Assessments & Tests

We check students' progress in many ways. Teachers watch how a student is doing in class. Your student will also participate in a variety of assessments. Assessments range from skill tests that take a few minutes to annual state tests that take several hours.

No single assessment can tell us how your child is doing. Each assessment your student takes helps us to understand students' academic, behavioral and social emotional skills. Altogether, the results help you and your student's teacher ensure that your student is on track.

For more helpful information about tests, see the Great Kids State Test Guide for Parents, a guide to help you understand your child's score reports with resources and concrete advice on how you can help your child improve in areas where they struggle.

You can learn about the most common assessments CK Schools students participate in on this page.


Here are resources you can use to learn more about the assessments and ways to use the results to support your student:

Assessments Given to CK Students 


State Smarter Balanced Assessment

The Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBA) measures how well students meet state learning standards in math and English/Language Arts. The standards help keep students on track for college or careers.

Students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 take the SBA in spring. Some schools also give students an interim SBA in the fall or winter. Interim tests can help teachers see what specific skills students may need to work on before the full test in the spring.

SBA questions and activities focus on analysis and critical thinking. They include performance tasks about real-world scenarios. For example, students create math formulas to help a city understand if its speeding fines are fair. The tests are also adaptive, meaning the more a student gets right, the harder the questions become.

You can take a practice test at

Scores measure how well students understand concepts and can apply the skills they’ve learned.  Scores are placed in levels 1 through 4. Levels 1 and 2 mean a student needs extra help to get back on track. Scores in levels 3 and 4 mean that students are on track for college and careers.

You child's SBA results will be made available online through PowerSchool Parent Access

Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science

The 5th, 8th, and 11th grade students take the Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS). The WCAS measures the level of proficiency that Washington students have achieved based on the Washington State K-12 Science Learning Standards.


We use STAR tests to measure math and reading skills of students in kindergarten through ninth grades. They help us check your child’s achievement levels so we can better understand how to challenge them and help them grow. We use STAR tests several times a year to check your child’s progress.

The tests usually take about 20 minutes. Students take the tests online. The more they get right, the harder the test becomes.


The Acadience tests are a series of quick assessments that measure literacy skills in elementary students. Each test is about a minute long. Acadience tests measure your child’s ability to recognize sounds and letters, comprehend what they read, and other skills. Acadience results can help teachers better understand students’ reading ability and check their progress.

National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests students on a variety of subjects from writing to technology and engineering literacy. The U.S. Department of Education provides the tests to schools nationwide. NAEP tests are given periodically to students in grades 4, 8 and 12.

Life Skills Screener

The Life Skills screener helps evaluate the mindsets, skills and attitudes that influence student success. Schools give the assessments to students in grades 4-12. Participation is voluntary. Questions prompt students to self-reflect on life skills such as:

  • setting and achieving goals
  • rising to challenges
  • believing in themselves and their abilities
  • their belief in their ability to grow and change
  • managing their feelings so they can focus on school
  • interacting and working with others
  • finding support

Visit the links below to preview questions for the  Life Skills screeners:

Research has shown us that students are most successful when they can manage their emotions, make responsible decisions, and understand other’s perspectives to work with them. School leaders, district leaders and counselors will use the data to see school-wide trends to decide which programs and services would benefit their school and the district. Teachers and counselors may also use the data in targeted ways to support students who may have additional needs.

If you would like to know more about your student’s results, please email or provide a written request to your school’s main office.
Students are offered the Life Skills screener in the fall and in the spring so that we can measure progress and provides supports or adjustments where they may be needed. 

For the 2023-24 school year, the Life Skills screener will occur during the following dates:

Spring 2023:  Oct. 10-25
Spring 2024: March 11-29

Questions? Read our Life Skills Q&A 

Family Letter for Grades 4-12

English | Spanish | Tagalog

Opting Out

Parents/guardians can complete an online form through PowerSchool (see more below) or pick up a paper form from your school’s main office to opt your child out of the Life Skills screener. If you opt out in the fall, you do not need to opt out again until next school year.

To complete the PowerSchool form:

  1. Log into the PowerSchool Parent Portal.
  2. Select your student's name in the blue bar at the top of the screen.
  3. Click “Forms” in the left menu.
  4. Click on the “CKSD Student Life Skills screener Information with Opt-Out Form” link.
  5. Fill in all required fields.
  6. Click the submit button.

Repeat steps 3-7 for each student.

If you have any issues accessing your account, please email [email protected].