The following information was released by the Los Alamitos Unified School District.
Graduation celebrations this year were greatly enhanced in Los Alamitos Unified School District where 193 high school graduates donned special medals that recognized them for achieving a high degree of literacy in English and one or more world languages. This was the first year that the district awarded the California State Seal of Biliteracy, a new recognition that honors students who have attained proficiency in English and one or more world languages.
Assembly Bill 815, authored by Assembly Member Julia Brownley, created the California State Seal of Biliteracy. The State Superintendent of Public Instruction issues the Seal of Biliteracy to be attached to the diplomas or transcripts of graduating seniors who have fulfilled the state criteria for earning the Seal.
In order to earn the Seal of Biliteracy, students must score proficient or above on the state English Language Arts exams and graduate with at least a 2.0 grade point average in their English coursework. They can demonstrate their linguistic mastery in a variety of ways: scoring well on standardized tests, providing a transcript of four years of world language studies with a 3.0 grade point average, or passing Advanced Placement exams in the world languages they studied.
“After taking six years of Spanish at Los Alamitos High School and learning from great teachers, the Seal of Biliteracy is an amazing way to end senior year and to congratulate the graduating class of 2012,” said Ashley Sarquiz, one of Los Alamitos High School’s Valedictorians.
At Los Alamitos High School students are being recognized for their biliteracy in English and Spanish, Mandarin, French, German, Japanese and Korean. The award is a statement of accomplishment for future employers and for college admissions.
“The State Seal of Biliteracy validates what we are doing in the classroom,” said Shari Kaulig, the chair of the Los Alamitos High School World Language Department. “We are so proud that so many LAHS students have chosen to complete four years of a language and are well on their way to becoming truly bilingual. The world is not such a big place, and we hope they will continue their studies. Learning another language opens the door to another culture, and hopefully, our students have become more tolerant and welcoming, as well as enhanced their own job opportunities for the future.”
“An important component of 21st century skills is fluency in a language in addition to English that will enable California’s next generation of business leaders and workers to continue to grow our economic capacity,” said Kate Klimow, vice president, Orange County Business Council. “A Seal of Biliteracy is an excellent example of K-12 practices that support 21st century skills for economic success.”
“Receiving the Seal of Biliteracy is a great way to mark the end of my high school language studies,” said Annie Carpenter, a graduating Senior. “I have greatly enjoyed my years in Spanish, and I plan on continuing my studies by minoring in the language next year at UCLA.”
Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, Dr. Mark Johnson was extremely proud of the graduates that earned the State Seal, “In today’s global economy, it is critical for our students to speak a foreign language. We are so proud of the students who went the extra mile to earn this important honor and distinction.”
File photo by C.E.H. Wiedel of Los Alamitos High School.
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