Haverhill High School Students Adept in Multiple Languages to Receive Graduation Recognition

A likeness of Michelangelo’s “Il Pensieroso,” more commonly known as “The Thinker,” at Haverhill High School. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Haverhill High School students with multi-lingual proficiency will receive a special commendation at this year’s graduation.

Since 2017, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has recognized graduating seniors who demonstrate the ability to speak, read and write in another language, as well as English. The recognition comes in the form of a State Seal of Biliteracy, which appears on their diplomas.

Haverhill High School Director of English as a Second Language Heidi Perez told the School Committee last week, this is the second year Haverhill has taken part in the program and explained it’s benefits.

“We support this because we want to participate in encouraging students to study multiple languages, be a part of a global society, prepare them for work and for college. Last year, it was awarded to nine of our Haverhill High School scholars who graduated,” she said.

Perez pointed out success came in spite of mostly remote learning caused by the pandemic. She told the Committee in the past, MCAS scores were used to demonstrate a student’s proficiency in English, but COVID-19 has made it difficult for some students to access the test. As a result, this year, the state is accepting a demonstration of proficiency in the classroom.

Perez said they are now in the process of identifying potentially eligible students who will then be invited to take the test.

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