How has MCPS addressed interpreter availability, specifically for parent/teacher conferences? What barriers are there to providing communities interpretation services?

Question#: 34


The MCPS Language Assistance Services Unit (LASU) manages translation and interpretation services for schools and central office. During fall 2018, LASU supported 761 parent/teacher conference interpretation requests in 22 languages. However, as the county’s diversity grows and parent engagement increases, the volume of requests during the short parent/teacher conference window outpaces the availability of qualified interpreters. It is critical that interpreters are qualified, given the potential sensitivity and complexity of the conversations. We continue to recruit new interpreters each year to help meet the needs of our families. 

MCPS provides all schools with access to an on-demand phone-based interpretation services solution that can be used when MCPS interpreters are unavailable.