Baesler Praises High School `Seal of Biliteracy’ Recipients

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For Immediate Release
Contact: Dale Wetzel, Public Information Specialist
Office: 701-328-2247
Cell: 701-400-8557

BISMARCK, N.D., June 4, 2019 – State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler said 59 of North Dakota’s high school Class of 2019 have qualified for a Seal of Biliteracy, which are awarded to students who are proficient in English and a second language.

This is the first year North Dakota has offered the Seal of Biliteracy to its graduating seniors. School districts apply for the recognition on behalf of their students. Baesler said she expects the number of North Dakota recipients of the Seal to grow as more students and their families learn about the program.

"There are many more students in North Dakota who qualify for this honor," Baesler said. "They may not have been aware it was available. We’re trying to get the word out.

"We hope that students who are already studying other languages will consider applying for this distinction in the future, and that it will encourage our North Dakota young people to study more than one language," Baesler said.

Twenty-eight of this year’s Seal recipients showed their ability to read, write and speak in Spanish. Seventeen were fluent in Latin, 13 in French, and one in German, Baesler said.

Forty Seal recipients are members of the Class of 2019 at Fargo Davies High School. Ten are from Bismarck High School, eight from Mandan High School and one from Dakota Prairie High School in Petersburg, about 40 miles east of Devils Lake.

Students may qualify for a silver or gold Seal of Biliteracy by documenting their proficiency in English and a second language. A gold Seal demonstrates stronger language skills.

School districts apply to the Department of Public Instruction on behalf of students who are interested in receiving the recognition. The Seal itself may be affixed to a student’s high school diploma. Seal recipients will receive a certificate signed by Baesler, and the distinction will be noted on the student’s electronic high school transcript.