Washington State Seal of Biliteracy
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Washington State Seal of Biliteracy

What is the Seal of Biliteracy?
Washington Seal of BiliteracyOSPI has drafted criteria for awarding the Seal of Biliteracy (RCW 28A.300.575) and is developing the Washington Administrative Code (WAC). The Washington State Seal of Biliteracy is established to recognize public high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing in one or more world languages in addition to English. "Participating school districts with students eligible to receive the Seal, shall place a notation on a student's high school diploma and high school transcript indicating that the student has earned the seal." (RCW 28A.230.125)

The Seal will be available to districts to formally recognize students that demonstrate:

  • Proficiency in English; and
  • Proficiency in a world language other than English
  • WAC 392-415-070 Mandatory high school transcript contents
  • WAC 392-410-350 Seal of biliteracy

Identifying Students for the Seal of Biliteracy Flow Chart

Identifying Students for the Seal
Flow Chart

Districts may award the Seal of Biliteracy starting in the 2014-2015 School Year
The WAC 392-410-350 becomes effective on May 22, 2015 that establishes the criteria for awarding the Seal. Use the flow chart to determine eligibility.

Transcripts and CEDARS
CEDARS Data Manual - The 2015-16 documents provide information in:

  1. CEDARS Guidance, on page 26, provides information regarding submitting Seal of Biliteracy information.
  2. CEDARS Manual Student Programs & Attributes File (I) will collect the information for students who have obtained a Seal of Biliteracy.
  3. CEDARS Appendix K contains the list of languages students may earn the seal in and Appendix L lists the Assessments that may be utilized to test for biliteracy

The 2014-15 Transcript Development Guide, provides information on page 75 regarding how to report the Seal of Biliteracy on a student transcript beginning with the Class of 2015.

The 2014-15 CEDARS documents do not contain information regarding submitting Seal of Biliteracy information, districts may not submit this data to CEDARS until 2015-16.

Origins of the Seal of Biliteracy
Washington is one of 8 states that have passed a Seal of Biliteracy Growing numbers of states are passing similar pieces of legislation. The Seal of Biliteracy originated in California and was signed into law in October 2011, with the first seals being issued starting in early 2012. New York passed their bill and it was signed into law in July 2012. Illinois passed their law in 2013, and a number of other states are also enacting legislation.

Why the Seal of Biliteracy?
Over 40% of Washington State jobs are tied to international trade, so it is critical for students to develop proficiency in English and other languages to maintain competitiveness. The bilingual skills of students for whom English is not a first or dominant language represent a tremendous potential resource to the state. Also, English students who follow long sequences of world language study and practice increase their marketability in the workplace. In addition to career advantages, studies also show numerous cognitive benefits for students learning more than one language, including enhanced working memory, attention, flexibility and creative thinking. All of these attributes will be valuable in students' futures.

Foreign Language Enrollments in K-12 Public Schools: Are Students Prepared for a Global Society? (PDF)



What's New

The Seal of Biliteracy ​imprint for creating embosses diploma labels or medaillions is available on request to paris.granville@k12.wa.us

The Seal of Biliteracy Advisory committee convened on February 18th, 2015 to recommend language for the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) and develop resources for school districts.

November to December: Draft Criteria
January to February: Gather Input and Draft Rule
March: File CR-102
April: Hearing on Rule
May: Publish Rule and Provide Process to School Districts

Coming Soon: Ordering the Seal, Guidelines for Recording in CEDARS

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