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the seal of biliteracy

The Darien Public Schools is proud to offer The State of Connecticut Seal of Biliteracy and The Global Seal of Biliteracy. Both Seals are nationally-recognized world language designations that qualifying Seniors can earn at graduation.

In 2017, the State of Connecticut passed "HB 7159/ PA 17-29: An Act Concerning Connecticut's Seal of Biliteracy," officially making Connecticut the 27th state in the country with a Seal of Biliteracy. The Seal of Biliteracy is nationally-recognized award given by school districts in recognition of students who have studied and attained proficiency in English and one or more other languages by graduation. The Seal recognizes the value of students' academic efforts, the tangible benefits of being bilingual and biliterate, and prepares students to be 21st-century global citizens in a multicultural, multilingual world. We began awarding the Seal of Biliteracy at Darien High School in 2019, and were one of the first school districts in the State of Connecticut to adopt this program.

Who qualifies for the Seal of Biliteracy? Beginning with the graduating class of 2018, all students in Connecticut are eligible to earn the Seal of Biliteracy based on evidence of achieving intermediate-level proficiency in two or more languages by graduation. Students must meet state-determined English requirements for graduation, as well as demonstrate proficiency one or more additional languages in grades 10, 11, or 12.

In the 2019-2020 school year, we will begin to also offer Seal of Biliteracy assessments to students in grades 10, 11, and 12 that are heritage speakers of the following languages: Afrikaans, Albanian, Arabic, Armenian, Bulgarian, Cantonese, Chin (Hakha), Danish, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malayalam, Mandarin, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, and Vietnamese, among others.

A student can complete the language component of the Seal of Biliteracy and earn a qualifying score in Grades 10, 11, or 12. The full Seal of Biliteracy designation is then awarded at graduation.

How and when do we measure world language proficiency? High school world language students in Darien are assessed using the Avant STAMP 4S (Standards-Based Measurement of Proficiency) in Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking. The STAMP is offered in late February through early March. For more information about this assessment, please click the "Proficiency Assessments" tab from the drop-down menu on the top-left of this page.

Why offer the Seal of Biliteracy? By offering the Seal of Biliteracy as a designation, the Darien Public Schools acknowledges that mastery of two or more languages is a valuable asset for both individual students and the communities in which they live. In order to earn the Seal, students must demonstrate their ability to use the language, rather than their knowledge about the language.

The Seal of Biliteracy...

  • encourages students to study languages
  • certifies attainment of biliteracy skills
  • recognizes the value of language diversity
  • provides employers with a method of identifying Connecticut high school graduates with biliteracy skills
  • assists universities in recognizing applicants with language skills
  • equips students with 21st-century skills that will allow them to succeed in college and careers in a global society
  • strengthens relationships and honors the multiple cultures and languages represented in Connecticut communities
  • encourages students to develop communicative proficiency in multiple languages
  • values the knowledge and skills of both English speakers learning world languages, as well as English learners studying English or other world languages, and
  • recognizes and rewards students' linguistic and cultural knowledge

To read the full Seal of Biliteracy Guidelines published by the State of Connecticut, please click here.