Columbus City Schools provides resources for students, parents who speak foreign languages


COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Online learning presents many hurdles for children but especially for those whose first language is not English.

Several parents in the Latino community, including Elanny Reynoso, a mother of a Columbus City Schools student, says she is the only family member in her household who speaks English.

She has to juggle working just like other parents and worries how her child and younger brother will meet their academic standards while she’s away.

“I have to work eight hours a day. I have to be at two places at once basically,” she said.

Reynoso said she’s fortunate she can speak the language. But other parents like Olga Portillo are having problems with the basics such as enrolling their kids in school, working on a laptop, and e-mailing their concerns to teachers and administrators.

Columbus City Schools assistant ESL Supervisor Myra Talley said parents need to be informed that they have English as a Second Language Virtual Engagement Sessions during the week. Those sessions are available in five different languages. The system has designated a specific day for each as their focus is on working to be inclusive in all of their communities. 

“We also have a translator that is presenting,” Talley said. “One of the things they will be presenting is the virtual academy, learning how to log in.”

They will be discussing all the translational tools they have to offer and the additional community partners that are helping to provide an additional layer of support for translational calls, translated emails and more. 

As for the parents who can’t log in during the meetings, the school has an additional outreach initiative called Parent Bootcamp.

“We’re going to create videos and the videos will be translated and that will be posted,” Talley said.

Parents will have access to the how-to videos at any time. More information is to come in the next few weeks.

This week’s schedule for the virtual meetings is:

  • Tues. Aug., 4, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. – Focus on English as a Second Language – SPANISH
  • Wed. Aug., 5, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. – Focus on English as a Second Language – SOMALI
  • Wed. Aug., 5, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Focus on English as a Second Language – NEPALI
  • Thurs. Aug., 6, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. – Focus on English as a Second Language – ARABIC
  • Thurs. Aug., 6, 7;00 – 8:00 p.m – Focus on English as a Second Language – FRENCH

Parents are asked to RSVP prior to the meetings at If parents can’t join the meeting, they have a call center for their ESL and New American families. 

Language Assistance Center 

 Spanish: call 614 365 5118  

Somali: call 614 365 8972

 Nepali: call 614 365 3105  

French: call 614 365 5327  

Arabic: call 614 365 6920

ESL Deptartment phone: 614 365 8802 Fax: 614 365 8786 Contact Myra Talley @ 614 365 8802 or via email if you have any questions

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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