MHS Issuing Parent Notices in German, French, Spanish—and English

The pilot project will expand to other schools as well


On Friday afternoon, parents received a notice (below) via email from Montclair High School, a notice sent out not only in English but translated into Spanish, German, and French as well.

Dr. Felice Harrison, assistant to the schools superintendent, said that translating notices is not a new district policy, but an initiative that's currently in the piloting stage, "as we ramp up for the district."

"We’re excited with all of the 'best practices' that we are able to implement across the district," she said. "We try to be strategic in our approach, as to minimize setbacks and utilize resources efficiently."

Harrison said that phase one involves the translation of notices at the high school level, with other schools due to follow.

"Although various schools [already] have translated documents in French, Spanish, and Mandarin," she said. "It's a work in progress." 

Harrison added that the high school utilizes the world language departments to "translate" the information, in addition to various other programs that provide the service.

"Do a Google search on programs that provide this service—some free of charge," she said.

When asked why the initiative was being implemented, Harrison said that "we have a community that is changing in its diversity. And, I suspect, some parents and families who are not 'engaged' may feel more comfortable interacting in the school community as we reach out to them in their native language. (I believe the outreach 'speaks volumes to the openness' to engage others).

"Also, Montclair is 'global' as we often share best practices on academic achievement, creative initiatives, networking and partnerships around the world," Harrison added. "We never know who is reading about us … and who in Montclair is sharing information with others, abroad."

Here is the notice emailed out to parents on Friday afternoon:

Montclair High School is conducting a non-emergency drill at this time. This is not an emergency situation; it is a drill in keeping with the State of NJ regulations requiring one fire drill and one emergency procedure drill each month. The drill is planned for 15 minutes. This is a fire drill. 

La Escuela Secundaria de Montclair está llevando a cabo un simulacro "no considerado de emergencia" durante estos meses. Tenga en cuenta que no es una situación de emergencia. Es un simulacro que se realiza para cumplir las regulaciones del estado de Nueva Jersey, el cual requiere un simulacro de incendios y un simulacro de emergencia cada mes. Los simulacros tienen una duración aproximada de quince minutos respectivamente.

Montclair High School führt zur Zeit ein Notfall Training durch. Es handelt sich um keine Notsituation; es ist eine Uebung nach geltendem NJ Staatsregeln, die eine Feueruebung und eine Notfalluebung einmal pro Monat vorschreibt. Die Uebung sollte circa 15 Minuten dauern. 

Montclair High School est en train de mener un exercice d'évacuation non-urgent en ce moment. Ce n'est pas une situation d'urgence, c'est en accord avec la réglementation de L’Etat de NJ nécessitant une évacuation d'incendie et une évacuation d'urgence chaque mois. L’exercice d'évacuation devrait durer 15 minutes.

profwilliams April 28, 2012 at 01:18 PM
So this "initiative" is based on Montclair being "global"? How about this: find out IF there are some who cannot read English, what language they speak and choose appropriately. But do we really have German and French speakers who don't know English? This is hard to believe. Spanish, because of our border, and those "undocumented" I can see. But do we really have kids whose parents ONLY speak French at home? (Perhaps some from formally colonized African Countries, but German?) And even if, this isn't the reason why MHS is doing it. So this sounds more like someone showing off his or her "Google Translate" ability (which is cutting and pasting).


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