The Everett Public Schools are actively looking for students at the high school to qualify for the state’s new Seal of Bi-Literacy – a program piloted in places like Lynn and Chelsea last year, and one that is now available in Everett for those proficient in other languages.
The Seal of Bi-Literacy is a voluntary certification program that appears on a student transcript, and a team of educators in the EPS Language Department said it helps inform colleges and employers of a special skill.
“This is a way to encourage a student to study and master language and to show colleges they can understand, write and communicate in another language at a high rate of literacy,” said Andrea Tringali, World Languages department head. “Keep in mind, we have 60 percent of our students that speak a second language other than English at home. We think this is something Everett could really excel at right now.”
The program doesn’t require any extra action, but it can be attained through test scores and special assessments, or in the alternative, through a portfolio presentation.
The regular Seal can be attained by getting a 240 score on the MCAS ELA test, pass special language assessment tests and score a passing mark on an Advanced Placement language test. A Seal with Distinction can be attained by scoring higher marks on the above tests.
One of the key things is that many Everett students already qualify for the program, and out of the gate, Everett should have several who qualify at graduation this year – provided they participate.
We have a lot of students that have already met the criteria,” said Brittany Hey, of the Language Department. “We’re working really hard to recruit them and let them know they have qualified for this new program.”
English Learner Director Ann Auger said she is also working to recruit students in EL programs to work towards the Seal, and there have been presentations in student Advisory Groups. There will also be informational sessions in the coming weeks.
Students who have mastered a language not offered at Everett High, Auger said there are ways they can test separately to get the Seal in any such language.