Fort Collins elementary school sends mass email in Arabic

THE COLORADOAN - Some parents at a Fort Collins elementary school may have been a little confused last month when they received a school-wide email entirely in Arabic.

The email, sent on Aug. 24 to families at Bauder Elementary School, invited Arabic-speaking parents and families to participate in English classes and tutor children. Other than its title, "Message for our Arabic Families," there was no explanation about the email's context for non-Arabic speaking families who received it, leaving some to scratch their heads.

It's not likely to happen again — at least not without a brief explanation of the email's contents to avoid confusion, said John McKay, Poudre School District's director of language, culture and equity.

It's rare that a school-wide email is sent in a language other than English, but McKay said Bauder Elementary School has one of the highest concentrations of Arabic-speaking students in the district. The Aug. 24 email was unique because the district does not currently have a way to contact only Arabic-speaking families via email but needed to reach the entire population of Arabic-speaking families at the school, McKay said.

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