Har-Ber and SHS Students holding their certificates

Springdale Schools Celebrates the Recipients of the 2022 Seal of Biliteracy at Har-Ber High School and Springdale High School. Click here to learn more about the Seal of Biliteracy at Springdale Schools.


Springdale High School

Springdale High School celebrated 139 students at an Arkansas Seal of Biliteracy ceremony May 11 in the school's Performing Arts Center.

The high school had the most students in the state earn the seal this school year, said Erin Kemp, French and world language teacher. The school has had 463 students earn the seal to date.

Springdale High also has the most students certified in Marshallese and the only student certified in both Marshallese and Spanish in the state, said Kristen Novotny, Spanish and bilingual service learning teacher.

Springdale Public Schools leads the state in Arkansas Seal of Biliteracy students, with 1,070 of the 3,309 students recognized for the achievement stemming from Springdale Schools since the seal was officially endorsed by the Arkansas Department of Education in 2018.

Students were presented with a certificate and medal at the ceremony to recognize their achievement.

Siblings Ronny and Fatima Estrada both earned the Arkansas Seal of Biliteracy this year. Ronny Estrada is a 10th-grader, and Fatima Estrada is in the 12th grade.

"It's a great honor," Ronny Estrada said.

Fatima Estrada said she anticipates the certification will help her better serve the community in the workplace.

"I want to go into the medical field," she said, adding being bilingual will help her communicate with patients who don't speak English.

Students had to score proficient or better in English when taking the ACT, ACT Aspire or ELPA to earn the recognition. For the secondary language, students had to pass the reading, writing, listening and speaking portions of the language test.

"The Seal of Biliteracy encourages students to pursue biliteracy, honors the skills our students attain and can be evidence of skills that are attractive to future employers and college admissions offices,” according to the official website.

The Arkansas Seal of Biliteracy is approved by the Arkansas Department of Education, the Arkansas Foreign Language Teachers Association and Arkansas Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. Adopted first by California in 2011, the Seal of Biliteracy is recognized in 48 states and Washington D.C.

Don Tyson School of Innovation's ceremony will be at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, May 18 in the DTSOI Performing Arts Center.


Har-Ber High School

Har-Ber High School celebrated 56 students at a Arkansas Seal of Biliteracy ceremony May 4 in the school's Performing Arts Center.

Springdale Public Schools leads the state in Arkansas Seal of Biliteracy students, with 1,070 of the 3,309 students recognized for the achievement stemming from Springdale Schools since the seal was officially endorsed by the Arkansas Department of Education in 2018.

Students were presented with a certificate and medal at the ceremony to recognize their achievement.

"These students are being awarded for showing biliteracy in English and in another language," said Noemi Martinez, Har-Ber Spanish teacher.

Paul Griep, Har-Ber principal, said the number of students recognized for the achievement speaks to the hard work of the students and the World Language teachers.

β€œYou have worked hard to earn this recognition," Griep said. "We are extremely proud of you.”

Litzy Rios, 15, said earning the seal took a lot of effort to achieve.

β€œI feel accomplished and proud,” she said. β€œI think it was all really worth it.”

Rios, a sophomore, earned a certificate for her proficiency in English and Spanish, she said, giving credit to her parents as well.

β€œThey never let me speak English in the house,” Rios said.

The certificate presents an opportunity for further learning and growth in the workplace as students move forward with applying what they've learned as part of earning the seal, Griep said.

Students had to score proficient or better in English when taking the ACT, ACT Aspire or ELPA to earn the recognition, Martinez said. For the secondary language, students had to pass the reading, writing, listening and speaking portions of the Spanish, Marshallese or Chinese language test.

The Arkansas Seal of Biliteracy is approved by the Arkansas Department of Education, the Arkansas Foreign Language Teachers Association and Arkansas Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, she said.

Springdale High School will feature its Arkansas Seal of Biliteracy Presentation Ceremony at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 11 at the SHS Performing arts Center. Don Tyson School of Innovation's ceremony will be at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, May 18 in the DTSOI Performing Arts Center.