Maitland Grossmann High School

Quality Education in a Caring Learning Community

Telephone02 4934 2066

Emailmaitgross-h.school@det.nsw.edu.au

Defence School Mentor

Hi my name is Susan Maley and I am the Defence School Mentor (DSM) here at Maitland Grossmann High School. I have been the DSM since March 2012. I know that Transitioning from a different school, state or even year level is an exciting, although slightly unnerving time for students and their families. If you or your child or children have any concerns please advise me as soon as possible.

 

I would also like to take this opportunity to remind you that a parent being deployed, going away on exercise or lengthy courses can change a child's behaviour and willingness to learn in the classroom. Therefore, it would be great if you could contact me or send a note to the school making us aware of these absences. My role as the DSM is not only to help and support the children of Defence families, but also to liaise between parents, teachers, and the Defence Community Organisation (DCO).

If you have any concerns regarding your child's education, or would like to check on how they are settling in, please do not hesitate to contact me via school phone 49342066 or my email: susan.maley@det.nsw.edu.au I am available Monday to Friday from 9:30am to 3:30pm.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

WHAT IS THE DEFENCE SCHOOL MENTOR PROGRAM?

The DSM Program provides support to secondary students of Australian Defence Force (ADF) members and their families, particularly during their transition into and out of a school on posting or during parental absences due to deployment, exercises or courses.


Defence families can change location frequently and due to differences in curriculum, subject selections and intake age requirements there can be considerable differences in their educational program from one school to the next and particularly from one state to another.


Additional to these pressures, the Defence family is also required to re-establish community connections and create new friendships and support networks every time they are relocated. The move can also impact the spouse as they may have to change jobs/careers each time they relocate, with possible financial pressures adding to the stresses already placed on the family.


This program was implemented by the Department of Defence, through the Defence Community Organisation, as a commitment to support its members and their families. They recognize that the education of Defence dependants may be negatively impacted by their mobile lifestyle and so have sought to provide this innovative resource to facilitate a more supportive educational environment for mobile ADF families.

 

WHAT DOES A DEFENCE SCHOOL MENTOR DO?

  • A DSM provides assistance to students and their families. This may include: Coordinating appropriate welcoming and farewelling strategies for young people of Australian Defence Force families.
  • Supporting students to develop their self-confidence and resilience.
  • Encouraging young people to explore options and make the most of opportunities.
  • Assisting young people manage the challenges of transitions.
  • Referring students where necessary to appropriate student support services.
  • Identifying the issues and needs of individual students.
  • Developing and implementing programs and resources that address issues and needs.
  • Monitoring students' day to day social and emotional well-being.
  • Supporting young people at school during times of parental absence from home for service requirements.
  • Facilitating student participation in cultural, sporting, academic and personal development programs.

 

OUR RECENT RELOCATION HAS IMPACTED ON OUR CHILD'S LEARNING. CAN I GET EDUCATION ASSISTANCE?

If an ADF member moves to a new location and has school aged children, they may be entitled to 14 weeks of tutoring in any subject that has been identified by the school as representing a gap in the child's learning. Please remember that this, as a rule, is only available within 18 months of your relocation date, so if you think your child could use some extra support please contact Susan Maley as soon as possible. Alternatively you can contact your Regional/Education District Liaison Officer (R/EDLO). Paperwork will need to be completed and authenticated by the school prior to submission.


WE WILL BE RELOCATING TO ANOTHER LOCATION. DO I HAVE TO TELL MGHS?
It is advisable that you inform Enrolment's at Maitland Grossmann High of your intended relocation PRIOR to moving. An important part of the support services provided by the DSM include an exit procedure for your child to facilitate their smooth transition to the new school.


We would prefer that this notice is provided in writing and includes the contact details of the new school or tertiary institution. Please contact Susan Maley (susan.maley@det.nsw.edu.au) for more information.


PARENT MEETINGS
We welcome parent involvement and are happy to arrange a meeting to discuss any aspect of the student's wellbeing and educational journey. Please contact me to arrange a mutually convenient appointment date and time.


STUDENT INVOLVEMENT
Our DSM Program serves to support the students and their family members. We hope you enjoy your time here at Maitland Grossmann High School and encourage you to get involved in as many events and projects as you can. If you have any suggestions on ways to improve our program, please do not hesitate to communicate your ideas.