Joining a statewide movement to promote the development of literacy in two or more languages, the Montebello Unified School District is participating in the new State Seal of Biliteracy awards program.
The State Seal of Biliteracy is 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.
Moreover, the program officially acknowledges the value of biliteracy in society, affirms the value of diversity, and honors the cultures of the MUSD community.
“This exciting program fully aligns with Montebello Unified School District's commitment to excellence in bilingualism and biliteracy education that value native language, respect cultural and linguistic diversity, and lead to academic success,” says MUSD Board of Education Vice President Gerri Guzman.
The State Seal of Biliteracy (SSB), per Assembly Bill 815 (Brownley, Chapter 618, Statutes of 2011), became effective Jan. 1, 2012. The Seal will be awarded by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction in accordance with specified criteria set forth in the legislation.
“Students who receive the Medal of the Seal of Biliteracy become highly attractive to future employers and college admissions offices,” MUSD Superintendent Robert “Bo” Henke said.
MUSD high school students will be honored at their graduation ceremonies with a gold seal placed on their diplomas. The seals are sent to the district by the State of California.
To qualify for the SSB, high school graduates must meet all of the following criteria:
• Completion of all English–language arts requirements for graduation with an overall grade point average of 2.0 or above in those classes.
• Passing the California Standards Test in English – language arts administered in grade 11 at the “proficient” level.
• Proficiency in one or more languages in addition to English.
“The State Seal of Biliteracy Awards advance the District's commitment that every MUSD student graduates prepared and equipped with the knowledge and skills to participate successfully in college, career, and a diverse 21st century society,” Board President Hector Chacon said.
MUSD will be honoring 143 biliteracy students from Bell Gardens, Montebello and Schurr high schools at their graduations June 21 at the their respective schools.