Holyoke Public Schools employs multilingual staff members in every building who can serve as interpreters and translators for students and families for whom English is not their primary language while also meeting their other—often unrelated—job responsibilities.
In addition, the district employs a dedicated team of four Language Access professionals who work directly with students and their families—and behind the scenes—to ensure they are heard and understood, their questions are answered, and they have equal access to information in a language they can read and understand.
The support provided by the Language Access team and multilingual employees throughout the district is critical to creating an inclusive community, promoting cultural understanding, and strengthening healthy relationships with families, said HPS Language Access Manager Linnette Clayton.
“Through the words of an interpreter, a family member can have a voice in a meeting, understand complex information about their child’s special education program, or be aware of important information pertaining to their child's academic progress,” Mrs. Clayton said. “And by providing access to written information in a language that can be read and understood, Holyoke Public Schools includes the voices of many families and allows them to have equal access to their children’s education.”
Learn more about the essential roles translators and interpreters provide in this short video that Holyoke Public Schools has produced in celebration of International Translation Day celebrated annually around the world on September 30. Watch for an additional video message tomorrow, Friday, September 29.
Each year since 2017, the United Nations and the international community have recognized September 30 as International Translation Day to acknowledge the work of language professionals worldwide as their work plays an important role in bringing nations together, facilitating dialogue, understanding and cooperation, contributing to development, and strengthening world peace and security.
“We would love to hear and share stories from our families and staff about the many ways our Language Access team members have provided support and resources,” Mrs. Clayton said. “You can tell us your stories through this Google form, provided in both English and Spanish.”