What is Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA)?
Foundation Skills Assessment, or FSA, is a set of written examinations intended to take a snapshot measure of student knowledge levels in three subject areas that are basic to overall learning: reading, writing and numeracy. The FSA is given each year to all students in grades 4, 7 and 10. The assessments for reading and numeracy involve both multiple-choice and open-ended questions. The writing component consists of the first draft of both a short and a longer writing task. The assessment takes approximately four hours of class time. The FSA results are not a requirement for grade promotion or graduation.
Why is there an FSA?
The FSA is an additional way of finding out how students and schools are doing in terms of basic skills. The main purpose is to help teachers, schools, school districts and the Ministry of Education evaluate how well students are developing their reading, writing and mathematics skills.
What happens with the FSA results?
FSA results are provided to school districts and schools so that they may learn what is working well and where there might be room for improvement. This will allow schools to identify trends and introduce new methods and strategies to help students learn. Individual student results will be sent home to parents when they are provided to schools in mid-November. A copy will be kept in the student’s personal file.
What do the results mean?
FSA results provide an indication of how well students throughout the province are doing in developing their basic skills in relation to provincial standards. However, the FSA results do not provide a complete picture of a student’s abilities in the three skill areas because they are based on an assessment which looks at only part of what students have learned in language arts and mathematics. FSA results should be regarded as an additional indicator – a useful snapshot – which can help students, parents and schools see how students’ basic skills appear to be developing.
What if the FSA results are different from my child’s report card?
Difference between report card marks and FSA results should not be seen as a cause for concern. However, if there is a notable difference between your child’s FSA results and report card marks, you may wish to discuss this with your child’s teacher. There are many reasons why FSA results may differ from the work done in the classroom. In addition, the assessment is much narrower in scope than what is taken into consideration for report card marks.
When and where will the FSA results be available?
Provincial, district and school results will be available on the Ministry of Education web site near the end of October. Results for individual students who took part in the assessment last May will be provided to schools and sent home to parents in mid-November.
Where can I get more information about FSA?
More information regarding FSA is available on the Ministry of Education web site or by contacting your neighbourhood school.