Schools working to support students learning English as a second language

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to take a toll on Tippecanoe County families. One demographic in particular feeling the effects is the Hispanic community.

Posted: Aug 21, 2020 7:59 PM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLLFI) -- The Covid-19 pandemic continues to take a toll on Tippecanoe County families. One demographic in particular feeling the effects is the Hispanic community.

Covid-19 numbers are continuing to climb in Indiana with more than 1,000 new cases in one day as of Friday, Aug. 21. According to the Indiana State Health Department, Tippecanoe County's reported cases are at more than 1,300 since the start of the pandemic. As in-class learning is beginning again, parents like Alejandro Macias are concerned.

"I've heard stories of people having a hard time getting the information, understanding the processes, or even having a hard time helping the kids with the homework," said Macias.

Macias was born and raised in Mexico before moving to Lafayette more than 20 years ago. Right now, the Hispanic community sits as the third-largest ethnic demographic in Tippecanoe County testing positive for Covid-19.

"It is a big burden to know that our community has been one of the most infected," said Macias. "I would have to say we have to be more cautious overall."

His children are currently in the Lafayette Catholic School System. While his older children have excelled out of English language classes, he feels for those families who in the midst of still learning.

"It is a big burden to know that our community has been the most infected, if we as parents have a hard time understanding the whole system, it's not going to go through well with the kids," said Macias.

Lafayette Catholic School System Executive Director Eric Davis agrees. That's why the district has been planning since last school year to work out any e-Learning language barrier issues. This includes hiring a bilingual liaison.

"Her role is really to continue to support, do outreach, be available for translation services," said Davis.

Lafayette, West Lafayette, and Tippecanoe County school districts have also invested in bringing on a team of translators for families.

"Parents are the primary educators and if there's a language barrier between the parents and the teacher, it's not ideal and so we're working to make sure that that doesn't exist anymore," said Davis.

All the districts have a number of language liaisons either working with teachers, working with tech support, or even holding classes one on one with students over video-chat to make sure the learning is not greatly disrupted during this pandemic. Tippecanoe County and West Lafayette have also subscribed to different language learning activities that students and parents can use with e-Learning.

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 751526

Reported Deaths: 13799
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1033281788
Lake557151010
Allen41710692
St. Joseph36998565
Hamilton36604417
Elkhart29413461
Tippecanoe22914227
Vanderburgh22559400
Porter19359326
Johnson18477389
Hendricks17689317
Clark13228195
Madison13158344
Vigo12625253
LaPorte12420221
Monroe12211176
Delaware10968198
Howard10337225
Kosciusko9630121
Hancock8577147
Bartholomew8172157
Warrick7860156
Floyd7812180
Grant7242179
Wayne7162201
Boone6972103
Morgan6765141
Dubois6221118
Marshall6211116
Cass6017110
Henry5902110
Dearborn589878
Noble581688
Jackson509176
Shelby501796
Lawrence4745122
Gibson445094
Clinton442755
Harrison441775
DeKalb439885
Montgomery438490
Whitley406643
Huntington403181
Steuben400259
Miami395269
Jasper388654
Knox376391
Putnam373260
Wabash362383
Ripley347270
Adams345555
Jefferson336186
White332253
Daviess3033100
Wells295381
Decatur289892
Greene286885
Fayette284864
Posey273835
LaGrange273172
Scott270156
Clay267148
Washington246136
Randolph244783
Jennings235349
Spencer234631
Starke228058
Fountain221048
Sullivan214643
Owen212158
Fulton203042
Jay200932
Carroll193720
Orange188255
Perry187237
Rush175926
Vermillion174844
Franklin170335
Tipton166446
Parke149616
Pike138134
Blackford136232
Pulaski120747
Newton114336
Brown104243
Crawford102516
Benton101914
Martin91715
Warren84015
Switzerland8148
Union72810
Ohio57911
Unassigned0420

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