Seal of Biliteracy

  • Stockton Unified honors multilingual students with the State Seal of Biliteracy in accordance with criteria developed by the California Department Of Education. Students in high school who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing in one or more languages other than English can earn the Seal of Biliteracy. The State Seal of Biliteracy is a gold-colored embossed insignia that is affixed to the high school diploma of qualified students to recognize and celebrate their biliteracy. This award is also noted on their high school transcripts. Additionally, students receive a medal to wear during their graduation ceremonies. Students not in high school may be on the path to biliteracy and earn a certificate for their path to biliteracy.


    Diploma Seal of BiliteracySeal of Biliteracy - Medal

    (Left) A gold-colored seal to recognize students’ biliteracy on their diplomas;
    (Right) A medal awarded to Seal of Biliteracy recipients.




    The Language Development Office oversees the process for students earning the Seal of Biliteracy in collaboration with schools across the district.

    The Seal of Biliteracy is awarded to graduating high school students who have demonstrated their proficiency in another language other than English, as described above. 

    Additionally, students who are bilingual may be on the path of biliteracy and can be celebrated with an award as well. Stockton Unified recognizes pathways for students who may potentially earn the State Seal of Biliteracy. More Information to come later on the pathway award.



    The SSB, per Assembly Bill 815 (Brownley, Chapter 618, Statutes of 2011), became effective January 1, 2012, and was amended in 2017 per AB 1142, effective January 1, 2018. California Education Code sections 51460–51464 establish the SSB program and its requirements. This program recognizes high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing one or more languages in addition to English. The SSB will be awarded by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction in accordance with specified criteria set forth in the legislation.



    Students earn a gold-colored seal recognizing their biliteracy in another language other than English. Additionally, graduating high school seniors are awarded a medal as well to wear at their commencement ceremonies. Students not in high school may be on the pathway to earning the Seal of Biliteracy. More information to come on this at a later date.

    When: Students in high school may qualify in different ways.  In the Fall students who may qualify will be referred to the Language Development Office. (see eligibility below criteria below).  For students who need testing to qualify for the Seal of Biliteracy, this typically happens in the Winter. Students who will utilize the test option will need to schedule an appointment to take the exam in another language. By the date of commencement ceremonies, schools have the Seal of Biliteracy Seal and schools affix the seal on the diploma and award the medals to students. If you are a student or a parent/legal guardian of a student who you think qualifies for the Seal of Biliteracy, you can contact your school’s counselor or ELP Site Coordinator to verify. 



    In the past celebrations have been held to honor students who have multiple literacies. The county awards ceremony is tentatively scheduled for April 16, 2024 at 5 PM. 



    The Seal of Biliteracy encourages students to pursue biliteracy, honors the skills our students attain and can be evidence of skills that are attractive to future employers and college admissions offices. 

    The purposes of the State Seal of Biliteracy are to encourage pupils to study languages, to certify attainment of biliteracy, to provide employers with a method of identifying people with language and biliteracy skills, to provide universities with a method to recognize and give academic credit to applicants seeking admission, to prepare pupils with 21st-century skills, to recognize and promote language instruction in public schools, and to strengthen intergroup relationships, affirm the value of diversity, and honor the multiple cultures and languages of a community (California Education Code [EC] Section 51460.

    Office of English language Acquisition (OELA, Infographic on the benefits of Multilingualism) click to access it and learn more. 



    High Students are awarded a seal and a medal.


  • Graduating High School students wishing to receive the California State Seal of Biliteracy must meet ALL of the following requirements

    1. Demonstrate English proficiency by meeting coursework or assessment requirements.
    2. Demonstrate second language proficiency by meeting coursework or assessment requirements.



    Attain an oral composite score level of 4 on the English Language Proficiency Assessment for California (ELPAC).

    Options for demonstrating Proficiency in English:


    1. Completion of all English language arts (ELA) requirements for graduation with an overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or above in those classes. 

    Assessment options:

    • California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) ELA, administered in grade 11, at or above “standard met” level;

    • English Advanced Placement (AP) with a score of 3 or higher;

    • English International Baccalaureate (IB examination) with a score of 4 or higher; or 

    • Evidence-based Reading and Writing section of the SAT with a score of 480 or higher

    Options for demonstrating Proficiency in a Second language



    1. Successful completion of a four-year course of study of content in a world language at a high school or higher level attaining an overall GPA of 3.0 or above in that course of study, and oral proficiency in the language comparable to that required to pass the AP, IB, or ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI)

    Assessment options:

    • World language AP examination with a score of 3 or higher;

    • World language IB examination with a score of 4 or higher;

    • ACTFL Writing Proficiency Test (WPT) and OPI with scores of intermediate mid or higher; or

    • Locally approved assessment: Avant

      • Testing via Avant occurs in January-February and has been expanded to include Juniors.