Announcement, 3 August 2020

Dear Parents and students,

It is with a heavy heart that I write to update you on changes to Melbourne Grammar School’s operations which are required due to upgraded COVID-19 related restrictions across Victoria.

Yesterday, the Victorian Premier announced that metropolitan Melbourne would move to Stage 4 restrictions from 6pm yesterday, Sunday 2 August 2020. These restrictions are aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19. You can read the Premier’s media statement here. There are also changes to restrictions in regional Victoria. You can find out more information about them here.

The health and wellbeing of members of the School community, and those beyond, remain our highest concern. Accordingly, we continue to operate in line with the advice and direction of the Victorian Government and the Victorian Chief Health Officer.

The implications of the changed circumstances for Melbourne Grammar School students and families are provided below.

Current advice is that Stage 4 restrictions will apply for six weeks, that is until Sunday 13 September which is the end of Week 9, Term III for Melbourne Grammar School (the second last week of Term III). We expect the arrangements outlined below to be in place until at least that time.

Tomorrow, Tuesday 4 August

While the Victorian Premier announced that tomorrow, Tuesday 4 August, would be a pupil free day for government schools, this is not the case for Melbourne Grammar School.

Students from Prep to Year 8 will continue with off-campus learning tomorrow.

To support our VCE students and teachers in the transition from on-campus to off-campus learning:

  • Year 9 and 10 students will have a lesson free day. 
  • Year 11 students are required on campus for Unit 3/4 subjects only.
  • Year 12 students are required on campus for all Unit 3/4 subjects.

From Wednesday 5 August

Students in Prep – Year 10 will continue with their current off-campus learning arrangements for at least the next six weeks.

Year 11 and 12 students will return to off-campus learning, commencing Wednesday 5 August.

Supporting VCE students

Further details about the VCE program of study at Melbourne Grammar School, including assessment task protocols and activities over the next few days, have been communicated to Year 11 and 12 students earlier today.

While every students’ learning is important, we recognise that students studying VCE subjects are under particular pressure. The constant disruption and uncertainty to their year has been distressing for all of us. What is important is that parents deliver the same messages to their sons as the boys are hearing from the School – – stay calm, you are not alone, your teachers know what they are doing and, compared to so much disadvantage and suffering in our wider community, you are incredibly well supported.

Please be assured that our VCE teachers are doing all they can to ensure each student achieves their best possible ATAR this year, as is the case every year.

Boarding Houses will remain open for students who cannot return home or access other care

Our Boarding Houses will remain open for some students who are not able to easily go home or find alternate accommodation. They will undertake their learning through the off-campus model.

Parents can be confident that our Boarders will continue to receive the highest possible level of support and individual attention in these difficult times.

We will be in touch with individual families to determine the arrangements for each Boarder.

Access to on-campus supervision

Recognising the vital role that medical professionals and emergency services personnel play in combatting the current health crisis and caring for us all, the School will continue to provide on-campus supervision for children of parents in these roles. We will also provide care for Children at Risk.

However, from Wednesday 5 August, the categories of families to whom this service will be available will be limited in line with direction from the Victorian Government.

The service will be available during normal school hours. It will operate according to the advice provided by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.

We will be in touch with families who have previously requested access to the service this week to discuss ongoing access with them.

Contact points for the service have been provided in previous Parent Updates and are available here.

Support for parents and students

We are living in extraordinarily challenging times and the road ahead is uncertain. Close confinement for weeks on end can add pressure to any relationship. We also recognise the impact that the loss of direct social engagement can have. Therefore, it would seem sensible to assume that we will all experience some stress and anxiety over the next six weeks.

Useful resources, including contact details for the School’s Counselling and Psychological Service and other external support organisations, are available on our COVID-19 Resource Hub here and here.

In particular, if you are concerned about your child, please contact the School through your child’s classroom teacher or House Tutor in the first instance.

The School stands strongly beside you at this time, albeit at a distance.

Like you, I remain hopeful that the latest restrictions announced by the Victorian Government will result in the control of COVID-19, and our routines at work and at home can return to normal and we see all of our staff and students back on campus as soon as practicable.

Thank you for your ongoing patience and understanding.

Yours sincerely

Philip Grutzner
Headmaster