The Marshalltown Community School District is proud to announce 56 members of the MHS Class of 2023 have earned the Iowa Department of Education’s Seal of Biliteracy.
To earn the seal, a high school student must achieve proficiency on a state English assessment and establish proficiency in another world language assessment. The seal encourages students to pursue biliteracy, recognizes the value of language diversity, prepares high school graduates for a 21st-century world and workplace, and takes an asset-based view of language diversity, cultures, and heritage.
Being biliterate is different from being bilingual. Bilinguals can speak and understand oral discourse in two or more languages. Biliteracy requires balanced language proficiency across all domains of listening, reading, writing, and speaking.
The number of students who have received the Seal of Biliteracy this year is a new record high count for MCSD. Majority of the students are proficient in Spanish, but the district also served students proficient in languages from Burma.
“MCSD values the assets of all students and wants to emphasize that language skills are an asset, too,” said English Learner and Migrant Program Coordinator Rachel Inks. “Each Bobcat holds the potential to earn the Seal of Biliteracy upon graduation. MCSD offers rigorous core courses in English and multiple pathways to build proficiency in Spanish. Young students may elect to join the district’s dual language program. Older students can elect to take Heritage Speakers Spanish classes, or traditional world language classes. Our bilingual parents also hold a pivotal role in maintaining the home languages while nurturing cultural identities.”
“The MCSD is extremely proud of our students and their teachers for a record number of Marshalltown High School students attaining the Seal of Biliteracy in 2023,” said Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte. “The ability to speak and/or understand two or more languages is a huge asset for them personally and professionally and their future employers.”
Seniors receiving the Seal of Biliteracy will be recognized at Senior Night on Thursday, May 25 and will be wearing a medal during the commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 28.