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Foster Elementary School students witnessed history on May 18, as Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed HB17-1201, Science Technology Engineering Math Diploma Endorsement, into law. The governor also did a mock signing of SB17-123, Seal of Biliteracy for High School Diplomas. He had officially signed that bill into law on March 30.
“It's such a powerful thing to be able to have the governor here at our school — at our Title I school,” said Foster Elementary Principal Leigh Hiester. “This really impacts our students because we are a STEM school and we are a dual language school, so both of these bills will really impact their future and their ability to move forward in life.”
Foster Elementary in Arvada became one of the first STEM elementary schools in Jeffco this school year. In 2004, Foster began the first two-way dual language program in the district. The goal of the program is for students to be bilingual and biliterate in both Spanish and English by sixth grade.
The Science Technology Engineering Math Diploma Endorsement (HB17-1201), sponsored by Rep. James Coleman (D-Denver), Sen. Rachel Zensinger (D-Arvada) and Sen. Kevin Priola (R-Adams County) “authorizes a school district, board of cooperative services, district charter high school, or institute charter high school (local education provider) to grant a high school diploma endorsement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to students who demonstrate mastery in STEM.”
The Seal of Biliteracy for High School Diplomas (SB17-123), also sponsored by Zenzinger and Priola, “authorizes a school district, BOCES, or institute charter high school to grant a diploma endorsement in biliteracy to a student who demonstrates proficiency in English and at least one foreign language. The bill establishes the requirements a graduating high school student must meet to obtain the biliteracy endorsement.”
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