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School District No. 67 (Okanagan Skaha)
Skaha Lake Middle
News Item

FSA - Grade 7

September 29, 2019

FSA Information for Parents of Grade 7 Students

October, 2019


The Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA) is an annual province-wide assessment of British Columbia students' academic skills, and provides a snapshot of how well British Columbia students are learning foundation skills in reading comprehension, writing and numeracy.  The main purpose of the assessment is to help the province, school districts, schools and school planning councils to evaluate how well students are achieving basic skills, and make plans to improve student achievement. The FSA is designed and developed by British Columbia educators. The skills tested are linked to the provincial curriculum and provincial performance standards.  The assessment is administered each year to Grade 4 and Grade 7 students in public and provincially funded independent schools.


FSA Requirements


The Student Learning Assessment Order (Ministerial Order 60/94 as amended) (the “Order”) requires school boards to ensure that the FSA tests are administered to and completed by students in accordance with the assessment protocols, instructions and invigilation procedures established by the Ministry of Education.  In accordance with the School Act, only the Principal has the authority to exclude children from participating in the Foundation Skills Assessment.  Principals may excuse a student in the event of a family emergency, a lengthy illness or other extenuating circumstances.  In such circumstances, parents must discuss their request with the Principal.


The following is an excerpt from the Ministry’s “Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA) Administration Instructions 2019” about participation guidelines:

Who Should Write the Assessment?


   All students write FSA including:

  • All students enrolled in Grade 4 or Grade 7 of the English program, French Immersion program or Programme francophone, including students enrolled in a distributed learning program.
  • All students enrolled in non-graded programs who were born in:
    • 2010write Grade 4 level
    • 2007write Grade 7 level
  • English Language Learners (ELL) – formerly known as “English-as-a Second Language (ESL)” students.
  • Students with special needs who require adaptations, as documented in their Individual Education Plans (IEPs).
  • Students receiving learning assistance services.


Exceptions include:

·       Students who have previously written the FSA. Students write the FSA for a specific grade once only.  If a student is retained, s/he does not write a second time.

·       Students who have IEPs documenting a disability that significantly impacts their performance in reading, writing, or numeracy and who cannot meaningfully participate in all or part of the assessment, even with adaptations.

·       Students with IEPs who would need extensive adaptations or who would need such extended periods of time as to create a hardship for the individual student.

·       Those students who are reported and funded as receiving English Language Learning (ELL) support who have not yet reached a level of proficiency sufficient for them to provide meaningful responses to the reading or writing or numeracy sections of the FSA.



Principals identify which students, if any, are excused from one, two or all three components of the FSA. Principals must notify a parent or guardian if they intend to excuse a student from participating in one or more components of the FSA.  Such notification should be made prior to the administration date by letter or telephone call.


Principals may excuse a student in the event of a family emergency, a lengthy illness or other extenuating circumstances.