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Building Bridges: PGCPS Hosts National Language Access Conference

May 10, 2024

PGCPS hosted more than 150 attendees from 21 states for The American Association of Interpreters and Translators in Education (AAITE) second annual conference May 2-4, 2024. 

Developed to elevate and professionalize the work of interpreters and translators in education, AAITE serves language access professionals in education who provide services for parents/guardians under federal guidance of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights. 

“Interpreters and translators play a critical role in ensuring that families have access to equitable engagement in our nation’s schools,” said Superintendent Millard House II. “We are proud of the language access model in PGCPS and how it has evolved and expanded over three decades to serve as a conduit of communication for thousands of families weekly.” 

AAITE participants visited Capitol Hill to educate legislators on the vital role of translation and interpretation for families. Jimena Robbins, PGCPS Translation Services Coordinator, met with Senator Van Hollen’s office and Representative Raskin’s team. Attendees also spent time engaged in meaningful professional development at the new Sonia Sotomayor Middle School at Adelphi.

Michael Mulé, Deputy Director of the Office for Civil Rights addressed attendees to emphasize the legal obligations of schools to provide meaningful language access to families with limited English proficiency under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, while issuing a reminder that a lack of funding was no excuse to neglect this crucial responsibility.

Delivering the keynote address, PGCPS Supervisor of Language Access & Engagement  Dr. Jennifer Love highlighted the immense superpower of interpreters and translators in education, underscoring their role as bridges of understanding, connecting families and educators.

Dr. Love currently serves on a workgroup that is developing a comprehensive Language Access Policy for Family and Community Engagement for the Maryland State Department of Education to support service alignment across districts.

Event Photos