About the Seal of Biliteracy

2017-18 Key Dates

October 31, 2017 - Student applications due
November 10 - Student letter with next steps for applicants sent
December 1 - AAPPL testing window opens; Students completing portfolio option receive prompt question for writing exercise
December 15 - Writing exercises due
January 26, 2018 - Speaking exercise (for students completing portfolio) window opens
March 2 - AAPPL testing and speaking exercise windows close
May 7-11; May 14-18 - AP Exams
April 20 - Final results sent to students

What is the Seal of Biliteracy?

The Seal of Biliteracy is an award given by DPS in recognition of students who have attained proficiency in two or more languages by high school graduation. The Seal appears on the transcript and diploma of the graduating senior and is a statement of accomplishment for future employers and for college admissions.

2017-18 Seal of Biliteracy Criteria »

2016-2017 Seal by the Numbers

Number of Applications - 1216
Number of Recipients - 490
Languages Represented - 21
Students Earning the Seal in Multiple Languages - 5
Schools Represented - 29

Have you earned the Seal?

Connect with other biliterate DPS grads by joining the Seal Alumni Network!

The Seal of Biliteracy Alumni Network is a new group founded by DPS graduates to celebrate achievements, build community and advocate for linguistic diversity. To receive updates, sign up using the button below.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Seal of Biliteracy

  • To encourage students to study languages
  • To certify attainment of biliteracy skills
  • To recognize the value of language diversity
  • To provide employers with a method of identifying people with high level literacy skills in multiple languages
  • To provide universities with a method to recognize and give credit to applicants for attainment of high level skills in multiple languages
  • To prepare students with 21st century skills that will benefit them in the labor market and the global society
  • To strengthen intergroup relationships and honor the multiple cultures and languages in a community.

The seal is for all students who demonstrate mastery in multiple languages using the approved criteria, not just English learners or Spanish speakers.

As one of the requirements to earn the Seal is to complete all graduation requirements, students may not be awarded the Seal until their senior year, but students may complete the other requirements, such as the AAPPL or AP assessment, at any time.

There are no charges or fees to apply for or earn the Seal. All DPS students, including those at DPS charter schools, are eligible to apply.

Yes. As long as you can demonstrate proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing in both English and another world language, you can earn the Seal.

If a standardized test (such as AP or AAPPL) that is on the approved Seal criteria is not available for your non-English language, you have the option of completing speaking and writing assessments which will be assessed by a trained fluent speaker.

Yes. You’ll need your world language teacher to sign a form affirming that you are demonstrating literacy in the intermediate-advanced range in class. If you have completed all other requirements, you will be provisionally awarded the Seal pending your final AP test results.

The AAPPL web site has demo tests you can take. These are portions of actual tests from three years ago. Please note that we will be using Form B.

Students enrolled in AP courses will take the AP exam and will qualify for the Seal if they score a 3 or better. This may also lead to college credits, depending on the college. However, since AP results are not delivered until mid-July, seniors who attempt to qualify using AP are granted the Seal on a provisional basis until results are received. The Seal will not appear on student transcripts until exam results are received.

Students who receive I4 or above on the AAPPL test will qualify for the Seal. AAPPL scores do not result in college credits. Students who choose to take the AAPPL will receive their scores earlier in the year, and thus can earn the Seal prior to graduation and/or college applications.

Bilingual graduates can expect to earn more, have more job opportunities and create connections with their community. For younger children, learning a second language has proven benefits for cognitive development. Here’s a recent article that lists many of the benefits of biliteracy.

DPS students can earn the Colorado Diploma Endorsement for Biliteracy in addition to the DPS Seal of Biliteracy by:

  • Achieving all criteria for the DPS Seal of Biliteracy, and
  • Completing all of the English Language Arts course work required for graduation with an overall grade point average of 3.0 in the required English Language Arts course work.