The SEAL OF BILITERACY is a distinction that encourages students to pursue literacy in two or more languages, honors the language skills our students attain, and serves as evidence of skills that are attractive to future employers and college admissions offices. Students meeting the Massachusetts Department Elementary and Secondary Education requirements for the Seal of Biliteracy will receive this designation in the form of an insignia affixed to their transcripts or diplomas.
Application & Testing
- Application Deadline for class of 2022 TBD (November or December 2021)
- READ THE FAQs Section before completing the application.
- Application Process:
- Apply for the Seal (form to be updated in the fall of 2021).
- Pay for the AAPPL® or ALIRA® assessment directly through the Language Testing International website. You will receive instructions via email after you complete your application.
- Financial Assistance Information
Wellesley Public Schools will offer at least one of the approved foreign language assessments in-district at least annually. At this time, we will offer the Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages (AAPPL®) to all interested students for modern languages* and the ALIRA® for students of Latin.
To qualify for the Massachusetts Seal of Biliteracy, a student must meet all graduation requirements and:
(a) Demonstrate a high level of proficiency in English.
Students who satisfy the English Language Arts requirement of the Competency Determination described in 603 CMR 30.03(2)(a) or (3)(a) satisfy the English criteria for the State Seal of Biliteracy.
List of English Assessments with minimum required scores or levels for purposes of 603 CMR 31.07(2)(a)
|Assessments in English||Source||Language||Skills Assessed||MA State Seal of Biliteracy – Minimum score or level to qualify:||MA State Seal of Biliteracy with Distinction – Minimum score or level to qualify:|
|Legacy ELA MCAS (Students who took MCAS prior to Spring 2019)||State Assessment||English||Reading
|Proficient (240-258)||Advanced (260)|
|Next-Gen ELA MCAS (Class of 2021 and beyond)||State Assessment||English||Reading
|Meeting Expectations (472-500)||Exceeding Expectations (501-560)|
Students who earn a scaled score between 220 and 238 on the English Language Arts grade 10 Legacy MCAS or between 455 and 471 on the Next-Gen MCAS may satisfy the English language criteria for the State Seal of Biliteracy if they fulfill the requirements of an Educational Proficiency Plan and attain a minimum score or level on a nationally recognized and readily available English proficiency assessment approved by the Department. See 603 CMR 31.07(2)(a)3. Students who retake the grade 10 English Language Arts MCAS in the spring of their 11 or 12 grade year and score a 240 (Legacy MCAS) or 472 (Next-Gen MCAS) satisfy the English language criteria for the State Seal of Biliteracy. Similarly, ACCESS for ELLs is administered to English learners in January and may be used to satisfy the English language criteria for the State Seal of Biliteracy by students who also fulfill the requirements of an Educational Proficiency Plan. These students must demonstrate English proficiency on ACCESS for ELLs with an overall score of at least level 4.2 and a composite literacy score of at least level 3.9. Districts interested in using an English proficiency assessment other than MCAS and ACCESS for ELLs to satisfy the English language criteria for students on an Educational Proficiency Plan should contact the Office of Language Acquisition to request approval.
 For more information on the Educational Proficiency Plan, please see the Requirements for the Educational Proficiency Plan (EPP) – Questions and Answers.
Students who attain a score or level at the INTERMEDIATE-HIGH level of the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines of 2012, published by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, on a language assessment approved by the Department satisfy the foreign language criteria for the State Seal of Biliteracy.
A student may also be able to demonstrate a high level of proficiency in a foreign language under certain circumstances as described in the Portfolio-Based Alternative Evidence Method for Foreign Language Assessments. (See http://www.doe.mass.edu/ell/guidance/default.html —Guidelines for Implementing the State Seal of Biliteracy, Section V.)
In past years, AP® Exam scores from junior year were eligible. Because the May 2020 AP® Exams did not assess reading and writing, DESE may not allow these scores for 2021.
To earn the State SEAL OF BILITERACY WITH DISTINCTION, students must meet the following criteria:
English: meeting or exceeding the ADVANCED threshold scaled score of 260 on the current ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS grade 10 MCAS test; and Foreign Language: scoring at the ADVANCED-LOW level of the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines of 2012 on an assessment approved by the Department or demonstrating an Advanced-Low level of proficiency through a portfolio-based alternative evidence method described above.
*The AAPPL® is available in:
Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Thai.