New Program: Seal of Biliteracy

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The benefits of being bilingual or multilingual can be observed in every aspect of life, but more importantly, being recognized as a bilingual individual can open doors for your future! Shoreham-Wading River Central School District is in the process of being certified to award the New York State Seal of Biliteracy to our students who meet the established requirements. The Seal of Biliteracy award is formal recognition of students who have studied and attained a high proficiency in two or more languages by high school graduation. The intent of a Seal of Biliteracy and benefits to students include:

· To encourage the study of multiple languages.
· To identify high school graduates with language and biliteracy skills for employers.
· To provide universities with an additional unique distinction when seeking admission.
· To prepare students with 21st-century skills.
· To affirm the value of diversity in a multilingual and global society.

Students will have several opportunities to announce their candidacy toward earning the seal to their colleges of choice, through their applications as well as on their letters of recommendation. Students who successfully complete the requirements set forth by New York State for earning the NYS Seal of Biliteracy will have the seal affixed to their diplomas, which they will receive at graduation. In addition, students who earn the NYS Seal of Biliteracy will have the designation listed on their final transcripts upon graduation.

Students wishing to receive the NYS Seal of Biliteracy must complete all requirements for graduating with a NYS Regents diploma. In addition to the diploma requirements, students wishing to receive a NYS Seal of Biliteracy can earn points toward it in a number of ways, including completing coursework in English and/or a world language with an average of 85% or better; earning a set score on an approved assessment in English and/or a world language; demonstrating successful completion of coursework from a nation outside the U.S.; completing and presenting a Culminating Project in English and/or a world language that demonstrates the required level of proficiency in all three modes of communication (interpretive, interpersonal and presentational).

Please review the complete NYS Seal of Biliteracy requirements found here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1FR7_kcLDlwpgZaeAnd6oRZfjk1zcVJof/view?usp=sharing. For further information, the full NYS Seal of Biliteracy program overview can be found online in the NYS Seal of Biliteracy Handbook: http://www.nysed.gov/common/nysed/files/programs/world-languages/nyssb-handbook.pdf.

Current juniors and seniors who believe they will meet the criteria and earn the required points who wish to be considered for the NYS Seal of Biliteracy should complete the “Initial New York State Seal of Biliteracy (NYSSB) Interest Form” to determine interest and eligibility by Nov. 22. After all forms have been evaluated by a review committee, students will be notified about next steps.

Questions about this program can be directed to Nicole Waldbauer, Shoreham-Wading River Director of Humanities, at: nwaldbauer@swr.k12.ny.us.