SealofBil

In May of 2011, the Board of Trustees of the San Diego Unified School district adopted a district Seal of Biliteracy.  This is an award granted to high school seniors upon graduation certifying attainment of mastery in two of more languages.  It is a statement by the school system that mastery of two or more languages is important and worthy of special recognition.  It encourages students to pursue biliteracy, honors the achievement of our students, and acknowledges the skills that are attractive to future employers and college admissions offices.  Students high school transcripts will reflect attainment of the Seal of Biliteracy in the "Notes" section.

The Seal of Biliteracy is consistent with current district policies and initiatives that focus on ensuring students' college and career readiness and preparation with 21st century skills. This policy affirms the District vision and commitment to the critical importance of all students developing multilingual and multicultural competence while acquiring marketable skills.

The Seal of Biliteracy was developed by and receives ongoing support and endorsement from Californians Together, a statewide coalition of parents, teachers, education advocates and civil rights groups committed to securing equal access to quality education for all children. 

A State Seal of Biliteracy, AB 815, was signed by the governor and enacted into California Education Code on October 8, 2011 (see link below).

Eligibility Criteria for the SDUSD Seal of Biliteracy

A Seal of Biliteracy is granted to all students who apply for the Seal and who meet the following criteria:

  • Successful completion of all San Diego Unified high school graduation requirements including demonstrating Proficiency in English as measured through the CAHSEE, or, the California Standards Test/English Language Arts (CST/ELA) administered at the senior high level (grades 9-11).
  • And ONE of the following World Language requirements:
    • OPTION 1:  Successful completion of three to four years of instruction in the same world language, with an overall grade point average of 3.0 or higher in all world language course work.  The course work must also include one of the following: 
      • An Honors 7-8 course with a score of Proficient or higher, as determined by district developed end of course exam.
      • An upper level IB course with a score of "4" or higher, as determined by the IB testing agency.
    • OPTION 2:  A score of "3" or higher on the Advanced Placement (AP) exam for world language.
      • The AP exam should be taken prior to the 12th grade and verified thought a notification letter from the College Board.
      • Note: Students who choose to take an AP course BUT choose not to take the AP exam, will need to pass the Honors 7-8 exam with a score of Proficient or higher. 
    • OPTION 3:  A passing score (varies by language) on the SAT II World language Subject Test as verified by a notification letter from the College Board.
  • APPLICATION: The submission window for this year is March 30th. You can access the application here: Seal of Biliteracy Application

Bea Gonzales Biliteracy Scholarship:

  • SCHOLARSHIP HISTORY:  The Bea Gonzales Biliteracy Scholarship was established to continue Ms. Gonzales' dream of access to high quality biliteracy instructional programs for all students. Her work, as Director of Bilingual Teacher Training Program at San Diego County Office of Education benefited, supported, and inspired thousands of educators in San Diego and across the state.  The scholarship will be awarded to students eligible for the district Seal of Biliteracy and demonstrating high academic achievement.
  • AWARDS: Award recipients will receive a $500 award applicable for community college or a four-year university.
  • ELIGIBILITY: Selection is based on academic and non-academic criteria of the applicant including:
    • Eligibility for the San Diego Unified School District Seal of Biliteracy
    • Leadership and community involvement
    • Educational aspirations and career goals
    • Grade point average
    • Special circumstances and financial need
  • APPLICATION: The deadline for this years application is May. You can access the application here:  Bea Gonzales Biliteracy Scholarship
  • This is a competitive scholarship program. Not all applicants will receive awards; these awards are dependent upon funding availability.

Pathway Awards 

Achieving advanced levels of knowledge and proficiency in another language takes many years and must start early with young children.  The Seal of Biliteracy also establishes a system of "pathway" awards from pre-school through high school recognizing benchmarks towards biliteracy.  These awards are designed to reward engagement in pursuit of language skills in two or more languages, to affirm positive attitudes towards multilingualism, and to validate the use of multiple languages for all students.  Additionally, these awards promote the need for students to continue in long term, sequential world language study in high school.

Awards are given for the following.

  • Middle School Pursuit of Bilingualism Award
  • Middle School Biliteracy Attainment Award
  • Elementary Biliteracy Award
  • Elementary Bilingual Service Award

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