ERIC Number: EJ726632
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
School-Home Communication in Multiple Languages
Avila, Verdi N.
School Administrator, v62 n9 p48 Oct 2005
The No Child Left Behind Act requires school districts to communicate with parents in an "understandable and uniform format ... in a language that parents can understand." But with a student population representing 131 countries and speaking 81 major languages, the Cobb County, Ga., Public School District was finding it difficult to meet that federal mandate. At individualized education program conferences and disciplinary hearings, educators must convey critical information to parents, and although administrators in Cobb County tried communicating with non-English-speaking parents via their sons and daughters, other parents, bus drivers or community members, they were not always sure the information was being conveyed accurately and completely. The district's administrators turned to the supervisor of English for speakers of other languages, Evelyne Barker, and a consultant, Craig Geers, to develop a solution. After much research, they proposed the district create an office dedicated to facilitating communications between school and home for the district's international community. Thus, the Cobb County Public Schools Refugee Immigrant Parent Outreach Services program, or RIPOS, was born. The author discusses how he started the program and recruited, screened and trained a multilingual staff of interpreters. Cobb County's outreach to non-English speakers has affected more than 6,000 families through its diverse range of services since its start in February 2002.
Descriptors: Educational Policy, Federal Legislation, School Districts, Non English Speaking, Outreach Programs, Multilingualism, Translation, Language Proficiency, Parent School Relationship, Refugees, Recruitment, Public Schools, Immigrants, Communication (Thought Transfer)
American Association of School Administrators. 801 North Quincy Street Suite 700, Arlington, VA 22203-1730. Tel: 703-528-0700; Fax: 703-841-1543; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.aasa.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001