Phone: (616) 786-1100

Seal of Biliteracy

Beginning with the Class of 2018, students at West Ottawa High School will be able to earn a Seal of Biliteracy on their West Ottawa Public Schools diploma.

According to the Michigan Department of Education, the Seal of Biliteracy is an award given by a school, district, or state in recognition of students who have studied and attained proficiency in two or more languages by high school graduation.  The Seal of Biliteracy encourages students to pursue biliteracy, honors the skills our students attain, and can be evidence of skills that are attractive to future employers and college admissions offices.

The Michigan Seal of Biliteracy has been created to recognize high school graduates who exhibit language proficiency in English and at least one additional world language. The Seal may be awarded to any student receiving a high school diploma, a high school certificate of completion or a high school equivalency certificate and who has demonstrated Intermediate High proficiency on acceptable world language assessments and met the English Language Arts requirements for graduation or demonstrated proficiency on a validated test of proficiency for English Learners. The Seal has been created to encourage students to study world languages and embrace their native and heritage languages. The Seal will provide employers with a way to identify individuals with strong language and biliteracy skills. The Seal may serve as an additional tool for colleges and universities to recognize applicants’ language abilities for admission and placement.

The Michigan Seal of Biliteracy requires students to meet the following criteria:

  • Meet graduation requirements
  • Demonstrate Intermediate High proficiency on world language assessments


Eligibility Criteria for earning an official State of Michigan Seal of Biliteracy:

In order to earn a Seal of Biliteracy, students must complete the following criteria prior to or upon their graduation year.

English Criteria:  

Students must have successfully completed all English Language Arts (ELA) requirements for graduation. (4 credits of English Language Arts)

Second Language or Native Language Criteria:

Students must score Intermediate High (I-5) on the Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages (AAPPL). This test will be offered two times during the year at West Ottawa High School.


Students must demonstrate proficiency in one or more languages other than English by completing one of the following requirements:

  1. Pass a foreign language College Board Advanced Placement (AP) exam with a score of 4 or higher.
  2. Pass an International Baccalaureate examination with a score of 4 or higher on a Standard Level IB exam.

Application Process

Students must apply for the Seal of Biliteracy by the first Friday in February of their 12th grade year. Applications must be submitted via THIS FORM. Students should contact their counselor with questions.