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Whole-Child Assessment


WaKIDS isn't a "test." 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.  Knowing more about children's entering skills and strengths helps teachers and parents work together to support student growth in the kindergarten year.

Before October 31, teachers take an inventory of each child's developing skills in six areas:

  1. Social-emotional
  2. Physical
  3. Cognitive
  4. Language
  5. Literacy
  6. Mathematics

They use an observational tool called GOLD™ by Teaching Strategies.

Parents who wish to excuse their children from participating in this inventory should notify their building principal in writing during the first week of school, or as soon as possible thereafter.


  • Reference Guide for the Connections of WaKIDS Objectives to Washington State K-12 Learning Standards, Including Common Core
    8.5 x 11 | Booklet Format 11 x 17
  • Principal Series, #3: Whole-Child Assessment, is a one-page flyer with guidance for principals leading the implementation of WaKIDS in their schools. It is one document in a series.
  • Characteristics of Children Entering Kindergarten English | Spanish describes attributes commonly found in entering kindergartners and measured by WaKIDS.
  • List of GOLD™ Objectives Assessed by WaKIDS | Spanish (revised 2015)

See the OSPI Assessment web page to view the GOLD™ by Teaching Strategies technical report and calendar.