Record number of SFUSD graduates recognized for bilingual proficiency
Seven hundred twenty-three San Francisco Unified School District graduates (or more than 20 percent) were awarded a Seal of Biliteracy, a 33 percent increase from last year.
The Seal of Biliteracy is presented jointly by SFUSD and the California Department of Education to recognize graduates who demonstrate high levels of language proficiency in English and another language.
"Multiculturalism and multilingualism are assets we aim to develop and nurture in our students,” said Superintendent Vincent Matthews, Ed.D. “We are committed to creating comprehensive pathways to biliteracy and ensuring that English Learners acquire high levels of English and home language proficiency, along with other skills that will help them succeed as 21st century global citizens.”
Of this year’s recipients, 51 percent demonstrated proficiency in Mandarin, and 32 percent demonstrated proficiency in Spanish. Other languages represented by SFUSD seal recipients include French, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and Latin.
The recipients represent 13 of the district’s 17 high schools. Sixty-three percent of seal recipients are Asian, and 23 percent are Latino. Nine students successfully demonstrated proficiency in English and two additional languages.
SFUSD currently offers over 60 language programs covering seven languages, including Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Japanese, Filipino, and Italian.
Thirty-one percent of all elementary school students in SFUSD are enrolled in a language pathway.
SFUSD, one of the first school districts to award the Seal of Biliteracy, began placing the Seal on diplomas in 2011. The practice was adopted statewide in 2012 per Assembly Bill 815. Like the SFUSD seal, the state seal recognizes high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading and writing one or more languages in addition to English. Recipients receive a special seal on their diploma and can use the Seal of Biliteracy as proof of bilingual ability with future employers and educational institutions.
To demonstrate English proficiency, students must complete all University of California A-G course requirements for a high school diploma, including all English Language Arts requirements, with an overall GPA of at least 2.0.
Students must meet at least one of the following requirements in their target language: passing an Advanced Placement exam with a score of 4 or 5 or higher or successful completion of a 4th-year course in the target language with a GPA of at least 3.0.
Page updated on 06/22/17