Guest editorial: HPS to award Michigan Seal of Biliteracy to graduating seniors

By Interim Superintendent Nabil Nagi
At Hamtramck Public Schools (HPS), we’re immensely proud of our talented student body.
Working within a diverse school district means that we often encounter bilingual students. Our mission as educators is to offer a safe learning environment to our students, families and staff.
As a part of that, we ensure each student that walks out of our school doors leaves with a sharper mind and a love of learning. Our latest effort will allow our bilingual students an opportunity to earn recognition for their dedication to language.
This year we’re excited to participate in awarding the Michigan Seal of Biliteracy to 2023 graduating seniors. 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, or completion of a high school equivalency certificate.
In addition, they must also demonstrate Intermediate High proficiency on Michigan Department of Education approved world language assessments and meet the English Language Requirements for graduation.
This voluntary award can be pursued by any graduation-eligible senior through two assessments — a Listening/Speaking assessment and a Writing assessment through ALTA Language Services.
The testing costs will be waived by the district to encourage participation and recognition of our talented student body. In addition, The Seal is an excellent resource for students to include on academic transcripts and resumes as knowing more than one language is a strength not all possess.
Interested students can complete their language assessments to determine eligibility for The Seal during January and February. English Language Development District Specialist, Anne Clemente, will share results with all students upon receiving them.
After MDE approval, certificates and letters from the State Superintendent and the Office of Bilingual Education will be printed, with an anticipated celebration of the recipients in the spring of 2023.
We look forward to kicking off this year doing what we do best — cheering on our wonderful students as they continue to make us proud.
For more information on upcoming efforts and initiatives, please visit the district website at
Nabil Nagi is the Interim Superintendent of the Hamtramck Public School District.
Published Feb. 3, 2023

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