As educators in California well know, a critical aspect of effective schooling is parent involvement. Research shows conclusively that parent involvement in their children’s education improves student achievement. When parents are involved at school, children go farther in school, and they go to better schools. In particular, the students with the most to gain from parent involvement are children from low-income and culturally and racially diverse families*—the very students affected by racial and ethnic achievement gaps.
Now more than ever, California schools are looking for ways to close achievement gaps between:
- White students and other ethnic groups
- English learners and native English speakers
- Socioeconomically disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged
- Students with disabilities as compared to students without disabilities**
Did you know that adding translation is an easy, affordable option for districts—and can help you close the achievement gap? Avantpage Translations and School Innovation & Advocacy (SI&A) are proud to have partnered for years on resources for California schools—School Accountability Report Cards (SARCs), attendance letters, committee materials, and more. These services allow districts to reach out to parents and the community in the languages they speak at home.
For example, most districts know that each school must publish its SARC in English, and if 15% or more of its population uses another primary language, the SARC must also be published in that primary language. That’s the law. But what about other types of documents and letters for your district? Imagine the increased participation from translating student handbooks, parent forms, letters from your principal and/or superintendent. How about translating attendance letters to parents, and keeping more kids in school and getting the funding you need? When your school or district makes the effort to have its materials translated, you’re showing you care about and respect the diverse populations you serve. Often, that respect is the first step to a rewarding family-school relationship.
Jeff Williams, CEO of SI&A, says, “We’re glad to work with Avantpage and offer translation as one of our many great solutions for California administrators who want to spend more time on work that impacts student success. By letting SI&A create your SARC and its translation, schools work smarter and reinvest their resources to focus on real priorities.”
Dr. Luis Miguel, CEO of Avantpage, says, “Translation is an affordable solution for your school, and maximizes effective communications. Avantpage is privileged to work with SI&A on these important documents, which keep California public schools, parents, and the community connected.”
As diversity in California continues to grow, so does the need for quality communication between schools, parents, and the community. Here are a few quick facts about the rapid growth of the “limited-English” population:
- Forty percent of Californians do not speak English at home.
- The highest numbers of English language learners identified by the California Department of Education*** are: Spanish, Vietnamese, Filipino, Cantonese, Hmong, and Korean.
- By 2050, the Latino/Hispanic group will make up 30% of the US population, and those of Asian background will comprise 9% of the population.
California school districts need a plan now for reaching out to parents as these language trends continue.
When you begin to think of translation as more than just compliance and as a tool to increase parent involvement, you’ll see that quality translations aren’t just necessary; they’re part of an investment strategy that could have a major impact in closing the achievement gap.
Call SI&A and Avantpage today to discuss how we’re able to provide educational services that are attractive, accessible, and compliant—and allow your administrators to focus on instruction.
* California State Board of Education Policy #89-01
** Closing the Achievement Gap The U.S. Department of Education describes the achievement gap as the difference in academic performance between different ethnic groups. In California, the gap is defined as the disparity between white students and other ethnic groups and between English learners and native English speakers, socioeconomically disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged, and students with disabilities as compared to students without disabilities.
*** California Department of Education, Educational Demographics Unit
About Avantpage Translations
Avantpage has more than 13 years of proven excellence in linguistic services and offers complete translation solutions for education. We offer language services such as translation, interpretation, localization, and multilingual desktop publishing designed to perform efficiently, consistently, and accurately. We believe that business is personal and our consultative style ensures that it is. Because we value what you do, we promise excellence and deliver it.
About School Innovations & Advocacy
School Innovations & Advocacy, with four offices throughout California and another in Idaho, is a full-service company well known as an industry leader in school business. SI&A has expertise in categorical programs, attendance, special education, mandates and advocacy. With the success of school districts in mind, we deliver solutions for all aspects of school operations that ensure compliance with state requirements and customized consulting for cost-effective programs.