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Grinnell-Newburg CSD


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Seal of Biliteracy

Seal of Biliteracy

Grinnell-Newburg Community School District is pleased to announce its participation in the Iowa Seal of Biliteracy beginning the 2019-2020 school year!  Read on for details.


The Iowa Seal of Biliteracy is a formal state-level student recognition and credential for demonstrating proficiency in English and additional languages.

The Seal would be affixed to student diplomas and transcripts upon demonstration of proficiency in at least two languages, one being English.


In the 2018 legislative session SF475 was signed into law, establishing the Seal of Biliteracy program. Like other states, the purpose of Iowa’s program is to regognize students demonstrating proficiency (reading, writing, and speaking) in more than one language, one of which being English. The Seal will be placed on diplomas at graduation.  Students may demonstrate proficiency at any time in their high school career.

This program is of special interest to the Spanish Department and ELL services.  The Spanish Department would like to use this as an additional external test metric for students who have moved through the program at GHS.  This program also provides a way for students speaking and writing languages other than English at home to earn district and state recognition and credentials for their abilities in that regard.



Aaron Backlin will serve as Coordinator and contact person for this program at Grinnell High School.  Questions and inquiries should be addressed to him. Please contact him at 641-236-2720 or at aaron.backlin@grinnell-k12.org.

There will be at least one informational meeting per year at GHS for interested parties.  This will be announced well in advance.

Students may demonstrate proficiency in English via ACT/SAT testing, state assessments, or AP English Language and Literature scores.  Proficiency in additional languages will be demonstrated via any number of appropriate examinations as approved by the State of Iowa.

Deadline for students to declare interest for the Seal will be on or around December 1st of the current school year.  Upon declaration of interest, the district will begin working to schedule and prepare for appropriate assessments.