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September 2, 2020 @ 3:00 pm 4:00 pm

Assessment from Afar: Strategies for Assessing Readers, Writers, and Speakers Remotely

Headshots of Cindy Downend, Wendy Vaulton, and Courtney Varner.

In this 1-hour complimentary webinar, examine authentic ways to assess students’ reading, writing, and speaking strengths and needs in a remote setting or in a socially-distanced classroom.

September 2, 2020
3:00-4:00pm (EST)
Grade Levels:
Literacy Assessment
  • Classroom Teachers, Interventionists, & Specialists
  • Literacy Coaches & Teacher Leaders
  • District & School Leaders
Online: Real Time Learning

NOTEThere is a maximum capacity for this webinar.
We will be allowing access on a first come, first serve basis starting at 2:45pm.

Webinar Description


Struggling with how to assess your students when working remotely or in the socially-distanced classroom?

Join us for this complimentary webinar that will examine authentic ways to assess students’ reading, writing, and speaking strengths and needs.

Center faculty members, Cindy Downend, Wendy Vaulton, and Courtney Varner will facilitate this interactive session in which they will discuss:

  • Foundational principles of authentic and meaningful assessment
  • Important considerations for remote assessment
  • Practical guidance for optimizing efficient administration and record-keeping
  • Use of the Fountas & Pinnell Literacy Continuum to support the observation of reading, writing, and speaking behaviors in any context

Cynthia Downend, Assistant Director, Literacy Programs

Headshot of Cindy Downend

Cynthia Downend has worked at the Center for Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative for over 10 years, serving in the roles of primary level literacy trainer and currently as the assistant director for primary literacy programs.

Cynthia has worked with many school districts across the United States to train and develop district level literacy staff developers, literacy coaches, classroom teachers, literacy interventionists and school administrators on a variety of topics related to improving literacy instruction.

Prior to her work at Lesley University, Cynthia held positions as a literacy coach, Reading Recovery teacher, and classroom teacher for over 20 years working in a variety of school settings including urban, suburban, and international schools.

Cynthia holds licenses in both elementary education and school administration, and achieved National Board Certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.


Wendy Vaulton, Assistant Director of Research

Headshot of Wendy Vaulton


Dr. Vaulton has more than fifteen years of experience designing and implementing multi-site training, technical assistance, and evaluation projects at the state, local, and federal levels. At the Center for Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative, Wendy is responsible for ensuring that educators have the skills and tools they need to monitor implementation and measure outcomes in authentic and meaningful ways. Wendy creates training tools and materials to help educators engage in ongoing quality improvement and has been with the CRRLC since 2012.


Courtney Varner, Literacy Trainer

Headshot of Courtney VarnerCourtney has a B.S. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and earned a Masters in Elementary Education from George Mason University. Her educational career started in Fairfax County Public Schools, VA where she had 8 years of experience working in Title 1 schools. She taught in 1st and 2nd grade and served as a Reading Recovery teacher. In addition, Courtney was a Literacy Collaborative trained literacy coach for the intermediate grades.

Interested in professional learning at your school 
or district? Schedule a meeting with one of our faculty trainers.

Featured Blogs

March 8, 2023 Cindy Downend

Playing with Letters, Sounds, and Words: Lessons Learned from Four Year-Olds

Cindy Downend, our associate director of primary literacy programs, highlights her experiences helping the earliest readers with letters and sounds.

February 28, 2023 Lorena Escoto Germán

What Is Textured Teaching and why is it important?

In several states in the United States, talking about race and racism is currently restricted in one way or another. In the year 2023, not 1950. So how will those of us who are committed anti-biased and anti-racist teachers proceed? With conviction and vigor.

February 24, 2023 Wendy Vaulton

Make Room for Meaning: How Decoding and Meaning Go Hand-in-hand

Research indicates that emergent readers need both code-based (phonics) and meaning-based (context) strategies to successfully solve the high volume of words needed to read English.