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Minimum High School Graduation Requirements

Seal of Biliteracy

Published: 6/4/2021 8:25 AM

​Kentucky guidelines for establishing a local Seal of Biliteracy

The purpose of these guidelines is to help districts and schools establish a Seal of Biliteracy or other programs to recognize high school graduates who attained a high level of proficiency in one or more languages, in addition to English. As local boards of education (BOE) award diplomas and determine how to best recognize students, the following information will provide guidance and best practices on what to consider when establishing a local Seal of Biliteracy.

What is a Seal of Biliteracy?

In the 2015 Guidelines for Implementing the Seal of Biliteracy, the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), the National Association of Bilingual Education (NABE), the National Council of State Supervisors for Languages (NCSSFL) and TESOL International Association define the Seal of Biliteracy as “an award given by a school, district or state in recognition of students who have attained proficiency in English and one or more other world languages by high school graduation.”

How may a student earn a Seal of Biliteracy?

Students, as determined by a local BOE or governing board, are eligible to earn a Seal of Biliteracy based on evidence of achieving the designated level of language proficiency in English plus one or more other world languages during their high school years. 

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) recommends the following:
  • This eligibility should stand regardless of language background or any identified condition that may exclude demonstration of language proficiency in one or more of the required modes of communication.
  • Students of American Sign Language (ASL), Classical Languages (Latin and Classical Greek) and Native American Languages also should be entitled to earn a Seal of Biliteracy. 
  • Participation in this program should be voluntary, and students could earn a seal in multiple languages. 
  • Certain components for a Seal of Biliteracy could be completed prior to high school for some students; for example, English learners and other populations.

What are possible criteria for eligibility?

Please see the Kentucky Guidelines for Establishing a Local Seal of Biliteracy document.


How might students be recognized for attaining the local Seal of Biliteracy? 

Student commendations may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Indication of a State Seal on transcript/e-transcript (Coming soon to Infinite Campus and Parchment),
  • Special seal on the diploma, 
  • Graduation cord or sash for the ceremony, 
  • Senior Night award or certificate, and/or
  • Verbal or written recognition in the graduation program or ceremony. 

Where may additional resources/guidance be found? 

Teacher with students

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