Hamtramck Public Schools get Approved for Michigan Seal of Biliteracy


By The Yemeni American News


Good news Hamtramck Public School students: The Michigan Department of Education has approved the district for the Michigan Seal of Biliteracy for graduates beginning this year.

The Michigan Seal of Biliteracy recognizes high school graduates who exhibit language proficiency in English and at least one additional world language. Eligible senior students from Hamtramck High School and Horizon High School may be awarded the seal through language assessments or with evidence of overseas schooling in another language other than English.

Hamtramck Public Schools ELD District Specialist Anne Clemente says this recognition is important because it celebrates multilingualism that is highly prevalent in the student population and the community which Hamtramck Public Schools serves.

“While students can be awarded recognition for academic achievements in English, such as for Honor Roll and GPA, the Seal of Biliteracy is specific to acknowledge literacy skills in another language other than English,” Clemente said.  “HPS strongly believes that multilingualism is an asset and this opportunity to participate in the Michigan Seal of Biliteracy can honor these students and their language expertise.”

According to Anne the process to receive the seal encompasses multiple phases. 

“The first phase is identifying the students who are eligible, either by foreign transcripts that identify instruction in another language, students who have a home or primary language other than English, and/or students who are taking foreign language classes,” Anne said. “Once these students have been identified, we gather student interest and feedback for those who want to pursue language assessments needed to submit an application for the Seal of Biliteracy with MDE. Once this information is collected, students are scheduled to complete language assessments during the month of January and early February.”

“Based on the results of the assessments and the evidence collected from overseas transcripts, the ELD Department then submits applications for the students to the Michigan Department of Education,” Anne added. “Upon approval of the applications by MDE, the district is sent certifications and plans for recognition of these students at Senior Award Night and Graduation.”

The Full statement released to The Yemeni American News from Hamtramck Public Schools ELD District Specialist Anne Clemente is below:

Hamtramck Public Schools values multilingualism and is happy to announce we are participating in awarding the Michigan Seal of Biliteracy to qualified graduating seniors this year. 

The Michigan Seal of Biliteracy offers multiple benefits. After approval, students will receive official recognition from the Michigan Department of Education for their bilingualism through a certificate and a letter from the State Superintendent and the Office of Bilingual Education. A goal seal will also be applied to the student’s diploma. This official recognition of biliteracy can be used on college applications, as well as on resumes. It can provide potential future employers with a clear indicator and way of identifying people with bilingual abilities. Additionally, the Seal of Biliteracy can prepare students with 21st-century skills that will benefit them throughout their adult life.

The Seal of Biliteracy encourages students to pursue biliteracy and honors the skills our students attain. Given the global nature of most career paths, this seal is a designation that sets students apart in recognition of highly sought-after skills of speaking, listening, and writing in many languages. Being multilingual is an asset and Hamtramck Public Schools is looking forward to celebrating our graduating Cosmos and their Seal of Biliteracy recognition.