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Press Release

Justice Department Secures Agreement to Address Language Barriers for Families in the Cherry Creek, Colorado, School District

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

The Justice Department announced today that it secured a settlement agreement with the Cherry Creek School District (CCSD), one of the largest school districts in Colorado, to significantly improve language access services for parents with limited English proficiency. The agreement resolves allegations that the district failed to communicate with these parents in a language they could understand, denying them important information about their children’s education.

“No parent should be left in the dark about their child’s education,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Open and effective communication between schools and parents, including parents with limited English proficiency, is essential to safeguarding students’ equal access to educational opportunities. The Justice Department will continue to ensure school districts take steps to help parents overcome language barriers that prevent them from participating fully in their children’s education.”

“Parents with limited English proficiency face barriers to understanding how public schools work,” said U.S. Attorney Cole Finegan for the District of Colorado. “This agreement is intended to ensure that the Cherry Creek School District implements policies and practices to enable all parents in the district to participate meaningfully in their children’s education. We urge all school districts in Colorado to review their practices to ensure that they are complying with their obligations to provide language assistance services to parents with limited English proficiency.”

The CCSD serves about 53,000 students whose parents speak more than 150 languages. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado received multiple complaints alleging that parents with limited English proficiency could not meaningfully participate in important school programs and activities because the district did not provide them with appropriate and effective language assistance services. The complaints alleged, for example, that the district did not provide interpreters and translation services to parents with limited English proficiency when they enrolled their children in the district’s schools and did not provide such services during expulsion hearings and other disciplinary proceedings.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office, in coordination with the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, investigated the complaints under the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974.

To resolve the department’s investigation, the district has agreed to improve its communications in critical areas, including:

  • Enrollment: The district will identify parents with limited English proficiency and who are seeking to enroll their children in district schools, document their preferred language of communication and provide them with language assistance services to help them understand the enrollment process.
  • Student disciplinary proceedings: The district will translate letters that involve suspension and expulsion into the preferred language of parents with limited English proficiency and provide language assistance services during disciplinary proceedings that could lead to suspension or expulsion.
  • Engagement with parents with limited English proficiency: The district will administer surveys and hold listening sessions in over a dozen languages to better understand the communications needs of parents with limited English proficiency.

The enforcement of the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974 is a top priority of the Civil Rights Division. Additional information about the Civil Rights Division is available on its website at, and additional information about the work of the Educational Opportunities Section is available at

To report a possible civil rights violation to the Civil Rights Division, please visit Additional information about the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s civil rights enforcement program can be found at

Updated May 23, 2024

Civil Rights
Press Release Number: 24-656