We have received some feedback from members about principals pushing back when parents seek to exempt their children from writing the FSA. In the past couple of years, the Ministry of Education has put great pressure on school districts to increase FSA participation rates. The Ministry’s position is that all students must write the FSA, unless they are prevented from doing so by family emergency, lengthy illness, or other extenuating circumstances (e.g., a student’s anxiety about writing the test). If parents and guardians encounter resistance from administrators when they seek to excuse their children from writing the FSA, it is up to them to decide whether to comply or keep pushing admin. The opt-out letter that was sent to parents was approved by BCPSEA, and our advice is for teachers not to go further than what the letter says in seeking to support parents in dealing with admin over this issue. 

As for the FSA opt out letters, we have sent a package to all schools. Reps, if you haven’t received them, please inquire with your admin to see if they didn’t make it to your box. When sealing the letters to give to the students to take home, you may want to use a damp sponge instead of licking them, for Covid safety. As you know the test rollout has been delayed and will happen mid-February. If parents of blended students ask you for an electronic version of the FSA opt out letter, please forward the package to them attached to this memo.

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