Superintendent Cyndy S. Taymore
360 Lynn Fells Parkway
Melrose , MA 02176
For Immediate Release
Thursday, April 7, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Melrose High School Offers Seal of Biliteracy for Students Who Attain Proficiency in Multiple Languages
MELROSE — Principal Marianne Farrell is pleased to announce that Melrose High School is recognizing students who attain proficiency in two or more languages with a Seal of Biliteracy certificate.
The achievement honors those who demonstrate skills in speaking, writing and reading by graduation. Research shows that becoming bilingual has long-term cognitive, cultural and economic benefits.
MHS began piloting the program last year to promote the study of foreign languages for English speakers and English Language Learners (ELL). At MHS, students are given the opportunity to take French, German, Italian, Latin and Spanish. Additionally, there are 20 languages spoken by ELL students.
“The Seal of Biliteracy is a great vehicle to recognize our students who have worked throughout their elementary, middle and high school careers to achieve proficiency in their non-native language,” Principal Farrell said. “We are proud to be able to offer five different languages at the high school and provide top notch services for our ELL students to master English.”
Different levels of biliteracy seals are awarded based on the level of study and competency in a student’s second language.
Platinum Seal: Foreign Language students: low-advanced proficiency in English and partner language through the Avant STAMP4S assessment.
ELL students: level 5 proficiency in English and partner language on the ACC
Gold Seal: Foreign Language students: high-intermediate proficiency in English and partner language through the Avant STAMP4S assessment.
ELL students: level 4.5 proficiency in English and partner language on the ACCESS exam.
Silver Seal: Foreign Language students: mid-intermediate level of proficiency in English and partner language through the Avant STAMP4S assessment.
ELL students: level 4 proficiency in English and partner language through the Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State (ACCESS) exam.
Students who take the exams this year will receive a certificate of achievement during the annual senior awards night at MHS.
Additionally, a bill has been filed with the state Legislature to officially establish a Seal of Biliteracy program in the Commonwealth that would recognize all high school graduates who have attained bilingualism.
Melrose school officials are hopeful the legislation will be approved, but plan to continue to award students for their language achievements.
“Biliteracy is important in Melrose,” said Kimberly Talbot, chair of the Melrose Public Schools Global Language Department and a board member of the Massachusetts Foreign Language Association. “We know that this is the right thing for our community to do, regardless of how long it takes for the legislation to get through the House and Senate. We’re going to keep offering this program because we recognize how valuable it is to our students.”