Seal of Biliteracy
What is the Seal of Biliteracy?
How will it benefit students?
- Is a transcript and High School Diploma notation which honors graduating seniors who have attained multiple language proficiencies and signals this achievement to colleges and potential employers
- Takes the form of a notation that appears on the transcript or diploma of the graduating senior and as a certificate that is issued by the State of New Jersey and presented to the student by the school district
- Was legislated in New Jersey in January 2016 and will be administrative code for the class of 2017
Qualifying Tests and Costs
- Provides nationally accredited means of demonstrating language skills to universities for the purpose of receiving academic credit
- Provides nationally accredited proof of language and biliteracy skills to potential employers
- Encourages study of languages, and the development of 21st century skills and global competence
** Eligible students may apply for a financial waiver due to economic hardship.
- Students are required to meet minimum cutoff scores for only one World Language test and a qualifying English (PAARC, SAT, etc.)
- English Learners must demonstrate proficiency in both English (through PAARC or ACCESS) and in their native or other language(s)
- Cost for the assessment(s) must be paid by the student.
- if they are NOT currently enrolled in an MHS World Language or ESL Course and/or
- if they wish to test in a language they are NOT currently taking at MHS
- See instructions below for actions needed
Test Language Target Score Cost/ student
PARCC ELA assessment
Proficient or better
ACCESS for ELLs 2.0
4 or better on Tier B or C in all four language domains
4 or higher in Junior year
5 or higher in both Writing/Speaking and Reading/Listening
See updated information on Avant Assessment Website
Low-Density or other World Languages
3 on the ILR scale
American Sign Language
ASLPI- 3.0 or higher; SLPI- Intermediate plus
$175NO Action is Required
YES Action is Required
- Senior students who are enrolled in World Language classes are administered STAMP tests by the department in September and do not need to take further action. The district and the state have a record.
- Junior students who register for AP exams through and because of their World Language classes do not need to take further action. The district and the state have a record.
- English Language Learners who need to demonstrate literacy in English are administered the PAARC and/or ACCESS tests by the school district as a graduation requirement. However, to earn the Seal of Biliteracy, ELLs must demonstrate literacy in a language in addition to English (see below).
What to do & when:
- Students wishing to demonstrate literacy in languages other than that of their World Language courses must register independently and pay for qualifying test(s) by the deadline date.
- Students choosing to apply for multiple certificates (two or more of the languages in which they are literate) by taking multiple tests.
- STAMP 4S assessments are available in Arabic, English, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Russian and Spanish.
- AP Language and Culture exams are available in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin and Spanish.
- ALTA offers tests in many languages not offered by STAMP, including low-density languages.
- English Language Learners wishing to demonstrate literacy in language(s) other than English.
- Deadline: October 15. Juniors register online for the AP Language and Culture examination in the desired language. AP test results make junior student test-takers eligible to receive the Seal of Biliteracy in their senior year. Please check with the Counseling/Guidance department or the College Board website for information on AP test dates and locations. Per state requirements, AP scores for assessments taken prior to the second semester of the junior year are NOT ADMISSIBLE for the Seal of Biliteracy. Only tests taken in the junior year are valid.
- Deadline: November 15. Seniors may register online for the STAMP 4S or STAMP WS tests in their desired language(s) by downloading and following the instructions on the Information Update in the 2021-22 Seal of Biliteracy Information Letter at top of this page.