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Supporting Language Needs During COVID-19

April 9th, 2020

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The COVID–19 pandemic has had a significant impact on all Howard County communities, families and schools, requiring timely and effective communication from many sources, including the school system. Nearly 6%, or roughly 3,500 students, are English language learners whose families are among those who may require additional support to understand the new information and updates being issued and posted online daily.

The HCPSS website is updated regularly with new information and remains the repository of all information related to HCPSS’ coronavirus response. Many of the most important documents and resources have been translated into Spanish and other languages. Families needing language support can find information on how to access interpretation services, which is posted throughout the HCPSS website.

While the volume and frequency of updates precludes HCPSS’ ability to translate all information posted to the website, staff have implemented an engagement strategy that assists students and families through individual direct contact to provide information in a timely and understandable format. Family liaisons, Pupil Personnel Workers (PPWs), and other staff members are making daily phone calls to families to answer questions and provide important information related to instruction and learning. Additionally, other HCPSS staff members who speak multiple languages have been leveraged to support the efforts of our liaisons and PPWs to provide one on one contact with families. Over 10,000 calls have been made to date to provide individual support and resources to HCPSS families. The HCPSS International Office has coordinated translation services as well as interpreting services for families that need it.

HCPSS Translated Supports Provided by HCPSS

HCPSS appreciates the support of community partners in helping our international families receive the resources and information that is being provided daily by HCPSS.