School District No. 83 (North Okanagan-Shuswap)

What is the Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA)?

 The FSA is a learning assessment for all grade 4 and 7 students. It focuses on the areas of literacy and numeracy

FSA results are one way of measuring how the education system is doing in these key areas. It assesses how students think, communicate and reflect – not just the facts they know. 

The FSA is not intended to be used to rank students, teachers, or schools. The FSA is a snapshot of student learning at a moment in time. For parents and caregivers, it tells you where your child is at in their literacy and numeracy development, as well as areas where they may need support. When all students participate, it also gives the Ministry of Education and Child Care a clear picture of how the education system is performing as a whole. 


Why is the FSA important?

 The Ministry of Education and Child Care sets the standards for what your child learns and, along with teachers, figures out ways to measure how well they are learning. The goal is for your child (and all students in BC) to get a great education that readies them for life after graduation and helps them become educated citizens. 

One way the Ministry ensures the quality of student learning is through the FSA. The FSA helps us understand what learning looks like across the entire province. It lets us see how different groups of students are learning and find out where they might need extra help. It also helps us understand how well BC is doing over time. 

The Ministry uses this information to make sure that your child’s learning is “on track” and that they don’t fall behind. This data also allows us to know how BC students are doing in relation to students in other provinces in Canada and the rest of the world. The FSA provides both the Ministry and parents and caregivers with the assurance that students possess the literacy and numeracy skills necessary for their future. 

How will your child participate?

The FSA will be completed by your child as part of their regular classroom learning. Your child does not need to prepare for the assessment. The FSA has five parts that can be spread out over several days or weeks during the fall of your child’s grade 4 and 7 school year. Each component of the assessment will never be longer than an hour, so it won’t take too much time away from classroom learning. Here is what your child can expect: 

Some students may feel nervous about tests. Talking about the FSA at home can help your child understand the purpose of the assessment. It can also help your child feel more confident writing it. 

You will receive your child’s test booklet back after it has been marked. Marking is done by teachers using the provincial proficiency scale, the same scale used for report cards for kindergarten to Grade 9. For FSA, “Developing” and “Proficient” have been combined on the scale into a single category, so that you know if your child is “On Track” in their literacy and numeracy learning. 

Along with written comments from teachers and the proficiency scale on report cards, the FSA results can be another helpful source of information to see where your child is in their literacy and numeracy development and where they can go next in their learning. 

How are the results used?

The FSA results offer insights to parents, caregivers, teachers, schools, districts, and the Ministry. They provide valuable information to all levels of the education system that help improve student learning. 

For parents, caregivers, and teachers, these results can show how students are doing in literacy and numeracy. 

Teachers, schools, and districts can use the FSA results to help support classroom teaching. They can see where students are doing well and where they might need more help. 

Schools, districts, and the Ministry can use the FSA results to help make the education system better. The Ministry also relies on the FSA to uphold high learning standards to help all students develop their literacy and numeracy skills. 

It’s important to know that the FSA results aren’t for ranking students, teachers, schools, or districts. Rankings don’t help learning and don’t make BC’s education system better. The FSA is just one data point and doesn’t reflect all the teaching and learning that happens in a school. That’s why the Ministry doesn’t make, share, or support any rankings. 

When are literacy and numeracy assessed?

Contacts for further information: