The best evaluation of the Spanish Interpreter Hotline in the Dallas Independent School District came from an assistant principal at J. L. Long Middle School.
“You have equipped me to better serve the students and their parents,” read the note from Wilma King to the district’s Translation Services Department.
Introduced in 2013, the Spanish Interpreter, or “Sí,” Hotline offers school staff members a more personal and faster way to communicate with non-English speaking parents via a 3-way call. The hotline recently surpassed 4,000 calls for the 2014-2015 school year during the week of Jan. 12.
By comparison, calls to the hotline during the previous school year peaked at 4,300 calls.
“The growth of the hotline is encouraging,” said Ivette Cruz Weis, director of translation services in the Communications Department. “As the demographic make-up of our school district evolves, it’s important we continue to build bridges of communication with our families. The Sí Hotline allows schools and families to work closely to assist and find resolutions for our students. And the best part of the hotline is we are just scratching the surface of how effective it can be.”
The Sí Hotline is effective and helpful for school staff members. For example, teachers often call the hotline to request interpreters facilitate communication between Spanish- or Vietnamese-speaking parents regarding academic issues. Counselors and nurses rely on the service to inform parents about student health issues and situations that might impact grade and school performance.
The hotline does not take the place of a parent conference. However, it offers school staff an additional tool to address immediate concerns.