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Multilingual Family Support

Multilingual Family Support

The Multilingual Family Support Office strives to ensure equitable access to services and opportunities for multilingual families and their children. Our commitment to multilingual families extends to direct service via school-based Bilingual Counseling Assistants (BCAs), who collectively speak over thirty (30) languages and dialects. The Multilingual Family Support Office coordinates BCA school assignments, manages and offers monthly technical assistance sessions. We provide live interpretation at School Reform Commission meetings, District and school-wide events, disciplinary and expulsion hearings, and community meetings; coordinate outreach services to immigrant and refugee communities; and build partnerships with immigrant and refugee-serving organizations. The Multilingual Family Support Office offers professional development sessions to District staff in order to better meet the educational and psycho-social needs of immigrant and refugee students and their families; and support families through Welcome Wagon activities (see below).

Bilingual Counseling Assistants 

The School District of Philadelphia maintains a cadre of Bilingual Counseling Assistants (BCAs) who are stationed in schools with large English language learner (ELL) populations. The BCAs work with non-English speaking students and parents to help navigate all school related issues while also providing invaluable on-site interpretation services for school personnel.

On-Site Interpretation

BCAs can provide on-site interpretation for specific meetings with advance notice. To request interpretation services send a message to translation@philasd.org or call 215-400-4180, option 4. 

Telephonic Interpretation Service

All schools and administrative offices of the School District of Philadelphia have access to telelphonic interpretation service.  The service is provided through a contract with Pacific Interpreters and IS FREE FOR OFFICES AND SCHOOLS.

In the event that there is no trained bilingual staff to meet your interpretation needs, call Pacific Interpreters at 1-800-264-1545. You will be asked to provide your access code, language needed, your name, and your department/office or school name. To obtain your access code or for instructions on how to use this service please call 215-400-4180, option 4 or send an e-mail message to translation@philasd.org.

Welcome Wagon - Community Outreach

The Welcome Wagon offers workshops and trainings to Limited-English Proficient (LEP) parents and their children throughout the city of Philadelphia that addresses some of the following topics:

  • Literacy
  • Language access
  • ESOL development
  • School Safety and Bullying Prevention
  • School Readiness
  • Employment Safety
  • Access to Health Care
  • Asthma management
  • Transition to Life in the United States
  • Acculturation and Parent/Child Conflicts
  • Child Rearing Practices and Discipline
  • Domestic Violence Awareness

These workshops and trainings are provided by native speakers or via an interpreter during the day, evenings, and weekends, in conjunction with immigrant, refugee, migrant, and faith-based organizations in schools, community centers and even private homes. 

Multilingual Web Pages

These pages were created in the 8 major languages of the District to assist those students and parents who may have difficulty reading in English in gaining access to essential information about the District, its programs and policies, and services for ELLs: 

   »»»     Albanian
   »»»     Arabic
   »»»     Chinese
   »»»     French
   »»»     Khmer
   »»»     Russian

   »»»     Spanish
   »»»     Vietnamese