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State Seal of Biliteracy

Information about the California State Seal of Biliteracy program and its requirements for students, parents, and educators.

The State Seal of Biliteracy (SSB), marked by a gold seal on the diploma or transcript, recognizes high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing one or more languages in addition to English.

To order insignias, please choose the “Requirements & Forms” tab to access the online Insignia Request Form.

For information on awarding the SSB during the 2019–20, 2020–21, and 2021–22 school years in light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) related school closures and flexibilities, visit the SSB Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) web page.

Overview

The SSB, per Assembly Bill 815 External link opens in new window or tab. (Brownley, Chapter 618, Statutes of 2011), became effective January 1, 2012, and was amended in 2017 per AB 1142 External link opens in new window or tab. , effective January 1, 2018. California Education Code sections 51460–51464 External link opens in new window or tab. establish the SSB program and its requirements. This program recognizes high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing one or more languages in addition to English. The SSB will be awarded by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction in accordance with specified criteria set forth in the legislation.

For information on the updated SSB requirements for 2021 graduates due to the COVID-19 pandemic, see the Updated Guidance for Awarding the SSB, 2019–20 and 2020–21 letter and the 2020–21 SSB Requirements Flyer (both available under the “Requirements & Forms” tab).

Importance of the SSB Letter to the Field
The 2019–20 Importance of the SSB Letter to the Field gives the history of the SSB program and explains the program's purpose and importance.

SSB Webinar External link opens in new window or tab. (Video; 22:41)
This webinar provides an overview of the SSB program, the requirements for earning the SSB, and the process for requesting seals and keeping records.

Resources

SSB FAQs
The FAQs section includes responses to common inquiries about the SSB program and procedures.

SSB Requirements Poster (PDF)
The SSB Requirements Poster may be printed on large paper and hung in classrooms, guidance counselor offices, and other areas where students and parents may see it.

SSB Bookmark (PDF)
The SSB Bookmark may be distributed to students, parents, counselors, teachers, and administrators to spread awareness about the program and its requirements. This bookmark is two-sided and should be printed back to front.

SSB Booklet in English (DOCX)
This booklet includes an overview of the SSB program, including its purpose and requirements; statistics, including program growth by year, top ten requested languages, participating counties, and top ten counties with local educational agencies requesting SSBs; frequently asked question on the SSB request process; resources; and contact information. This booklet can be distributed to district or school site staff, parents, students, and other interested parties.

SSB Booklet in Spanish (Folleto del programa SSB en español) (DOCX)
Este folleto incluye un resumen del programa del Sello de alfabetización bilingüe de California (SSB, por sus siglas en inglés), incluyendo su propósito y sus requisitos; estadísticas, incluyendo el crecimiento del programa por año, los idiomas más otorgados, los condados participantes, y los diez condados con la mayor cantidad de agencias de educación local que pidieron sellos; preguntas frecuentes sobre el proceso para pedir sellos; recursos; e información de contacto. Se puede distribuir este folleto a empleados del distrito escolar o escuela, padres, estudiantes, y otras partes interesadas.

Presentations

SSB Informational PowerPoint in English (PPTX)
SSB Informational PowerPoint in English (Recorded version) (Video; 10:29)
This PowerPoint presentation includes an overview of the SSB program, including its purpose and requirements; statistics, including program growth by year, top ten requested languages, participating counties, and top ten counties with local educational agencies requesting SSBs; frequently asked question on the SSB request process; resources; and contact information. This presentation can be used to inform district or school site staff, parents, students, and other interested parties about the SSB program.

SSB Informational PowerPoint in Spanish (Presentación informativa del programa SSB en español) (PPTX)
Presentación informativa del programa SSB en español (versión grabada) (Video; 16:02)
Esta presentación incluye un resumen del programa del Sello de alfabetización bilingüe de California (SSB, por sus siglas en inglés), incluyendo su propósito y sus requisitos; estadísticas, incluyendo el crecimiento del programa por año, los idiomas más otorgados, los condados participantes, y los diez condados con la mayor cantidad de agencias de educación local que pidieron sellos; preguntas frecuentes sobre el proceso para pedir sellos; recursos; e información de contacto. Se puede utilizar esta presentación para informar a empleados del distrito escolar o escuela, a padres, a estudiantes, y a otras partes interesadas sobre el programa SSB.

Participating Local Educational Agencies (LEAs)

2019–20 Districts Awarding the SSB in Less Commonly Awarded Languages (DOCX)
This document lists the counties and districts that awarded the SSB in less common languages during the 2019–20 school year.

2019–20 Participating Current and Former English Learners (XLSX)
This Excel spreadsheet includes data on the number of current and former English learners who earned the SSB in 2019–20 by county and district. This data includes students currently classified as English learners at the time they earned the seal as well as students who reclassified prior to earning the seal (at any time kindergarten through grade 12).

2019–20 List of Districts and Schools Participating (XLSX)
Each tab on the Excel spreadsheet represents a different participating county. List includes participating districts and schools by county for the 2019–20 school year.

2018–19 Districts Awarding the SSB in Less Commonly Awarded Languages (DOCX)
This document lists the counties and districts that awarded the SSB in less common languages during the 2018–19 school year.

2018–19 List of Districts and Schools Participating (XLSX)
Each tab on the Excel spreadsheet represents a different participating county. List includes participating districts and schools by county for the 2018–19 school year.

2017–18 List of Districts and Schools Participating (XLSX)
Each tab on the Excel spreadsheet represents a different participating county. List includes participating districts and schools by county for the 2017–18 school year.

2016–17 List of Districts and Schools Participating (XLSX)
Each tab on the Excel spreadsheet represents a different participating county. List includes participating districts and schools by county for the 2016–17 school year.

2015–16 List of Districts and Schools Participating (XLSX)
Each tab on the Excel spreadsheet represents a different participating county. List includes participating districts and schools by county for the 2015–16 school year.

2014–15 List of Districts and Schools Participating (XLSX)
Each tab on the Excel spreadsheet represents a different participating county. List includes participating districts and schools by county for the 2014–15 school year.

2013–14 List of Districts and Schools Participating (XLSX)
Each tab on the Excel spreadsheet represents a different participating county. List includes participating districts and schools by county for the 2013–14 school year

Requirements and Forms

Insignia Request Form

A school district, county office of education, or direct-funded charter school that participates in the SSB program must maintain appropriate records to identify qualifying students and must complete and submit the online Insignia Request Form. The Insignia Request Form may be submitted at any time; however, it is recommended that requests be submitted far enough in advance to allow time for the California Department of Education (CDE) to process the requests and for insignias to be affixed to diplomas or transcripts. Participation is voluntary and no fee may be charged to the student.

The CDE will mail to the requestor one seal per eligible student to be affixed to the diploma or transcript.

The SSB Insignia Request Form must be used to request SSB insignia.

Updated Guidance for Awarding the State Seal of Biliteracy, 2021–22
This letter explains the updated procedures for awarding the SSB during the 2021–22 school year when 2021 spring summative assessment administration flexibility approved by the California State Board of Education necessitated a change to California Education Code 51461.

Updated Guidance for Awarding the State Seal of Biliteracy, 2019–20 and 2020–21: COVID-19 School Closures
This letter explains the updated procedures for awarding the SSB during the 2019–20 and 2020–21 school years when school closures may have impacted some students' ability to fulfill the requirements in California Education Code 51461.

2020–21 SSB Requirements Flyer (English) (DOCX)
2020-21 SSB Requirements Flyer (Spanish) (DOCX)
The SSB Requirements Flyer is a resource that may be distributed to districts, schools, students, and families to communicate the requirements for earning the SSB. This flyer is available in English and Spanish and reflects updated eligibility requirements for the 2020–21 school year. This information applies only to the 2020–21 school year. For all other school years, please see the SSB Requirements Flyer below.

SSB Requirements Flyer (English and Spanish) (DOCX)
The SSB Requirements Flyer is a resource that may be distributed to districts, schools, students, and families to communicate the requirements for earning the SSB. This flyer is available in English on one side and Spanish on the other and reflects updated eligibility requirements established in California Education Code Section 51461.

SSB Requirements Checklist (DOC)
The SSB Requirements Checklist is an optional resource for internal school or district use to track eligible students and ensure that they meet the SSB eligibility requirements. This checklist reflects the requirements established in California Education Code Section 51461.

Letter Regarding SSB Data Collection on the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS)
This letter explains how SSB data is collected on CALPADS and how SSB data will be a component of the College/Career Indicator (CCI) in the 2018 California School Dashboard.

Biliteracy Pathway Recognitions

The Biliteracy Pathway Recognitions are established to recognize preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school students who have demonstrated progress toward proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing in one or more languages in addition to English.

The three Biliteracy Pathway Recognitions available are:

  • Biliteracy Program Participation Recognition
    The Biliteracy Program Participation Recognition is available to students enrolled in programs leading to biliteracy in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. As a participation recognition, this award is provided to all students enrolled in the program and is not based on the student’s proficiency. This recognition is an entry on the path to biliteracy or multiliteracy.

  • Home Language Development Recognition
    The Home Language Development Recognition is available to emergent bilingual students with a home language other than English in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. This recognition is provided to students who demonstrate that they are continuing to develop the home language by engaging in age-appropriate activities in the home language. This recognition is an entry on the path to biliteracy or multiliteracy.

  • Biliteracy Attainment Recognition
    The Biliteracy Attainment Recognition is available to students at the end of elementary school (the grade level depends on the program model, usually either grade five or six), and the end of middle school (the grade level depends on the program model, usually grade eight). This recognition is based on proficiency and is awarded to students who meet specific proficiency criteria in English and one or more languages in addition to English. This recognition is aligned with the SSB requirements and is an indication that if a student continues on this path in high school they will be prepared to meet the requirements to earn the SSB.

There are multiple paths to biliteracy and these recognitions provide LEAs with the opportunity to highlight some of these paths to encourage students to pursue biliteracy or multiliteracy in high school and beyond.

For more information on the Biliteracy Pathway Recognitions, visit the CDE Biliteracy Pathway Recognitions web page.

Questions:   Multilingual Support Division | SEAL@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0938
Last Reviewed: Thursday, September 9, 2021
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