Three Pattonville graduates earn Missouri's new Seal of Biliteracy
Three Pattonville graduates earn Missouri's new Seal of Biliteracy
Monday, July 30, 2018
Three 2018 graduates of Pattonville High School are among the state's first students to earn Missouri's new Seal of Biliteracy.

Eric Barcenas and Susana Solorzano Hidalgo earned the Distinguished Missouri Seal of Biliteracy in Spanish and Shhdwafi Youssef earned the Missouri Seal of Biliteracy in Arabic. All three graduated from Pattonville last May.

The Seal of Biliteracy is a program created by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). The recognition program encourages and recognizes the study of a second language and the cultures and languages within the community. The Distinguished Missouri Seal is awarded to students who show an advanced level of proficiency in English and at least one other language. The standard Missouri seal is awarded to students who show a high level of achievement in English and an intermediate level of proficiency in another language. The Seal of Biliteracy can be obtained by high school students proficient in two languages, whether English is their first or subsequent language.

Students interested in earning the recognition must submit an application and complete the following requirements to receive the Seal of Biliteracy: show language proficiency in English and a language other than English and complete a project that demonstrates high levels of sociocultural competence relating to English and the second language. Projects can include providing translation services for a nonprofit community organization or completing a community service project that requires the use of both languages. After completing the project, the student must write a reflection piece. This project must be approved by the student’s faculty mentor at their high school.

Students who achieve the Seal of Biliteracy have the honor noted on their high school transcripts. Some colleges and universities are also honoring students who receive the Seal of Biliteracy. Currently, Missouri State University, Missouri Southern State University and the University of Central Missouri have committed to offering 12 hours of credit to students who earn the Missouri Seal of Biliteracy.

Pattonville students who are interested in learning more or applying for the Seal of Biliteracy should contact Gene Grimshaw, assistant principal at Pattonville High School.

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Earning the Missouri Seal of Biliteracy were, from left, Eric Barcenas, Susana Solorzano Hidalgo and Shhdwafi Youssef.