Stamford Public Schools (SPS) Superintendent Dr. Tamu Lucero announced today that 119 SPS students have attained literacy in English as well as a another language and will be awarded a Seal of Biliteracy on their transcripts and diplomas. The Seal of Biliteracy, which was signed into law by the Governor of the State of Connecticut in June 2016, has been offered in Stamford since the 2018-2019 school year.
This year, SPS students took tests in 15 languages, including first-time recipients in Korean and American Sign Language (ASL). The other languages in which SPS students have demonstrated mastery are: Spanish, French, Italian, Greek, Portuguese, Russian, Romanian, Arabic, Hindi, Ukrainian, Polish, Creole and Tagalog. The seal recognizes the value of students’ academic efforts, the tangible benefits of being bilingual and biliterate, and prepares students to be productive contributing members of our global society.
The Seal of Biliteracy is awarded to eligible students who not only successfully meet English, Reading and Writing Performance Standards for SPS graduation requirements, but also successfully complete one the following pathways to a Biliteracy seal:
- Juniors in SPS World Language courses who scored a 3 or higher on that AP exam.
- Seniors in SPS World Language who score an 1-3 (Intermediate level 3) or higher in all four domains of the Assessment of Performance toward Proficient in Language (AAPPL) and received an official passing notification prior to the Tuesday following Memorial Day
- Heritage Speakers, a speaker of any language other than English, who is seeking designation in a language not offered at SPS, but who can prove proficiency by meeting the minimum identified score on one of a number of offered assessments.
“We are very proud of the number of our students who have demonstrated proficiency or above in reading, writing, speaking and listening skills in a language other than English who have earned the Seal of Biliteracy,” said Associate Superintendent for Teaching and Learning Amy Beldotti. “The Seal denotes that SPS recognizes the value locally and globally of being bilingual in our multicultural and multilingual society. Those who earn the Seal will receive a special medal of distinction to wear at graduation.”
There are more than 70 languages spoken in the homes of our students and 13% are English Learners, which highlights the importance of helping our students develop and maintain multiple languages.
“Whether a student is an English learner who becomes proficient in English while maintaining his/her first language, or a native English-speaking student who becomes proficient in an additional language, biliteracy is something we want to promote, recognize and celebrate,” said Beldotti.