Frequently Asked Questions
I'd like to receive messages from ParentSquare in a different language than I am currently. How do I change my preferences?
Northshore students and families speak more than 100 languages and dialects. When a student is first enrolled in Northshore, parents are asked to indicate what language they (parents) prefer to receive communication in. This preference is recorded in Synergy, the District's student information system. When ParentSquare initially synced data from Synergy, the communication preference data was transferred. If a parent is receiving communication in a language other than English, it is because they indicated that language either when first enrolling their child or during the annual review process in the Fall. During the Fall, parents are asked to review and confirm a number of data - including communication preference though ParentVue, the parent portal for Synergy.
If a parent is receiving communication in a language they don't want, there are two options to make a change:
Making a Change Through ParentSquare
From a web browser:
- Log into ParentSquare
- Click on their name in the top right corner
- Click on My Account from the dropdown menu
- Click on "Language Preferences" in the left margin
- Select your preferred language from the dropdown menu
- Click Save
From the app:
- Open the ParentSquare App
- Tap on the 3 horizontal lines at the top of the home page
- Tap "My Account"
- Tap "Preferences"
- Tap "Language"
- Select your preferred language
This action WILL NOT change your language preference in Synergy.
Making a Change Through ParentVue
An adjustment to the communication preference in Synergy, the student information system, via ParentVue is only recommended if you want all District communications to be received in the new language. This change can be made by the parent during the Fall until mid-October. After mid-October, parents will need to ask the main office staff at your child's school to change your communication preference in the system (Synergy).
- If a parent updates their language preference in Synergy, their language preference will be updated in ParentSquare as long as they haven’t already made a language change via the communication tool. ParentSquare language changes are protected.
- If a parent has already updated their language preference in ParentSquare and then updates their language in Synergy, the nightly sync will not override the parent's language preference that they selected in ParentSquare.
Does ParentSquare provide machine-translated or human-translated messages?
Professionally, human-translated content is always the best, however it is very expensive and not fully funded by the state. As of October 2022, the District was required to bring our practices into alignment with new language access legislation. We are now required to provide written, human translation of vital documents for languages that constitute at least five percent of the District’s total parent or guardian population or 1,000 persons, whichever is less. The types of vital documents that require human translation can be viewed in the new Language Access Policy. In Northshore this is only Spanish even though more than 100 languages and dialects are spoken. We have and continue to look for ways to make language accessible. While machine translation (e.g., Google translate) is not perfect - it is a step forward compared to no translated communication. Many of our families weren't receiving any translated content - machine or human - until the adoption of ParentSquare. Additionally, ParentSquare, unlike our past communication tool (Blackboard), supports the integration of professionally, pre-translated content. We are in the process of ensuring all of our emergency communication templates are human-translated, accurate, and preloaded into the communication system, ParentSquare, to ensure timely family communication if needed.
Additionally, we are discussing bringing together families to help us simplify typically used education language and determine ways to help improve the accuracy of machine-translated content. If you are interested in supporting these efforts, please let us know: email@example.com.