Ralston Schools adopt seal of biliteracy

Posted at 3:53 PM, Jan 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-26 17:58:21-05

For Spanish students at Ralston High School, class includes reading, writing, and speaking the language.

They are also studying for the advanced placement exam. 

It isn’t just AP test prep students are also learning about different ways to communicate.

For example, recently, the students just did their own telenovela skits, that is a Spanish soap opera.

Senior Nick Curtis says the classes were a no brainer.

"My friend speaks Spanish and I always wanted to talk to him in the language that he speaks at home,” He said.

“And I just figured that is there are so many different languages in the world that is doesn't make sense to know one.”

Curtis has already taken the AP Spanish exam, and scored more than 3 which will make him of Ralston’s first students who will receive an extra seal on his diploma.

The seal of biliteracy.

The seal of biliteracy is an award recognizing students who have studied and attained proficiency in two or more languages by high school graduation.

This year, Ralston’s school board voted to include it. It's the first district in the metro to do so. 

For these students, who at the highest level of high school Spanish, can also dual-enroll at UNO the seal is a triple incentive to take a language.

“They can get college credit through UNO, they can take the AP exam and get additional college credit if they get a 3 or higher, and if they get a 3 or higher they can get the seal of biliteracy. " said Jamie Honke, a teacher at Ralston.

But it's also a plus for native speakers, like senior Wilber Rivera

“I felt like an advantage and I fell unique a little bit but I am happy they do that,” he said.

Honke said that 27 percent of Ralston School students identifies as Hispanic or Latino.

“We have two Spanish for native speakers at Ralston High so our students in those classes already identify as bilingual and biliterate,” Honke added.

As for Curtis, he says he now has conversations with his friend in Spanish. 

“Probably about nothing, but it was, it felt good to do what i said out to do,” he said.