UHS Senior becomes first Spartan to earn Seal of Biliteracy

UHS Senior becomes first Spartan to earn Seal of Biliteracy

Uxbridge High School principal Michael Rubin is proud to announce that Uxbridge senior Litzi Loja will become the first Uxbridge High School student to be officially awarded the Massachusetts Seal of Biliteracy.

“After the many challenges that our students have faced, it is indeed an honor to recognize a student like Litzi for her hard work and talent,” said Mr. Rubin. “We certainly hope that with Litzi being the first first Spartan to achieve this award that she will inspire others to work hard toward this achievement.”

The STATE Seal of Biliteracy is an award given in recognition of students who have studied and attained proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing in two or more languages by the time they reach high school graduation. It recognizes the value of bilingualism, encourages students to pursue biliteracy, honors the skills our students attain, and can be evidence of skills that are attractive to future employers and college admissions offices. Research shows that becoming bilingual has long-term cognitive, cultural and economic benefits.

“The Seal of Biliteracy is a mechanism by which we can highlight the incredible talent of some of our students and demonstrate how students can become effective communicators in multiple languages,” Mr. Rubin said. “Our language department has been ahead of the curve with respect to its instruction, and for educators of both English and Spanish at UHS, they indeed share the credit for their capability, innovation, and reflection over these past several years, to support and enhance the experiences of many students, including Litzi.”

The World Language department of Anna Drakulich, Sarah Gaudet, Molly Hendrickx, and Cecelia Moquete all contributed to the study for the seal of biliteracy. Ms. Hendrickx, in particular, supported many of the assessment efforts toward meeting the bilingual standard.

The Seal of Biliteracy movement is a national effort to value and reward biliteracy and the legislation surrounding it represents a formal commitment by the state to the importance of language learning in this global environment. As part of a comprehensive bill to overhaul English language learning education, the MA legislation called “Language Opportunity for Our Kids” or the LOOK Bill, was signed into law by Governor Baker on November 22, 2017. This legislation and state oversight creates a directive to language programs that the historic grammar-based language instruction is not effective and does not produce proficiency.

This award intends to recognize students who have achieved proficiency in English as well as one or more additional languages, whether it be a native language, a heritage language, or an additional language learned in school or in another setting. The awards are a statement of accomplishment that helps to signal evidence of a student’s readiness for career and college, and to engage as a global citizen. For more information about the nationwide adoption please refer to http://sealofbiliteracy.org/.