Preparing Students from Around the World for the World

Biliteracy Seal 2021Des Moines Public Schools educates students from around the world. Our students come to Des Moines from a hundred different nations and speak more than 80 languages and dialects.

At the same time, DMPS educates students to be prepared to go out and succeed in the world, including a robust World Languages curriculum. That’s one reason DMPS is participating in the Iowa Seal of Biliteracy program.

The Seal of Biliteracy is an award given by the district to recognize students who have attained proficiency in two or more languages, one of which is English, by high school graduation. Some of the goals of this new effort include:

  • Encourage students to study world languages
  • Certify attainment of biliteracy
  • Provide a method of identifying people with language and biliteracy skills
  • Prepare students with 21st century skills
  • Recognize and promote world language instruction in public schools
  • Strengthen intergroup relationships, affirm the value of diversity, and honor the multiple cultures and languages of a community


Being able to know and use more than one language is a critical skill for the 21st century. The seal of Biliteracy:

  • Values language as an asset
  • Recognizes the value of language diversity & cultural identity
  • Prepares students for the 21st century skills that will benefit them in the labor market and the global society
  • Provides employers, universities, and grant/scholarship providers with a method to recognize applicants for their dedication to attainment of biliteracy.

For more information about the Iowa Seal of Biliteracy, visit the Iowa Department of Education website.


Curriculum - World Language & Seal of Biliteracy Coordinator

Samantha Finneseth
Address: 2100 Fleur Drive, Des Moines, IA 50321