An Independent School • Grades 5-12

by Booth Kyle, director of admissions and financial aid/associate head of school

Lakeside has always been a school that evolves and changes with the times, ensuring that the educational program aligns with best practices in curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment. In that spirit, this year Lakeside will require two assessments as part of our admissions process: the Secondary School Admissions Test (SSAT) and the Character Skills Snapshot. These two tools – along with all the other parts of the admissions application – provide valuable information about students to our admissions team.

Here are a couple of reasons Lakeside has decided to require the SSAT:

  1. The SSAT is a national test that measures quantitative, reading, and verbal skills. Having one standard test for every application will lead to a more equitable process.
  2. The Seattle-area independent school community now offers more than enough opportunities to satisfy the demand of all SSAT test-takers.
  3. Currently, no Seattle-area independent school requires the Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE).
  4. Applicants who register for the SSAT will automatically receive an invitation to take the 20-minute Character Skills Snapshot, free of charge. The Snapshot can be completed online at your convenience.

The Character Skills Snapshot is a self-assessment for open-mindedness, intellectual engagement, initiative, resilience, self- control, social awareness, and teamwork. Along with teacher recommendations and admissions interviews, it provides important insight into character traits that influence academic achievement and citizenship. It helps us understand a student’s view of their developing character skills. You can read more about the Snapshot in my blog from last year.

Please note that the Snapshot is designed for students entering grades 6-12. Applicants to grade 5 at Lakeside will not take the Character Skills Snapshot. Applicants to grades 11 or 12 have the option to submit ACT, PSAT, or SAT scores in lieu of the SSAT; the Snapshot is still required.