Visitors to the Pittsburgh Public School District's website have probably noticed something different during the past month. Since mid-January, the school district has been posting weather related closing and delay announcements in several different languages on a banner on their homepage.
"We’ve been using the slides [since] mid- to late-January to better serve our website viewers," says Ebony Pugh, district spokesperson.
Updates to the website and a new multilingual parent hotline are beneficial for families who do not speak English. Amie Matson, a program manager with education advocacy group A+ Schools, has been working with a group of Latino parents
to improve communication with the district.
"The updates ... are extremely helpful for English Language Learner families because it provides them with the ability to stay up to date on time sensitive material in easily accessible manners," says Matson. "The multilingual website and hotline help to eliminate the confusion and disconnect many ELL families were experiencing before."
Of the 25,900 students in the district, there are approximately 850 English as a Second Language (ESL) students enrolled.