All students in Years 9-12 at Bacchus Marsh Grammar will be due back at the Maddingley campus from Tuesday (July 14) next week – and students from metro areas will be temperature-checked before entering buses or the school gates.
Principal Andrew Neale said Year 9 and 10 students were often in classes together – including VCE subjects – and it would be almost impossible to split them up.
“We have a high proportion of students doing VCE at middle school level and we teach them as one cohort,” he said.
“It means all students from years 9 to 12 will need to be at school.”
Under lockdown rules announced Tuesday, the State Government will permit students in years 11-12 and in Year 10 who are studying VCE or VCAL to attend their metropolitan school.
Schools in regional council areas – including Moorabool, Macedon Ranges, Greater Geelong and Golden Plains – will start term 3 as normal on Monday July 13.
Bacchus Marsh Grammar is in the unique position of having its main P-12 Maddingley campus in a regional area (Moorabool), despite three-quarters of students living in metropolitan ‘lockdown’ areas such as Melton, Wyndham and Hume.
“Being a Year 9 or Year 10 student is just a label,” Mr Neale said.
“Anyone doing a VCE subject at that age is treated like a Year 11 student. We have the capacity to do that.”
Mr Neale said BMG was trying to interpret the State Government’s advice “as best we can” and said the age of students studying VCE subjects was becoming younger.
“We had 30 kids last year doing the equivalent of Yr12 VCE Further Maths who were actually in Year 9 or 10.
“One of our students got a perfect score in that subject – and he was in Year 10.”
Students in Prep-Year 8 will return to online learning when their term starts on Wednesday (July 15), despite students living in regional areas and the children of essential workers being physically in class.
It will be business as usual at a campus in the Brisbane Ranges (Greater Geelong).
“We’ll continue to use the Staughtonvale campus during lockdown because it’ll give students a chance to appropriately social distance.
“It also gives them a great chance to get away from being in front of screens.”
Meanwhile the 18-month-old Woodlea campus (Melton LGA) will offer online learning for its 750 P-8 students.
Mr Neal said a handful of Woodlea students who lived in regional areas would have the option of attending at Maddingley until the metro lockdown was over.
“I fully appreciate that times are frustrating, but a six week lockdown in the scheme of things is not a long time. We just need to get through it again, do the right thing – and we can get back to normality sooner
“Hang in there. It isn’t a long time. Let’s get through and we can get past it.”
** More than 14,000 non-contact infra-red thermometers are being given to schools and childcare centres across Melbourne and in neighbouring regional areas.
If a student has a temperature above 37.5 deg C carers will be asked to take the child home and seek a COVID19 test.
## COVID19 symptoms include cough, fever, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose and loss of smell.
If you need to be tested, Djerriwarrh Health Services has a drive-through clinic in Barries Rd Melton, open 10.30am-6pm weekdays and 9am-12pm weekends.
People can also book a test at Darley Medical Centre on 5367 5000
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Main Image: Bacchus Marsh Grammar – Principal Andrew Neale