Language Services team built connections and expanded support

We would like to express our gratitude to the dedicated members of our Language Services Team, pictured from left: Adriana Colmenares, Lili Hernandez, Gabby Rico Alvarez, Sara Illsley, and Elvia German Palacios (not pictured: Melissa Garcia, Aidan Gaughran, Jose Duran Felix, Norm Gottlieb, and Karla Spangler). Their commitment and expertise have made a significant impact on our community, ensuring that language is not a barrier to accessing essential services and information.

Our district contracts with a team of local interpreters and translators who play a crucial role in facilitating interpretation and translation services. Some of the key areas they handle include:

  • Interpretations: The team has provided their expertise in 288 meetings, events, and activities with families, ensuring that language barriers do not hinder effective communication. In addition, they interpreted for 271 parent/teacher conferences. Our language services team has been instrumental in bridging the communication gap during important meetings, where accuracy and professionalism are of utmost importance in serious, sensitive, or official meetings with families. 

  • Translating serious, sensitive, or official documents: They have successfully translated 204 multi-page documents, allowing families to access important information in their preferred language.

Our district’s staff members also have access to live interpreters by phone 24/7 through our partnership with Propio. This year alone, they have made 136 phone calls to families, ensuring that urgent and immediate communication needs are met.

Staff also have access to TalkingPoints, a two-way multilingual family engagement platform that improves communication between teachers and families. Here's what some of our staff members have to say:

  • "What I really liked about it was you can communicate instantly with families, and families are able to reply right away as well. It was easy to use." – Susie Lloyd, Administrative Assistant at Park Elementary School

  • "Talking Points has been such a great resource for me! I have 20 families to communicate with, and they all speak another language. It is such a wonderful thing to be able to send messages to them in their home language, and then receive messages back in English. Talking Points is a great tool for anyone to use and helps keep our families involved in their child(ren)'s lives here at school. I can send pictures, flyers, notes, messages, etc. It is super easy to use, and setting up my class at the beginning of each school year is a breeze. Parents can download the app or receive messages as a normal text message." – Lauren Huston, Teacher at Animas Valley Elementary School

We are proud of the achievements of our Language Services team and the impact they have made on our community. Their dedication and commitment to fostering inclusive and effective communication have made a difference in the lives of our students and families. We appreciate this team’s ongoing support as we continue to prioritize diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) within our district.