SB 5787 requires the Washington state school directors’ association, with the assistance of OSPI, to develop by July 1, 2016 a model policy and procedures for language access by limited-English proficient parents. Materials created by the US department of justice regarding how school districts can effectively assess language access needs, and how to develop a plan, can be considered as the model policy is developed.
The model and procedures must address at minimum:
- Guidance and procedure for timely and accurate identification of limited-English proficient parents and guardians and their language access needs.
- How to access interpreters.
- Prohibit the use of students or children as interpreters for school-related communication.
- Procedures in place that ensure staff are aware of parents’ or guardians’ need for language assistance.
- A process for communicating with parents or guardians about their rights under federal and state law that allows them to make informed decisions about their children’s education, and the resources available to them.
Beginning July 1, 2016 the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction will convene an advisory committee made up of representatives from parents, school administrators, principals, and other appropriate parties. The school directors' association shall post the model policy and procedures they develop and a link to the sample materials developed by the advisory committee on its web site.
Each school district board of directors will establish its own language access policy and procedures by January 1, 2017, and make it available on the district’s website.
OSPI will develop a list of districts with these policies and procedures; language access service providers available to districts; a training program available to support districts in preparing staff on how to access interpreters. Lastly, this bill repeals the model family language access policy and procedure.