Several members of the Huntley High School Class of 2016 became the school’s first-ever recipients of the Seal of Biliteracy. The Seal of Biliteracy is awarded by the Illinois State Board of Education recognizing students who have demonstrated mastery in one or more languages in addition to English.
Illinois is among 23 states who offer the Seal of Biliteracy.
To receive the recognition, students must demonstrate mastery of English and another language. At HHS, this is completed in different ways for students who are English Language Learners (ELL) and students who are native English speakers.
For ELL students, a composite score of 5.0 and a 4.2 in both reading and writing must be achieved on the ACCESS exam. In addition, they must meet or exceed state standards on the PARCC, ACT or SAT. Native English speakers must achieve of score of 4 or 5 on an Advanced Placement Exam in a foreign language. Huntley High currently offers Spanish, Chinese, and French.
The school is also investigating offering other options to demonstrate mastery accepted by the State, including portfolio reviews and alternate tests. Students who achieve the Seal receive a gold seal placed on their diplomas and acknowledgment on school transcripts.
For 2016, 26 students received the Seal, and 23 received the related Commendation of Biliteracy.
“We want as many students as possible to become biliterate,” said Michelle George, director of curriculum, noting that biliteracy is a strong asset for future employability.