2017 Strategic Initiatives

In addition to our ongoing commitment to our students and their families, this year we will be enhancing the opportunities available to them through three key initiatives: 

Vocational Skills and Structured Placement 
We will equip our students with the communication, social, travel training, problem solving and specific technical skills that will allow them to become fully participating members of the work and social community they enter when they leave Mater Dei 

Vocational skills refer to the specific technical skills we will be teaching our students so they may graduate from Mater Dei with industry standard qualifications to take directly into the workfoce. 2016 saw the funding and construction of a dedicated hospitality teaching space. This year will see some students gain a certification in kitchen operation and hospitality, which they can take directly to employment. 

We will also be exploring the next technical skills that will be offered. 

Structured Work Placement continues to be a growing program. 

In 2017 we have 21 employers taking year 11 and 12 students. We constantly hear from the employers how much they also get from this program. 


Curriculum and Professional Development 
We are first and foremost a school, and we have a commitment to dignify our students through providing tailored opportunities for them to maximise their learning. 

2017 sees the commencment at Mater Dei of Dr Bree Jimenez (pictured below) who has joined us from the University of North Carolina Greensboro. Bree is a world leader in evidence based teaching strategies for children with intellectual disabilities. Bree specialises in finding ways for students to access the general cirriculum to build capacity for their life beyone Mater Dei. 

This is pioneering work; it will benefit our students immensely and also bring world class professional developmet for our staff. 


Post School Services
While in early stages, we are considering our role in the post school space. We believe that learning opportunities shouldn't end when you leave school - for anyone. 

Our role as a post school provider will be developed in parallel to the NDIS roll out. 

These considerations also include the future of accomodation provision given the closure of the Living Skills Program. 

This is a significant piece of strategic work that, while in its infancy, is critical for the future of our students, and indeed all young people of the greater Macarthur with intellectual disabilities.