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World Languages

Checkpoint A Benchmark Proficiency Assessment Guidance and Item Writing Workshops (Summer 2024)

NYSED OBEWL is sponsoring a two-day, in-person workshop in each of nine regions in New York State to support NYS world language educators to understand and apply the Principles and Guidelines for Adopting or Creating Locally Developed Benchmark Assessments for Checkpoint A (Modern, Classical, ASL*). These documents provide guidance for the creation of Checkpoint A Benchmark Assessments aligned to the revised NYS Learning Standards for World Languages. Benchmark assessments are those assessments used to award one high school credit for middle school students prior to entering Grade 9 and to meet the one-credit graduation requirement. Checkpoint A Benchmark Assessments must be aligned to the revised standards for the June 2025 administration. Workshop presenters will explain the guidelines outlined in the aforementioned documents and will guide participants in designing assessment items that adhere to these guidelines.  A member of the World Language Executive Committee will lead each workshop:  Dr. Joanne O’Toole, Bill Heller, and Dr. Lori Langer de Ramirez.  All workshops will run from 9am to 2pm with a one-hour lunch on your own.

  • Capital:  Tuesday, July 16th - Wednesday, July 17th - Questar III BOCES (10 Empire State Blvd., Castleton-On-Hudson, NY  12033)
  • Hudson Valley:  Thursday, July 11th - Friday, July 12th - Ulster BOCES (175 Route 32 N, New Paltz, NY 12561)
  • Long Island:  Tuesday, July 23rd - Wednesday, July 24th - Western Suffolk BOCES (31 Lee Avenue, Wheatley Heights, NY 11798)
  • Mid-State:  Thursday, July 18th - Friday, July 19th - OHM BOCES (4747 Middle Settlement Rd, New Hartford, NY 13413)
  • Mid-West:  Thursday, June 27th - Friday, June 28th - Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES (3599 Big Ridge Rd., Spencerport, NY  14559)
  • New York City - Thursday, July 25th - Friday, July 26th - Fordham University - Bronx Campus (2691 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY 10458)
  • Northern NY - Tuesday, July 9th - Wednesday, July 10th – Jefferson-Lewis BOCES (20104 Arsenal St, Watertown, NY 13601)
  • Southern Tier: Monday, July 1st - Tuesday, July 2nd - BT BOCES, Johnson City Learning Center (500 Main St, Johnson City, NY 13790)
  • West: Monday, August 5th - Tuesday, August 6th - Erie 1 BOCES (355 Harlem Rd., West Seneca, NY  14224)

Participants must commit to attending both days in full.  8 hours of CTLE credit are offered.

Registration process:  All participants must pre-register for these workshops using the NYSED registration form.  (Please note that using your school’s internal system, such as Frontline, does not register you for these workshops.)  Once the registrant's email address has been verified as being from a New York State school, college, or university, an email confirming their registration will be sent.  Pre-registration will close by Friday, June 14, 2024, or whenever the individual venues reach capacity; there will be no same-day registration.  Only pre-registered attendees will be eligible for a certificate documenting attendance and/or CTLE hours. 

Link to workshop flyer

Link to registration form

For more information on professional learning webinars for world language educators, please visit our website.

Dr. Joanne O'Toole is a Professor of Modern Language Education in the Curriculum and Instruction Department at SUNY Oswego. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the NYSED World Languages Content Advisory Panel and the Principal Investigator of the NYS World Language Standards Initiative. Joanne has served in several world language leadership positions including NYSAFLT President and NECTFL Director, and is a regular presenter at national, regional, state, and local conferences. Joanne is a certified teacher of Spanish and taught Spanish for 16 years prior to entering post-secondary education.




Bill Heller has taught in public elementary, secondary, community college and undergraduate classrooms for 40 years, including 24 years teaching Spanish at Perry High School. He has been a methods and Spanish instructor at SUNY Geneseo since 2001.  He is a frequent presenter of workshops, webinars and keynotes. Bill served as Conference Chair for the 2018 Northeast Conference (NECTFL) and is currently a member of the Executive Board and Content Advisory Panel for World Languages at the New York State Education Department (NYSED).




Dr. Lori Langer de Ramirez began her language teaching career as a teacher of Spanish, French and ESL. She holds a Master's Degree in Applied Linguistics and a Doctorate in Curriculum and Teaching from Teachers College, Columbia University. She is currently the Director of World and Classical Languages & Global Language Initiatives at the Dalton School in New York City. Lori is the author of books, texts and articles about language teaching and learning and multicultural education. She presents workshops at local, regional and national conferences and works with teachers in schools throughout the U.S. and around the world. Her website ( offers free materials for teaching Chinese, English, French, and Spanish.