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Everett School District students fluent in other languages can earn high school credit

Being fluent in a language other than English is increasingly important. Photo courtesy of Everett Public Schools.
Being fluent in a language other than English is increasingly important. Photo courtesy of Everett Public Schools.

From an Everett Public Schools news release

Everett School District graduates in the class of 2019 and beyond must have two world language credits. Some could get those credits this fall – just by taking a test to affirm language skills. 

The registration deadline for tests is October 8, 2015, at each high school; test fees vary by language.

Being fluent in a language other than English is increasingly important. Today’s students will be working with people from all over the globe – whether their future careers are based in the United States or other countries.

Although fluency in another language is not a requirement for students who graduate from high school in the next three years (2016, 2017 and 2018), students who graduate in 2019 and later must earn two credits in a world language to qualify for a diploma.

This year, high schools in the district will give proficiency tests to students who speak other languages fluently. “A student who scores ‘proficient’ on the test will also get high school credit for speaking that language,” explained Georgia Lindquist who is in charge of the district’s middle and high school literacy and humanities programs. “If they score well enough, they could also be recognized with a state Seal of Biliteracy.”

The Seal of Biliteracy is new this year for students in Washington State, although there are a growing number of states who have adopted the program and its standards.

According to the website of the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction for the state of Washington, the seal’s purpose is to increase the number of citizens fluent and productive in multiple world languages.

According to sealofbiliteracy.org, Washington State is one of only eleven states and the District of Columbia to have legally approved the Seal of Biliteracy endorsement on high school diplomas.

Everett Public Schools is also looking at ways to build more world language classes into students’ schedule options. “We are researching how to make more world language classes available to more students in high school and before high school,” notes Superintendent Gary Cohn.

This is important so they have opportunities before ninth-grade to establish language fluency.”

This fall’s world language testing opportunities are also ways for students in high school now to earn another credit and to earn the state’s Seal of Biliteracy emblazoned on their diplomas.”

Test registration deadline, schedule and details

  • Registration deadline is Thursday, Oct. 8 – at Cascade, Everett and Jackson high schools.
  • Test fees vary by language.

         Languages tested are:

  • Arabic
  • Chinese (Mandarin simplified)
  • Chinese (Mandarin traditional)
  • French
  • German
  • Hebrew
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Russian
  • Spanish

         Test dates are:

  • Everett High School, Saturday, Oct. 24, 9 a.m. -1 p.m.
  • Henry M. Jackson High School, Saturday, Nov. 7, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Cascade High School, Saturday, Nov. 14, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • (The tests are not timed; the 1 p.m. end time is an estimate)

If students speak a language other than those listed, they are asked to send name, high school, grade level and the name of the language to WLA@everettsd.org.

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