ASD to offer Seal of Biliteracy on diplomas

Anchorage School District News Release, April 11, 2016:

District to offer Seal of Biliteracy on high school diplomas
Seal will recognize highly proficient students who study a world language or whose second language is English

Beginning with the Class of 2016, the Anchorage School District will offer graduating seniors a Seal of Biliteracy to recognize students who have attained proficiency in two or more languages.
“As one of the most diverse school districts in the country, we are proud to recognize the languages our students have and the ones they’re pursuing,” said Superintendent Ed Graff. “This seal acknowledges the abilities and accomplishments of our students who are advancing their language acquisition at a very high level of success.”
The seal will appear on the diploma of the graduating senior and is documented on the student’s official transcript.
“The seal honors the skills our students attain and can be evidence of skills that are attractive to future employers and college admissions offices,” said World Languages Director Brandon Locke. “This seal legitimizes their efforts and provides documentation of an important 21st century skill.”
Many state departments of education have adopted such seals. While the recognition isn’t offered at a statewide level in Alaska, ASD is moving forward with offering a seal for students because the district has such a diverse student population and many English-speaking students who are studying a world language.
In order to receive the Seal of Biliteracy, a student whose primary language is English must meet the following criteria:

·         Complete the English-language arts graduation requirement with at least a 2.0 grade point average.

·         Demonstrate proficiency in one or more approved world languages, other than English.
Approved languages include Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Spanish. ASD has assessments available in these approved languages and plans to add additional languages next year as more assessments become available.
A student whose primary language is not English must meet the following criteria:

·         Complete the English-language arts graduation requirement with at least a 2.0 grade point average.

·         Demonstrate English proficiency with a 5.0 or higher score on MODEL or ACCESS assessments.

·         Earn a minimum composite score of 5 on all sections of the PLACE assessment.
Approved languages include Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish. Students whose first language is Russian must receive a minimum score of I-4 on the ACTFL AAPPL measurement. ASD plans to add additional languages next year as more assessments become available.
Students who wish to have a Seal of Biliteracy must complete an application available online. Applications are available in English and Spanish.

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