A donation from Soft Landing Missoula, The United Way, and Community Medical Center will help the Missoula County School district bridge a translation gap.

“We recently received a donation of $10,000 from several community organizations and that funding is to help Missoula County Public Schools translate a variety of annual notices, legal forms and consent forms into three additional languages based on new student populations we’ve received over the past two school years," Said MCPS Director of Communications Hatton Littman.

Littman says that in the past each individual school dealt with translation issues on a case-by-case basis, but that a new approach was needed.

“Missoula County Public Schools has always had a variety of students who qualify as English language learners, who speak a myriad of different languages, however we have been able to provide services to each of those families on a case-by-case basis," Littman said. "Now we are starting to see students who are resettled in Missoula with their families, as part of the refugee resettlement program. We’re seeing bulks of students who speak specific languages, which necessitated this translation."

The three new languages are Arabic, Swahili, and Tigrinya… languages which are spoken by the families of 44 MCPS students who were recently resettled in Missoula from Eritrea, Iraq, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Syria.