This year, Manda Ba of Union Square International High School (Manhattan) and Fatoumata Fadiga from Community International High School in the Bronx, two FHLP students have been awarded the NY State Seal of Biliteracy.
The New York State Seal of Biliteracy (NYSSB) is an award given by a high school, school district or county office of education that formally recognizes students who have attained a high level of proficiency in two or more world languages (one of which must be English) by high school graduation.
To be awarded the NYSSB, students must demonstrate a high level of proficiency in English and one or more world languages. In 2019, French was the second language in which the Seal were awarded but English learners only account for 5%.
This year, the FHLP presented two candidates to the NY State Seal of Biliteracy: Manda Ba of Union Square International High School and Fatoumata Fadiga from Community International High School .
They have been working on their Capstone Biliteracy projects in French since the beginning of the school year and they kept going when schools shut down and despite all the hurdles that came with distance learning and being home with their families.
Early July, they presented their projects in front of a panel and both scored at the advanced level on the AAPPL test. They are now recipients of the Seal of Biliteracy, a formal recognition of their bilingualism in French and English by the NY state Department of Education: a credential they can add to their resume; in some states, it can also get them college credits.