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.
(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 27-28, 2022 in the event we have to meet in smaller groups of people due to County COVID restrictions.
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
- Complete all English-Language Arts (ELA) requirements for graduation with an overall grade point average of 2.0 or above in those classes. (C or better in all ELA classes).
- Pass the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) for English language arts, or any successor test, administered in grade 11, at or above the “standard met” achievement level, or at the achievement level determined by the Superintendent for any successor test. For students who did not take the CAASPP for ELA, students need to have demonstrated their competence on the iReady Reading.
- Demonstrate proficiency in one or more languages in addition to English.
Options for Meeting World Language Proficiency Criteria
Proficiency in language(s) other than English must be determined through one of the following methods:
- Pass a foreign language Advanced Placement (AP) exam, including American Sign Language, with a score of three or higher.
- Pass an International Baccalaureate (IB) examination with a score of four or higher.
- Successfully complete a four-year high school course of study in a foreign language and attain an overall grade point average of 3.0 or above in that course of study and demonstrate oral proficiency in the language comparable to that required to pass an AP or IB examination.
- If no AP examination or off-the-shelf language test exists and the district uses its own language examination, the school district must certify to the SSPI that the test meets the rigor of a four-year high school course of study in that foreign language and, at a minimum, assesses speaking, reading, and writing. If a student seeks to qualify for the SSB through a language that is not characterized by listening, speaking, or reading, or for which there is no written system, the student must pass an assessment on the modalities that characterize communication in that language at the proficient level or higher.
- Stockton Unified uses the Avant to test students in another language. This testing happens in Winter around January.
- If a district offers a language examination in a language in which an AP examination or off-the-shelf examination exists, the district language examination must be approved by the SSPI.
- Pass the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) II foreign language exam with a score of 600 or higher.
English learner students whose primary language is not English (English Learners who have not met reclassification criteria)
Students must meet all English Language Proficiency criteria (above) AND attain proficiency on the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC). This means that if students have not met reclassification requirements then they need to have a score of 4 on the ELPAC.