Make Every Student and Parent Feel Included by Translating School Handbooks
At the start of the academic year, many educational institutions are preparing critical materials for students and parents. Often, this involves reviewing and updating school handbooks, ensuring they reflect your current standards. However, if you aren’t also translating school handbooks for limited English proficient (LEP) students and parents, the job is only half done.
Translating school handbooks ensures each and every student and parent feels included. Plus, it sets them up for success during the coming year. If you’re wondering why school handbook translations make a difference, here’s what you need to know.
Why Translating School Handbooks Makes a Difference
Translating school handbooks isn’t just a requirement set forth by the U.S. Department of Education; it’s also a simple way to make sure that every student and parent feels welcome. When you offer handbooks in every student and parent’s primary language, you’re showing that you care about keeping them informed. You’re proactively considering the needs of LEP parents and students, and that can go a long way toward building goodwill.
Plus, school handbook translations highlight your commitment to transparency. You’re sharing information with every household with a student in attendance openly, taking steps to reduce the odds of misunderstandings.
Cumulatively, translating school handbooks makes a significant difference. You ensure that every student and parent is well-informed and respected. By doing so, you create a welcoming, supportive culture that benefits everyone.
Which School Handbooks to Translate
At the beginning of the academic year, the most important school handbooks to translate are the student handbook and the parent handbook. Each of those contains foundational information that sets students up for success. Those handbooks typically discuss various policies that define proper conduct, as well as details about what to do when certain situations arise, like calling in procedures for absences.
If your school has separate handbooks for athletic teams or extracurricular clubs, get those school handbooks translated as well. The same goes for any program-specific handbooks – like reduced-cost or free meal programs – that aren’t covered in the main student or parent handbooks. Again, this promotes greater transparency and understanding.
After the material is translated, make physical and digital copies available. Provide LEP students and parents with a physical copy in their preferred language. Additionally, make all versions available on the school’s website.
Other School Documents to Translate
While having student handbook translations available, preparing to translate other school documents now is also a wise move. There are many forms and informational resources that LEP students and parents need to be able to review, so it’s wise to get as many translated by the start of the academic year as possible.
If you aren’t sure which school document translations you’ll need, here are some common ones:
- Report Cards
- Permission Slips
- Independent Projects (Science Fair Instructions, Project Outlines, etc.)
- Health Notices
- Extracurricular Activities Announcements (Try-Outs, Game Schedules, Performance Schedules, etc.)
- Standardized Test Information (PSAT, SAT, ACT, etc.)
- Home Language Surveys
It’s important to note that the list of documents above may not be all-inclusive. Any materials that are being distributed to students and parents should be translated. That way, everyone’s language needs are met.
Which Languages to Use for School Handbook Translations
When you’re preparing to have your school handbooks translated, you’ll need to select the target languages. If you want to be ready to address the language needs of all incoming students and their families, one of the simplest options is to send out a short home language survey.
Ideally, you want the home language survey translated into languages that are represented in your area. Often, you can use details from past home language surveys and local census-style information to identify key languages for those translations.
Once you receive the survey information back, make sure that those languages are on your list for school handbook translations. Additionally, whenever a new student arrives over the course of the academic year, make sure that the home language survey is provided in their intake packet. That way, their household information is appropriately captured.
Need to Translate Student Handbooks? Acutrans Is Here!
Translating student handbooks is critical for making every student and parent feel included. If you need access to reliable translation services to ensure all of your documents are ready for this academic year, Acutrans is here.
Acutrans provides accurate document translations quickly and efficiently, ensuring your school handbooks are ready right when you need them. Additionally, if you require language services, Acutrans can provide the support required, offering interpretation services – including in-person, over the phone, and video remote – in 300 languages.
If you are looking for translation, interpretation, or other types of language services for the school year, the Acutrans team can provide a reliable and professional solution. Contact us for a free quote today.