Dear SPS Families:
The Stoughton Public Schools would like to inform the community about its “Seal of Biliteracy” program. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has adopted regulations that allow school districts to award the State Seal of Biliteracy on the diplomas and transcripts of graduating seniors. While the program is targeted toward seniors in high school, we want to let all families know about the opportunity. An important goal of the Stoughton Public Schools’ World Language and English Language Education Departments is to promote proficiency in two or more languages. The purpose of the seal includes:
- Recognizing the value of language diversity
- Providing employers with a method of identifying people with language and biliteracy skills
- Providing universities with a method to recognize and give credit to applicants for the attainment of high-level skills in languages
- Preparing students with skills that will benefit them in the labor market and the global society
- Strengthening intergroup communication and honoring the multiple cultures and languages in a community
How does a student earn the Seal of Biliteracy upon graduation?
If your child is a native speaker or heritage speaker of a language other than English and has attained a high level of literacy in this native or heritage language, then they can apply to take a language proficiency test. If your child is a native English speaker, then they can earn the seal by starting a second language as early as 7th grade. During April of their senior year of high school, we will offer our World Language Learners and English Language Learners the opportunity to take the AAPPL (Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages). Since we need to order test tickets, students would need to complete an application stating their desire for this assessment. The application will be sent out to current seniors in early February. This exam would in no way affect your child’s grade. The exams are scored externally by certified raters and are reported separately for each of the four domains of language (listening, reading, speaking, and writing) to your child and your child’s teacher.
If you have any questions please contact Dr. Amy Quealy at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr. Brian Scanlan at email@example.com. We are very excited about this initiative and the doors it will open for our students.
Dr. Thomas R. Raab
Superintendent of Schools