May 23, 2019

Seal of Biliteracy: A New Recognition to Celebrate Language Proficiency


Seal of BiLiteracy

In October 2018, Iowa Department of Education announced that a state Seal of Biliteracy would be available for participating schools to recognize students who demonstrate proficiency in two or more languages by high school graduation. Ames Community School District is pleased to announce that students will have an opportunity to earn this seal.

To receive a seal, students in participating schools must demonstrate proficiency in English and at least one other language through approved assessments. Students must be able to read, write, listen, speak in the language they are testing. Read more about the biliteracy guidance, including proficiency levels and accepted assessments here. At Ames High, assessments will be available in French, German, and Spanish. Additional languages are available to students off-site.

Iowa’s Seal of Biliteracy was established as part of Senate File 475, adopted by legislators last fall. This year’s focus will be on seniors who have taken 4 years of a foreign language, as well as English Learners who are already fluent in a non-English language. Students will take the multiple day test in March before spring break, with results being available in 1-2 months. Once a student has passed the assessment and is approved, they will earn the Seal of Biliteracy, which will be displayed on their high school transcript. Earning the seal does not count toward earned credit.

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. Being able to know and use more than one language is a critical skill for the 21st century. Above all, it is a recognition of a student’s accomplishment, hard work, and dedication to learning another language.

This year’s recipients include:

Kaysia Santiago
Aspen Holm
Kathryn Shields
Dante Sorrentino
Aubree Litster
Julie-Michelle Manohar
Jayna Wanamaker
Asher Suski
Aidan Diggins-Kennedy
Owen Murphy
Max Ramirez
Scott Junck
Takahiro Furukawa
Iluda Ko
Irina Pogorelko
Jackson Wong