students and judges group photo at awards ceremony

Eleven local high school seniors have demonstrated their proficiency in communicating in a second language and have earned the New York State Seal of Biliteracy following a program that was held May 22, 2019 at Jefferson-Lewis BOCES.  

The New York State Seal of Biliteracy (NYSSB) recognizes high school graduates who have attained and can demonstrate a high level of proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing in one or more languages.  The intent of the NYSSB is to encourage the study of languages; identify high school graduates with language and biliteracy skills for employers; provide universities with additional information about applicants seeking admission; prepare students for twenty-first century skills; recognize the value of foreign and native language instruction in schools; and affirm the value of diversity in a multilingual society.  

Earning the Seal of Biliteracy in 2019 were Arianna Robertson and Alexys Gayne of South Jefferson; Jessica Rebelo and Reina Guerriero of General Brown; Brooke Craig of Copenhagen; Madeline Gist of Watertown; and Reagan Lundy, LeLan O’Brien, Katie Huestis, Kane Gravelle and Tianna Parchment of Carthage.  All eleven students have been supported by their World Language instructors and mentors throughout the school year to complete projects in reading, writing, listening and speaking.  The hard work culminated with the presentation shared at the regional event held at Jefferson-Lewis BOCES.  

The event highlighted each student’s final presentation before a panel of five judges focusing on what he or she has learned culturally during the course of the project, all while presenting in the second language which has been studied during the high school years. Students earning the Seal of Biliteracy received a medal and a sash which can be worn as a distinction during his or her respective high school graduations.  In addition, a Seal of Biliteracy will be placed on each student’s high school diploma. 

The Seal of Biliteracy is offered by the Jefferson-Lewis BOCES State Seal of Biliteracy Consortium, formed as part of a partnership between the Programs and Professional Development Department at BOCES, the New York State Education Department Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages and the Mid-State RBERN (Regional Bilingual Education Resource Network), Regional Seal of Biliteracy Committee Members, and World Language educators from the aforementioned school districts.