Biliteracy Groundbreaking Ceremony Creates Academic Advantage by Jenny Owen

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The San Bernardino County Schools Superintendent is holding its first annual county-wide virtual ceremony to honor and recognize all future high school graduates who are candidates for the State of California Seal. These are students who have achieved a high level of fluency in oral, written and written expression in one or more languages, in addition to English.

“These students have accomplished an incredible feat. It’s not easy to meet the state’s stringent criteria and prove that they can master and read another language, ”County Superintendent Ted Alejandre said. “That’s why I wanted to make sure that the efforts and hard work of our students are recognized in a way that can benefit their future. ”

Traditionally, California State Seal of Biliteracy applicants are honored at the end of the school year, but County Superintendent Ted Alejandre has recognized the importance for high school students to include this achievement in their college applications. . For the first time, the San Bernardino County School Superintendent is hosting a virtual California State Literacy Seal Ceremony in October.

“I am really excited for this opportunity. The fact that I can put on my resume that I speak three languages ​​is such an advantage, ”said Gabriela Gravina, a senior at Redlands High School. “Four years ago, I only spoke Portuguese. Now I can speak Portuguese, English and Spanish. I have had a lot of teachers who have helped me over the years.

Gravina is just one of some 1,600 students who will be recognized at Saturday’s virtual ceremony.

The advancement of this ceremony will allow seniors to demonstrate that they are on track to receive the State Seal of Literacy. It will serve as a method for universities to recognize their achievements and give academic credit to applicants.

This year’s ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, October 16. The recipients will be divided into three cohorts. Eligible applicants can register by clicking on the Cohort link for their school district.

  • 8: 00-10: 00 a.m. – Cohort 1 (Baker Valley USD, Chaffey JUHSD, Oro Grande SD, Upland USD)
  • 10:30 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Cohort 2 (Bear Valley USD, Chino Valley USD, Fontana USD, Hesperia USD)
  • 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. – Cohort 3 (Morongo USD, Redlands USD, Rialto USD, SBCUSD, Silver Valley USD, Yucaipa-Calimesa JUSD)

“This virtual ceremony is a celebration to honor our student candidates for the State of California Seal of Librarianship,” said Angelica Hurtado, Multilingual Education Program Manager to the San Bernardino County School Director. . “This is a great opportunity as it will add value to students and give them an edge by adding this achievement to their college admissions applications. Being multilingual is a celebration!

County Superintendent Alejandre has made language assessments available for county school districts, so every senior candidate studying a second or third language has a chance to qualify for the California State Seal of Biliteracy.

“I was able to pass the test to 46 students, and 40 of them passed. It’s not just the languages ​​we teach here. Now we can extend it with the Avant assessments to test all other languages, ”said Rosalba Schessler, English Learner Support Teacher at Redlands High School. “Seeing children come without English and graduate perfectly bilingual is enormous! I’m learning English myself, so I know what they’re going through. I know what it feels like, so being able to see them excel and cross that line of finally dreaming in English is important.

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