VASD One of Three in State to Offer Wisconsin Seal for Bilingual Students

VASD One of Three in State to Offer Wisconsin Seal for Bilingual Students
Posted on 05/20/2018
This is the image for the news article titled VASD One of Three in State to Offer Wisconsin Seal for Bilingual StudentsVerona Area School District One of Three in State to Offer Unique Wisconsin Seal for Students

The Verona Area School District (VASD) recently stole the spotlight in the world of education as its application for the Wisconsin Seal of Biliteracy (also known as the Wisconsin Seal) was approved by State Superintendent Tony Evers and the Department of Public Instruction.

Sixteen members of the Verona Area High School class of 2018 have completed the rigorous Seal of Biliteracy requirements, recognizing students who have attained proficiency in English and one or more partner languages and have demonstrated high levels of socio cultural competency by high school graduation. Fifteen of the students are Spanish/English bilinguals and one is Somali/English bilingual as VASD is the 3rd school district in the state that can award this distinction to its seniors. As with so many other programs, the strength of the Wisconsin Seal depends on the creativity and dedication of Verona Area School District students and teachers.

To recognize these students, VASD will be holding a reception from 7-8pm on Tue. May 22 at the K-wing library of the High School (located in the smaller building in between the large high school building and Main St.) Dr. Mariana Castro, Director of Language Research and Development from WIDA, will deliver an inspirational message to the students and their families. The Seal recipients will then receive medallions in honor of their achievement. Cake and refreshments will be served.

Laurie Burgos, Director of Bilingual Programs & Instructional Equity for VASD, expressed her praise of the students for their achievement and the community for supporting bilingualism, “Our community and School Board has really begun to embrace bilingualism and language learning. We are proud to be able to recognize and foster the bilingual talents of so many students in Verona. Cultural and linguistic diversity strengthens and enriches our community.”

On graduation day, student names will be starred in the graduation program and students will have already received their medallions at this reception. The Seal of Biliteracy will be noted on students’ official transcripts. Unveiling the Wisconsin Seal was a response to requests made by Wisconsin school districts wanting to recognize the linguistic achievements and sociocultural competencies of their multilingual and emergent bilingual students. Currently, thirty-one states and Washington DC offer this opportunity.

Wisconsin Seal Reviewers commented that the Verona Area School District application was exemplary, meeting:
· Criteria for advanced biliteracy attainment using a data-based, nationally recognized assessment framework valued by employers, communities, and institutions of higher education
· Criteria for demonstration of sociocultural competency to address the needs of local and global communities

The Wisconsin Seal promotes excellence for all by building upon the rich cultural and linguistic assets of the state’s students. It communicates a policy-level commitment to advance mastery of two or more languages. In our ever-shifting global landscape, it is essential to provide the opportunity for students to graduate prepared and equipped with the cultural and linguistic capacity to participate effectively in a multilingual and global 21st century society. Benefits are clear: culturally and linguistically competent students are better prepared to address the needs of local and global communities.
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