Special seal for bilingual students

Bilingual students in Oxford Public Schools soon will be able to receive special recognition on their diplomas and transcripts.

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) launched the program earlier this year and the Oxford Schools Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution in support of the program last week.

“I think this will be a great thing for our students,” said President Tom Donnelly after issuing his vote of approval Tuesday.

According to Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Ken Weaver, the district is making an effort to ensure qualifying 2018 graduates will receive the seal on their diplomas this year and has already submitted eight students for consideration to receive it.

High school graduates who can demonstrate an “intermediate/high” proficiency in two languages, through an approved assessment, will be eligible to earn the seal on their diploma and transcripts.

Students can earn the seal for having a strong command of second languages including Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Latin and American Sign Language.

Weaver said these seals will serve as an endorsement to employers that Oxford graduates are entering the workforce with highly-desirable skills in more than one language.

Students need to complete four credits of required English language arts courses, earn a high school diploma and demonstrate an “intermediate/high” proficiency on assessments to qualify.

OHS Students who complete a Seal of Biliteracy application by November 1 of each school year will be overseen by a committee as they undergo assessments to receive the seal.

Each committee will consist of at least one building administrator, one counselor, and world language teachers who represent the languages of the students who applied. Building administrators are in charge of organizing each committee. From there, district administrators can submit qualifying student applications to the MDE for consideration.


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