The number of students being awarded the New York State Seal of Biliteracy at New Rochelle High School has nearly tripled in the program’s second year in the school district, increasing from 14 awardees in 2022 to 41 this year. Among the group’s accomplishments, NRHS Senior Lorenzo Martelli is the first student to earn the seal in three languages: English, Spanish, and Italian.
The prestigious NYS Seal of Biliteracy is bestowed upon students who complete a rigorous program with a teacher mentor and guidance counselor. For their capstone project, each student selects a topic and gives a 15-minute presentation on their chosen topic in both English and in a world language. This year’s graduates earning a Seal of Biliteracy include 11 students who were formerly English language learners and two who are in the English as a New Language program.
“The Seal of Biliteracy is about fostering a second language to make our students successful in the world and to create cross cultural connections to be college and career ready,” said Tiara Reyes-Vega, Director of Instructional Support at the City School District of New Rochelle. “For our English language learners, it is a reaffirmation of their culture and an acknowledgement that their native language is an asset.”
While Spanish is by far the most popular language in the program, students also earned the Seal for their proficiency in Italian, Arabic, Mandarin, and French.