Becoming educado: How Utah County’s schools are working to engage the Latino community

in Education/Local Roundup

For years, Spanish-speaking parents have sat through graduation ceremonies not understanding a single word.

Not anymore.

“We saw that gap and we said, ‘this has to change,’” said Belinda Talonia, the former administrator of Mountain View High School in Orem.

This summer was the first time there was simultaneous Spanish-to-English translation at the high school’s graduation ceremony. Talonia, now the principal of Orem Junior High School, plans to continue offering translation services for Latino parents at her school’s events.

Latinos made up 17% of Utah’s K-12 students in 2017, according to information from the Utah State Board of Education. And as the number of Latino students increases in the state, so have the efforts of to include the community in students’ education.

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