Note: (application and other documents at bottom of page)




What is the California State Seal of Biliteracy?

It is a form of recognition from the State Superintendent of Public 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 recognizes the value of biliteracy as a 21st century skill.

How is the California State Seal of Biliteracy awarded?

A gold, embossed, self-adhesive seal is provided by the state, to be placed on the students’ diplomas, and it is referenced on the transcript.

Is this just for English Learners?

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 for any language 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 would need to take the test their Junior year. As it takes up to six weeks to receive the seals from the state, the District is required to submit the names of those who qualify in April of their senior year. SAT II test results would have to be received prior to the application deadline of April 1 in order to qualify. We would not have final semester/trimester/quarter grades in English or world languages in time for the April 1 deadline, but the final awarding of the California State Seal of Biliteracy on the transcript/diploma would be contingent upon the student meeting the GPA requirements.

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.

Other related documents:
state seal of biliteracy FAQ
student letter

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