Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Doing the math

We have parent conferences coming up. Many, actually most, of our students have Spanish speaking parents. In my classroom alone, over the past 5 years, I have had only 3 - 5 students whose parents speak English each year.

This is the message we received from our office staff: The school district is only providing us with two Spanish speaking translators for both parent conference days, and two more that will only be here for a half day. FOR THE WHOLE SCHOOL. We have around 900 students.

We have 9 kindergarten classes alone. Each conference is 20 minutes which is never enough. Each class has 20 - 22 kids.

We have three fabulous instructional assistants in kindergarten who speak Spanish. They have been asked to help the entire kindergarten. The math alone on that doesn't work, but it's a step in the right direction.

Everyone else has to request slots and we're already receiving emails from staff saying, "there are no more slots, can anyone help?" This is not the fault of our school, there simply is not enough support to go around. Two full day and two half day translators will not come close to meeting our needs. The math simply doesn't work.

When discussing parent-teacher communication, parent involvement, home-school connection, etc., keep in mind that if translation resources aren't made available, none of those things are possible.


Jenny said...

Oh the insanity. I can't describe my frustration with this. If we, as a district, value parent involvement and communication between school and family, then we have to do what is necessary to make that happen.

Snippety Gibbet said...

I'm reading this post after reading one by the other Chaos teacher about systems who reward teachers for parental involvement in conferences. Absofreakinglutely amazing.