Hartford parents demand more language services in schools
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – Some parents in Hartford want the city’s public school district to do more to support language equity.
Their demands include things like more translations and services for non-English speaking parents.
85 different languages are spoken in Hartford public schools.
A protest took place outside the school district’s central office on Monday.
Parents want the school district to hire more translators.
The school district said it was doing what it could to support families.
“I want them to have better interpreting and language services for parents of other languages who don’t speak English,” said Hartford parent Leida Ramos.
Ramos is a mother of three and a volunteer for Make the Road Connecticut.
The group is asking the school district to have more in-person interpreters.
“It’s very important for a parent to be involved in their children’s school and education,” Ramos said.
The group demonstrated outside the Hartford Public Schools Central Offices on Monday morning.
“We want all immigrant parents to communicate in their language with teachers, nurses, directors. And we want them to understand what’s going on in their child’s education,” said Megan Scharrer, Hartford community organizer with Make the Road Connecticut.
85 different languages are spoken in the 39 schools in the district.
Superintendent Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez said families can request translations for school meetings.
“As a bilingual, biliterate and bicultural person, it’s very important to me to make sure that families have access to it and I myself became the translator during our town halls for example,” said Torres-Rodriguez.
She added that a language line is available for families in addition to other resources.
“We actually have a web tool called parent square, and families have the ability to select in their settings which language the content should be translated into,” Torres-Rodriguez said.
A reminder for parents on how to change language settings for district written communications was recently sent.
“It’s a challenge. It’s a balance. We want to make sure we leverage the diversity that we have. Inclusion means so much to us. We want all of our families to be seen and heard,” Torres-Rodriguez . Said.
The superintendent said parents who are concerned about language resources can contact their child’s school for more information. The neighborhood also has a visitor center.
Hartford Public Schools released a statement on the protest:
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