The student populations of school districts have become increasingly diverse in recent years, and as a result, parent communications and engagement laws have also changed. In order to remain compliant, school districts must adhere to federal education law requirements such as those detailed in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and in Civil Rights case law.
In order to meet federal and Civil Rights requirements, school administrators must provide parent communications in a language parents can understand. Administrators are specifically required to meet these communication requirements for the top five languages in their district. Communications include both written translations and oral interpretation where it is not practicable to provide a written version. The following guidelines will illustrate how to support compliance with federal parent communication laws.
Develop a Multi-Language Parent Communications Strategy
School districts need a plan in place to communicate important information, increase parent and family engagement, and foster an inclusive environment. A multi-language plan for parent communication to support compliance with federal requirements should include guidance on how translations will be handled internally as well as how they will be delivered and managed holistically throughout the district. Developing this robust communication strategy can be a complex process that often extends for months. School districts can, therefore, benefit from a multi-language compliance communication solution that eliminates the process of form development, legal review, and translation.
Invest in a Compliance Solution for Parent Communications
Working with an organization that specializes in multi-language Parent and Family Engagement communications saves districts time and money while supporting compliance with federal laws. Investing in a compliance solution for multi-language communications helps school districts to:
- Provide parent notices and announcements that align with civil rights laws and federal requirements
- Verify that notices are legally reviewed by legal experts
- Translate notices for families who are limited English proficient (LEP)
- Promote at-home learning by providing parents with the information necessary to engage in their child’s education
- Access diagnostic compliance surveys for guidance on required notifications
- Manage ongoing updates and maintenance when requirements change.
A communication compliance solution for parent communications such as TransACT ParentNotices offers school and district administrators an opportunity to bridge the multilingual gap, providing students and their families with the information they need to facilitate academic achievement and authentic parent and family engagement.
Partner with TransACT for Parent Communication Compliance
Partnering with an organization like TransACT for Parent and Family Engagement communication compliance offers schools and their districts instant access to an online-library of legally-reviewed parent notices and forms in multiple, high-priority languages and access to highly qualified translation services when the need arises. In the event of a monitoring finding, providing ParentNotices in your district can be used as proof of implementation.
A school district in Oklahoma leveraged TransACT to help meet the compliance and communication needs of school districts. An investigation initiated by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) found the school district to be out of compliance regarding communicating to parents in a language they could understand. The district was given a specific period of time to develop a plan for effectively notifying families who qualify as limited English proficient (LEP) of school programs and activities. The school district then decided to implement several services to translate important notices and documents. Enter TransACT ParentNotices, which enabled the Oklahoma school district to communicate with parents in priority languages about relevant topics and happenings, ultimately satisfying compliance monitoring requirements.
Having the right strategy and partnership in place provides uniformity across districts and peace of mind to administrators tasked with meeting federal parent communication requirements. Request a quote and speak to one of our experts to better understand how TransACT ParentNotices supports districts with compliance with federal communication laws.