Sunday, May 27 , 2018, 1:21 am | Fair 55º

 
 
 
 

Santa Maria District Seniors Earn ‘Seals of Biliteracy’ for Mastery of Two Languages

Extra studying spent mastering two languages will translate into better opportunities for more than 100 Santa Maria Joint Union High School District students.

During graduations this week, the Santa Maria, Pioneer Valley and Ernest Righetti high school students will receive a special Seal of Biliteracy Recognition Award on their diplomas.

The teenagers earned the honors by completing four years of high school languages with a 3.0 GPA, passing a foreign language Advanced Placement exam or scoring 600 or more on a SAT II test.

The language skills will give the students an advantage, according to Peter Haws, SMJUHSD director of English Learner/Migrant Education Programs.

“Fluency skills in multiple languages opens up many doors and new opportunities for our students,’’ Haws said. “They are able to connect with more people, cultures and have an edge when it comes to future employment.’‘

This year, the district has 111 students receiving the honors for demonstrating proficiency in English and one other language. Last year, 84 qualified for the awards. The district offers French and Spanish.

Eleventh-grade SMHS student Uriel Morales believes being fluent in “two traditions” will provide more opportunities.

“I took the advanced level Spanish courses to regain the knowledge that I had of the Spanish language when I was younger,’’ said Morales, who plans to enroll in AP Spanish literature next year.

SMJUHSD Superintendent Dr. Mark Richardson praised the students for making the most of their high school educations.

The district’s Seal of Biliteracy Program was also honored last February in Long Beach with a Certificate of Recognition at the California Association for Bilingual Education Conference. SMJUHSD was the first district in Santa Barbara County to offer the award to qualifying students.

— Kenny Klein represents the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Supporter

Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >