Foundations Skills Assessment - FSA Q+A for parents
Q: How can I support my child in the completion of the FSA?
A: There are a variety of accommodations that are allowed during the writing of the FSA. If you typically use adaptations in Language Arts or Math on a daily basis (and we have correctly documented them), you are 100% free to use these with your children while they write the FSA tests (e.g. scribing where you write down what they say, giving instructions orally, voice-to-text, reframing questions, discussing assignments before/while working on them, etc.). These accommodations should be mentioned to your support teacher if you haven’t done so already so we can add them into our Educational Supports document for your student. A spell checker program is not provided for the online part of the FSA, however, this accommodation, along with supervised breaks or separate settings, may be used by all students without formal documentation. Also, talk to your support teacher as they can make suggestions and then document the Educational Supports used during the writing of the FSA in a student’s Student Learning Plan.
Q: For families with multiple children, should all booklets be sent back in one envelope?
A: No. Every single booklet has to go back in a separate envelope. The prepaid envelope stamp is for one booklet in the return envelope only. Otherwise, you might be charged more money by Canada Post.
Q: Are writing times firm?
A: No, you can take as much time as you need. The time on the instructions are suggestions, but if your child needs more time to complete the assessment (booklet or online), that is fine.
Q: Does it matter which component (booklet or online) we complete first?
A: No. Feel free to start with the one your child feels most comfortable with (2 components (literacy and numeracy) in the booklet and 2 components (literacy and numeracy) online).
Q: Is online exactly the same as the booklets?
A: No. They are different.
In the booklet, there are:
2 Literacy components (1 in booklet, 1 online)
2 Numeracy components (1 in booklet, 1 online)
In the Literacy section in the booklet, there are 3 questions (remember to chose 1 theme only)
In the Numeracy section in the booklet there are 3 questions
In the Online part,
For Literacy there are 30 questions (multiple choice, checkbox, and matching)
For Numeracy there are 30 questions (multiple choice, checkbox, and matching)
Q: Do we do both, booklet and online?
A: Yes. A total of 4 components:
2 in the booklets (one for Literacy and one for Numeracy)
2 online (one for Literacy and one for Numeracy)
Q: If they run out of space in the booklet, can they finish their work on paper?
A: Yes. Please make sure to staple it to the page it belongs in the booklet (so it doesn’t get lost) and also adding your child’s name to the paper will help make sure their work stays associated with their booklet.
Q: What if we haven’t received the booklet by mid-October?
A: Please contact Christa (email@example.com) and she can send you the PDF version with all the same instructions.
Q: Will we get the booklets back?
A: No. If you’d like a record of the work, please make a copy before sending it back. You can also share the work with your support teacher.
Q: Can my child use the keyboard for the written part?
A: Yes. Once you print the page, please make sure to staple it to the page it belongs in the booklet (so it doesn’t get lost) and it helps to have their name on their work too.
Q: Where can I see where my child is at with his/her scores compared to his/her peers in BC?
A: You can ask your support teacher about the HCOS results as they will receive an overview.
Also, BC schools results will be posted on several websites:
As a school, we would caution looking at other school’s for comparison as each individual is a unique learner and the FSA is meant as a snapshot of where a student is at on a single assessment at a single point in a school year. It should be considered in light of them as a complete learning with all their interests and abilities reflected on along with the FSA results. The FSA is a good, general comment on a students general abilities in Numeracy and Literacy and should be treated as such.
Q: My child didn’t have to do the Grade 4 FSA because they were doing an assessment (designation), do they have to do it now?
A: If your child has not received an exemption (due to an IEP designation), then yes, they will have to write the FSA. You can also talk this over with your support teacher.
Q: Is my child’s info (name, etc.) public record? And will the results be made public?
A: No, it would only be at HCOS and shared with the Ministry of Education and Child Care (MECC) as is done with all personal student records in B.C. This information is not shared with anyone else besides a child’s school.
Q: If I am using educational supports with my child to write the FSA, do I let my support teacher know?
A: Yes please. It is important that we note these supports in the Educational Supports section of your child’s HCOS Student Learning Plan.
Q: What is the point of the FSA?
A: It generally helps HCOS see how are students are doing with applying Literacy and Numeracy skills and if there are ways we can help our Support Teachers work with our parents/guardians and students to help support skill development in the areas of Literacy and Numeracy. Specifically, FSA results help you and your support teacher see if there are Educational Supports that can support a student in their individual Student Learning Plan. Also, the FSA helps the MECC understand how students are progressing in their general understanding and application of Literacy and Numeracy skills.
Q: If my child is more at an ‘Emerging’ level on the proficiency scale used to assess their FSA work, do we have to change up the resources we use?
A: It would be best to talk this over with your support teacher. It might not be best to change everything because of a snapshot taken during the FSA. The FSA is a learning experience, not a failure if a low mark is received. Your support teacher could also help you put Educational Supports in place, rather than switching everything up.