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Ceremony Recognizes Students for Seals of Biliteracy in 2024

SCOE Honors Students for Competency in World Languages

Students posing with certificates

More than 2,000 high school seniors in Sacramento County qualified to receive the seal this year.

The ability to communicate effectively in more than one language can dramatically broaden career opportunities, enhance academic achievement, and open doors for students in adulthood. At a ceremony held last week on April 30, the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) recognized hundreds of graduating seniors in Sacramento County who proved they have exactly those skills by earning the State Seal of Biliteracy for the 2023–24 school year. The seal is awarded to seniors who have demonstrated English competency, plus competency in another language by meeting specific criteria. More than 2,000 students in Sacramento County qualified to receive the seal this year, and 91 earned seals in multiple languages. The ceremony was held in the auditorium at Center High School (Center Joint USD).

“Being bilingual or multilingual isn’t just an academic achievement. Businesses, from startups to multinational corporations, increasingly seek employees who can navigate diverse cultural contexts and communicate effectively in multiple languages,” said Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon as he welcomed the students. “Our county’s commitment to fostering linguistic diversity continues to place us among the top in the state for the number of students receiving the State Seal of Biliteracy.”

Alesha Moreno-Ramírez, Director of the Multilingual Support Division at the California Department of Education, was the keynote speaker. Three award recipients also spoke, describing what receiving the State Seal of Biliteracy means to them.

The ceremony was broadcast live thanks to the Sacramento Educational Cable Consortium (SECC). A recording will also be made available.

Earning the State Seal of Biliteracy

To earn the distinction, students must demonstrate English competency by meeting one of the options, which may include the English language arts standards of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), receiving good grades in all English classes required for high school graduation, and passing the AP, IB, or SAT exam. In addition, students must demonstrate language proficiency by taking a four-year course of study in a world language or passing a test (such as a local assessment, or the Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exams).

In addition to English, recipients of this year’s State Seal of Biliteracy in Sacramento County are proficient in 35 other languages, including American Sign Language, Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Bosnian, Cantonese, Czech, Dari, Dutch, Farsi, French, German, Gujarati, Hindi, Hmong, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Mongolian, Norwegian, Pashto, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil, Telugu, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese, and Yoruba.

Participating Districts

SCOE collaborated with the following school districts and independent charter schools in Sacramento County for this year’s Seal of Biliteracy recognition ceremony:

  • Center Joint Unified School District
  • Elk Grove Unified School District
  • Folsom Cordova Unified School District
  • Galt Joint Union High School District
  • Natomas Unified School District
    • Natomas Charter School
    • Natomas Pacific Pathways Prep (NP3) Charter High School
  • River Delta Unified School District
  • Sacramento City Unified School District
  • Sacramento County Office of Education
    • Rex & Margaret Fortune Early College High School
  • San Juan Unified School District
    • Visions In Education Charter School
  • Twin Rivers Unified School District
    • Futures High School (Gateway Community Charters)

Students speaking

Three award recipients spoke during the ceremony, describing what the State Seal of Biliteracy means to them.

Student shaking hands with dignitaries

County Superintendent Gordon (shaking hands) and SCOE Deputy Superintendent Nancy Herota (right) helped congratulate students for their achievements.

Alesha Moreno-Ramírez and Graciela García-Torres

SCOE Director of Multilingual Education Graciela García-Torres (right) presented a certificate to Alesha Moreno-Ramírez, thanking her for speaking to the students.