main content starts here

Seal of Biliteracy Handbook

Table of Contents

Introduction | Earning the NYS Seal | Checklist | Steps to Earning Seal | Application | Statement of Intent | Mentor Log | Resources

 

Seal of Biliteracy Handbook

 

Seal of biliteracy

Introduction

Chapter 271 of the Laws of 2012 added a new Education Law §815, effective September 2012, to establish the New York State Seal of Biliteracy (NYSSB) to recognize New York State high school graduates who demonstrate academic excellence in attaining proficiency in one or more languages other than English with a state seal of biliteracy. This new law made New York the second state to implement a Seal of Biliteracy program, following California.

In January of 2014, some districts and pilot schools in New York State were asked to pilot the implementation, criteria, and process to be used by all state schools in awarding the Bilingual/Biliteracy Seal to our students. The Seal of Biliteracy pilot program afforded districts and individual schools an opportunity to develop innovative ways of measuring and creating an approved path to attaining the Seal of Biliteracy, inform statewide policy development, and share best practices.

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 with twenty-first century skills; recognize the value of foreign and native language instruction in schools; and affirm the value of diversity in a mutilingual society.

The NYS Seal of Biliteracy will be awarded by the Commissioner to students who meet criteria established by
the Board of Regents and attend schools in districts that voluntarily agree to participate in the program. The participating students must achieve a proficiency level of Intermediate High, based on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) scale. The seal will be attached to diplomas and transcripts of graduates who have attained Seal criteria at no cost.

In January of 2018, the Warwick Valley Central School District’s (WVCSD) New York State Seal of Biliteracy application was approved by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) with the anticipation of a full implementation during the 2017-2018 school year. The district’s application was completed by the WVCSD Seal of Biliteracy Committee, a group of district administrators and teachers from the World Language Department:

  • James Yap, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instructional Services
  • Dr. Larry Washington, High School Principal
  • Mary Fox, Director of Counseling and Guidance Services

  • Carlos Barquero, World Language Department Chairperson
  • Department of World Language Teachers

Back to Top

Earning the New York State Seal of Biliteracy

NYS Regents Diploma

Students wishing to receive the New York State (NYS) Seal of Biliteracy must complete all the requirements for graduation with a NYS Regents diploma

English and World Language Proficiency

In addition to the above minimum requirement, students wishing to receive a NYS Seal of Biliteracy must earn three (3) points in each of the two (2) areas (English and World Language) listed below:

Criteria for Demonstrating Proficiency

English (3 Points Needed)

NYS Comprehensive English Regents Examination:
Score 75 or higher (1 point)

or

NYS Regents Examination in English Language Arts (Common Core)*:
Score 80 or higher (1 point)

or 

English Language Learners (ELLs): 
Score 75 or above on two Regents exams other than English, without translation (1 point)

New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT): 
ELLs score at the Commanding level on two modalities (1 point)

11th and 12th grade ELA courses: 
Complete all with an average of 85 or higher a comparable score using another scoring system set by the district and approved by the Commissioner. (1 point)

Advanced Placement (AP) English Language or English Literature examination:
3 or higher (1 point)

or

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL):
80 or higher (1 point)

Multi-Genre Project:
Present a culminating project, scholarly essay or portfolio that meets the criteria for speaking, listening, reading, and writing established by the district’s NYS Seal of Biliteracy Committee to a panel of reviewers with proficiency in English. (2 points)

Criteria for Demonstrating Proficiency

World Language (3 Points Needed)

Checkpoint C level World Language course:

Complete a Checkpoint C level World Language course, with a grade of 85 or higher, or a comparable score using another scoring system set by the district and approved by the Commissioner, for both the coursework and final examination consistent with Checkpoint C standards. (1 point)

Provide transcripts from a school in a country outside of the U.S. showing at least three years of instruction in the student’s home/native language in Grade 8 or beyond, with an equivalent grade average of B or higher. (1 point)

For students enrolled in a Bilingual Education program, complete all required Home Language Arts (HLA) coursework and the district HLA exam with an 85 or higher or a comparable score using another scoring system set by the Commissioner. (1 point)

Accredited Checkpoint C World Language assessment: 
Score at a proficient level (1 point)

Multi-Genre Project:
Present a culminating project, scholarly essay or portfolio that meets the criteria for speaking, listening, reading, and writing established by the district’s NYS Seal of Biliteracy Committee and that is aligned to the NYS Checkpoint C Learning Standards to a panel of reviewers with proficiency in the target language. (2 points)

Testing accommodations recommended in an individualized education program or section 504 Accommodations Plan must be provided for all State and districtwide assessments administered to students with disabilities, as consistent with State policy. Students with disabilities should also receive these testing accommodations on Checkpoint C World Language Assessments, as permitted.

*Students in schools with an alternate pathway for graduation approved by the Commissioner will be held to those schools’ criteria.

Back to Top

WVCSD NYSSB Approved Assessments and Minimum Scores

Minimum Passing Score

Advance Placement Examination (AP): Score of 4

University of Albany (ASPN 200, ASPN 201, FRE 221): Score of 85 or higher

The ACTFL Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages (AAPPL) Exam: Score of l-5

Multi-Genre Project – Biliteracy Showcase

You will research, explore and choose a selected and approved topic through multiple genres in the target language. You will then be required to select 2 genres (one from listening and speaking and one from reading and writing) from the genre list below that will guide you throughout the development of the project. A multi-genre project is personal, creative, and cannot be copied from another source. You will be making conscious decisions about what information or ideas are important and how this information or these ideas should be presented. The purpose of this project is to highlight your research, writing, and speaking skills in the target language. As you research and create, you need to consider your topic and think about what genres will be effective to communicate your ideas and impressions. Your choices must be intentional and have a purpose. All project assignments are due the date of the Showcase.

Your project must include:

  1. Statement of Intent – a paragraph highlighting proposed topic and intent of study (which must be approved by a sponsor in writing)
  2. Tri-fold board with information about your topic (photos and bulleted information)
  3. 2 genres from the following list:

Listening and Speaking

Select one genre from four choices:

  1. Powerpoint: Create and present a pre-recorded, narrated presentation that includes images and information on your topic.
  2. Interview: Conduct a 10-question interview.  Interview must be voice recorded and transcribed.
  3. Video blog: Create a 2-4 minute video blog about your selected topic.
  4. Commercial: Create a 1-minute commercial advertising, promoting or sponsoring your topic.

Reading and Writing

Select one genre from five choices:

  1. Online article: Write a 300-word article related to your topic.
  2. Informational flyer: Create an informational flyer with a minimum of 5 bulleted facts supported by visual representations.
  3. Fictional story: Write a two-page fictional story related to your selected topic. Your story should include a title page and the elements of plot must be evident.
  4. Survey: Create a 10-question survey related to your selected topic and administer it to five individuals. You must include one paragraph describing your results.
  5. Non-fictional memoir or autobiography: Write a 2-page memoir or autobiography related to your selected topic. You will take on the point of view of an individual who has had an impact on something related to your topic; therefore, this must be written in the first person.

Back to Top

Multi-Genre Rubric

Research: Checkpoint/Approval List

4 – Exceptional: Checkpoint sheet completed and signed by your sponsor, including a project proposal.

3 – Proficient: Checkpoint sheet completed but aspects turned in late or select items missing.

2 – Developing: Checkpoint sheet completed haphazardly and/or aspects turned in very late and elements missing.

1 – Novice: Checkpoint sheet not completed.

Project Task: Multi-Genres

4 – Exceptional: Accomplishes the task; includes 2 genres that are clearly connected to the development of the project task, but there may be minor irrelevancies.

3 – Proficient: Accomplishes the task; includes 2 genres that are generally connected to the development of the project task, but there are some irrelevancies.

2 – Developing: Accomplishes the task; includes genres, some of which may be only loosely connected to the project task. There are many irrelevancies.

1 – Novice: Attempts to accomplish the task; includes genre(s) but provides limited to no connections to the project task.

Language Control: Vocabulary, Grammar and Fluency

4 – Exceptional: Includes a wide variety of vocabulary that is applicable to the topic(s), although there may be minor inaccuracies. Demonstrates a high degree of language control:

  • Subject-verb agreement
  • Appropriate verb tense
  • Noun-adjective Agreement
  • Correct word order
  • Spelling/punctuation

Pronunciation or written errors do not hinder overall comprehensibility of the final product

3 – Proficient: Includes a variety of vocabulary related to the topic(s) with some inaccuracies. Demonstrates some degree of language control:

  • Subject-verb agreement
  • Verb tense expressed as appropriate
  • Noun-adjective Agreement
  • Correct word order
  • Spelling/punctuation

Pronunciation or written errors do not hinder overall comprehensibility of the final product.

2 – Developing: Includes basic vocabulary; some vocabulary may be inaccurate or unrelated to the topic(s). Demonstrates basic degree of language control:

  • Subject-verb agreement
  • Verb tense expressed as appropriate
  • Noun-adjective agreement
  • Correct word order
  • Spelling/Punctuation

Pronunciation or written errors may hinder overall comprehensibility of the final product.

1 – Novice: Includes limited vocabulary and/or most vocabulary is inaccurate or unrelated to the topics(s). Demonstrates limited degree of language control:

  • Subject-verb agreement
  • Verb tense expressed as appropriate
  • Noun-adjective agreement
  • Correct word order
  • Spelling /punctuation

Pronunciation or written errors do hinder overall comprehensibility of the final project.

Presentation: Oral Text

4 – Exceptional: Speaks with appropriate fluctuation in volume and inflection to purposefully maintain audience interest, attention, and to emphasize key points. Significantly increases audience understanding and knowledge of topic; convinces an audience to recognize the validity and importance of the subject. (Checkpoint C)

3 – Proficient: Speaks with some variation of volume and inflection to satisfactorily maintain audience interest, attention, and to emphasize key points. Raises audience understanding and awareness of most points. (Checkpoint C)

2 – Developing: Speaks in uneven volume with little or no inflection that minimally maintains audience interest, attention, with no emphasis on key points. Raises audience understanding and knowledge of some points. (Checkpoint B)

1 – Novice: Speaks in low volume and/or monotonous tone, with minimal to no effort to maintain audience’s attention. Fails to increase audience understanding of knowledge of topics. (Checkpoint A)

Back to Top

Seal of Biliteracy Checklist

Warwick Valley Central School District & New York State Seal of Biliteracy (NYSSB) Checklist

The New York State Seal of Biliteracy was implemented to recognize high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in one or more languages, in addition to English. If you are interested in attaining the WVCSD NYSSB, follow the directions on this page to complete the required tasks for this recognition.

Student Checklist

  • Attain a WVCSD NYSSB student application and WVCSD NYSSA Agreement/ Statement of Intent form from the Guidance Office
  • Return the completed NYSSB student application (only Part A is necessary) and NYSSB Statement of Intent form by February 1st of senior year to school guidance counselor. Request to have copies for your records.
  • Meet with your ELA or ENL sponsor to draft an ELA NYSSB timeline based on the requirements.
  • Meet with your World Language or ENL sponsor to draft a World Language (WL) NYSSB timeline based on the requirements
  • Schedule quarterly meeting dates with each sponsor to monitor your progress and adherence to timeline deadlines.
  • Check in with the school guidance counselor regularly to update completed requirements, when applicable.
  • At the completion of all requirements, meet with the school guidance counselor to attain a copy of the NYSSB student application; Part A and Part B must be completed by June 1st of senior year.

Sponsor Checklist

  • Agree to sponsor a NYSSBA candidate by signing off on the sponsor section of the WVCSD NYSSD student application.  Keep a completed copy for your records.
  • Meet with the school guidance counselor to attain the WVCSD NYSSB Handbook and verify student application status.
  • Review the WVCSD NYSSB requirements for English or World Language with the student, and assist student to complete an ELA or World Language timeline.
  • Schedule quarterly meeting dates with the student to monitor student progress and adherence to timeline deadlines.
  • Verify student exam scores with school guidance counselor to determine completion of each NYSSB requirements, when applicable.
  • Meet with the school guidance counselor to verify that Part B of the student application is complete. Keep a copy for your records.

Guidance Counselor Checklist

  • Distribute the WVCSD NYSSB student application and the WVCSD NYSSB Agreement/Statement of Intent form to interested candidates in order to meet the deadline for submission for the student’s senior year.
  • File submitted WVCSD NYSSB student application and NYSSB Agreement/Statement of Intent form.  Make a copy for student’s records.
  • Meet with student regularly to update completed requirements, when applicable.
  • At the completion of each requirement, complete the appropriate section of Part B of the NYSSB student application: check box, initial, and date of completion.
  • Meet with student to verify completion of all required assignments; both Part A and Part B must be completed and filed in the student’s folder by June 1st of senior year.

Steps to the New York State Seal of Biliteracy (NYSSB)

  1. Read the WVCSD NYSSB Handbook and become familiar with the requirements.
  2. Submit an application (Part A) and Letter of Intent form to school guidance department by February 1 of senior year.
  3. Meet regularly with the school guidance counselor to verify progress towards NYSSB requirements.
  4. Meet regularly with sponsors by following the NYSSB Checklist and begin journal entries.
  5. Identify and schedule all required language assessments by March 30 of senior year.
  6. Multi-genre project option: Submit all assignment by April 1.
  7. Complete all language assessments by June 1 of senior year.
  8. Final meeting: check in with guidance counselor to complete Part B of NYSSB application by June 1.
  9. Graduate high school with Seal of Biliteracy on diploma; indicate this distinction on résumé and college applications.

Back to Top

Statement of Intent

**If you have any difficulty accessing the above documents, please contact James Yap, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instructional Services, for an alternative version. 

Resources

New York State Seal of Biliteracy Handbook

New York State Graduation Requirements

New York State Languages other than English (LOTE) Learning Standards

National Guidelines for Implementing the Seal of Biliteracy

Seal of Biliteracy – Californians Together and Velázquez Press

American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)

ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines 2012

ACTFL Can-Do Statements

ACTFL Performance Descriptors for Language Learners

National Council of State Supervisors for Languages (NCSSFL)

The New York State Bilingual Common Core Progressions

NCSSFL LinguaFolio®

AP Spanish Language and Culture

AP French Language and Culture

Back to Top