Interpretation and Translation Services supports schools in building the needed relationship between the home and school by providing access to information about our school system, educational programs, and services using TransAct, bilingual paraeducators, and community resources and contracted services. Interpretation and Translation services support school staff to build strong family and community partnerships, provide needed language supports, and to follow the State and Federal civil rights laws that require that districts provide vital information to all parents/guardians in a language they can understand to allow them to make well-informed decisions about their child's education.
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 email@example.com. 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
The Special Education Department 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: firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com.
Schools may also set up their own Language Line by doing the following:
- Identify a school budget and allocation.
- Develop a strategy of how you use the Language Line at your school.
- School will need to set up a PO and contract with Dynamic Language.
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 (https://highline-401.parentnotices.com/transact/staff-documents) website for documents already translated and posted. If you need assistance in accessing TransAct, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
District Written Translations: Please submit written translation requests to email@example.com 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 with firstname.lastname@example.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.
Tips for Working with an Interpreter
- Brief the interpreter on what you would like to say to the parent/family member/student so the interpreter has a general idea of what will be communicated during the meeting.
- When working with an interpreter, the conversation can often take twice as long. Some words/concepts do not always translate (such as Common Core), and the interpreter may need to describe or paraphrase many terms you use.
- Speak directly to the parent/family member/student. Communicate with them as if the interpreter were not there, even if the parent/family member/student speaks directly to the interpreter.
- Speak naturally, not louder. Speak at your normal pace, not slower. Pause to make sure the interpreter has time to deliver the message. But avoid breaking up a thought. Additionally, the interpreter may ask to clarify what you are saying.
- Avoid jargon or technical terms. Clarify unique vocabulary (including acronyms- PBIS).
- Everything you say will be interpreted. Avoid private/side conversations with the interpreter. Avoid interrupting the interpreter. Remember that just because the interpreter is being used does not mean the parent/family/student does not understand English.
- It is natural to talk faster when reading; if the interpreter does not have a copy of the script, slow down so the interpreter can keep up with you.
Please use our online form to request translation or interpretation services.