School District 71 is responding to a parent’s concerns after she says her son was put through provincial FSA testing without her consent.

On Wednesday, October 2nd the MyComoxvalleyNow.com newsroom received an email from a parent explaining that her son – who attends Brooklyn Elementary School – had been put through provincial Foundation Skills Assessment testing without her knowledge.

She said she got an email from the principal of Brooklyn Elementary School explaining that her son had already completed a portion of the test because the school did not “have a rationale for exclusion”.

The parent went on to say in the emails that she did not consent to any kind of testing because her son had an Autism Spectrum Disorder and that allowed him to be opted out of the assessments.

This morning, School District 71 responded to her concerns in an emailed statement.

“All Grade 4 and Grade 7 students are required by BC’s School Act to write the FSA’s.

The letters parents were given to sign was created by the British Columbia Teachers Federation (BCTF) and designed to give parents background information about FSA and how results have been used to rank schools. The letter is not a consent form. BCTF does not have jurisdiction to seek permission. The BC School Act is the overarching authority.

Families may wish to have their child excluded from the FSA assessment for reasons related to student learning needs or a prolonged period of absence from school. Those reasons are determined by the school principal in consultation with the parents.

Parents need to know the results provide valuable information about student progress and an indicator of whether the curriculum is meeting education expectations. The tests offer a snapshot of student performance at a given moment in time and offer teachers an opportunity to assess their students’ levels of understanding and knowledge in reading, writing and numeracy.

FSA results and graduation results exhibit a very strong correlation. The school district believes that the FSA results are a very good indicator of future school success.”

The school did not continue with the math portion of the FSA at the parents request.