Johnston students aim to achieve Iowa Seal of Biliteracy

Bilingual crop1JOHNSTON, IA. (Feb. 18, 2022) — Forty-three Johnston High School students came to school on their day off this week to take the STAMP (STAndards-based Measurement of Proficiency) assessment in hopes of earning the Iowa Seal of Biliteracy.

The Iowa Seal of Biliteracy is an award given by a district to recognize students who have attained proficiency in two or more languages, one of which is English, by high school graduation.

Seven Johnston students who took the assessment this week are current or former English learners, while the remaining 36 are native English-speaking students who have learned a second language.Bilingual crop2

The STAMP assessment is offered 14 languages. This year, Johnston students tested in Spanish, French, Hindi and Mandarin, said Melissa Grinstead, K-12 ELL instructional coach for the Johnston Community School District.

Being able to know and use more than one language is a critical skill for the 21st century. The seal of biliteracy:

  • Values language as an asset
  • Recognizes the value of language diversity and cultural identity
  • Prepares students with 21st century skills that will benefit them in the labor market and global society
  • Provides employers, universities, and grant/scholarship providers with a method to recognize applicants for their dedication to attainment of biliteracy