Minisink Valley High School has been awarded a New York State Seal of Biliteracy (NYSSB) Silver Badge, recognizing its participation in the New York State Education Department’s Seal of Biliteracy program.
“Minisink is ahead of many schools, as some of them are just starting to develop a plan to offer the seal,” said Dr. Michael Burns, high school assistant principal, who oversees the program.
During the 2020-21 school year, 21 students earned Seal of Biliteracy honors in French, Haitian Creole, Russian, Spanish and German. Class of 2021 graduates had the seal affixed to their diplomas and were presented with a medal signifying their accomplishments.
This year’s Seal of Biliteracy process has already begun, with high school officials reaching out to students who they feel qualify. Students must meet certain criteria and part of that will include special, rigorous testing to confirm their proficiency.
The NYSSB 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.
Its intent is to encourage the study of languages, to identify high school graduates with language and biliteracy skills for employers, to provide universities with additional information about applicants seeking admission and placement, to prepare students with 21st Century skills, to recognize the value of world, classical and home language instruction in schools and to affirm the value of diversity in a multilingual society.