Interpretation and Translation Services
Under state and federal law, all parents have the right to information about their child's education in a language they can understand.
This information sheet outlines parents' rights to meaningful communication about their child's education.
English | Amharic | Arabic | Cambodian | Chinese | French | Hindi | Japanese | Korean | Marshallese | Punjabi | Romanian | Russian | Samoan | Somali | Spanish | Tagalog | Telugu | Tigrinya | Ukrainian | Urdu | Vietnamese
Right to Language Access
You are an important part of your child's education!
Your child's school should communicate with you, in your language, about your child's education. This often includes translated documents and a language interpreter for meetings and conversations. You have the right to these services even if you speak some English and even if your child can speak or read in English.
The school should communicate with you in your language about important information and opportunities for your child. This includes information about:
- Registration and enrollment in school
- Grades, academic standards, and graduation
- School rules and student discipline
- Attendance, absences, and withdrawal
- Parent permission for activities or programs
- School closures
- Opportunities to access programs or services-including highly capable, advanced placement, and English language learner programs
- Special education and services for students with disabilities
Meetings & Conversations
When you talk with teachers or school employees, the school should offer an interpreter if you need one. This includes parent-teacher conferences, meetings about special education, or any other conversations about your child's education.
The school should only use competent interpreters who are fluent in English and in your language. The school should make sure interpreters understand any terms or concepts that will be used during the meeting. The school should not use students or children as interpreters.
The interpreter should be neutral and should communicate everything said during the conversation. They should not omit or add to what anyone says. The school should make sure interpreters understand their role and the need to keep information confidential. The interpreter might be in person or on the phone and might be district staff or an outside contractor.
The school should translate important written information into the most common languages spoken in your school district. If you receive information that is not in your language, please let the school know if you would like it translated in writing or explained orally to you in your language.
Questions, Concerns, & Complaints
A discussion with your school principal, or civil rights coordinator at the school district, is often the best step to address your concerns. Explain what happened, and let the principal or coordinator know what they can do to help resolve the problem.
If you cannot resolve the concern or disagreement this way, you can file a complaint.
Resources & Support
- Language Access and Bilingualism (Washington State Governor's Office of the Education Ombuds [OEO])
- Fact Sheet: Information for Limited-English Proficient Parents (U.S. Department of Education): English | Arabic | Cambodian | Chinese (simplified and traditional) | Hmong | Korean | Laotian | Russian | Spanish | Tagalog | Vietnamese