RPS en Español: An initiative to stay connected with growing Spanish-speaking population

8News Digital Exclusive

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond Public Schools has formed a new program that focuses on communication with Spanish-speaking families who seek information in their children’s school community.

“We are super excited to be able to offer the platform for [spanish-speaking] families to be connected, informed and empowered,” said Amelia Castañeda, the welcome center coordinator.

Spanish is the 2nd most spoken language in the United States behind English. According to statistics from the Virginia Department of Education, Richmond’s Spanish-speaking student population has seen a 43% increase since the 2014/2015 school year.

Spanish RPS: An initiative to stay connected with the growing Latino community

The study shows the increase in Spanish-speaking RPS students as followed:

  • 2014/2015 – 2765 students
  • 2017/2018 – 3862 students
  • 2019/2020 – 4863 students

RPS aims to bridge the gap between language barriers and has created a Facebook page that is entirely in Spanish.

The initiative also provides families with the opportunity to communicate directly with staff from the two welcome centers they have set up, as well as obtain information on upcoming events and learn about resources available to the community.

“Making sure that we do connect to every student, every family as they are coming in making the registration process much simpler and easier to facilitate the process for them,” said Ángela Flores, the welcome center specialist. “Also make sure we are getting all of our English-learners services.”

As RPS is working with Spanish-speaking families, 8News has also launched its own initiative to bring you the news where you live in Spanish. For more, visit 8News en Español.

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