Skip to main content

World Languages

The New York State Seal of Biliteracy (NYSSB)

NYS Seal of Biliteracy Flyer (Multiple Languages)


Arabic                             Bengali                  Chinese (Simplified)            

French                            Haitian                    Karen                    

Korean                            Nepali                    Polish

Russian                          Spanish                    Urdu

The New York State Seal of Biliteracy (NYSSB) recognizes high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in one or more languages, in addition to English.  The intent of the NYSSB is to encourage the study of languages; identify high school graduates with language and biliteracy skills for employers; provide universities with additional information about applicants seeking admission; prepare students with twenty-first century skills; recognize the value of foreign and native language instruction in schools; and affirm the value of diversity in a multilingual society.

Letter from the Deputy Commissioner

NYS Seal of Biliteracy Handbook  The NYSSB handbook will help districts and schools with  the implementation process, including procedures, criteria, questions and answers, required forms, and resources.  New York City DOE public schools should consult the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for information specific to NYC DOE schools.  Questions from New York City DOE public schools should be directed to Jill Schimmel in the Division of Multilingual Learners (  Questions from all other schools in New York State (including Charter schools in New York City) should be directed to Candace Black in the Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages (; 518-473-7505).

** Coming Soon ** - NYS Seal of Biliteracy Annual Report (2018-19)

School Notification Form  Each year, schools will inform the NYS Education Department of their intent to establish a Seal of Biliteracy program.    Required in this form will be committee member information as well as program details (e.g. assessment rubrics).  NYC DOE schools will be contacted by the Division of Multilingual Learners in the fall to provide this information. All other schools outside of the NYC area (including NYC Charter Schools) will submit this online form by no later than December 1st using the following link.  A template of the form is available (see title link) for schools to print while gathering data, but all information must be submitted via the online form.

Culminating Project Notification Form.  The Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages (OBEWL) will be scheduling school visits to sample and observe NYSSB Culminating Projects starting in the 2019-20 school year.  The purpose of these visits is to provide feedback and support to high schools offering this program.  The Culminating Project Notification form must be submitted electronically via the following link by all high schools that use an essay, portfolio or project to earn 2 points towards the NYSSB by no later than April 15th of each year.  

Seal Request Form.  Schools will request a physical Seal that will be placed on a student's diploma.  The Seal Request Form must be submitted electronically via the following link by May 31st.  Along with this form, districts will be required to complete the End-of-Year Data Form (below).

End-of-Year Data Form.  By May 31st of each year, schools will submit the End-of-Year Data Form (Excel spreadsheet) with all required information on the students earning the Seal of Biliteracy.  This form must be correctly completed and submitted to OBEWL (to in order to receive the physical Seals and medallions. 

Criteria for Earning the Seal  In order to earn the NYS Seal of Biliteracy, students must demonstrate proficiency in English and another language based on criteria set by the NYS Education Department.

NYS Board of Regents Consent Item

Updated 2/20/19