It’s a small world, and growing smaller. As technology and other innovations increasingly connect us as a diverse, global community, the impact of multilingualism becomes all the more significant. What better way to facilitate and make the most of opportunities than with effective communication? Shared language is key. St. Vrain Valley School District has always emphasized the importance of language diversity. Now, students’ efforts can earn official recognition in the form of a Seal of Biliteracy.
The Seal of Biliteracy is a prestigious award recognizing proficiency in two or more languages by high school graduation. Initially launched in California in 2011, Colorado legislation was passed endorsing the seal, which is granted by school districts, in 2017. “We’ve been planting the seeds over the course of the past year,” says Oakley Schilling, SVVSD ELL Coordinator. “We are thrilled our 2020 graduates will have this exciting pathway available.”
The Seal of Biliteracy is available to any St. Vrain senior who has demonstrated proficiency or higher in English and at least one other language. Criteria are set using a combination of assessments, course requirements, student work, and performance. While the value of dual language is intrinsic and exceptional, the seal itself is a powerful tool. “It stands out, really making students more attractive to employers and college admissions offices,” Schilling says. “It puts our students at an advantage in almost every way.”