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Students Earn State Seal of Biliteracy

Raytown School District students have earned the Distinguished Missouri Seal of Biliteracy (SoBL) in Spanish. The SoBL is awarded is awarded to graduating high school students in districts with a DESE-approved program, who have demonstrated achievement in English, a Language Other Than English (LOTE) and sociocultural competence.

Raytown School District students to achieve their SoBL from Raytown High School include Madisen Berry, Yamila Chavez-Flores, Rianna Ellis, Johnathan Martinez, Daysha Sipho, Ashley Spears, Presley Stewart, and Katie Valdovinos and from Raytown South High School student Ashley Rodriguez Vargas.

The SoBL certifies students as bilingual in the state of Missouri and proficient in Spanish.

“We are proud of these students, both those who developed proficiency through our district foreign language classes and those who have worked hard to carry on the languages their families have brought from other countries,” shared Lynn Tarvin, Raytown Schools Coordinator of English Language Development. “Students who earn the Seal of Biliteracy are automatically awarded six to 14 credit hours in the language other than English at eight colleges and universities across the state.”

In order to achieve the SoBL, students must complete five years of Spanish, create a portfolio, and pass an assessment test.

A student’s portfolio must demonstrate proficiency and cultural awareness. Students must submit examples of sociocultural competency through essays in the language, speaking in the language, and recommendation letters from teachers or community members. The portfolio also must demonstrate an ability of biliteracy skills and helping others in either the school or community setting. Students are assessed over their abilities in reading, writing, listening and speaking in Spanish.

In addition to college credit hours, recipients can include this honor on their resume. Students also receive a special honor at Senior Awards Night and an honor cord at graduation.

The Raytown School District is one of only 89 school districts in the state to offer the DESE-approved program.