Columbia High School students now have the opportunity to earn a Seal of Biliteracy on their diploma, indicating that they are proficient in both English and another language. The Seal of Biliteracy was approved for the East Greenbush Central School District by the New York State Education Department in December.
The intent of participating in this program is to encourage the study of languages in high school, to prepare students with competitive skills in an increasingly globalized society and to set them apart from other applicants when applying to colleges and jobs.
“This is another opportunity for our district’s students that we serve,” said James McHugh, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction. “Our students that earn the Seal of Biliteracy will receive an additional recognition at the time of their graduation. I applaud the work of our committee that created our district’s NYSSB plan which included the development of our Seal of Biliteracy Handbook that explains the student application process, timeline and requirements.”
It is strongly suggested that any student interested in the Seal of Biliteracy program speak with a school counselor no later than their junior year. Participation in this program is voluntary and no fees other than exam fees will be charged to any Columbia High School student.
All applications must be submitted through the Columbia High School Guidance Office.
Seal of Biliteracy Requirements
- Complete all requirements for graduation with a NYS Regents Diploma
- Demonstrate proficiency in both English and a World Language
- Take four years of both English and a world language and pass Regents Exam OR
- Score a 4 or higher on AP Exam
- Complete culminating project in a World Language
- Submit the Seal of Biliteracy application to Columbia Guidance Department by March 15 of their junior year
English Language Learners can achieve the Seal of Biliteracy when they are proficient in their native language and work toward proficiency in English.
English as a New Language teachers, school counselors and the building principal will ensure that all 8th grade students and their parents are aware of this opportunity through classroom discussions, guidance presentations, individual guidance meetings and community meetings such as the ENL Parent Open House.
“Our district values and encourages diversity, and it’s important that we have programs in place to reflect that,” said Jennifer Carraher, an English as a New Language Teacher at Genet Elementary School. “By offering this opportunity we are able to show our students and their families that multilingual literacy is an incredible accomplishment and should be celebrated.”
Special thanks to the East Greenbush Central School District Seal of Biliteracy Committee:
- James McHugh, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction
- Allison Milazzo, Chair of Guidance Department
- Patricia Hannmann, Chair of World Language Department
- Wendy McAlonie, Chair of Social Studies Department
- Meagan Asenbauer, Chair of English Department
- Michelle Hall, English as a New Language Teacher, Columbia High School
- Alexandra Omecinsky, English as a New Language Teacher, Goff Middle School
- Ida-Marie Lindberg, English as a New Language Teacher, Genet Elementary School
- Jennifer Carraher, English as a New Language Teacher, Genet Elementary School
- Michael Harkin, Principal, Columbia High School
- Sarah Hoffman, Assistant Principal, Goff Middle School
- Wayne Grignon, Principal, Genet Elementary School
- Marna Meltzer-McMorris, World Language Teacher
- Libby Zucker, World Language Teacher