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Getting It Right: Reference Guides for Registering Students With Non-English Names


June 2016


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Getting a student’s name right is the first step in welcoming him or her to school. Incorrectly entering student names can mean that the same student is listed in different databases in various ways and often with incomplete records. Consequently, students who are eligible for services (for example, English learner support) can be unidentified or overlooked.

To address this, REL Northwest has produced a set of naming conventions guides that can serve as a reference for accurately and consistently entering students’ names in school, district, and state databases. The guides are available for students with home languages of Cantonese, Punjabi, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese.

In addition to facilitating accurate data entry, these guides can help ensure that front office staff and registrars address and greet parents and other family members in a culturally responsive and respectful way.

This free resource is available on the Institute of Education Sciences' website.