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.