The North Reading Public Schools District is excited to announce a new opportunity for students who are literate in both English and another language, The Seal of Biliteracy. It is important to recognize the efforts of our K-12 Foreign Language Curriculum Leader, Ms. Amy St. Arnaud, in researching the model for the Seal of Bilteracy and for facilitating our school district’s committee, comprised of educators, administrators, parents, and students.

The Seal of Biliteracy is an award given to graduating seniors who have attained complete proficiency in English and a partner language. The awarded student will have fluency in all four domains of language (reading, writing, speaking and listening, when all exist) of both languages.

This program is designed to both motivate and recognize students who have pursued and attained bilingualism during their academic career in North Reading. It is a national initiative which was signed into law by the State of Massachusetts in November of 2017 as a part of the Look Act.

Junior and Senior students attending North Reading High School are eligible to apply for this award. Students will need to demonstrate proficiency in English and in a partner language on district-selected standardized tests, as well as commit to engaging in a minimum of five hours of community service for the North Reading Public Schools.

There are a number of acceptable assessments available in many world languages to show proficiency. While approved assessments are being added each year, it is possible that an assessment is not available in the partner language of choice. In the event that this occurs, the student will prepare a portfolio that district-determined community partner(s) will assess using the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) rubrics.

Awards and recognition will be given to graduating seniors at the high school’s annual Spring Student Recognition Night ceremony and at the high school’s graduation ceremony. A notation will be added to the students’ transcript and a seal from the State of Massachusetts will appear on their high school diploma.

Assessment costs are the responsibility of the student (approximately $20 per test).

Criteria

Students interested in attaining the Seal of Biliteracy will...

  1. Apply with a letter of intent (in English) and complete a registration form (see form below).
  2. Achieve a score of either Advanced or Proficient (or Meets or Exceeds Expectations) on the MCAS English Language Arts Exam for Grade 10.
  3. Achieve the appropriate passing score on a test in a partner language or on the portfolio during the Junior or Senior year.
  4. Commit to 5 hours of community service (example: translation or welcoming services). This is in addition to other community service requirements such as those to be completed as prescribed in the North Reading High School handbook and the Program of Studies or for the National Honor Society membership, as examples.

The Seal of Biliteracy Committee: Amy St. Arnaud, Barbara Fitzgerald, Patrick Daly, Heidi Cushing-Candelario, Rogerio DaSilva, Rosa Cadena, Jeannie LaRosa, Sabine Vermeulen, Julian Rawle, Sasha Rawle, and Andrea Saunders-Correa with the support of North Reading High School Principal, Anthony Loprete, Superintendent of Schools, Jon Bernard, and the North Reading School Committee.

If you are interested in participating in this committee please contact Amy St. Arnaud .