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

Office Hours:

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

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

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Translation/Interpretation Support

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. In these unprecedented times, we are here to support our school staff to build strong family and community partnerships, provide language supports needed in our school communities and to follow the State and Federal civil rights laws that require that districts provide vital information to all limited English proficient parents/guardians in a language they can understand, to allow them to make well-informed decision about their child’s education. 

Support

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 confirm the need for an interpreter. 

Bilingual Paras and Bilingual Family Liaisons

Please use your bilingual staff to connect with families during the closure. If you do not have a staff member that speaks the language needed, you may make a request by completing the online request form. To the extent feasible, we will fulfill your request utilizing other district staff for Spanish, Somali, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Punjabi, and Amharic/Oromo. *Please note that your bilingual para/family liaisons may be requested to assist other schools in providing interpretation services for families throughout the district. 

Language Line

Translation & Interpretation Services has access to on-demand Telephonic Interpretation Services for short, 20 minutes or less phone calls. Please complete the online form and ZZ and Angelica will provide you with the information to place a call. *If you have difficulty accessing the form, please contact interpreterrequest@highlineschools.org and ZZ or Angelica will assist you. 

Written Communication/Translations 

Synergy

Staff may use Synergy mail to send messages. Staff may type their message in English and if families have the mobile app or portal website set to translate, they will receive the message in the selected language. They may respond in their preferred language and the staff will receive the response in English. The languages available in the translation portal are Spanish, Vietnamese and Somali. 

Transact

Please check Transact website for documents already translated and posted. If you need assistance accessing TransAct, please email interpreterrequest@highlineschools.org and ZZ will assist you. 

School-Specific-Translations

Please check with ZZ Newman before having your bilingual para or family liaison complete translations. For short notes home to parents 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. 

Special Education

Please check with your Bilingual Paras and Bilingual Family Liaisons first. If you do not have building staff to assist, please contact Inclusive Education. 

  • 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: o Student name 
    • Parent/family’s name 
    • 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. 

Tips for Working with an Interpreter 

  • Brief the interpreter on what it is you would like to say to the parent/family member/student so the interpreter has a general idea of what will be said during the meeting. 
  • When working with an interpreter, the conversation can often take twice as long. Some words/concepts don’t 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’re 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.