Melbourne Grammar School Updates

We are committed to keeping parents and other members of our School community informed about our activities and plans relating to the COVID-19 crisis.

Here you will find a summary of key Updates distributed to parents relating to COVID-19. New updates will be added to this page as they become available.

Update, 8 October 2020

Summary

  • The Headmaster, Mr Philip Grutzner, highlights the importance of setting rules and boundaries for young people, and acknowledges the difficulties of living under COVID-19 ‘rules’.
  • Students in Prep – Year 7 and Years 11 and 12 back will return to on-campus learning on Monday 12 October.
  • Students in Years 8 – 10 will return on Monday 26 October.
  • A reflection by the Senior Chaplain which is inspired by St Francis of Assisi is available here.

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Update, 1 October 2020

Summary
The Chairman of Council, Mr Andrew Michelmore and the Headmaster, Mr Philip Grutzner advise that:

  • Melbourne Grammar School is planning a staged return to on-campus learning over the course of Term IV, in accordance with the announcements made by the Premier of Victoria last Sunday.
  • Return to campus plans are summarised here. (You will need to use your myMGS credentials to access the document.)
  • Given the staged return to on-campus operations from the start of Term IV, School Council has confirmed that:
    • Full tuition fees will apply for Term IV 2020 for Prep to Year 6 and Years 11 and 12.
    • A 5% rebate against net tuition fees will apply for Years 7 to 10, for Term IV fees only, given the uncertainty still surrounding the approved date for these students to resume on-campus studies.
    • The existing policy regarding boarding fees will continue; that is, boarding fees will only be charged where the boarding house is open and boarders are in residence.
    • Tuition fee rebates will not be provided in 2021.
  • We will continue to provide short term, means tested and confidential financial support for those families whose financial situations have been impacted by COVID-19 and require support for their children to remain at school.
  • We also acknowledge with gratitude, the donations received from our school community for the Melbourne Grammar School Fees Assistance Fund. All monies received into this Fund have been fully utilised in supporting Melbourne Grammar families who have needed help during this difficult time.

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Announcement, 28 September 2020

Summary

In response to the Victorian State Government’s announcements regarding COVID-19 restrictions made on 27 September 2020, the following arrangements will apply at Melbourne Grammar School, subject to further advice from the Chief Health Officer:

  • School holidays will run as scheduled, until Friday 2 October.
  • Students in Years 7 – 12 will continue with off-campus learning on Monday 5 October.
  • Students in Prep – Year 6 will continue with off-campus learning on Tuesday 6 October. That is, there will be no classes held for Grimwade House students on Monday 5 October in line with previously published Term dates.
  • Year 11 and 12 students will attend on-site for essential assessments during Monday 5 October to Friday 9 October.
  • From Monday 12 October, students in Prep to Year 6 and in Years 11 and 12 will return to on-campus learning. Off-campus learning will continue for all students in Years 7 to Year 10.
  • The date for the return to on-campus learning for students in Years 7 to Year 10 has not been announced and is subject to advice from the Victorian Government and the Chief Health Officer.

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Update, 17 September 2020

Summary

  • In providing an insight into the governance and management of the School, the Headmaster outlines the key priorities set by the School Council in relation to managing the COVID-19 crisis.
  • A description of some of the key issues being managed by the School Executive are also included.
  • A summary of the previously reported arrangements for students in Term IV is included.
  • The Senior Chaplain provides a homily focusing on the importance and symbolism of the cross here.

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Update, 10 September 2020

Summary

  • A shocking video clip which we understand to be a man committing suicide is circulating on social media. Advice and resources for parents in relation to this matter is provided in this Update.
  • Melbourne Grammar School does everything it can to provide the right type and amount of information technology to connect, educate and protect our students.
  • Friday 23 October 2020 has been declared a public holiday in Victoria. Accordingly, no classes will be held on that day.
  • Recordings of webinars designed to support parents, carers and families are available on the Parents Website here.
  • Earlier this week ABC TV’s 7.30 program featured a wonderful performance by Year 6 student and Chapel Chorister, George. You can view the performance here.

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Announcement, 7 September 2020

Summary

  • Off-campus learning will continue for all students for the period Monday 7 to Friday 18 September.
  • School holidays will run as scheduled.
  • Students in Years 7 – 12 will continue with off-campus learning on Monday 5 October.
  • Students in Prep – Year 6 will continue with off-campus learning on Tuesday 6 October. That is, there will be no classes held for Grimwade House students on Monday 5 October in line with previously published Term dates.
  • Year 11 and 12 students will attend on-site for essential assessments during Monday 5 October to Friday 9 October.
  • From Monday 12 October, students in Prep to Year 2 and in Years 11 and 12 will return to on-campus learning. Off-campus learning will continue for all students in Years 3 to Year 10.
  • Subject to the health advice from the Chief Health Officer, students in Years 3 to Year 10 will see a staged return to on-campus learning from Monday 26 October.
  • On-site supervision for children of permitted workers and vulnerable students will continue to be provided in line with the dates for the students to return to off-campus learning, as outlined above.

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Update, 3 September 2020

Summary

  • Headmaster, Philip Grutzner, reflects on the importance of expressing thanks to those who have had an impact on your life before it is too late.
  • New items in the COVID-19 Resource Hub this week include:

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Update, 27 August 2020

Summary

  • Headmaster, Philip Grutzner, reflects on the challenges of parenthood and considers how fleeting is the time with our children.
  • Year 12 student and talented musician, Edward Dong, performs a wonderful piece on the cello.
  • A link to the recording of a recent Community Speaker Series presentation by Stan Grant is provided. myMGS credentials are needed to access the video.

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Update, 20 August 2020

Summary

  • In the lead-up to Book Week, we reflect on how the access to, and enjoyment of, reading and writing serves as an indicator of the freedom and prosperity of a country.
  • The Headmaster reads Looking for Yesterday by Alison Jay here.
  • The Update also includes a consideration of how the life of Mary, mother of Jesus Christ, still invites us to live with faith and hope. It is available here.
  • Information about an upcoming webinar with the newly appointed Archbishop of York on Tuesday 25 August at 7pm is available here.

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Update, 13 August 2020

Summary

  • Our School is a wonderful school and we offer support to those who are feeling the pressures associated with Lockdown 2.0.
  • The APS 2020 Winter Sport season has been cancelled. We are exploring options for the Spring and Summer 2020/21 seasons, which may commence next term depending on the restrictions in place at that time.
  • The Cordner Eggleston Cup will not proceed this year due to COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Confirming that our traditional Campus year books will be published this year – that is, Open House for Grimwade House, The Domain for Wadhurst and The Melburnian for Senior School.

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Update, 6 August 2020

Summary

  • Headmaster, Philip Grutzner, contemplates the joys and hardships of parenthood.
  • A Homily recently preached by Rev’d Hans Christiansen, Senior Chaplain, titled The Psalter – a prayer book for every season is available here.
  • The third Bible Study in a series sponsored by The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, titled Building Hope is available here.
  • The School will continue to provide supervision of children of parents who are Permitted Workers and Children at Risk.
  • Information about the 2020 Non-Government School Census collections is available here.

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Announcement, 3 August 2020

Summary

  • Year 11 and 12 students will return to off-campus learning from Wednesday 5 August
  • Students in all other levels will continue with off-campus learning
  • The Boarding Houses will remain open for students who are not able to easily go home or find alternate accommodation
  • The School will continue to provide on-campus supervision for children of parents in permitted and for Children at Risk.
  • It is anticipated that these arrangements will be in place at least until Sunday 13 September which is the end of the 2nd last week of Term III for Melbourne Grammar School

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Update, 30 July 2020

Summary

  • Grimwade House is introducing a new approach to teaching self-control which focuses on helping students to understand and deal with their feelings in difficult circumstances.
  • A free webinar titled How parents can support their VCE students which will be presented by clinical psychologist Andrew Fuller on Monday 10 August, 7.00pm – 8.00pm. You can find out more information and register here.
  • An ABC News article titled With all our lives changing because of coronavirus, you could be experiencing disenfranchised grief, is recommended reading. You can find the article here.
  • A Homily preached by Rev’d Hans Christiansen, Senior Chaplain, titled Do not fear, for I am with you, is available here.
  • The second in series of Bible studies sponsored by The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, Calming the storm is available here.

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Update, 23 July 2020

Summary

  • It is realistic to expect to be happy all the time? The Headmaster explains why not, and the importance of learning from adversity.
  • Useful resources for dealing with Lockdown 2.0 are provided in this Update here.
  • In line with the Victorian Government’s recent directive, face coverings are now mandatory for all persons over 12 years of age when on a Melbourne Grammar School campus. Teachers can choose to remove their face covering while teaching.
  • The School has made the difficult decision to cancel the Year 10 Beyond the Gates program for 2020. Outdoor Education experiences for students at other levels are also being impacted by COVID-19.
  • The School will continue to provide on-campus supervision for children from Prep to Year 12 of, parents who are medical and emergency services personnel, families with special needs and for children at risk.
  • In light of the revised teaching arrangements and cognisant of the broader impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on our families as well as other issues, the School Council has determined that rebates will be applied to Tuition Fees for Term III, 2020.
  • Boarding fees will only be charged for those students who have been able to return to the Boarding House during Term III in accordance with current restrictions.

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Announcement, 21 July 2020

Summary

  • The Victorian Government has mandated the wearing of face covering in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire to further control the spread of COVID-19.
  • In line with this direction, all staff and students in Years 7 – 12 who are on site must wear an appropriate face covering from Thursday 23 July 2020. Teachers can choose to remove their face covering while teaching.
  • Staff and students will be responsible for supplying their own face coverings although some assistance will be provided until Friday 24 July.

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Update, 16 July 2020

Summary

  • Contact details for Melbourne Grammar School’s Counselling and Psychological Services are available here.
  • The School will provide supervision for children of medical and emergency services personnel who are operating at the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as Children at Risk and those children for whom parents are unable to make arrangements for their supervision, upon request.
  • As previously advised, dispatch of Term III Fee statements to parents is being withheld until Council has had an opportunity to properly review the current situation and its implications.

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Announcement, 8 July 2020

Summary

  • Melbourne Grammar School’s Term III program will commence on Tuesday 14 July 2020, as planned.
  • Year 11 and 12 students will return to campus on Tuesday 14 July 2020.
  • Students in all other year levels will be participating in off-campus learning, commencing Wednesday 15 July. This means that students will not physically attend their normal campus and will undertake their learning at home.
  • The Boarding Houses will re-open on Monday 13 July 2020 for Year 11 and 12 students. Boarders in other year levels will participate in off-campus learning.
  • The School will provide supervision for children of medical and emergency services personnel who are operating at the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as Children at Risk and those children for whom parents are unable to make arrangements for their supervision, upon request.
  • The safety, health and welfare of members of the Melbourne Grammar School community, and those beyond continues to be our highest concern.

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Update, 11 June 2020

Summary

  • It was wonderful to welcome back students in Years 3 – 10 this week.
  • We are planning a staged return of some cocurricular activities, in line with advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer. These include APS Sport and Outdoor Education.
  • The creativity of staff and students during the period of off-campus learning has been impressive. Here are two videos of our Wadhurst Choir and Senior School Orchestra made during lockdown.

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Update, 4 June 2020

Summary

  • Thank you to our outstanding teachers for their work under difficult circumstances during the off-campus learning program, and for the support shown by parents.
  • A video of “thank you” messages from members of our School community was included in the Update.
  • Information about the return to on-campus learning for students in Years 3 – 10, which will occur next Tuesday 9 June, will be circulated to parents by the relevant Head of Campus.
  • The Australian Psychological Association has produced an excellent resource for parents about transitioning back to on-campus learning. It is available here.

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Update, 21 May 2020

Summary

  • The health crisis has asked us each to question what we most value.
  • Detailed information for the arrangements for all students, including boarders, is available here. myMGS credentials will be required to access this information. Parents are asked to read these documents thoroughly please.
  • A video relating to returning to on-campus learning is provided.
  • The current arrangements for the Head of Grimwade House will remain in place until Term III.
  • This reflection highlights aspects of the Bible that demonstrate the link between senses and relationships.
  • This article provides strategies for coping with changes associated with the return to on-campus learning.
  • The Update includes a book reading video and advice about Uniform Shop opening hours.

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Update, 14 May 2020

Summary

  • School Nurses make an important contribution to the health and safety of our students.
  • Nurses and other medical personnel are also playing a crucial role at this time and we thank them for their efforts.
  • All students in Prep, Year 1, Year 2, Year 11 and Year 12 will to return to on-campus learning on Tuesday 26 May.
  • All students in Years 3 to 10 are expected to return to on-campus learning on Tuesday 9 June.
  • The School will continue to provide on-campus supervision for children from Prep to Year 12 of, parents who are medical and emergency services personnel, families with special needs and for children at risk.
  • In line with the State Government approach, Monday 25 May will be a staff day, with no lessons (on campus or off campus) planned for that day.
  • The health and wellbeing of our students and staff continue to be our highest priority.
  • The Update includes two videos – one focusing on pastoral care, and one which is a book reading.

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Announcement, 12 May 2020

Summary

  • The Victorian State Premier has announced a plan for a return to on-campus learning for Victorian schools. The full statement is available here.
  • Melbourne Grammar is now considering the best arrangements for the return to on-campus learning for our students in light of the parameters outlined by the Premier.
  • The health and wellbeing of our students and staff continue to be our highest priority.
  • We will keep parents and students informed about the proposed implementation.

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Update, 7 May 2020

Summary

  • As we celebrate Mothers Day, we can also celebrate the progress that has been made in overcoming female stereotypes and eliminating discrimination across our society, noting that more work is needed.
  • Relationships lie at the heart of who we are as human beings. Congratulations to those people who have identified new ways of interacting due our current social distancing arrangements.
  • In the light of Victorian Government directives and guidance, the Melbourne Grammar School Council will make decisions relating to any return to on-campus learning based on recommendations from the School Executive in which the safety, health and welfare of our students and staff will continue to be our highest priority. The current restrictions are to be reviewed by the Victorian Government on 11 May 2020.
  • Melbourne Grammar School is part of a group of leading schools from around the world, the G30 Schools Group. We are sharing ideas, resources and plans relating to COVID-19 and other matters.
  • We will be continuing to provide care for children of medical and emergency services personnel who are operating at the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as Children at Risk and those children for whom parents are unable to make arrangements for their supervision.
  • 2021 Term Dates are now available on the School website here.

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Update, 30 April 2020

Summary

  • My interest in the natural environment and the great outdoors was flamed through my experience in Outdoor Education when I was a student at Melbourne Grammar. I encourage all families to delve into new resources created by our Outdoor Education staff which contain plenty of ideas about how Outdoor Education can be adapted to an urban environment.
  • Thank you to those parents who responded to our survey about off-campus learning last week. We have reviewed your feedback, as well as those of our students and staff. While the results indicated a high level of satisfaction with our off-campus learning program, support and activities, we have made some modest modifications to our program in line with your advice.
  • In the light of Victorian Government directives and guidance, the Melbourne Grammar School Council will make decisions relating to any return to on-campus learning based on recommendations from the School Executive in which the safety, health and welfare of our students and staff will continue to be our highest priority. The current restrictions are to be reviewed by the Victorian Government on 11 May 2020.
  • We will be continuing to provide care for children of medical and emergency services personnel who are operating at the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as Children at Risk and those children for whom parents are unable to make arrangements for their supervision.
  • There are a multitude of new resources in this Hub this week, including cyber safety resources, and new items in the Health & Wellbeing section.
  • The School’s Uniform Shop is now online.

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Update, 23 April 2020

Summary

  • Anzac Day will be celebrated in Australia on this upcoming Saturday 25 April. With no local ceremonial activities this year, for many the day may pass in a similar way to the days before it. However, I encourage you to discuss the messages that Anzac Day brings with your family.
  • In the light of Victorian Government directives and guidance, the Melbourne Grammar School Council will make decisions relating to any return to on-campus learning based on recommendations from the School Executive in which the safety, health and welfare of our students and staff will continue to be our highest priority.
  • We will be continuing to provide care for children of medical and emergency services personnel who are operating at the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as Children at Risk and those children for whom parents are unable to make arrangements for their supervision.
  • There are a multitude of new resources in this Hub this week, particularly in the Health & Wellbeing section.

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Update, 16 April 2020

Summary

  • This update includes a video statement by the Headmaster about the COVID-19 crisis and the responsibility each of us currently has to take care of ourselves and each other.
  • The ongoing importance of reading is highlighted, and a video of a book reading by the Headmaster is also provided.
  • The School has been advised of a useful resource for parents discussing the COVID-19 situation with young children and is available here.
  • The COVID-19 Resource Hub now includes a new support section based around faith and spirituality.
  • Advice about ongoing support for parents who are medical professionals and emergency services workers, and Children at Risk, is provided.

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Update, 9 April 2020

Summary

  • In his Easter message, the Headmaster highlights the importance of forgiveness, hope and caring for others.
  • A reminder that Classes will commence for all students on Friday 17 April. Sessions for VCE classes on Thursday 16 April have been extended to include Unit 1 & 2 studies.
  • Our staff have the expertise, experience and commitment needed expertly to guide our VCE students through the revisions to the VCE program established by the government.
  • We will be continuing to provide care for children of medical and emergency services personnel who are operating at the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as Children at Risk.

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Update, 8 April 2020

Summary

  • In light of the revised teaching arrangements and cognisant of the broader impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on our families as well as other issues, the School Council has determined that rebates will be applied to Tuition Fees for Term II, 2020.
  • Boarding fees will not be charged while the Boarding House remains closed.
  • Existing levels of support will be maintained for students who currently receive a level of financial support through Scholarships and Bursaries.
    Additional support may be sought by families who may be immediately and severely impacted by the financial fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Update, 2 April 2020

Summary

  • The School will continue to deliver its educational program through an off-campus learning mode in Term II. Classes will commence for all students on Friday 17 April. Pastoral care and VCE Units 3/4 sessions will be held online on Thursday 16 April.
  • The health and wellbeing of members of the Melbourne Grammar School community, and those beyond, is our highest concern. We believe this decision is in the best interests of our students, staff and families, as well as the broader community. Social distancing appears to be our best weapon against COVID-19 and it seems to be working.
  • We will be introducing a range of new initiatives in early Term II to further enable Melbourne Grammar School community members to stay connected with the School and with each other.

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Summary

  • I hope that all members of the Melbourne Grammar School community will find some time over the coming holidays to recharge through rest and reflection.
  • Be caring, creative and connected. This is my message to all community members. Care about others, as well as yourself, find new ways of thinking and try to remain connected to the people around you.
  • We are pleased to launch the COVID-19 Resource Hub website, which is designed to support students and parents through many of the challenges ahead.

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Summary

  • Congratulations to all those involved in making our first day of off-campus learning so successful.
  • The timing of school holidays announced by the State government today does not apply to Melbourne Grammar School. it is our intention that our off-campus learning program will continue for remainder of this week as planned, concluding at the end of the school day on Friday 27 March, at which time school holidays for Melbourne Grammar School will commence.
  • We will also continue to support healthcare providers operating at the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic and emergency service personnel by caring for their children at the School, as previously arranged.

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Summary

  • We are making special arrangements for parents who are healthcare providers and emergency service personnel.
  • On request, we will provide on-campus (Prep – Year 10) student supervision for off-campus learning during school hours for the children of these parents from Monday 23 March until the scheduled end of Term 1 2020 on Friday 27 March.
  • Please contact us by 3pm on Friday 20 March to enable us to arrange this supervision.

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Summary

  • We are commencing a swift, phased transition to off-campus learning, closing our campuses to students a week before Victorian school holidays begin. Students have been informed of this decision today. [Note change to Victorian school holidays on 23 March]
  • We are not aware at this time of any confirmed case of COVID-19 within our student, staff or parent community.
  • We are hopeful that Term II will start as planned, but this will be monitored and assessed constantly over the coming weeks by the School Executive. We will keep our community fully informed.

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Summary

  • The Commonwealth Government has issued social distancing advice that bans social gatherings over over 500 people, along with further travel restrictions. Schools are to remain open at this stage.
  • We have cancelled a wide range of School gatherings, excursions and APS sporting activities.
  • We are ready to continue curriculum delivery online if a School closure becomes necessary. Staff and students have been advised to take necessary learning materials home at the end of each day.

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  • With the exception of 1st Team Sport, all other levels of regular APS sporting competitions (including Year 5 and 6) are cancelled for the remainder of Term I. [Note further update dated 16 March]
  • We have consulted with School doctors who advise, in line with government advice, a common sense approach. We will continue to monitor students and send home any who attend with flu-like symptoms, instructing them to seek medical advice.
  • In the event of a School closure, we are ready to continue curriculum delivery online. The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority made provisions to ensure VCE students are not disadvantaged.

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Summary

  • The Australian Government’s travel advice and testing recommendations have been extended to include a number of new countries.
  • There is no evidence of community transmission, but cases of COVID-19 are expected in Victoria.
  • Melbourne Grammar will cancel or postpone any overseas trip considered to compromise the safety, health or welfare of students and staff.

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Summary

  • Students who have visited or had close contact with visitors to Wuhan City or China’s Hubei Province in the last two weeks are asked not to attend School for at least two weeks and be clear of any symptoms.
  • Students who were in mainland China on or after 1 February 2020 must remain in isolation for two weeks and be clear of any symptoms before returning to School.
  • The above restrictions apply to parents and staff, and extend to School events.

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