ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque Public Schools are welcoming families back in French, German and Japanese this year. The district has launched a new video series to reach out to families to help them with everything from adjusting to a new school to teaching kids about finances.
The ‘welcome back’ video clips all include a variation of the phrase, “Welcome to APS. We are glad your family is here.” It’s a simple 10 words, but Albuquerque schools are translating that into more than a dozen languages, which are just some spoken by the thousands of families in the district.
The video goes beyond just English and Spanish, also covering French, German, Japanese, Swahili, Ukrainian, Arabic, Vietnamese, Chinese, Russian, Navajo, Dari, Kinyarwanda and even American Sign Language. APS says it’s a way to highlight the diversity of the district and build a connection with as many families as possible.
“Because we have so many families, it is a social media way for us to reach out to as many families as possible,” said Kristine Meurer, Executive Director of Student, Family and Community Supports at APS. “We tried to put as many different types of people, genders, as well as languages into the video. I know we didn’t hit them all because we have multiple, multiple languages in APS.”
APS says this welcome back video and the others they produce are a way to get the attention of the entire family. They say it’s important for the families to get engaged with schools.
“We have a whole series of videos called “Families Connected,” and it’s a way to help families get connected to their schools, for family engagement, to understand more about APS and the processes of APS,” said Meurer. “We really believe that families are the first and the last educator of our students, so they need to be not just involved with our schools but engaged in our schools.”
APS says right now, most of its videos on the Families Connected YouTube page are in English and Spanish, but they plan to release different topics, and even the same ones in other languages throughout the school year. The district first started to release some of the Families Connected videos during the 2018-19 school year, and only hope to grow it from there.