The following provides an overview of how to obtain interpretation and translation (documents in a language other than English) support for families that speak a language other than English. If you have any questions or an emergency need, please contact the ESL Department at 412-529-3516. Do not use students as interpreters unless it's an extreme emergency and no district interpreter or adult is available.
Interpretation is for oral communication in another language for phone calls and in person meetings.
Translation is for documents in a language other than English such as parent/teacher invitations, IEPs, etc.
To request either of these supports, please click on the link below and follow the prompts. The ESL department will be in touch within 24-36 hours regarding your inquiry. Please note that if you are requesting for a PSE document, ensure that the PSE Language Preference Form has been completed prior to submitting your request.
To secure interpreters/translators, please follow these steps:
- Utilize the Home Language Survey in the student’s permanent files or review eSchools Plus to see if a language other than English is spoken by the family. Please avoid presumptions and use these tools to determine possible translation and translation needs.
- If families need interpretation or translation the district is legally required to provide these services. Please do not schedule any meetings or send paperwork home in English if this support is required.
- Please refrain from using Google Translate due to the inaccurate nature of the translations.
- If families decline translation or interpretation support, the ESL department will honor that request.
- The ESL department will work to ensure the quickest turnaround possible for documents and timeliness in scheduling an interpreter. Due to the high demand for interpreters and the complexity and length of PSE and other related documents, here’s the preferred advanced notice that is needed.
Two weeks for interpreter
Two months for an IEP
Three weeks for a one-three page document
Process for families who prefer oral interpretation or for non-written languages:
- Documents for families not literate in their language do not necessarily have to be translated, but an interpreter must explain all documents. The ESL department will make all practical attempts to translate documents in these languages at parental request.
- If a family prefers all documents explained to them, make sure an interpreter is present for all meetings. Complete the link two weeks in advance to make this request.
- For families that request translated documents in a lesser commonly spoken language, the ESL Department will make all reasonable attempts to do so in a timely manner.
- Introduce yourself to the interpreter.
- Speak directly to the parent and not the interpreter.
- Provide opportunities for check-ins for parents and allow time and space for questions throughout the meeting.
- Speak slowly and in small chunks of information.
- The interpreter only relays direct word for word communication and is not an advocate or spokesperson for the family.
- Keep in mind that some concepts that exist in English may not in other languages. The opposite also holds true.
- Avoid overly technical and educational jargon.
- Be patient with the process.
- Interpreters can not provide transportation for families.
If families would like to contact the district for any reason in their preferred language, they can call the Nine Line at 412-529-6463 (NINE). They will be directed to leave a voicemail, and a district interpreter will contact them within 24 hours.
About PPS interpreters and translators:
All PPS translators and interpreters participate in professional development throughout the school year, maintain full confidentiality, and engage in best practices as defined by the American Translators Association.