The Atlanta Board of Education unanimously approved a new policy this month that expands the translation and interpretation services provided to non-English speaking families. Vanessa McCray/AJC

APS to amp up translation services for non-English speaking families

A new language policy will require Atlanta Public Schools to expand translation and interpretation services for families who do not speak English. 

The school board unanimously approved the policy earlier this month. 

It requires APS to provide written translation of “critical district documents” in the top five languagues spoken by families. 

About 7% of the district’s 52,000 students live in a home where the language spoken is not English. Spanish is the most common of those languages, followed by Chinese, French, Arabic and Portuguese. 

The new policy also is intended to reinforce the district’s commitment to providing interpretation services. The policy states that APS will provide an interpreter when necessary to help parents participate in school board meetings, parent conferences, informational meetings, and other activities. 

The policy requires school-based and district-level administrators and certain other employees to receive training about language services. 

APS increased its language services budget by $191,203 this year so that the district can provide the additional services and hire more full-time staff members.

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