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 2020
    • Each district will pre-qualify students 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.
  • December 7, 2020
    • Deadline for sites to submit the list of low-incident language students
  • On-Demand Testing: January 6-8, 2021
  • January 13, 2021
    • Low-incident language read
  • January 27, 2021 - Deadline for districts to submit:
    • List of prequalified seniors
    • Completed and signed student permission slips
    • List of assessors for the Student Interview Event
      • There are no deadline extensions.  To be considered for the Seal, you must have all the required components by the set deadlines.
  • Student Interview Event is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, March 13, 2021
    • The final format will be determined by public health guidance as the date approaches.
    • Prequalified seniors will receive an invitation for the interviews.
  • Seal Award Ceremony: 
    • Due to the need for physical distancing and to keep students safe, we will not be holding a countywide award ceremony. 
    • Framed Seal certificates and diploma seals will be provided by the county.
    • Districts are encouraged to recognize students who earn the State Seal within their own districts.

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 before but did not pass.  Can I apply again?
    • 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 if it is not 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 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 14, 2020.

The Student Interview Event
  • How will the is the county going hold the Student Interview Event with physical distancing requirements?
    • The final format will be determined by public health guidance as the date approaches.
  • Will the Stanislaus County Seal of Biliteracy be canceled if the Student Interview Event is canceled?
    • No.  The final date and format of the interviews will be determined as the date approaches.
  • How do I find out the date and time of my interview?
    • Each prequalified student will receive an email with a date, time and instructions.
  • Can I change the date or the time of the interview?
    • No.  The interview day and time are carefully chosen.  Once your interview date and time are determined, it is critical you are available. 
  • I can't be there on March 13th.  Can I make up the interview?
    • No.  Seal deadlines are no different than those of a college application, thus make up dates are not available.
    • All​ students must meet the same deadlines.
  • Where are the interviews held?
    • The final format and location of the interviews will be determined by public health guidance as the date approaches.
  • 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 can be interviewed.  Opting out of, missing, or leaving early without completing all 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 start your interview at the assigned date and time.  Like any other test, once the starts, it is too late to join the 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 15-30 minutes.
    • The final format, however, will be determined by public health guidance as the date approaches.
  • 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 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.
    • The final format will be determined by public health guidance as the date approaches.
  • 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.
    • You can find a copy of the scoring rubric here.
  • Can I have my phone or purse with me?
    • Students can 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, but must be closed during the test period.
  • 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 multiple components to the State Seal of Biliteracy.
    • You must meet all state requirements.
    • You must demonstrate writing proficiency in English and the target language(s) when tested by your high school.
    • You can find a copy of the scoring rubrics here.
  • Can I appeal my score or the decision if I do not 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 after the high school is notified.

The Award Ceremony
  • Due to the need for physical distancing and to keep students safe, we will not be holding a countywide award ceremony.
    • However, framed Seal certificates and diploma seals will be issued to students who earn the State Seal of Biliteracy.
    • Districts are encouraged to recognize students who earn the Seal within their own districts.

Contact Us


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

Key Contacts

Christine Sisco
Assistant Superintendent

(209) 238-1331

Elvira Ruiz,
Special Programs Specialist

(209) 238-1301

Brenda Insurriaga
Consultant

(209) 238-1333