FHSD Seal of Biliteracy

Posted on 02/26/2018
FHSD Seal of Biliteracy

Students in the Francis Howell School District can now attain a “Seal of Biliteracy” that recognizes proficiency in two languages. The FHSD Board of Education has formally adopted the resolution that aligns with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) goal of preparing Missouri students for a lifetime of success.

The Francis Howell Seal of Biliteracy is a commitment students can make to develop proficiency in two or more languages by high school graduation. The Seal promotes active participation in a global society and economy by recognizing and celebrating the acquisition of biliteracy skills and sociocultural awareness.

“The program was introduced by the state just last fall,” said FHSD Chief Academic Officer Nicole Whitesell. “This designation will assist our students when applying for college admissions and scholarships, and can provide up to 12 college credit hours at some universities.”

Mastery of two or more languages makes important contributions to a student's cognitive development, understanding of diverse cultures, and economic opportunities. These skills include the ability to communicate with clients, colleagues, and associates who speak a language other than English.

The superintendent will award the Francis Howell Seal of Biliteracy or the Francis Howell Distinguished Seal of Biliteracy​ to pupils who complete the requirements for a high school diploma and who meet all of the following requirements:

  • An overall GPA of 3.0 in English Language Arts (ELA) for the Seal of Biliteracy or an overall GPA of 3.5 in ELA for the Distinguished Seal of Biliteracy
  • A Score of Proficient or Advanced in ELA on a District-approved standardized assessment
  • A Score of Proficient or Advanced on an assessment aligned with the American Council of the Teaching of Foreign Languages Proficiency guidelines
  • A demonstration of sociocultural competence as it relates to English and a language other than English

Through the establishment of this Seal of Biliteracy, the District seeks to encourage pupils to develop biliteracy skills, provide employers with a method of identifying people with these language skills, promote foreign language instruction in our schools, and recognize and honor our rich and diverse language heritage.


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