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What Does Kindergarten Assessment Look Like During COVID-19?

by Sallie Warmath, Director of Admissions & Enrollment Management


Here in the Admissions Office at The McGillis School, we are reimagining best practices for assessing our applicants for the 2021/2022 school year.  And our first applicants each year are our youngest -  our upcoming kindergarten students. Traditionally, we have held in-person group assessments in our classrooms with our kindergarten teachers on Saturday mornings in December for our siblings of current families and in January or February for families new to our community.


This year, we are unable to invite your child on campus in-person. However, it is important for us to know as much as possible about your child as a learner, a family member, and as a friend in determining kindergarten readiness for our program.  Because our youngest applicants do not typically come with grades or report cards, our first-hand observations and assessments are invaluable.  Since we are unable to meet your child in-person, we have created an assessment plan that includes a one-on-one virtual meeting between your child and one of our kindergarten teachers. 



  • The purpose of the kindergarten assessment represents only part of your child’s application – no one piece will determine our admission decisions.
  • Our aim is to see a snapshot of your child where they are, there is absolutely no preparation required of your child to participate in the assessment.
  • There is no such thing as perfect! We observe many things in the assessments. The tasks your child will be participating in are designed for a wide range of applicants; children of different ages and different personalities will engage differently.
  • Every child achieves different levels of development at different times and we do not base decisions on any one stage or skill.
  • The virtual assessment gives us the opportunity to “meet” your child and their approach to learning situations they may have at McGillis.



  1. Gather items* and have them handy before your scheduled assessment
  2. Support your child with the technology, including Zoom.
  3. Have a quiet location in your home for your child to participate in the virtual assessment
  4. Understand that we will be recording the assessment session, which will only be shared with the School’s admissions committee.


*Items you will need to gather before the scheduled virtual assessment:

  1. a few sheets of blank paper
  2. a pencil
  3. child-appropriate scissors
  4. a photo of your family
  5. one of your child’s favorite stuffed animals
  6. crayons, colored pencils, or markers in 10 colors (yellow, red, orange, green, blue, purple, pink, brown, black, and white)
  7. one of your child’s books (with pictures and text) that they are familiar with


The assessment will begin with a show and tell “getting to know you” activity followed by five (5) kindergarten readiness activities (in no particular order):

  1. Letters and Sounds
  2. Colors and Counting
  3. Shapes
  4. Concepts about Words and Stories
  5. Rhyming


I can’t reiterate enough that no preparation for your preschooler is necessary! We are looking for a variety of learners, each with their own learning style.  It is our hope that this will be a fun Saturday morning activity for your child to enjoy. 


To schedule a kindergarten assessment, please create an account.


Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or special circumstances we need to be aware of: or