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World Languages

Principles and Guidelines for Adopting or Creating Locally Developed Benchmark Assessments for Checkpoint A (Classical Languages)

Guidance Document:  Principles and Guidelines for Adopting or Creating Locally Developed Benchmark Assessments for Checkpoint A (Classical Languages) 

Presenters:  Dr. Joanne O’Toole, David Pellegrino, and Bill Heller

Original webinar date & time:  Tuesday, March 5th, 2024, 4:00-5:00 pm

1 hour of CTLE credit offered

Webinar description:  In this session, the presenters will explain the general principles and protocols outlined in the NYSED-OBEWL document, Principles and Guidelines for Adopting or Creating Locally Developed Benchmark Assessments for Checkpoint A (Classical Languages). This document provides guidance to Local Educational Agencies and regional and statewide consortia for the creation of Checkpoint A Benchmark Assessments for Classical Languages aligned to the revised NYS Learning Standards for Classical 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.

Click here to download the webinar flyer.

Link to Handouts folder from webinar

Link to recording of webinar

Link to post-assessments

To receive a certificate of completion (including a CTLE certificate), NYS educators must view the recording of the webinar (see link above) in its entirety and then answer at least seven out of ten questions correctly on the post assessment.  If the minimum required score (7 out of 10) is achieved, the educator will receive a certificate via email within about 24 hours.  For the convenience of our World Language educators, there are multiple versions of the post assessment available, should the required score not be achieved on the first attempt.  Educators may take each version of the post assessment once.

Important notes:

  1. Educators may take each version of the post assessment once.  Credit will not be given for taking a single version of the post assessment more than once. 
  2. Credit will not be given for more than one passing score on any of the post assessments for a webinar (listed below) in a single academic year.  
  3. Educators may receive credit for viewing the webinar recording and passing a post assessment once in each academic year and are encouraged to take a different version of the post assessment on a yearly basis to review and test their knowledge of the webinar's content. 
  4. It is the responsibility of the individual educator to keep track of the information on the professional learning they complete each year, including the number of CTLE hours.
  5. Questions about this webinar or the post assessments, should be directed to our office at (518) 473-7505 or at

Webinar Summary

# of attendees: 80
# of CTLE certificates issued:  53
# of certificates of attendance issued: 27
# of organizations represented by attendees:  40

71 participants from district schools
1 participant from non-public schools
3 participants from colleges or universities
1 participant from BOCES or RBERNs
3 participants from a government agency

Quotes from participants 

"Thank you for such an informative session, with specific tasks to illustrate how to develop assessments for Checkpoint A Classical Languages."  ~Lea G.-K.

"This was very good information to know as a high school teacher." ~Richard C.

"Thank you providing all the specific examples – they were incredibly helpful to see." ~Ronli D.

"So incredibly helpful. gratias maximas vobis ago!"  ~Michelle R.

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.




David Pellegrino has taught middle and high school level Latin and Spanish for 33 years and recently retired from Pittsford Mendon High School. While teaching full-time, he was the department leader of the World Language Department at Pittsford Mendon High School for over 20 years. Over the course of his career, he has presented many pedagogical workshops and continues to do so both at the local and national levels. He is currently the treasurer of the Classical Association of the Empire State.





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).