As you would be aware, the Victorian Government has made some significant announcements in relation to arrangements for schools in Victoria for Term 3.
Based on advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer, Victorian Government schools in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will have specific arrangements in place for Week 1 of Term 3 as outlined below. Schools will then move to remote and flexible learning for students in Prep to Year 10 from the start of Week 2.
It is very important to note that the advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer is that schools can continue to operate. The Victorian Chief Health Officer has also provided advice about the health measures that should be taken by staff and students, and we will be following these.
The purpose of these changed arrangements is to reduce the number of these students – and their parents and guardians – moving across metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire in order to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
It is, however, also important that face-to-face teaching be maintained for some students. This includes students in Years 11 and 12 (and Year 10 students who have VCE studies or VCAL strands in their learning program) because of the importance of enabling all students to continue or complete their senior secondary certificate, either VCE or VCAL.
It is important that students in specialist schools have full access to the expertise of the teachers and support staff in those schools in face-to-face settings. We also need to support families where parents and carers cannot work from home, and others who need the support that on-site provision enables.
To provide further assurance, our school, along with all other government schools in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, will be conducting temperature checks of all students at the start of the day. If your child does have a temperature, you will be asked to collect them from school.
The new arrangements are set out in detail below.
Monday 13 – Friday 17 July
Students in Years 11 and 12, students in Year 10 undertaking VCE or VCAL studies, and students enrolled in specialist schools, will return to school on Monday 13 July.
Monday 13 – Friday 17 July are pupil free days for students Prep to Year 10. These pupil-free days will enable our staff to prepare for the change to remote and flexible learning from Monday 20 July.
We will provide an on-site supervision program for students who need it during this week. This program is available for students where parents/carers cannot work from home and no other arrangements can be made and for vulnerable students.
To assist our planning, if you need this program, please complete the attached form and return it to us as soon as possible.
These same arrangements will be in place across schools in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire.
Monday 20 July on
From Monday 20 July, our school will be moving to remote and flexible learning. This will be for all students apart from the following:
- years 11 and 12 students and Year 10 students for their VCE or VCAL programs
- students enrolled in specialist schools
The following students are able to attend school for on-site supervision, but will also undertake the remote learning program:
- children of parents/carers who cannot make suitable arrangements to supervise children at home, including children of teachers in government schools who are required to return to work on-site
- vulnerable students
- students with disabilities who choose to attend on site.
We will follow similar arrangements to those we put in place for remote and flexible learning in Term 2.
We at MSPS did ask for feedback from parents, students and staff and will utilise this feedback in delivering remote learning Phase 2. I should note that parent feedback indicated that we had either given -too much work, not enough work or just the right amount was given. I think moving forward there are three key messages we want to give to our community. Firstly, the need for consistency, secondly, the need to keep it as simple as it possibly can be for all families and finally, the need for connection with our students and the school.
I will be sending our further information on Wednesday regarding the plan for Phase 2.
The Department itself, has a range of options for you to continue to support your students in their learning, available at the Learning from Home website education.vic.gov.au/homelearning.
The latest information about coronavirus (COVID-19) and schools is on the Department of Education and Training website: education.vic.gov.au/coronavirus
The Victorian Chief Health Officer has confirmed that the use of face masks or coverings by adults or children is not recommended in schools at this time. As has always been the case, students who wish to wear face masks in school and in going to and from school may do so.
And, finally, a reminder that if you, your child, or a family member develops symptoms of a fever, chills or sweats, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, loss of smell or taste, you should get tested at a coronavirus (COVID-19) testing facility and stay home.
This is vitally important to keeping our school community safe.
If you would like health information from the Department of Health and Human Services, you can visit dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus
I will continue to communicate with you as soon as we receive further information.