High Level students affected by wildfire given multiple choices for writing final exams

Click to play video: 'Weather a concern Tuesday for Alberta firefighters near High Level'
Weather a concern Tuesday for Alberta firefighters near High Level
WATCH ABOVE: Fletcher Kent joined Global News Morning Edmonton from northern Alberta, where warmer temperatures, gusty winds and no rain continued to cause unpredictable conditions for firefighter near High Level – May 28, 2019

Residents of High Level will begin to return home Monday, however students will not be able to go back to school.

READ MORE: High Level wildfire evacuees ‘very thankful’ to be returning home

The Fort Vermilion School Division said schools will be closed for the remainder of the school year because their insurance provider requires the buildings to be professionally cleaned.

“A mandatory inspection with Llyod and Sadd, our insurance holder, indicated that all FVSD school division schools need to be professionally cleaned, a service our staff are not certified to provide,” Superintendent Mike McMann said in a statement Sunday.

“The news we are sharing is not the news we were hoping to share with you and is completely out of our control,” he said.

McMann said report cards will be mailed out by the end of June and will include credits earned to date, as well as a list of school supplies and class placement for next year.

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Information on upcoming events such as graduation ceremonies and awards night will be communicated via email, parent call outs and social media at a later date, the school division said.

“The safety of students is my No. 1 priority,” Alberta Education Minister Adriana LeGrange said in a Monday news release.

“All exams are cancelled for the remainder of the year. A student’s classroom mark will stand as their final mark,” she said. “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.”

The new comes as the evacuation of High Level due to wildfire is set to end Monday, two weeks after thousands of residents were forced to leave the area.

Watch below (June 3): High Level residents happy to be home, grateful for firefighters

Click to play video: 'High Level residents happy to be home, grateful for firefighters'
High Level residents happy to be home, grateful for firefighters

Last week, Alberta’s Ministry of Education provided several options for students facing final exams.

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The first diploma exams are scheduled to be written on Wednesday, June 12, when students across Alberta will simultaneously write their English Language Arts 30-1 and 30-2 Part A exams.

The schedule continues over the following two weeks. Diploma exams accounting for 30 per cent of a student’s final mark, with the other 70 per cent coming from classroom marks. (Prior to September 2015, diploma exams made up 50 per cent of the final mark.)

READ MORE: Alberta diploma exams will be worth only 30% of final grade

But with students having missed more than a week of class time, Alberta Education has worked with the local school division to come up with several options for those affected by the fire.

Grade 12 students in the High Level area are eligible for an exemption from their diploma exam. The Education Ministry said that when a student is exempt from the diploma exam, their classroom mark alone will be their final mark.

Grade 12 students can also defer writing their diplomas until August, when all of the exams will be offered again.

READ MORE: Alberta’s revamped K-4 school curriculum set for testing in 2019

Students who are scheduled to write Grade 6 and 9 provincial achievement tests can also be excused from their exams.

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Students who want to write their PAT or diploma exams — and can safely make it to a school — are allowed to do so either in their community or another.

Once students and their families have made a decision, they are advised to contact their school division.

In 2016, students affected by the Fort McMurray wildfire were given similar options.

READ MORE: Fort McMurray students can bypass diploma exams, remainder of school year

The town of High Level is a part of the Fort Vermillion School Division No. 52 and also has a private Christian academy.

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