Foundation Skills Assessment - FSA

The Foundation Skills Assessment is an annual, province-wide assessment of British Columbia students’ academic skills, and provides a snapshot of how well BC students are learning foundation skills in Reading Comprehension, Writing, and Numeracy. These are standardized tests held for students in Grades 4 and 7. 

These tests are not optional unless students meet a very narrow set of requirements for exemption.

HCOS will be administering the tests. Here is some information to help you and your child prepare for the tests.

There are four categories of testing; the testing in total takes about four hours. Here are the categories which are tested:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Numeracy
  • Reading / Writing Connections

The reading comprehension and numeracy components consist of multiple choice and written-response questions. The writing component consists of two writing tasks – one extended (longer) piece, one focused (shorter) piece, and a set of math problems, where the child needs to show their work. The multiple choice questions are done online. You will be mailed a booklet with the writing component.

The written tests will be marked by teachers from HCOS and the results sent to the support teacher.

The results will look something like this:

  • 4 Exceeds expectations – The level of performance at which a student exceeds the normal expectations for their grade. The student is working or has academic knowledge beyond the present grade level of the test.
  • 3 Meets expectations – The level of performance at which a student meets the widely held expectations for the grade on this test. This is where most students should fall.
  • 2 Approaching expectations - The level of performance at which the student shows inconsistencies in demonstrating the skills needed to meet the expectations (some may be at, some below, some not present).
  • 1 Not Yet Within expectations –The level of performance at which a student did not demonstrate sufficient skill to meet expectations. A teacher would want to know more about the reasons for a student’s low performance and would work with the parent to see where the problem might lie. 

FSA Questions and Answers

What does FSA stand for? FSA stands for Foundation Skills Assessment and this test is given to all students in BC enrolled in grades 4 and 7.
What subjects are tested? The student is tested in Reading Comprehension, Writing, and Math Numeracy.

What is an invigilator?


An invigilator is a person responsible for supervising a test. The invigilator for the FSAs is either a teacher (in our case, with HCOS) or any person the administration deems as unbiased. This can be the parent of the child. 

What time is involved for each test?

The time varies from test to test 


  • Reading Comprehension 
    • Part one: Collaboration 10-15 minutes
    • Part two: 30 minutes 
  • Writing   
    • 30 minutes  
  • Numeracy                                           
    • 30 minutes 
  • Online Reading: 60 minutes
  • Online Numeracy: 60 minutes

Total time less than four hours.


Parent Sign-off for Student Learning Plans (SLPs)

SLP Parent Sign off

Directions for Student Learning Plan Sign Off

Log into Encom at (If you forgot your Encom password, choose the “Forgot Password” option). First view your child (or children’s) SLP to ensure it reflects your child’s learning plan for the year. The SLP is a fluid document and can be updated through the school year.

Next click on SLP Parent/Guardian Sign Off:

#1 - To view the SLP click on green highlighted “Student Learning Plan”

#2 – Type parent/guardian name

#3 – Type full legal name

#4 – Save SLP Sign Off

Repeat for each child

Understanding Your Student Learning Plan (SLP)

The Student Learning Plan (SLP) is a very important document. It is the first document that the Ministry looks at when they are checking to see if we are following the government guidelines. Collaborating to write the SLP is usually your first contact with the Support Teacher.

The SLP is made up of the following information:
  • Overarching Goals - One Biblical Attribute goal, one Learner Profile goal, and one Core Competency goal.
  • Subject Goals - For at least three subjects, what do you want your child to accomplish or understand? 
  • Big Ideas - The overarching concepts of each subject.
  • Instructional Format and Resources -What activities and resources are you planning to use? Share with your teacher plans and ideas you have for different subjects.
  • Evaluation/Assessment - How will we check to see if your student has grown in their abilities? This is where your support teacher will evaluate/assess the work you send in.
Information your Support Teacher will collaborate with you to build:
  • A list of the resources you plan to use during the current school year.
  • A list of the additional activities in which you hope to enrol your child, such as music lessons, swimming, 4-H, etc. (These can be paid with your resource budget if they are in your SLP).
  • A list of topics you plan on covering for Science and Social Studies. For a list of all of the topics that are covered in these two subjects from K-9 please check our SOPHIE page Topics of Study. Often families with more than one child do these subjects together. If you are not planning on covering the topics for your child’s current year, let the teacher know if you have already covered the topic or at what future date you plan to cover it.
Your Teacher:
  • Will work with you to build the SLP, sharing ideas and incorporating your input.
  • Will post the SLP on Encom where you can review it. Be sure to tell your Support Teacher of any changes you would like to make and ask them any questions that you have.
  • Will make suggestions regarding learning standards, resources, pacing, strategies and assessment.

Note: The SLP is a living document. This means that it should be reviewed by both the teacher and the parent throughout the year to ensure that it is current, and still reflects the education that is happening in your home. 

Once the SLP is completed, parents are expected to sign off on it in Encom. This indicates that the parent has participated in planning of the SLP. LINK: How to sign off on SLPs

Understanding Your Student Learning Plan (SLP)

K-9 Individualized
During a home visit, the teacher and parents/guardians will collaborate to set goals aligned to the student's learning styles and interests, while also meeting the requirements set by the Ministry of Education. These goals will encompass personal goals related to the HCOS Biblical Attributes and Learner Profile, the BC curriculum Core Competencies, and subject-specific goals as appropriate. The intent is to create goals to address the student as a whole rather than having a goal for every subject, so the result should be a lower quantity, but a higher quality, of goals. The course-specific part of the SLP will revolve around resources and activities that will be used to meet student goals, along with an outline of how the teacher will assess each course. 

10-12 Individualized
Course-specific SLPs will be created within Individualized courses for students in the Grad Program. The intent is to create goals that address the student in the particular learning for that course, and to outline the necessary components needed in order to receive credit toward a Dogwood Diploma.

The SLP includes a section identifying the First Peoples Principles of Learning. The BC curriculum encourages learners to understand and respect their own and other cultural heritages. Teachers will select a few of the seven principles that naturally fit the student's educational journey and align with the values and perspectives of each family. We respect family choices, and recognize that this section will look different for each of our families.

Understanding Your Report Card

HCOS has two reporting periods for all grades, Kindergarten through Grade 12. In addition to the regular reporting terms, teachers have the option of submitting an Interim Grade Report, which will be completed if a student’s level of performance is below expectations or the teacher has cause for concern.

We have designed the report card to give a clear picture of a student’s progress and learning. A list of the student's courses will appear connected with the teacher’s assessment based on the learning standards.

Grades will be reported using the following scales:

  • Grades K-6 will receive a report using proficiency scales.
  • Grades 7-9 will receive letter grades.
  • Grades 10-12 will receive percentage grades.

Report Card Comments:


We want to ensure parents receive easy-to-read and informative comments regarding student progress. To accomplish this, we have created a system to ensure consistent, high quality comments from teachers that give parents and guardians the bigger picture, help identify areas of struggle and provide insight into your student’s success at school. The comments will focus on the following five areas:

Student Engagement and Behaviour

This section reports on your child's level of engagement in learning and their behaviour, focusing on their developing skills in the Core Competencies. These competencies include communication, personal and social thinking, and creative and critical thinking. For more information regarding the characteristics of the competencies, visit BC Curriculum: Core Competencies.



Even though the new curriculum encourages students to dig into topics and broaden their knowledge through inquiry projects, it is still important that each child has a solid literacy and numeracy foundation.

A specific comment will be written on literacy, identify the student’s skills and abilities based on reading, writing, speaking and listening across a variety of subjects. 

Another comment will cover all aspects of numeracy to help identify skills and abilities to understand and apply mathematical concepts, processes, problem solving, and decision making.

Ways to Support Learning

To encourage student learning, teachers will also include a constructive component that provides feedback on future learning. These comments are intended to support your child with ideas, strategies and tangible ways to address areas of concern, or areas to focus on in the following term.

Areas of Strengths

To conclude the comment, the teacher will highlight areas for celebration, projects completed, or skills and learning accomplished that term. The teacher will not focus on every project or area of learning, but rather on one or two that stand out and demonstrate your child’s strengths.

Students will continue to receive a grade for every subject. Online Courses and Community Connections courses will still receive subject-specific comments.

Grades 10-12 and Online Middle School Courses

Students will continue to receive subject-specific comments twice a year. 

Ongoing assessment for courses within Moodle is always available to parents by logging into their student’s account.

It is our hope that the Report Card will provide parents and guardians with a more accurate and concise reflection on how their student is doing at school.

Interim Grade Reports

In addition to two formal reporting periods, Heritage Christian Online School has developed an Interim Grade Report (IGR) to ensure families are aware of any challenges or concerns regarding their child’s progress between reporting periods. 

About the IGR:

  • IGRs are an optional report designed for teachers to communicate to families any concerns that they may have with a student. For example:
    • A student is performing below expectations
    • A student has significantly dropped in their course progress or achievement
    • There is a lack of communication with the teacher
    • General concerns regarding a course grade
    • If a student is in danger of failing a course
  • An IGR can be sent out at any point; however, the natural checkpoints for teachers will be in November and April, the midway point for each term.
  • It is possible for a student to receive more than one IGR in a school year.
  • IGRs will be completed on a per subject basis. 
    • For students in grades K-9, the support teacher may write one broad comment that addresses overall concerns in all subjects.
    • For students in grades 10-12 or in any online courses, each course teacher has the option of completing an IGR.
  • IGRs will not replace early interventions, ongoing communication, or formative feedback provided by a teacher.

How it will look:

  • The IGR will include the teacher’s name, the current interim grade, the current course completion percentage (if applicable), and two comment fields. The teacher will identify their cause for concern, and provide information on ways to support learning in the comments.


Parents will receive an email with a PDF of the IGR when a teacher creates it, and can view it in Encom via the Interim Grade Report Button