Newcomer Reading Skills Assessment Pilot


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Last Date to Register: 2/27/2023 12:01 AM
Last Date to Cancel: 8/28/2022 12:01 AM
Agency: CESA 2
Agency Contact: Gretchen Lettau
Agency Assistant: Kayla Kolstad 262-473-1473
Location: Zoom Link
Facility: Web Link
8/31/2022 12:30 PM - 02:30 PM
12/14/2022 12:30 PM - 02:30 PM
Price: $54.00

Bringing a Newcomer Reading Skills Assessment to Wisconsin Schools


Date: August 31st, 12:30-2:30 pm and Dec. 14th, 12:30-2:30 pm

Price: $54 per administration

Description: CESA 2 is partnering with a research group from the City University of New York (CUNY) to bring a Newcomer Reading Skills Assessment to Wisconsin schools to support educators gathering information on student literacy abilities. The skills assessment consists of reading comprehension passages and multiple-choice questions in Spanish to serve the large number of students from Spanish-speaking countries arriving in the United States. This assessment was developed for middle school and high school newcomer immigrant students from Spanish-speaking countries. The passage types are designed to be familiar to students from South and Central America, and appropriate for students who speak any regional variety of Spanish. The questions are aligned to U.S. Common Core standards in order to provide the most relevant information to educators. Testing levels range from Grade 2 to Grade 9.

Test administrators will determine a grade level to use for the testing based on an oral intake survey with the student. Each grade-level test is considered one administration. Test takers may need to go up or down a grade-level based on student performance. The detailed performance reports are designed to help educators create instructional plans for students.

Districts will test the student and within a week, receive a report in English that details the student’s abilities in literacy aligned to the U.S. Common Core State Standards for Reading.

  • Districts will administer the reading test in September or at point of entry for newcomer students.
  • A student performance report will be provided to the district one week after testing.

Additional Information
District personnel will receive training on test administration from CESA 2. District personnel will participate in a webinar in December to provide feedback to the CUNY researchers on the pilot.

Participating districts will designate a person or team to receive the training via the synchronous webinar or with Gretchen. Districts will also be able to receive an additional coaching session around implementation of the assessment and next steps for instruction. Districts will sign up with Gretchen’s calendly link to schedule the coaching session. This is included as part of the cost of the test administration.


About the facilitators:


Gretchen Lettau is a consultant in the Language and Culture Center of Excellence supporting the areas of Language Acquisition, English Learners, and Dual Language Education. Gretchen has worked as a teacher and coordinator for 19 years with culturally and linguistically diverse populations. She comes to CESA 2 after working in the Menasha Joint School District as a high school history, ESL and Bilingual teacher, and coordinator for the EL and Bilingual Programs. Throughout her career, Gretchen has collaborated with school districts in the areas of best practices, EL Co-teaching methods, academic language development, literacy and language practices when implementing workshop models, program reviews, and professional learning.




Dr Jennifer Chard is a Research Associate at Bridges to Academic Success. She is responsible for coordinating strategic research, writing, and development activities. Jennifer is also the Project Director for the Multilingual Literacy SIFE Screener at the Second Language Acquisition Laboratory. Her dissertation, entitled Mandarin assessment in Chinese-English bilingual preschoolers, examines Chinese/English bilingual children’s sentence comprehension skills in Mandarin and English. It adds to the body of literature emphasizing that home language assessment is critical when evaluating young children who may have special needs, and it specifically demonstrates that care must be taken in identifying the home language so that children are not inappropriately tested. Jennifer has spent a lot of time working directly with teachers and administrators at the preschool through high school levels to help them understand the importance of using students’ home language skills and abilities to design instruction, and promoting the maintenance and development of the home language in classroom settings.


Cancellation Policy: Registered participants will receive a refund if they cancel prior to 3 working days before an event, minus any material costs that have already been incurred. Cancellations must either be made on MyQuickReg or by emailing Because of our commitment to the presenter and the food vendor, participants who cancel less than 3 working days prior to the event or who do not attend the event, will be billed the full fee. CESA 2 reserves the right to cancel any event. Registered participants will be notified via phone and email if a cancellation occurs and will receive a full refund. 

Inclement Weather Policy: Every effort will be made to hold an event. CESA 2 will notify participants via email as soon as possible if an event has been cancelled due to weather conditions.

Disclaimer: CESA 2 will do its best to accommodate general dietary requests; if your dietary need is very specific or severe, you may want to bring your own lunch to ensure your comfort and health. CESA 2 does not assume liability for adverse reactions to food consumed or items one may come into contact with while eating at a CESA 2 event. If you have a dietary need or food allergy, please go into your MyQuickReg profile and update the special accommodations section. Notice of a special dietary need must be made 2 weeks in advance of the event.

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In-Person Events: Restrictions on our in-person events due to COVID-19 have been lifted. We will be responsive to what's happening within our communities, and guidelines from the CDC and local health agencies for future offerings and will update guidelines when necessary.