California State Seal of Biliteracy (SSB) Information

What is the California State Seal of Biliteracy (SSB)?
  • The SSB is a form of recognition from the California State Superintendent of Instruction of graduating high school students who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing in one or more languages in addition to English.
  • It is an indicator of accomplishment for future employers and college admissions.
What is the purpose of the California State Seal of Biliteracy (SSB)?
  • To recognize the value of biliteracy as a 21st century skill.
  • To encourage students to pursue biliteracy.
  • To honor the achievements of our students.
How is the California State Seal of Biliteracy (SSB) awarded?
  • The SSB consists of a gold, embossed, self-adhesive seal affixed to the student's diploma, and it is also reflected on the student's transcript.
How do students apply for the California State Seal of Biliteracy (SSB)?
  • Students should contact the counseling office to pick up an application, or click on the Application link above.
Is this just for English Learners?
  • No, a California State Seal of Biliteracy is granted to all students who meet the criteria and apply for this award.
Do English Learners need to be reclassified as English proficient speakers?
  • ELL students do not have to be reclassified, but they must attain the early advanced proficiency level overall on their most recent California English Language Development Test (CELDT).
Is this just for Spanish speakers?
  • At this time, the California State Seal of Biliteracy is awarded in Poway Unified School District for any language taught at one of our high schools, or represented by an AP or SAT II test.
Can students qualify for the California State Seal of Biliteracy in more than one language?
  • Students may receive the California State Seal of Biliteracy for any number of different languages, if the requirements have been met for each language.
What is the deadline?
  • The deadline for paperwork to be submitted to schools is April 1st every year. School sites must submit forms to the District Office by April 15th every year.
Will counselors look at all senior transcripts to determine eligibility?
  • Counselors will not be identifying students who qualify for this award. Students will be responsible for applying for the California State Seal of Biliteracy and meeting the required application deadline if they are interested – much like California Scholarship Federation (CSF) or National Honor Society (NHS). Once they have applied, counseling staff will verify their eligibility.
Is there a cost to students for the Seal?
  • No fee may be charged to students or schools who participate in the California State Seal of Biliteracy program.
AP Exams are in May and final grades are not received until June, how will that impact students?
  • Since AP exam scores are typically not received until summer time, students selecting this option to demonstrate proficiency in another language might want to take the test their junior year. SAT II test results should also be received prior to the application deadline of April 1 in order to qualify. However, students may still apply with pending test results or final trimester/quarter grades in English or world languages in time for the April 1 deadline. The final awarding of the California State Seal of Biliteracy on the transcript/diploma would be contingent upon the student meeting the GPA and/or AP/SAT II exam requirements.
For the SAT II Language Tests, do students need to take the exam with Listening?
  • No, it is not necessary to demonstrate proficiency in listening to obtain the California State Seal of Biliteracy.
Do language classes taken in middle school count for the California State Seal of Biliteracy?
  • Only classes receiving high school credit count towards the requirements for the California State Seal of Biliteracy, therefore, any language classes taken in middle school will not count.
Does the California State Seal of Biliteracy fulfill the foreign language requirement for the UC or CSU schools?
  • The California State Seal of Biliteracy does not fulfill the foreign language requirements for the UC or CSU schools.
Do classes taken outside the high school count for demonstrating proficiency in another language?
  • Pre-approved language classes taken at the junior college level, or through outside institutions, will be honored, provided students still somehow meet the requirement of four full years of another language, and they receive high school credit for these classes. The student is responsible for providing the supporting documentation.
What about students who enroll beyond their freshman year from another country – how will they meet the four year requirement for English Language Arts?
  • Transfer credits from another country would be taken into consideration. If there are no transfer credits, students may still be considered, provided they have a 2.0 cumulative GPA in the English classes they have taken in the United States and have met the other criteria.
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The Poway Unified School District (PUSD) is an equal opportunity employer/program and is committed to an active Nondiscrimination Program. PUSD prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying based on actual or perceived race, color, ancestry, national origin, nationality, immigration status, ethnicity, ethnic group identification, age, religion, marital or parental status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or gender expression or association with a person or a group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. For more information, please contact: Title IX/Equity Compliance Officer, James Jimenez, Associate Superintendent of Personnel Support Services, Poway Unified School District, 15250 Avenue of Science, San Diego, CA 92128, 1-858-521-2800, extension 2121, For students, you may contact Title IX Coordinator/ 504 Coordinator Jamie Dayhoff, Director of Attendance and Discipline, Poway Unified School District, 1-858-521-2840,

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Poway Unified School District, 15250 Avenue of Science, San Diego, CA 92128-3406