Four JEHS seniors earn Seal of Biliteracy for their diplomas
Four seniors from Jordan-Elbridge High School recently earned The New York State Seal of Biliteracy (NYSSB), which recognizes high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in one or more languages, in addition to English. The students include
Zachary Fabrize, Logan Kinney, Nathan Melfi and Haley Streever.
They are the first students from JE to earn the seal.
A few years ago, the state made the distinction available to eligible high school seniors to include with their diplomas. According to the NYS Education Department, the intent of the NYSSB is to encourage the study of languages; identify high school graduates with language and biliteracy skills for employers; provide universities with additional information about applicants seeking admission; prepare students with twenty-first century skills; recognize the value of foreign and native language instruction in schools; and affirm the value of diversity in a multilingual society.
Students are chosen to earn the distinction based on their proficiency in English and another language. Once they’re eligible, he/she must go through a process of submitting projects that show their ability to communicate in both English and another language. The students then conduct in-person interviews or presentations to show their proficiency in front of a panel of teachers from area schools.
The seniors were among 180 area students who participated in NYSSB Evaluation Day on April 9 at OCM BOCES. Starting in February, the seniors met after school each week to develop their projects with Spanish teachers Christine DiBerardino, Tammy Gilbert, Jessica Killian, Trisha St. Germain and Aaron Stone. ELL teacher Danuta Goldmann also participated as a mentor and evaluator for Polish students from area schools, and looks forward to sending ELL students from JE in the future.
For the presentations on April 9, each student chose a socio-cultural topic to research and present (such as abortion, education, terrorism and healthcare).
“All of this hard work will pay off for them,” Killian said.
“The benefit of participating in the seal is far-reaching. Not only do universities and colleges recognize the value of being biliterate, future employers will also highly regard these students’ accomplishments. The NYS Seal of Biliteracy is a way for our community to display the exceptional level of education that Jordan-Elbridge offers, and a way to honor our multilingual families.”