Language Assistance Services Unit
The mission of the Language Assistance Services Unit (LASU) is to provide timely, high-quality translation and interpretation services to families and schools, minimizing cultural and linguistic barriers, promoting parent involvement and building a foundation for students' academic success.
Oral Interpretation Services
The interpretation team of the MCPS Language Assistance Services Unit (LASU) works with contract interpreters and professional part-time MCPS staff to provide real-time, face-to-face communication with individual students, their families, and groups of students or parents to facilitate communication with those who communicate best in a language other than English. The LASU cannot provide interpretation services for personnel issues.
The LASU can provide interpreters for individual meetings with families including parent-teacher conferences, Educational Management Team, Individualized Education Program, Positive Behavioral Intervention System, and disciplinary meetings. Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings and eligibility assessments for special education as well as disciplinary hearings receive priority for services. For more information review our guidelines for the use of an interpreter or contact the LASU at 240-314-4810.
Due to the high volume of interpretation requests received by the Language Assistance Services Unit (LASU) during the period of Parent Conferences and Kindergarten Orientation, we are able to provide a maximum of four (4) hours, for this event, of interpretation services per language. The first available appointed hour of service is 12:30 p.m. Each school may also split the four hours on two hours per day, per language.
The LASU no longer provides services for interpretation equipment. If you are interested on buying interpretation equipment for your school or office, please contact María Elena Escobar, Language Services Supervisor.
Submitting Requests for Oral Interpretation Services in MCPS
Interpretation requests are submitted using the Language Assistance Request Information System (LARIS). Schools/Offices that have not received training on the use of LARIS, should contact María Elena Escobar, Language Services Supervisor, for more information.
Written Translation Services
The translation team of the MCPS Language Assistance Services Unit (LASU) provides written translations of systemwide documents in the following languages: Spanish, French, Amharic, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean.
Translations for general or group distribution are limited to the major languages listed on the LASU website for each school or office. Montgomery County Public Schools must be able to document that at least 10 students in the school speak the language being requested for translations. Translations are usually processed within 10 working days. The Language Assistance Services Unit (LASU) will make every effort to fill all requests.
What can the LASU translate?
Due to legal constraints and capacity issues, there are limitations to the scope of the translation services provided by the LASU. Individual letters required by federal or state law (e.g., Individualized Education Program) may be requested in any language. Any questions as to whether a particular document can be translated by the LASU should be directed to María Elena Escobar, Language Services Supervisor.
Requesting a Written Translation in MCPS
Requests for translations of documents that are designed and published by Editorial, Graphics, and Publishing Services (EGPS) or Web Services are sent directly to the respective unit with the publication requests. Complete and submit MCPS Form 311-1 along with the document(s) to be published and translated. EGPS and Web Services will work with LASU to produce the translated, published documents you need.
All requests for written translations for the Language Assistance Services Unit (LASU) must be submitted through the Translation Request System (TRS) . Requests must be submitted through the Local Translation Coordinator using TRS. MCPS work sites that need to submit a translation request and have not yet designated translation coordinators or need to designate new coordinators should contact María Elena Escobar, Language Services Supervisor.
Language Line Telephone Interpretation Services
Language Line is a fee-for-service resource available to all MCPS personnel for interpretation needs. The Language Assistance Services Unit (LASU) manages and monitors this service for MCPS. Language Line is only authorized for telephone interpretation services when other resources have been exhausted OR for short encounters (20 minutes or less).
Using Language Line