Fayette County Public Schools | Lexmark United States

Fayette County Public Schools

SUCCESS STORY

Kentucky elementary school uses Lexmark Translation Assistant to improve communication with families

Discover the: Challenge | Solution | Results

Fayette County Public Schools Photo

Fayette County Public Schools

company

Approximately 400 students attend Mary Todd Elementary School. Some 25-30% of the student body is designated as Multilingual (ML) with a primary language other than English. Approximately 50% of the students have parents for whom English is not their first language.

Industries

Education - K-12

Products

Printers & Multifunction Devices

Challenge

Fayette County Public Schools (FCPS) is a diverse district with more than 90 spoken languages. To meet these students’ and families’ needs, FCPS has an in-house team of 80 to 85 interpreters representing more than 30 languages. This office is responsible for listening to, understanding, interpreting, and translating for students and families for whom English is not their first language.1 Federal law requires that school districts provide interpreters and written documentation in the families’ home language. For any program, service or activity that is called to the attention of parents who are proficient in English, schools must equally communicate that same information to parents with limited English proficiency in a language that they can understand.1

Communicating in a language used at home is essential

Ensuring that families of students receive school communications in their native language (as required by law) can be challenging. For 25-30% of students at Mary Todd Elementary School, English is not necessarily their first language, and approximately 50% of the students have parents for whom English is not their first language.

All communications, such as permission slips and newsletters, that are sent home with students must be translated into the language the family speaks. With so many students and families in homes where English is not the first language, communication can be challenging. Lexmark Translation Assistant makes it easy.

1FCPS.net/interpreters

Solution

Lexmark Translation Assistant bridges parent-teacher communication

Lexmark Translation Assistant provides real-time document translation using a Lexmark multifunction printer (MFP). Users simply scan documents in the original language using a Lexmark MFP, select the appropriate output language from several choices, and receive a translated document within minutes.

“This eliminates the need for us to send something to the district offices and wait for someone to translate it for us,” Principal Michael Jones said.

‘Game changer’

Referring to Lexmark Translation Assistant as a “game changer,” Jones said: “Lexmark Translation Assistant allows our staff to immediately address the communication needs of our students and families, which is so crucial in building and maintaining relationships with our school community.”

Results

As an example of how Lexmark Translation Assistant had an immediate impact on Mary Todd Elementary School, Jones told the story of a Swahili-speaking family that visited during the summer. An interpreter facilitated the in-person conversations. But “even with a translator on site, we needed to send home some paperwork,” he said.

He explained that Lexmark Translation Assistant enabled his staff to translate those necessary documents and send them home with the family without delay.

Lexmark Translation Assistant allows our staff to immediately address the communication needs of our students and families, which is so crucial in building and maintaining relationships with our school community.
Michael Jones Principal, Mary Todd Elementary School Fayette County Public Schools, Lexington, Kentucky

Lexmark translation was virtually perfect

Jones added that the school district’s interpreter was impressed with Translation Assistant’s machine translation.

“The ‘human translator’ said the Lexmark translation was virtually perfect!”

Fast, dependable and easy to use

“It’s easy to use, and the speed at which it works is amazing,” Jones said. He also noted that the Lexmark MFP is the most dependable copier in the building.

Jones also said, “Lexmark has been a tremendous community partner. Lexmark has been responsive and proactive in addressing any concerns with Translation Assistant.”