Seal: Frequently Asked Questions

Please take a minute to review the information in the sections below.  You will find answers to most questions by clicking on the individual sections.

What are the deadlines and other major events?
  • Fall 2018
    • Each district will determine the proficiency standards for their district based on the new state requirements.
    • Each district will identify and assess eligible seniors.
    • Students should contact their participating high school at the beginning of the school year to ensure deadlines are not missed.
  • January 30, 2019
    • Deadline for the districts to submit the list of prequalified seniors to the county office.
    • Deadline for the districts to submit completed student permission slips.
    • Deadline for the districts to submit the list of assessors for the Student Interview Event.
      • There are no extensions.  To be considered for the Seal, you must have all of the required components completed on time.
  • Student Interview Event:  March 9, 2018
    • Prequalified seniors will receive an invitation to the Student Interview Event.
  • Seal Award Ceremony: May 7, 2019

The Application
  • Why is my school not on the list of participating high schools?
    • If your high school is not listed, it is because the district has chosen not to participate.  Please speak to your school or district representative.
  • Can I apply for the Seal on my own if my district or high school chooses not to participate?
    • No.  Districts must sign a contract pledging to support students throughout the program before any students may apply.
  • Can I apply for the Seal if I was not assessed by my district?
  • Can I apply if I am not a senior?
    • No. The new state guidelines require students first pass the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) test administered during their junior year.
  • I applied for the Seal last year but did not pass?  Can I just finish the process?
    • Yes. As long as your district is still participating.  State guidelines mandate all students start at their districts.
  • How do I apply for the Seal at my high school? 

Target Language(s) Not Taught in the Classroom
  • Can I still earn the State Seal of Biliteracy in a language that isn't taught in the classroom?
    • Students who wish to apply for a language not represented in their school's language course offerings, should speak with their school administration about how to demonstrate proficiency.
    • Details for the new state requirements can be found here.

Assessment of Writing Proficiency in English and the Target Language
  • Students must meet all of the state and district writing proficiency requirements.

Assessment of Oral Proficiency
  • Students must demonstrate oral proficiency in English and the target language at the Student Interview Event on March 9, 2019.

The Student Interview Event
  • How do I find out what time my interview is?
    • The appointment time and instructions will be emailed to each student prequalified by the district. 
  • Can I change the date or the time of the interview?
    • No.  There are hundreds of assessors and volunteers involved.  Interviews are only available on this one Saturday.
  • I can't be there on March 9th.  Can I make up the interview?
    • No.  It is critical that you are available on this date, as no make ups are possible.
  • Where are the interviews held?
  • How should I dress for the interviews?
    • This is a formal interview, so you should dress as you would for a job interview.
  • Can I come in early or leave early?  I have another appointment or engagement.
    • No.  The interview times are carefully chosen to ensure all students have the opportunity to be interviewed.  Leaving early without completing all of the tasks will result in disqualification. 
      • Students that arrive early will have to wait for their assigned time.
  • What happens if I am late?  
    • You must be seated in the Board Room at the assigned time.  Like any other test, once the door closes, it is too late to join your group.
  • Can my parents wait in the building? Where can my parents wait?
    • Parents may wait in their cars, in the parking lot behind the building.  For security reasons, only students are allowed in the buildings.
  • What should I expect during the interviews?
    • You will be interviewed by a team of trained assessors in both English and the target language(s).
      • The interview will last approximately 10 minutes.
  • How long will I be here?
    • Most students are here 2-3 hours.  It all depends on the number of assessors and volunteers the districts are able to provide. 
      • Students that have applied for a Seal in more than one language will be here a little longer.
    • There will be phones available for students that need to make a call for a ride home.
  • Can I appeal my score or re-do the interview?
    • No.  All scores are final.  
    • Interviews will only be conducted once.  Preparation is essential to ensure you make the most of your one opportunity.
  • Can I have my phone or purse with me?
    • Students are allowed to have a phone.  However, it must be turned off and put away while here.  This is a testing day in testing facilities.  Students will be disqualified for using a phone while here.
    • Purses are allowed.  They must be closed while here.
  • Where can I find food?
    • There are a couple of vending machines on the first floor of the main building with some soft drinks and chips. 
    • Lunch is not provided, so students should have a hearty breakfast or lunch before coming and bring a snack or small lunch if they feel they will need it.

What scores do I need to earn the Seal?
  • There are four components to the State Seal of Biliteracy.
    • You must meet all of the state requirements.
    • You must must demonstrate writing proficiency in English and the target language(s) when tested by your high school.
    • You must earn a minimum score of 3 out of a possible 5 on your English interview.
    • You must earn a minimum score of 3 out of a possible 5 on your target language interview(s).
  • Can I appeal my score or the decision if I don't receive the Seal?
    • No.  All scores are final.
      • Interviews will only be conducted once.  Preparation is essential to ensure you make the most of your one opportunity.
  • How or when will I know if I received the State Seal of Biliteracy?
    • Interview results will be released as quickly as possible to participating high schools first.
    • You will receive an email detailing your results and whether or not you have earned the Seal after the high school is notified.

The Award Ceremony
  • How will I know when and where the Seal ceremony is?
    • Students who earn the State Seal of Biliteracy will receive an invitation to the Seal ceremony at the Gallo Center on May 7th with details and tickets for guests.
  • How many guests can I bring?
    • The number of guests each student is allowed to bring will depend on the number of Seal recipients.
  • Does my little sister or brother need a ticket?
    • Gallo Center policy and the city's fire code require that everyone has a ticket.  Children may not sit on a parent's lap.
  • How should I dress for the ceremony?
    • You should dress in nice, presentable and appropriate clothes.  This is the Gallo Center and there will be parents and community members there taking pictures and filming.
  • How will I know when and where to arrive?
    • You will receive an email with the exact time and location you should arrive.
      • You will need to arrive 60 to 90 minutes before the ceremony.  The exact time will depend on the number of students receiving the award.
  • Where can my guests wait?
    • Guests may wait in the Gallo Center lobby or courtyard.
  • Is there a place to leave my coat, purse or phone?
    • No.  You will need to leave any personal belongings with a parent or guest.
  • Can my parents bring balloons or flowers?
    • For safety reasons, balloons are not permitted in  the Gallo Center.  Small bouquets of flowers are permissible.

Contact Us


1100 H Street
Instructional Support Services, 1st Floor
Modesto, CA 95354

Key Contacts

Debra Boggs
Debra Boggs, Director I, K-12 Literacy
(209) 238-1305
Elvira Ruiz
Elvira Ruiz, Event Planning Specialist II
(209) 238-1301