Dear County and District Superintendents and Direct-Funded Charter School Administrators:
The State Seal of Biliteracy (SSB), AB 815 (Brownley, Chapter 618, Statutes of 2011), became effective January 1, 2012, and provides recognition to high school students who have demonstrated proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing in one or more languages in addition to English. Each school district, county office of education (COE), or direct-funded charter school that confers the SSB is required to maintain appropriate records in order to identify students who have met the established criteria for the award and to affix the SSB insignia to the diploma or transcript of each qualifying student. In the first year of the program, nearly 11,000 insignias were awarded to qualifying students in approximately 100 districts and 17 charter schools.
To qualify for the SSB, high school graduates must meet all of the following criteria:
If the primary language of a pupil in any of grades 9–12 inclusive is other than English, he or she shall do both of the following in order to qualify for the SSB:
It is recommended that all persons involved in collecting data and implementing the SSB in their district read the entire text of AB 815, which may be accessed online at http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/.
The California Department of Education (CDE) provides the following documents, which can be accessed online, to process requests for insignias:
Frequently Asked Questions are also available on the CDE State Seal of Biliteracy Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/el/er/sealofbiliteracy.asp.
After identifying graduating high school students who qualify for the SSB, each district, COE, or direct-funded charter school must submit an Insignia Request Form to the CDE by mail. The district superintendent or direct-funded charter school administrator must sign the form, which may be mailed to the following address:
California Department of Education
English Learner Support Division
State Seal of Biliteracy
1430 N Street, Suite 2204
Sacramento, CA 95814
The CDE has begun processing requests for insignias for the 2012–13 school year. If you have already submitted a Request for Insignias, you do not need to do so again. While there is no deadline for submitting the request, school districts, direct-funded charter schools, and COEs should send their requests far enough in advance of the date of the first graduation ceremony to allow time for the CDE to process the requests and for school staff to affix the insignias to the diplomas. Generally, insignias will be mailed within two weeks from the date that the CDE receives a request.
Please share this information with high school principals, administrators, world language department chairs, and English Learner program directors. If you have questions about the SSB, contact the Language Policy and Leadership Office by phone at 916-319-0845 or by e-mail at SEAL@cde.ca.gov.