Shaver to meet with Spanish speakers

TUPELO – The Tupelo Public School District’s second “Conversations with Dr. Shaver” event this year will be geared toward native Spanish speakers.
The district will host the question-and-answer session at St. James Catholic Church on Sunday at 3:30 p.m., following the church’s Spanish Mass. Participants will be able to submit questions on paper that Superintendent Randy Shaver will answer.
A translator will pronounce the questions in both Spanish and English and repeat Shaver’s responses in Spanish.
“It is an obvious opportunity to reach out to our Hispanic population,” Shaver said.
The event is part of a larger district outreach to students and families whose primary language is not English. In September, it hosted a reception for parents and guardians of students identified as English Language Learners.
“We have a growing population of English Language Learners,” Shaver said. “They operate with a large enough handicap when they don’t speak the language so we’re doing everything we can to reach out to them and include those families in what we do in the school district.”
The district currently has 267 students, representing 19 spoken languages, who are identified as English Language Learners.
Although less than 2 percent of the district’s roughly 7,400 students are native Spanish speakers, Shaver said it is important that the district not ignore them.
English speakers are also invited to Sunday’s event.
The district held one “Conversations with Dr. Shaver” last month at Tupelo Middle School and plans to host several more throughout the year.

Contact Chris Kieffer at (662) 678-1590 or chris.kieffer@djournal.com.

To attend
What: “Conversations with Dr. Shaver”
Where: Tupelo’s St. James Catholic Church
When: Sunday at 3:30 p.m.

Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal