Seal of Biliteracy
Students in the Ritenour High School class of 2019 are the first to be eligible to earn the Missouri Seal of Biliteracy.
The designation is awarded by school districts to graduating students who have attained proficiency in English and any other world language, including sign language. To qualify, students are assessed in speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.
The purpose of the seal is to encourage the study of a second language and recognize students for their accomplishments. It will also provide colleges, universities and employers a way to identify bilingual graduates. Students can use the seal to earn college credit and apply for scholarships at many state and national colleges and universities.
“Learning another language helps open new worlds and cultures for our students,” said Ritenour Superintendent Dr. Chris Kilbride. “We would like to see as many students as possible take advantage of this opportunity to distinguish themselves as bilingual as they continue their education or begin a career.”
Students whose first language is not English can earn the seal, as well as those who are studying world languages. Twenty-five languages other than English are currently spoken by Ritenour students and their families – with Spanish, Vietnamese, Arabic and French being the most common. Nearly 1,000 students in Ritenour are English Language Learners.
Currently French, German and Spanish classes are offered at RHS. However, students can show proficiency in any world language to earn the seal.
Diplomas and transcripts will note the designation, and students will be recognized during graduation in June. The Ritenour Board of Education formally adopted the Seal of Biliteracy at its September business meeting.
“This designation aligns directly with our district mission,” Kilbride noted. “We want to ensure learning occurs in a supportive environment that enables every student to think critically, solve problems and develop the knowledge and skills necessary for success in our diverse, global society.”
RHS students interested in applying for the seal should meet with their language teacher or guidance counselor.