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Language Assistance Services Unit

The mission of the MCPS 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.

LASU supports MCPS offices and schools in their efforts to connect with families who prefer to communicate in a language other than English, to ensure equity and access for all.

LASU offers in-person and virtual interpretation services, and translation services, connects schools with over-the-phone interpretation services, and spearheads all system-wide language access efforts and initiatives.


Oral Interpretation Services (In-Person and through video)

The interpretation team of the MCPS Language Assistance Services Unit (LASU) works with Temporary Part-Time MCPS staff to provide real-time, face-to-face or over-video 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 can provide interpreters for individual meetings with families including parent-teacher conferences, kindergarten orientation, Educational Management Team (EMT), Individualized Education Program (IEP), Special Education Assessments, disciplinary meetings, and community events. 

Due to the high volume of interpretation requests received by the Language Assistance Services Unit (LASU) during the period of Parent Teacher Conferences and Kindergarten Orientation, we are only 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 into two hours per day, per language. 

The LASU no longer provides services for interpretation equipment. If you are interested in buying interpretation equipment for your school or office, please contact María Elena Campos, Language Services Supervisor. LASU can still provide simultaneous interpretation services if the school/office owns its own interpretation equipment.

Submitting Requests for Oral Interpretation Services in MCPS

Interpretation requests are submitted using the Language Assistance Request Information System (LARIS)

Each school/office has a Language Service Assistant - LSA, who manages their requests for interpretation services. Please contact your assigned LSA for questions regarding your interpretation requests.

Language Service Assistant School Clusters/Offices Contact information
Ms. Heidy Foelsch BCC, Bilingual Assessment Team - BAT, DESC, Carl Sandburg Center, Child Find, Churchill, Facilities Management, MCITPs, Paint Branch, Pupil Personnel Services, Richard Montgomery, Rockville, Transition Services Unit, Walter Johnson, Whitman 
Ms. Monica Colindres Alternative Programs, Appeals and Transfers, Downcounty Consortium, Emotional Disabilities (ED), Stephen Knolls School, George B. Thomas Learning Academy 240-740-4055
Ms. Hiral Shah      Blake, Early Childhood programs, MacDonald Knolls Center, Magruder, Placement and Assessment Services Unit - PASU, Quince Orchard, Rock Terrace School, Sherwood, Watkins Mill, Wootton 240-740-4063
Ms. Vanessa Ligorria Baldizon   Clarksburg, Damascus, Gaithersburg, Northwest, Office of Strategic Initiatives, Poolesville, Randolph Academy, RICA, Seneca Valley, Springbrook, Title I programs 240-740-4053


Written Translation Services

The translation team of the MCPS Language Assistance Services Unit (LASU) provides written translations of systemwide documents in the following languages: Amharic, French, Korean, Mandarin (Chinese), Portuguese, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

Translations are usually processed within 10 working days. The Language Assistance Services Unit (LASU) will make every effort to fulfill 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 of the 7 languages provided by the unit.

Examples of documents translated by the unit are:

  • Flyers, brochures, one-pagers
  • Letters, invitations to school events
  • Any type of communication to the community
  • IEPs and PWNs

Any questions as to whether a particular document can be translated by the LASU should be directed to María Elena Campos, 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 Campos, 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