Ninety-five students in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District were recognized for their proficiency in multiple languages on June 14.

More than 10,000 high school students across California earned the first state recognition in the nation for achieving proficiency in multiple languages, State of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced July 5.

The State Seal of Biliteracy, created by former SMMUSD Board of Education President Julia Brownley, recognizes high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading and writing in one or more languages other than English.

More than 70 percent of students earned the seal by demonstrating proficiency in Spanish, followed by 10 percent in French.

Qualified students were tested on one or more of 40 different languages, including American Sign.

To have qualified for the seal high school graduates must have completed all English-language arts requirements with a 2.0 or higher grade point average, passed the California Standards Test in English-language and have demonstrated proficiency in a second language.

Proficiency is determined by passing a foreign language advanced placement examination with a score of three or higher or an international baccalaureate examination with a score of four or higher.

The student could also earn the seal by successfully completing four years of high school world language with a 3.0 or higher grade point average in that course.

The program went into effect Jan. 1, 2012.

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