As part of our Special Education focus areas - Creating Inclusive Cultures and Increasing Student Voice - we can provide interpretation services at meetings and translated documents.
All members of an IEP team need to be able to participate meaningfully in the team discussion and decision process. Student and parent voice is critical to developing an Individualized Education Plan. If a parent's primary language is not English, the district should provide an interpreter for meetings.
State law requires that we translate all notices for parents whose primary language is not English. There are templates for these notices in the ePEP document library (in Spanish). Examples of notices that need to be translated:
- Meeting Notice
- Prior Written Notice of Special Education Action
- Consent for Evaluation
- Consent for Initial Provision
- Consent to Disclose Medical Information (Release of Information)
We should also provide Procedural Safeguards (Parent's Rights) in the parent's language. Check with student services secretaries (Ruth or Maria) if you need a copy of the Procedural Safeguards in a language other than Spanish.
The ePEP document library also includes eligibility statements in Spanish (fillable PDFs)
In general, we do not translate IEP's unless the parent makes a specific request -- because the parent was present and participated in the IEP meeting. If English is not their primary language, an interpreter should have been present at the meeting. The interpreter helped the parent understand the draft IEP. The interpreter also helped the parent ask questions and provide input to the crafting of the final IEP. So the parent should not require a translated copy of the IEP.
However, if the parent requests a translated copy of the IEP, we can provide it. Before translating the full text of the IEP, it is a good idea for the case manager to talk with the parent (with the support of an interpreter) to identify what specific questions they have. Often, it is possible to answer the parent's question without providing a translation of the full IEP document. They may be requesting a translation when really they have one or two questions that can be answered easily over the phone or in a brief meeting.
If the parents still request the translated copy of the IEP, we can make that happen. Contact Ruth Zollner (x7098) at the Student Services office to set up the translation.
In December 2016, we added a new feature to ePEP to address the question about translating IEP's. On the IEP cover page, there is a box for "A district provided interpreter was used for this meeting." If this box is checked "yes" then an additional cover letter will be added to the IEP packet (in Spanish and English) that explains the parent's right to request a translated IEP. The packet will also continue to include the standard cover letter (in Spanish and English). The standard cover letter serves as a prior written notice saying that we plan to implement the IEP as the team agreed at the IEP meeting.
Translating Evaluation Reports
In general, we do not translate Evaluation Reports. As with the IEP meeting, if a parent does not speak English as their primary language, there should be an interpreter at the Eligibility meeting. The interpreter will help the parent understand the evaluation report and allow the parent to ask questions of the team and provide input for the eligibility decision. If the parent still has questions about the details of the evaluation report after the Eligibility meeting, it would be best to schedule a time for the school psych and/or case manager to meet with the parent again with an interpreter present. In addition, we have a bilingual school psych who can help with these conversations. Contact student services secretaries (Ruth or Maria) to help set this up.
Translating Progress Notes
Progress notes in the IEP do not need to be translated. They are similar to other forms of progress reporting (like quarter/semester report cards, OAKS/Smarter Balanced reports) which are not translated. However, if a parent makes a specific request for a translation of progress notes (or a request for a translation of a full IEP) we can make that happen.
These guidelines for translation are subject to change. There are court cases that are currently pending that may cause us to revise this guidance. (updated 12/2016)
- For translated notices (meeting notices, consent forms, etc.) see the document library in ePEP
- For requests to translate documents, contact Ruth Zollner (x7098) -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Board Policy IGBAF