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California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
July 9, 2020

Dear County and District Superintendents, Direct-Funded Charter School Administrators, and High School Principals:

Updated Guidance for Awarding the State Seal of Biliteracy, 2019–20 and 2020–21: COVID-19 School Closures

The California Department of Education (CDE) will continue to award the State Seal of Biliteracy (SSB) during the 2019–20 and 2020–21 school years. As always, local educational agencies may order insignias through the online Insignia Request Form located under the “Procedures, Requirements, and Forms” tab on the CDE SSB web page at

The requirements for earning the SSB, codified in California Education Code (EC) Section 51461, have been amended for the 2019–20 and 2020–21 school years in response to COVID-19 school closures. This guidance is based on the Education Omnibus Trailer Bill, Senate Bill 98, signed by the Governor on June 29, 2020, which included various statutory changes, including the addition of EC Section 51461(d). The new statutory language affects the requirements around English language arts and world language coursework, the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), and the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC).

The guidance regarding updated requirements for the 2019–20 and 2020–21 school years is available on the CDE State Seal of Biliteracy Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) web page at

If you have any questions regarding the SSB, please contact Gina Garcia-Smith, Education Programs Consultant, English Learner Support Division, CDE, by phone at 916-319-0265 or by email at



Sarah Neville-Morgan, Deputy Superintendent
Opportunities for All Branch


Last Reviewed: Tuesday, July 14, 2020

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