When determining eligibility for Highly Capable Services, we look at data points from a variety of sources. The data we use may differ depending on the student's grade level. 

How do I prepare my child for Highly Capable Tests?

Your child does not need to study for the Highly Capable tests, and our department does not provide guidance for test preparation. Furthermore, we do not recommend that you purchase any test preparation materials. A full night of sleep, a positive attitude, and a complete breakfast on test day is all your child will need in order to do their best.

Screening and Assessment Tools

Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (WaKIDS)

WaKIDS is administered to all kindergarten students within the first few months of the school year. The inventory has three purposes, one of which is whole-child assessment. This assessment helps kindergarten teachers learn about the skills and strengths of the children in their classrooms so they can meet the needs of each child. Kindergarten teachers observe children during everyday classroom activities. This helps teachers find out what each child knows and can do at the beginning of the school year. Before October 31, teachers take an inventory of each child’s developing skills in six areas: social-emotional, physical, cognitive, language, literacy, and mathematics. Further information regarding the WaKIDS process is located at:

Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test

The NNAT3 is a nonverbal measure of general ability. The Highly Capable Department uses the NNAT3 to predict student’s cognitive potential, irrespective of their verbal ability, primary language, or time spent in school. The NNAT3 is a 30-minute online test that will be administered during the school day. When used as a screening instrument, it can be administered to entire classrooms, in the classroom, and proctored by the classroom teacher. When used during the assessment process, trained proctors will administer the NNAT3 at a predetermined location and time of day, within the student’s school. 

Benchmark Assessment System (BAS)

The BAS assists in determining a student’s independent and instructional reading levels.  Classroom teachers are able to observe the student reading behaviors one-on-one, engage in comprehension conversations that go beyond retelling, and make informed decisions regarding instruction. In Part I of the assessment, the student reads aloud from leveled fiction or nonfiction text while the teacher observes and notes the reader’s behaviors. In Part 2, the teacher conducts a comprehension conversation. Primary grade teachers in Northshore administer the test according to the district’s assessment calendar.

Star Reading

Star by Renaissance Learning is a screener and progress monitoring assessment. It assesses current student levels and progress toward grade-level standards.  In Northshore, Star is currently implemented in grades 3-5 to assess reading. Star is an online assessment that can be completed in about 20 minutes. During Star reading tests, students are presented text to read. After reading, students respond to multiple-choice comprehension questions.

Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBA)

Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBA) are required for state and federal accountability in the areas of English Language Arts (ELA) and math.  Students are assessed in grades 3-8 to measure progress toward state standards and in grade 10 for state assessment graduation requirements. SBA administration is conducted by student’s classroom teacher(s), typically in the spring of each school year. Further information regarding state testing is located here:

IOWA Assessments (IOWA)

The Iowa Assessments (formerly known as the Iowa Test of Basic Skills) are standardized tests developed by the the University of Iowa College of Education. The Highly Capable Department administers the online Iowa Assessments when determining eligibility for services in reading and/or math. These tests are administered at one grade above the student's current grade level.