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Lake Washington School District Highly Capable Testing

Lake Washington School District’s gifted and talented programs are called Highly Capable Services. The Lake Washington Highly Capable program is available to students in Kindergarten through 12th grade. Programs are broken down into four age groups:

  • Kindergarten
  • Elementary (1st through 4th)
  • Middle School (5th through 8th)
  • High School (9th through 12th)

Early Entrance Kindergarten

LWSD offers Early Entrance testing for children who miss the cutoff date for kindergarten (August 31st) but turn five before October 1st. This testing includes five areas: cognitive, fine motor, communication, perceptual motor, and social/emotional. The testing session takes between 1.5 and 2 hours. Parents are not allowed in the room during the assessment.

Area Type of Skills Tested Qualifying Scores
Cognitive Think critically
Follow spoken directions
Draw relationships between objects
95th or higher percentile
Communication Receptive Language:
Understand and use conversational skills
Understand different words and sounds
Expressive Language:
Use words socially and to express information
Understand and use simple grammar rules
95th or higher percentile
Fine Motor Small muscles control (especially in the arms and hands) 75th or higher percentile
Perceptual Motor Combine fine motor and perceptual skills to complete tasks 75th or higher percentile
Social/Emotional Behave and react like a typical 5-year-old Typical 5-year-old range

Highly Capable Testing for Kindergarten

All kindergartners are screened for LWSD Highly Capable math and/or reading services (K5HC) in the fall using the CogAT test. Students who have a score range of Composite SAS 132-160 qualify for further testing. Additional tests include:

Iowa Assessments – To qualify for reading the student must score at or above 98th percentile in reading and at or above the 95th percentile in math. To qualify for math, the student must score at or above the 98th percentile in math and at or above the 95th percentile in reading.

FastBridge – Reading or math scores must indicate “minimal risk”

WA KIDS – Test must indicate “at or above grade level standard”

Testing Mom offers a comprehensive online program with practice test questions, one-on-one expert tutoring sessions, and group classes that cover all concepts on the CogAT and ITBS.

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Highly Capable Testing for Elementary

Students in grades 1st-4th are eligible for testing into one of the following LWSD Highly Capable programs: Full-Time Quest, Pull-Out Quest, and K5HC (1st graders can only qualify for the K5HC program).

All 1st grade students attending public school take the CogAT screening form in the fall of their 1st grade year. If a student scores a Composite SAS of 126-160, they take the POST CogAT and the Iowa Assessments to see if they qualify for services beginning in 2nd grade. (First grade students in private school or who are homeschooled, will need to apply for entrance into the 2nd grade Quest programs.)

Second through third graders apply for entrance into the following year’s Quest programs. Students are screened using the FastBridge test from the fall of that year (qualifying result is “Advanced”) and the CogAT screening form (qualifying score is a Composite SAS range of 126-160). Students who qualify take the full CogAT and Iowa Assessments.

Fourth graders also apply for entrance into the following year’s Quest program. They are screened using the Smarter Balanced Assessment from the previous year (qualifying range is level 4 on SBA ELA and SBA Math) and the CogAT screening form (qualifying score is a Composite SAS range of 126-160). Students who qualify take the full CogAT and Iowa Assessments.

Applications and timelines for all testing can be found on the LWSD website.

Highly Capable Testing for Middle School

Only full-time Quest is available to students in grades 6th-8th. Students who finish 5th grade in full-time Quest automatically qualify for the program. All other students must apply.

Students are screened using the previous year’s Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) scores (qualifying range is level 4 on SABS ELA and SBA Math) and the CogAT screening form (qualifying score is a Composite SAS range of 126-160). Students who qualify take the full CogAT and Iowa Assessments.

High School Programs

The high school programs include honors classes, advanced placement classes, Running Start program, and college in high school. Students are recommended for the classes by their parents and teachers. Students and parents then work with the school’s counsellors to chose which program best meets their academic needs.

What are the different Lake Washington Highly Capable Programs?

Kindergarten Early Entrance is an opportunity for children who turn five between September 1st and November 30th to show that they have the ability and social maturity to begin Kindergarten. Children are tested on a variety of skills and if they qualify, they begin school with other kindergartners in September.

K5HC Services are offered once a week to children in K-5th grades whose test scores qualify them for the program. Students meet with a teacher in small groups for 30 minutes each week. They focus on reading and/or math hands-on activities that encourage creative and critical thinking and leadership skills. The program begins in late September or early October.

Pull-Out Quest is offered one day a week to children in 2nd-5th grades whose test scores qualify them for the program. Students are in a self-contained classroom that day. The students focus on project-based learning with social studies and science themes. They work on higher-level thinking skills, cooperation, and presentation skills. The program begins in late September.

Full-Time Quest is a self-contained classroom the children attend 5 days a week. Second and third graders are in a classroom together and fourth and fifth graders are together. The focus is on advanced academic thinking, communication, and collaboration skills. The program starts at the beginning of the school year.

Middle School Quest consists of a 2-period integrated language arts and social studies block, 1 period of science class, and 1 period math class. The remaining 2 periods are available for required and elective classes. The program starts at the beginning of the school year. (All 5th graders who finish in full-time Quest will automatically transfer into middle school Quest.

Testingmom.com has helped thousands of parents qualify their children for the Lake Washington Highly Capable programs. Start preparing now and help your child reach their full academic potential.

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