, student discipline policies and procedures, registration and enrollment, report cards, requests for parent permission for student participation in district or school activities, parent-teacher conferences, parent handbooks, gifted and talented programs, magnet and charter schools, and any other school and program choice options.
The District or LEA shall use the process listed below for determining if parents and guardians are emergent bilinguals and, if so, what is their primary language.
The process for determining whether parents and guardians are an emergent bilingual may include the following:
- Use a student registration form, such as a Home Language survey, to inquire whether a parent or guardian requires oral and/or written communication in a language other than English.
- The inquiry should be translated into language that are common in the school and surrounding community so that the inquiry is designed to reach parents in a language they are likely to understand.
- For emergent bilingual parents who speak languages that are less common at a particular school, the school may use a cover page explaining in those languages how a parent may receive oral interpretation of the form and may offer interpreters to ensure that parents accurately report their language communication needs on the form.
- Other processes, as may be appropriate, should be implemented to identify parents that may be LEP even if their child is proficient in English.
Interpretation and Translation Services
School districts must provide language assistance to LEP parents effectively with appropriate, competent staff - or appropriate and competent outside resources.
To the extent practicable, the school district will provide an emergent bilingual parent or guardian who seeks language assistance with written translation of information communicated to non-emergent bilingual parents. Whenever such written translations are not practicable, the school district will ensure that LEP parents are provided oral translations of the written information. For such purposes, the school district will arrange for access to qualified and trained interpreters and translators who have knowledge of specialized educational terms and concepts. The 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. In addition, school districts should ensure that interpreters and translators are trained on the role of an interpreter and translator, the ethics of interpreting and translating, and the need to maintain confidentiality.
The school district shall inform LEP parents and guardians about the availability of free language assistance services, including qualified interpreters and translators by the following methods:
To ensure that LEP parents and guardians have adequate notice of and meaningful access to information about programs, services, and activities in a language they can understand, the school district shall:
- Translate written communications, when needed, such as information regarding progress reports, report cards, and permission slips; and
- Provide translation or interpretation services, when needed, for meetings, such as parent/teacher conferences, IEP meetings, and disciplinary proceedings.
The school district shall analyze the parent language data to identify the major languages, translate essential district-level documents into the major languages, assist schools with translating essential school-level documents into the major languages and other languages, and store these translated documents in a database that all schools can access electronically. For less common languages, the district ensures that emergent bilingual parents are timely notified of the availability of free, qualified interpreters who can explain district- and school-related information that is communicated in writing to parents.
The school district shall canvass the language capabilities of its staff, create a list of staff who are trained and qualified to provide interpreter and/or translation assistance, and/or contract out for qualified interpreter and translation assistance in languages. However, the school district shall not (1) rely on students, siblings, friends, or untrained school staff to translate or interpret for parents; (2) fail to provide translation or an interpreter at IEP meetings, parent teacher conferences, enrollment or career fairs, or disciplinary proceedings; (3) fail to provide information notifying emergent bilingual parents about a school's programs, services, and activities in a language the parents can understand; or (4) fail to identify emergent bilingual parents.
Approved by Lackland ISD Superintendent, Dr. Burnie L. Roper