UHS Students Earn Seal of Biliteracy

UHS Students Earn Seal of Biliteracy

Uxbridge High School principal Michael Rubin is proud to announce that several members of the UHS community have earned the Seal of Biliteracy. This year, seniors Lily Brayman, Julie Compston, Sophie Compston, Samantha Hinchcliffe, Isabella Nolan, Tyler Richardson, and Sabrina Tibedo all earned the seal after qualifying through a rigorous assessment process.

“To have seven of our students persevere and grow in such profound ways is a testament to their resilience, talent, and commitment,” said Mr. Rubin. “In addition, we can emphatically state that the way we have shifted language instruction at UHS ultimately can lead to significant opportunities for our students to not just access but to master language study. That is a credit to these students and their incredible team of instructors.”

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, as did UHS’ teacher for English Language Learners, Angela Woislaw.

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 Charlie 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/.