Iowa Seal of Biliteracy

Recognizing Students with Proficiency in Two or More Languages

Being able to articulate in not only one, but two languages, is a valuable lifelong skill. Once obtained, the power of being both biliterate and bilingual cannot be lost.

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

SCCSD Students Earn the Seal of Biliteracy

The Sioux City Community School District educates a richly diverse group of students. With many languages and dialects already spoken in the District, the Seal of Biliteracy offers many students an opportunity to be recognized for biliteracy attainment. Additionally, the Dual Language program offered by the District is a natural gateway to help students attain biliteracy.

Once a student takes a world language AP exam and earns a score of three or higher, the World Languages Department will review the student’s academic record to verify all other criteria have been met. Each SCCSD student that fulfills the proficiency requirements, as described below, can be recognized with the Iowa Seal of Biliteracy upon graduating.

If you have questions about the Seal of Biliteracy, please contact the World Languages Department at 712-279-6840.

Why the Seal of Biliteracy is Important

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 & cultural identity

  • Prepares students with 21st-century skills that will benefit them in the labor market and the global society

  • Provides employers, universities, and grant/scholarship providers with a method to recognize applicants for their dedication to attainment of biliteracy

Designation & Demonstrated Proficiency

The Seal of Biliteracy, designated by the Iowa Department of Education, will be recognized statewide. The honor focuses not on “seat time” or completion of language courses; it relies on demonstrating proficiency in a given language.

To be eligible to be awarded the Iowa Seal of Biliteracy, students shall demonstrate proficiency in a world language and English. The following charts demonstrate the assessment and exam options students can fulfill to prove proficiency.

World Language Assessment


Minimum Score to Qualify for Seal of Biliteracy

More Information on Assessment

Advanced Placement (AP) Language and Culture Exam

Spanish, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese


AP Language and Culture Exams

Advanced Placement (AP) Latin Exam



AP Language and Culture Exams AP Latin

English Exam

Minimum Score


English 18

AP Language or AP Literature Exam


English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century (ELPA 21) in grades 9-12

4 or 5 in all domains (reading, writing, speaking, and listening)


English 470

Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress (ISASP) in grades 9-12  

Proficient in English/Language Arts

Most recent Iowa Assessment results (2018-19 only)

Proficient in Reading Comprehension

Resources & Demonstrated Proficiency