Kansas City Public Schools has met the criteria to award qualifying students the Missouri Seal of Biliteracy from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. This recognizes the culmination of effort by KCPS staff, particularly those in the Office of Language Services, to gain the right to award the seal to deserving students. As the most diverse school system in the state, it only makes sense for KCPS to add the Missouri Seal of Biliteracy to the growing array of academic and extra-curricular programs, options and honors we offer our remarkable scholars. The seal will have a tangible and positive impact on students, their families, our staff, our partners and our neighbors. It is critical that all of these stakeholders are aware of this new option, how it will work and its potential impact.
The Missouri Seal of Biliteracy is an award granted by a local district to recognize a student who has attained proficiency in English and one or more other world language(s) before high school graduation. The recognition of attaining biliteracy becomes a part of the high school transcript for these students and serves to certify attainment of biliteracy for the community, employers and universities. The Missouri Seal is meant to:
- Encourage the study of a second language
- Recognize, promote, and praise students for their accomplishment
- Value diversity
- Provide employers with a means of identifying bilingual employees
- Provide universities with a method to recognize and give credit to applicants
- Prepare students with 21st century skills that will benefit them in a global economy and society
- Strengthen relationships and honor the cultures and languages in a community
The Missouri Seal is intended to be earned by graduating high school students as well as awarded and celebrated at the culmination of the students’ senior year. Native English-speaking students may acquire the second language through traditional world language classrooms, community-based programs, at home, worldly experiences or any other method attempted by the student. English learners (ELs) and other heritage language learners are also eligible. It is important to emphasize that ALL students acquiring any language in addition to English is a potential awardee. As the Missouri Seal is intended to promote not only the acquisition of a second language but also the participation in a global society and economy, a measure of sociocultural competency is required of all students earning the Missouri Seal.
A Seal of Biliteracy and the Pathway awards encourage students to pursue biliteracy, honors the skills our students attain and help build a positive culture of diversity within the school setting.
Students who participate can earn up to 14 college credit hours at a variety of Missouri-based universities. In addition, students with the Seal of Biliteracy not only have the gift of a second language, but also the skills they develop as part of the program are attractive to future employers.
The Seal of Biliteracy and the Pathway awards are available for all KCPS high school students participating in a foreign language coursework.
Click here for a copy of the KCPS Seal of Biliteracy flyer.