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The Department has moved to 135 Santilli Highway in Everett. The Department's office and Licensure Welcome Center are open. The new location has free parking and is a short walk from the Wellington station on the MBTA's Orange Line.
Language Access

Language Access Services for Families

DESE has defined a vision where students and families have a sense of belonging in school: they are known, respected, and valued for who they are and what they bring to the school community, including their unique identities, languages, and backgrounds. Strong family-school partnerships are an essential lever for students to feel supported and thrive in an academic environment. Families have a civil right to equal participation in their students' educational experience, including families who speak a language other than English. To fulfill this obligation, school districts must have systems in place to provide translation and interpretation services so that all families can participate in the educational system. Data from the 2022-23 school year indicates that 25 percent of Massachusetts students speak a language other than English as their first language; suggesting that a significant proportion of families may benefit from interpretation and translation services in schools. This need has been growing each year. DESE seeks to support districts to more fully and equitably communicate with families that speak a language other than English and support parents/guardians in participating in critical choices impacting their children.

DESE will provide support for Language Access through:

Interpreter in the Education Setting training

  • Language Ambassador training
  • Interpreter in the Education Setting Tier 2 and Tier 3 training
  • Resources for districts to utilize interpreters in schools effectively
  • Guidance for districts to provide spoken language interpreters in schools

Language Access Systems

  • Resources & Guidance for districts to develop Language Access Plans

Last Updated: January 18, 2024

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
135 Santilli Highway, Everett, MA 02149

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


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