Regional Victoria's weekend shift in to lockdown has again left students, parents and teachers facing another period of remote learning.
But after six previous pivots to remote learning, principals feel there is less anxiety and more of a smooth transition now with each announcement.
"Schools now have procedures, processes and routines to just pivot," said Mount Pleasant Primary principal Kate Robinson.
"This time there's a lot less anxiety from families about what this all means because we are practiced in it."
Ms Robinson welcomed Saturday's announcement from chief health officer Brett Sutton that primary school aged children would be encouraged to wear masks indoors because of the higher incidence of the Delta variant infecting children.
Of Victoria's 440 active COVID cases, almost a quarter are children under the age of nine with current outbreaks in schools and childcare centres among those being managed.
Professor Sutton said containing spread among young children was critical, given their significant over-representation in current cases, and primary school children should wear masks indoors if they can.
"Some kids will do it ... some kids will absolutely not be able to do it," he said, stressing it was recommendation, not a rule.
Ms Robinson said some children want to wear masks and some already do.
"We have had children turn up wearing masks the whole way through because mum and dad wear them. Some want to wear masks others will have sensory issues and find it really challenging."
Right throughout this pandemic, students have responded with resilience and positivity in the most difficult circumstances - and now we're giving them the confidence they need to get through their final exams and enjoy the end of their schoolingJames Merlino
She said schools would have to implement routines around masks, similar to rules around wearing hats, to maintain hygiene so children did not swap masks or drop them and to support children that want to wear them.
"There's more reason for it with this variant, and we need to do all we can to contribute to the safest learning environment," she said.
Premier Daniel Andrews also announced a goal to give all children from grade six up at least one dose of the vaccine before the end of the school year, to avoid the risk of large numbers of unvaccinated people moving about the state and country over the summer holidays.
Meanwhile year 12 students received some certainty over their final weeks at school last week with the government announcing new exam and assessment dates ahead of the year's crucial final exam periods.
Subject to ongoing public health advice and epidemiological conditions, the General Achievement Test (GAT) will be held for all year 12 students across Victoria on September 9, at school, with extra COVID-safe conditions in place.
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And from August 30, students can also attend school, in groups of no more than 10 at a time, for school-based assessments that cannot be conducted remotely such as performance or practical assessments.
VCE written and performance exam dates will remain as originally set - with performance and oral exams scheduled to begin on October 4, and written exams to run until November 17, with the ATAR to be released on December 16.
And in light of the disrupted year, every student completing one or more VCE or scored VCE VET Unit 3-4 subjects will have Consideration of Educational Disadvantage applied, which takes in to account the individual impact of coronavirus on each student including school closures, students' health impact, remote learning and mental health challenges - and will use data like the GAT, other assessment and school comparisons to calculate final VCE results.
"Right throughout this pandemic, students have responded with resilience and positivity in the most difficult circumstances - and now we're giving them the confidence they need to get through their final exams and enjoy the end of their schooling," said education minister James Merlino.
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