Boulder Valley School District

Excellence Through Equity Projects

Interpretation and Translation Services

Why is this important?

In order for families to be fully involved in their child's education, they need to be able to speak to the student's teachers and administrators, as well as understand the communication that comes from BVSD educators, their school and the district. Speaking with Spanish-speaking families, one of their biggest complaints is inconsistency and, at times, the lack of professionalism they experience when it comes to interpretation, translation they receive from schools and the district.

Project Description

BVSD will be centralizing its interpretation services this fall and translation efforts in the future.

Previously, schools were provided some funding for interpretation and translation, based on the number of Spanish-speaking families they serve. Additionally, the district would provide schools with a list of approved translators, who had been vetted for quality and professionalism. Schools personnel were then responsible for the arrangements. If they failed to book an approved interpreter, they sometimes would utilize school staff, parents or students -- leading to situations that do not meet BVSD's expectations. Additionally, with no centralized process -- the district would get occational anacdotal feedback, which would be difficult to follow up on.

Under the new plan, a BVSD interpretation coordinator will take requests from schools and make the arrangements, ensuring that we always have a high-quality interpreter. Additionally, following each assignment a survey will be sent to those involved, providing immediate feedback regarding the interpreters.

Eventually, we hope to have a similar system for translation, district-wide. Currently BVSD's Translation Services only has one employee who works to take care of prioritized central office translation requests. Schools are required to handle their own translation and may use the district's approved list to find contractors to meet their needs.

Actions Taken/Timeline

BVSD has already committed to ensuring all district-level communications, including messages from the Superintendent and crisis communication are translated into Spanish.

Fall 2020: BVSD will move to the centralized system for interpretation.

2021-2022 School Year: Proposed transition to centralized system for translation.

  • Communication
  • Families
  • Students