A group of Salina students have been honored for their ability to understand and speak multiple languages.
According to USD 305, nine 12th grade students have been recognized for their literacy in more than one language by the Kansas State Department of Education. Graduates received a “Seal of Biliteracy” certificate and the recognition has been added to their high school transcripts.
“The Seal of Biliteracy allows us to highlight a skill that sets students apart from peers,” stated Linn Exline, Executive Director of School Improvement. “Few students reach the level of proficiency in reading, writing speaking and listening skills in a second language to earn the seal. Recognizing those who do promotes the value of learning a second language and highlights the significant accomplishment of these students.”
This spring, qualifying USD 305 students took the language proficiency assessment. They had to demonstrate language abilities such as reading, writing, listening, speaking in video chats, wikis and other tasks. The result was that USD 305 students received nine certificates.
Two students received certificates in English and French while seven students received certificates in English and Spanish.
Graduates who received the Gold Seal of Biliteracy
|Salina High School South|
|Johana De La Torre||English and Spanish|
|Luis Fierro Cortes||English and Spanish|
|Monica Garcia||English and Spanish|
|Ana Ortega||English and Spanish|
|Salina High School Central|
|Claire Cook||English and French|
|Payden Cox||English and French|
|Jennifer Guardado||English and Spanish|
|Juan Reveles||English and Spanish|
|Shadden Zapata||English and Spanish|
“The Seal of Biliteracy provides an avenue for high school graduates to find jobs that pay above minimum wage. Many work as interpreters while continuing in college and pursuing a post-secondary degree, stated Deb Kohn, Seal of Biliteracy Coordinator for South High School.
Alvaro Escobedo, alumnus of South High who now attends Fort Hays State University, has experienced the benefits of having the Seal of Biliteracy. “I always knew I would have to work while in college, and last summer I discovered that this Seal of Biliteracy made the process of finding a job ten times easier.” Escobedo earns over $14 per hour providing translation services to public schools in his university’s town.
The rewards of earning the seal are many. “It shows to universities, employers, and the military that these students are indeed biliterate and it will give them advantages over others in their future endeavors,” stated Jan Denning, French teacher and coordinator for the Seal of Biliteracy for Central High School.
The Seal of Biliteracy program was introduced at USD 305 during the 2016-17 school year with eight graduates earning the certificate in May 2017. At the end of this second year, a total of 17 students/graduates have earned the certificate