Superintendent Cyndy S. Taymore
360 Lynn Fells Parkway
Melrose , MA 02176
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, June 6, 2018
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Melrose High School Students Earn Seals of Biliteracy
Pilot Program at MHS Helps Lead to Adoption of State Law
MELROSE — Kimberly Talbot, Director of Global Education at Melrose Public Schools, is pleased to announce that 27 seniors earned a Seal of Biliteracy for achieving proficiency in two or more languages.
To recognize their accomplishments, students received medals to wear at graduation during a senior awards ceremony on May 24 at the Melrose Performing Arts Center.
The seal acknowledges students’ foreign language skills in speaking, writing and reading. Seniors who earned the designation are Josefa Baez-Diaz, Lucien Carbonneau, Isabella Castro, Mia Cirkic, Rachel DiFraia, Patrick Donohough, Nicholas Escarria, Grace Hamilton, Kathleen Hickey, Christy Ilia, Alba Ilia, Samantha Kroon, David Kurti, Ryan Locke, Kathleen Meade, Tess Mele, Rob Mele, Grace Mercer, Gabriel Nyland, Tara O’Shea, Lauren Reilly, Elena Rios Dussourd, Hayedn Russell, Simon Stringer, James Talbot, Kyla Waring and Jack Whitley.
At MHS, students are given the opportunity to take French, German, Italian, Latin and Spanish, and there are 20 languages spoken by ELL students. Seals of Biliteracy are administered to students based on a combination of MCAS scores and a minimum score of Intermediate Mid on a national proficiency test.
This is the high school’s third year administering Seals of Biliteracy as part the district’s pilot program, which was originally funded by the Melrose Education Foundation. Melrose Public Schools’ work, along with a group of communities throughout the state that also piloted the program, was a direct contributor to the Seal of Biliteracy being included in the Massachusetts LOOK Act.
Signed into law in November, the LOOK Act sets guidelines for language acquisition programs in school districts for English learners. The State Seal of Biliteracy, which will go into effect next year and be affixed to MHS graduates’ diplomas, recognizes students who have a high level of proficiency in English and at least one other language.
“Our students who earn a Seal of Biliteracy are increasing their value both in the workplace and at the university level by being at least bi-literate at the end of high school,” Talbot said. “We’re proud of our Melrose graduates who have been the pioneers of this program, and I’m so pleased that we are in a district that supports language studies.”