Parent Letter: Foundation Skills Assessment

September 26, 2017

September 26, 2017

Dear Parent/Guardians:

Re: Foundation Skills Assessment

Every year students in grades 4 and 7 participate in the Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA), a province-wide assessment, mandated by the Ministry of Education. This year, the FSA will be administered in Langley between October 16 and November 9, 2017. The following information is intended to clarify for Langley parents the purpose and use of the FSA.

The FSA:

  • is designed and marked by teachers;
  • is aligned with BC’s re-designed curriculum taught in schools and the BC Performance Standards;
  • assesses foundation skills in reading, writing and numeracy;
  • is returned to schools and individual results are sent to parents;
  • provides a snapshot of how individuals and schools are performing.

Langley School District does not use the information to rank or compare schools. FSA results are used to inform the system on areas requiring attention and support.

While all grade 4 and 7 students attending public and independent schools are to participate in the FSA, a few students with exceptional needs may be excused from some or all of the FSA. Please note:

  • There are Ministry guidelines clarifying exemptions.
  • Only a principal can exempt a student from writing the FSA.
    • Students that are excused usually have a disability that results in an inability to participate even with adaptations.
  • Parents may write a detailed letter to their child’s principal requesting exemption.
    • Reasons for this request include a family emergency, a lengthy illness or other extenuating circumstances.
    • Form letters are not sufficient and will not be accepted.

There is a provincial agreement that school districts will not oppose the distribution of BCTF/Local Union produced FSA pamphlets via students or directly to parents by teachers on school property. It is the District’s position that this is in no way an acknowledgement, endorsement or agreement by the employer of the views, statements or content of the pamphlets.

The Ministry of Education website contains a brochure, “Information for Students, Parents and Guardians” which can be accessed at www.bced.gov.bc.ca/assessment/fsa/info/welcome.htm

If you have questions about the FSA please contact the principal of your child’s school.

Sincerely,

Gord Stewart, Superintendent of Schools