“To ensure the safety of students and educators, I have approved the closure of all schools in the Fort Vermilion School Division for the rest of the school year.

“This closure is at the request of the school division, which faces various challenges due to the wildfire situation in northern Alberta. An inspection by the school division’s insurance holder has indicated that all of the schools need to be professionally cleaned to ensure equipment, such as HVAC systems, are in safe operating condition.

“The safety of students is my No. 1 priority. This closure will give them one less thing to worry about and help them focus on being with their families during this difficult time.

“As has been previously communicated, all exams are cancelled for the remainder of the year. A student’s classroom mark will stand as their final mark.

“If students wish to write a diploma exam, or a Grade 6 or Grade 9 provincial achievement test, they can choose to do so by making alternate arrangements with the school division.”