Reminder: Per WAC 392-170-047, Northshore School District is required to obtain parent/guardian permission prior to conducting assessments for Highly Capable program eligibility. If you would like your student to be considered for the Highly Capable Program, be sure to complete the online permission form prior to October 25, 2019.

What is Assessment?

Students who meet or exceed the screening threshold are invited to continue to assessment. During assessment, the department may administer additional tests to your student. The Highly Capable Department uses trained proctors to administer the assessment test(s) during the school day at the student’s current school site. 

In most cases, the Highly Capable Department administers the Iowa Assessments in Math and Reading (IOWA), which is a standardized measure of academic achievement. Students are administered the IOWA at one grade level above their current grade. If a student is already qualified in a single subject area, they will only take the IOWA in the area that they are not qualified in. (In other words, if your student is already receiving Highly Capable services in reading, they will only take the math portion of the IOWA.) 

Students who meet the eligibility criteria on one or both assessments will receive an offer of Highly Capable Services.

A brief overview of the Iowa Assessments is available on our Instruments page: Instruments



What assessments will my student take?

Our department administers the Iowa Assessments (IOWA) to collect additional achievement data on students. However, we recognize that our students' time is valuable, and strive to eliminate unnecessary testing when possible. 

Students with exemplary performance (95th percentile or higher) on the most recent Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBA) may be exempt from one or both Iowa Assessments. For example, a student who scores in the 95th percentile on the Math portion of the SBA will not need to take the Iowa Assessment in Math.

On a related note, students with existing Highly Capable qualifications do not need to re-test in order to maintain that qualification. If a student is already receiving Highly Capable Services in either reading or math, they will remain qualified as long as they maintain good academic standing.



What criteria are needed in order for students to qualify?

The eligibility criteria depends on a student's grade level. To see the criteria for your student, refer to the section below. 




All kindergarten students will take the WaKIDS and the NNAT3, so there is no formal "assessment" stage for kindergarteners. To learn more about Highly Capable Eligibility Process for kindergarten students, visit our page on Holistic Services. 

READ about Holistic Services READ about the NNAT3


 First Grade

In order to qualify for Highly Capable Services, first-graders need to meet at least one of the following criteria: 

  • 95th percentile or higher on the NNAT3
  • 95th percentile or higher on the IOWA

READ about the NNAT3

 Second Grade

Third Grade

In order to qualify for Highly Capable Services, second-graders and third-graders need to score in the 95th percentile or higher on the IOWA.

Fourth Grade

Fifth Grade

Sixth Grade

Seventh Grade

In order to qualify for Highly Capable Services, students in fourth grade through seventh grade need to meet at least one of the following criteria: 

  • 95th percentile or higher on the SBA
  • 95th percentile or higher on the IOWA

Eighth Grade 

High School

In order to qualify for Highly Capable Services, students in eighth grade and beyond need to score in the 95th percentile or higher on the SBA.




How do I prepare my student for Highly Capable testing?

Your student does not need to study for any tests administered as part of the Highly Capable Eligibility Process. Generally speaking, students will perform their best if they are relaxed and well-rested on the day of the exam. (A healthy breakfast on the day of the test also helps!) Our department does not endorse or recommend the use of any test preparation guides. 

As part of our testing procedure for all Highly Capable testing, proctors will explain the structure of the tests to your student. If your student asks, you can say that the tests will be multiple-choice and administered on a computer. Telling your student specific details about the test, such as the number of items or the number of options per question, is unlikely to be helpful. 

When talking about testing with your student, keep your tone calm and positive. Encourage your student to listen closely to the proctor's directions. Remind them that your only expectation is that they do their best. After your student finishes a test, remind them that you're proud of them for challenging themselves: praise the effort, not the score.