Before the pandemic, Akeyla Ragland held two jobsat Tussing Elementary School: a teacher for English language learners and an unofficial Spanish translator for other teachers. Nearly a quarter of the 600 students identified as English learners, up from 15% four years ago. During the pandemic, Pickerington Local School District began using the TalkingPoints translation app, which uses two-way, multilanguage translation to send text messages between schools and parents. Teachers say its convenience is a game changer. By February of this year, the district sent and received nearly 260,000 messages, compared to 150,000 messages last year. Other school districts are utilizing similar means of engagement. In San Francisco, schools are using FASTalkcreated by Family Engagement Lab.The tool can translate text messages between teachers and families in more than 100 languages.

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