For Use with Parents or Guardians of

Limited English Proficient Students

Written by Rebecca Kyser and Nora Russell

Under the advisement of the Parent Orientation Project Team:

Starr DiCiurcio, Nancy Fisher, Darcy Hudson, Richard Light, Carla Meskill, and Laurie Wellman

Funded by the Language Advocacy Project and the Research Foundation

at the University at Albany

To Schools:

The State Education Department has recently attached an amendment to its Part 154 Regulations for Pupils with Limited English Proficiency. The amendment states:

Parents or other persons in parental relation to a pupil designated in section 117.2(d) of this Title, shall be provided an orientation session on the state standards, assessments, school expectations and general program requirements for the bilingual education program and the free-standing English as a second language program. Such orientation shall take place within the first semester of their child’s enrollment in the school and, when needed, shall be provided in the first language of the pupil’s parents or other persons in parental relation to the pupil.

The following script is a suggested outline for a video which school districts could create to help meet their responsibilities for parent/guardian orientation. The overall concept for this project was to form a highly adaptable script which could be molded to reflect individual schools and could be easily translated into each of the languages represented in the district. A comprehensive content has been provided which schools are encouraged to rearrange, rewrite, add to, or delete from as needed. Where policies and information vary among districts, blank spaces have been inserted which schools can fill with specifics. Narrator language and conversational content have been kept brief and simple so that they may be easily translated and easily understood.

Many parents and guardians of Limited English Proficient students may be reluctant to become involved or even visit their child’s school after the initial registration session. Additionally, work, transportation, child care, or cultural issues may also contribute to their absence. For this reason, it may be optimal to show this video on the day that parents and guardians register their children. We recommend that students view this video with their caretakers in order to discuss the content. Perhaps a small television-VCR combination and some paper and pens for note-taking could be kept on hand for use at any time.


The Parent Orientation Project Team

Production Notes

Part I:

  • A parent name must be chosen that is ethnically appropriate for the language used in each translation.
  • A sex must be designated to the (unseen) child that is discussed in this video. All gender language is written in optional formats that have been highlighted with bold print. Please be consistent in your choices throughout the script.
  • Masculine and feminine language choices have been provided for all characters in this script. Please choose appropriate gender language that matches the men and women engaged to produce the video.
  • Provisions have been made for either an ESL teacher or a Bilingual Education teacher to be featured in the video. Those schools that wish to include both types of teachers will need to create some additional lines.

Part II:

  • Please use children and parents from different ethnic backgrounds and age groups for each shot. It is important that your audience of parents can see the characteristics of their own families reflected in this video.
  • In the last shot of the video, it is recommended that the group of children include a variety of ethnic backgrounds and ages.


  • The total time for the video is 30 minutes. Please note that the total time will vary proportionately with script additions and deletions.
  • Although the written script contains marked separations between Part I and Part II, please do not use these printed words in the video. Written English will complicate translations.
  • Suggested camera shots are printed throughout the script. Please note that additional shots will be necessary to enhance the video and to fill the length of time needed for the narrations.
  • A great deal of time was spent to ensure that each and every word in this script will translate into other languages. All idioms, idiomatic expressions, and difficult vocabulary were exchanged for more simple and direct text so that the content would not be ‘lost in the translation.’ Please use the same care and consideration in all future alterations and additions to the script.




Open the video with a view of your school and the following narration


Narration to be read during the view of your school:

(music plays)

Hello and welcome to our school! We are very happy to have you and your family here. All of the members of our school would like to make your change to this new school as easy and comfortable as possible. In the United States, all children are entitled to a free public education. This is not optional. We place such a high value on education that we have created laws that require all children to go to school. It is your responsibility, as parents and guardians, to be sure that your child attends.

We know that it can be difficult to adjust to a new school because it may seem different and sometimes confusing. A new law was passed that gives parents and guardians the opportunity to learn about their children’s school in their own language. This video was created in response to the law and will introduce you to your child’s school. The parent in this video will be asking the different members of the school questions about important issues related to your child.

Please remember that this video is only an introduction to our school. We encourage you to ask our school personnel your questions after the video or in the future. We want to do our best to help you and your child have a healthy and happy experience in our school!


Show a detailed blueprint of your school next.

If a Narrator is chosen to describe the blueprint at this time, it may be helpful to highlight each area of the school when it is discussed.

Please Note: This is not to be used in place of a personal tour, which is highly recommended.


The camera follows as a parent or guardian of a Limited English Proficient student looks at the front of the school, enters through the main door, and walks toward the main office.


Briefly show the blueprint of the school again.

Highlight the office where the School Secretary works.

Narration to be spoken during a shot of the Secretary working at his/her desk:

The Secretary is the person who coordinates all Main Office activities. He/She is the first and last person every visitor to the school must see.


Script for Part I


S = Secretary P/G = Parent / Guardian * = Optional for Use

S: (show S standing up to meet P/G) Hi. Nice to meet you. (shakes hand). I am

the secretary in this ______(elementary, middle, high school). (*My name is


P/G: (standing in front of the desk) Hi. Nice to meet you also. My name is ______. My child goes to school here..

S: That’s great! Welcome to our school. Do you have any questions that I can answer for you?

P/G: (continue standing) Yes, I do have some questions. How can I see my child?

S: Any time that you come into the building you must first come to the office and sign your name into a book. You should also show us photo identification. When you leave, you will need to sign the book again. We welcome you to our building at any time. However, we want all visitors to sign the book in order to protect your child’s safety.

P/G: Thank you. And how can I call my child on the phone?

S: You can call the school office and leave a message for your child. We will tell your child that you called and have him/her call you. If you call for your child during one of his/her classes, he/she will not be able to call you until he/she has a free period or lunch.

P/G: Also, how can I leave a message for my child or my child’s teacher?

S: You can leave a message for your child or your child’s teacher with me. I will give the person the message. * If you want to leave a phone message for your child or your child’s teacher you can call ______(phone number) and then press ______(button # ) to leave a message.


P/G: Great. Also, how can my child leave early from school?

S: If you need to have your child leave early from school, write a note and ask your child to give it to his/her teacher in the morning. Our school feels that regular classroom attendance is very important to your child’s success in school. For that reason, only legal absences are permitted. Legal absences are illness, a religious observance, sickness or death in the family, approved school sponsored trips, required court appearances, or unsafe weather. If you have an unexpected emergency and you need to remove your child from school, come to the office and we will find your child.

P/G: How can I get help writing English or speaking with school personnel in English?

S: If writing English is a problem, you can have a friend or family member write the note for you to sign. You should know that you have the right to request a translator if you would like to speak to any school employee. You also have the right to request the translation of any written materials.

P/G: Thank you. And how can I make an appointment with school personnel?

S: If you want to meet with the Principal, I can schedule an appointment. If you would like to meet with your child’s teacher you can leave a message with me. I will give the teacher your message and ask him or her to call you.

P/G: Ok. Can you tell me how I can get help with paying for my child’s breakfast and lunch?

S: Sure. You will need to complete a form with information about your income. If you qualify, your child can receive a free or reduced breakfast and lunch.

P/G: Thank you very much. I look forward to seeing you again.

S: You’re welcome. Would you like to meet the Principal? Come with me, I’ll show you his office. (After knocking on Principal’s office door, Secretary opens the door and performs an introduction) Hi! (*Mr./Ms.______(Principal’s name)). I have someone I would like you to meet. This is Mr./Mrs. ______(parent or guardian’s name). He/She has a child attending school here.


Pr = Principal P/G = Parent / Guardian * = Optional for Use

Pr: Hi. Nice to meet you. (shakes hand) (*My name is ______.)

S: (speaking to P/G) The Principal oversees all school personnel, students and school events.

P/G: Nice to meet you too.

Pr: Welcome to the school! Please come in and have a seat in my office. (gestures

toward a chair and both sit)

S: (still standing) Nice meeting you Mr/Mrs. ______. Goodbye. (shakes P/G’s hand)

P/G: Nice meeting you too. Goodbye. (Secretary leaves)

Pr: Do you have any questions that I can help you with?

P/G: Yes, I have some questions. How can I get my child to school?

Pr: Well, if you live ______(.5, .6) km or less from the school your child can walk or ride a bicycle to school. Please provide him/her with a lock in order to prevent theft if he/she chooses to ride a bicycle. If you live more than ______(.5, .6) km from the school then your child can use the bus at no charge. The school will tell you if your child may use the bus. It will come to a stop near your home. *Your child can request a Student ID / Bus Pass with the number of the bus he/she should ride. * There is no charge for the first bus card, but if your child’s card is lost, stolen, or damaged there will be a $______charge for a new card.

P/G: Thank you. And what if my child needs to take a different bus home from school?

Pr: If your child is going to take a different bus or exit at a different stop, you must send a note to your child’s teacher. Also if any friend would like to ride the bus with your child, he or she must bring a note from home.

P/G: That’s good to know. What are the discipline rules for the school?


Pr: Each classroom teacher has his or her own rules for the classroom, but there are also rules

for the school. The main rules are to always walk, always have permission to leave the classroom, and to be in school at ______(7:30, 8:00 a.m.) every day. Students should demonstrate respect to teachers and other children. They should also never wear hats, or bring gum, weapons, or electronic devices to school.

P/G: That is important to know. I am concerned about what I hear about drugs and alcohol in this country. What is your school policy?

Pr: We have a strong commitment to prevent drugs and alcohol from entering our school. Students should not bring any illegal drugs or alcohol to school, and they must not smoke or use drugs on school property. The nurse is the only person who may give out legal drugs.

P/G: Ok. What will happen to my child if he/she does not follow the rules?

Pr: The school has different consequences for each rule and the number of offenses. Your child’s teacher and I decide what happens if the student does not follow a rule.

Consequences may be verbal warnings, a call home to discuss the problem, extra time in school, or suspension from classes for a period of time.

P/G: Thank you. And how do I know that my child is safe in school?

Pr: Safety is our first priority at this school. All visitors are asked to enter our building through the main door and then immediately go to the Main Office. There, they are asked to sign in with the secretary and sign out when they leave so that we know who is in the building at all times. *During school hours, all doors are locked except ______(for the back door labeled “A”). *I make periodic building checks, both inside and outside, to ensure that everything is safe. We ask you to complete an emergency card so that our office staff can

contact you in the event of an emergency. This card should have several emergency phone numbers that we can use if we cannot contact you.


P/G: Great. Thank you.

Pr: As far as safety, we also have fire and bus drills. We have fire drills ______(10,12) times yearly to allow students to practice leaving the building quickly, quietly, and safely. Also, we have bus drills ______times a year so that your child may receive special safety instructions about exiting the bus in emergencies.

P/G: Thank you. What should I do if my child cannot attend school?

Pr: If your child will be absent, please call the ______(Main Office, Nurse’s Office, etc.) by ______(7:30, 8:00 a.m.) and inform the school. When your child is ready to return, write a note with the date of the absence, why your child could not come to school, and your signature.

P/G: Ok. Does the school ever close for an emergency?

Pr: Yes, sometimes it is necessary for schools to close or to end early. For example, a school might close because of bad weather. If school ends early, your child should know where he/she can go. If schools do not open it will be broadcast over the radio stations

______(WTRY,WPYX,WKLI, etc.). You can listen to this as early as ______(6,7,8,etc.) in the morning. Occasionally, our school may open late. When this

happens, it will also be broadcast over the radio stations, and all buses will start later than normal.

P/G: Thank you very much. I hope to see you again soon. (stands up)

Pr: You’re welcome. (stands up) It was nice meeting you. (shakes hand)

P/G: It was nice meeting you also.

Pr: Have you met the nurse yet?

P/G: No. I have not. Where is her office?

Pr: The nurse is down the hall this way. (points in the direction the parent should walk)

P/G: Ok. Thank you. Goodbye. (P/G begins walking down the hallway)


Briefly show the blueprint of the school again.

Highlight the office where the School Nurse works.

Narration to be spoken during a shot of the School Nurse talking on the phone in his/her office:

The School Nurse takes care of all medical issues. He/She is responsible for diagnosing illness, giving medicine, and completing health examinations.


N = Nurse P/G = Parent / Guardian * = Optional for Use

P/G: (while standing outside N’s door) Are you the nurse?

N: (while standing by her desk) Yes, I am. (*My name is ______.) Nice to meet

you. (walks forward and shakes hand)

P/G: Hi. I am ______. Nice to meet you too. My child goes to school here.

N: Would you like to come in? Please have a seat. (gestures toward chair and sits down)