Item Coversheet

Action Item - 63.

Title: Contracts with Various Vendors for Document Translation and Interpretation Services ($4,500,000)

Board of Education Meeting Date:

Action under consideration

 The Administration recommends that the Board of Education authorize The School District of Philadelphia, through the Superintendent or his designee, to execute and perform a contract, subject to funding, as follows: 


Global Arena, LLC

Para-Plus Translations, Inc. 

Language Line Services, LLC,  

Piedmont Global Language Solutions

GLOBO Language Solutions, LLC


Translation and interpretation services

 Start date: 7/1/2023

 End date: 6/30/2026
 Compensation not to exceed: $4,500,000 
 Separate Compensation by Vendor:
All entities will be paid out of the aggregate amount not to exceed $4,500,000
All Schools; District authorized sites; Administrative Office(s)

 Renewal Options:  Yes

 Number of Options: 2

 Duration of each option to extend: Years: 1  Months:
 Maximum compensation authorized per option period:   Each option at fixed amount of $1,500,000 or 110% of first or preceding year amount


Why is the contract needed?

The School District of Philadelphia (District) has a truly rich and diverse student population. This diversity in language, community and culture is what helps make Philadelphia public schools such an enriching, dynamic and vibrant environment in which to teach, learn and grow. To ensure that all students have an equal opportunity to learn, it is essential that students and families, whose primary language is not English, have reliable and prompt access to document translation and interpretation services when required and appropriate. Translation refers to the written rendering of a document into another language from its original language. Translated documents must be prepared on templates with one side in the requested language and with identical content in English on the other.Reliable and prompt access to these services when required is important for all District students and families, and especially important for students with disabilities, students with complex or special behavioral and educational needs, and students in the early grades.


The vendors are highly qualified translating firms that are able to deliver translation and interpretation services in any language spoken by School District students and their families in a timely fashion. The vendors are also uniquely qualified in translating the highly technical, precise and complex educational and regulatory terminology found in special education documents.  When required, and on an as-needed basis, the vendors will provide translations of special education, early childhood, and other District documents for students and their families whose primary language is not English. In addition, when appropriate and required, the vendors will translate special education documents written in non-English languages to English for English speaking District teachers and staff. Special education documents requiring translation may include mandatory notices, Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), special education evaluations and reevaluations, 504 Plans, behavioral and academic reports and intervention plans, transition plans, disciplinary records, and court and litigation documents and records. Vendors will also provide language interpretation and braille services when needed. 

Providing translation and interpretation services to students, parents and teachers when required helps ensure meaningful participation in educational decision making, planning and program development. This service particularly supports District students who have disabilities and qualify for special education services, and students and parents who are limited English proficient.

How is this work connected to the District’s plan to achieve Goals & Guardrails? 

The provision of translation services supports the elimination of racist and discriminatory practices. These services will also provide a welcoming and supportive environment for families and the community. In addition, translation of special education documents will allow parents and IEP team members to fully and meaningfully participate in educational planning and evaluations, enabling students to reach and exceed grade level performance in reading and math, and to perform at proficient levels in annual state student assessment. 

How will the success of this contract be measured?  

The success of this program will be measured by the ability of vendors to provide timely and accurate translations and interpretations within District requested timeframes. 

When applicable, is this an evidence-based strategy?  If so, what evidence exists to support this approach? 

The District’s Office of Multilingual Curriculum and Programs will review samples of translations to ensure accuracy.

When applicable, was a larger community of District community members and/or stakeholders involved in this selection process? If so, what groups and how? 

Consistent with the District’s competitive procurement process, the selection of these Vendors included a committee of District staff with relevant special education, early childhood,  instructional, programmatic, and fiscal expertise who reviewed and evaluated Vendors’ RFQ responses.

 Funding Source(s): 

FY23-24 Operating

FY24-25 Operating

FY25-26 Operating

 Office Originating Request: Academic Support