Re-engagement Program

Overview

Our aim is to cater specifically for students who have disengaged from mainstream education, or students who are at risk of disengaging.

Our students come from all backgrounds and have left mainstream education for a wide range of reasons. What they have in common is a strong desire to improve their chances of success in life and our focus is on assisting them to make a positive contribution to their community by transitioning to further education, training or employment.

The South Portland setting is homely, class sizes are small and students and teachers build strong and supportive relationships that foster both social and academic growth and give our students the very best chance of achieving their personal goals.

Applied learning is a key to our approach, so our classes are ‘hands on’ where possible. The teacher-student-parent-carer relationship is also personal, with regular communication and face-to-face meetings each term.

Brief History

In the 2006 census, Portland and district had the second highest level of youth disengagment in Victoria. Something had to change. A small group of committed school and community members came together to plan a response.

The Portland Secondary College Re-Engagement Program openind in 2011, with 26 students.

Since then, we have educated over 180 young people. Many have completed their education with us and moved into employment, traineeships and further training. Others have been supported to return to mainstream employment.

Intro of Staff

Katie Kelly – Satellite Campus Program Leader; VCAL Program Support.

Katie is the leader and manager of the PSC Re-Engagement Program. She has been teaching and leading the program since 2016. This year, Katie will be teaching Personal Development Skills and Work Related Skills. She will also be assisting with the Numeracy and Literacy classes. Katie will also support students with welfare needs.

Lauren Logan and Mara Satins – Teachers.

Lauren and Mara started at the PSC Re-Engagement Program in 2019. They provide a hands on approach to Numeracy. Mara has previously worked at the PSC Re-Engagement Program.

Braden Dawson – Teacher.

Braden is the Literacy Teacher at the PSC Re-Engagement Program and started in 2019. Braden provides a hands on approach and incorporates ICT into his classes.

Intro to facility

The PSC Re-Engagement Program is situated in South Portland. The homely environment provides a change of setting and expectation about school. The lounge room and bedrooms have become classrooms and offices, while the kitchen and dining room are communal eating and meeting spaces.

Students and staff care for the facility and gardens. At times teaching is hands on in the gardens, while at other times the garden space is used as the classroom for a change of setting.

Key Achievements

  • Over 180 students have benefitted from the program
  • Level of youth disengagement in the Portland area slashed from second highest to 47 out of the 79 in the state.
  • 71% of our students have transitioned to further education or employment and a further 20% are actively seeking employment.
  • Over 80 students have achieved their Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL).
  • Over 80 students have achieved at least one Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) subject.
  • Students have made the successful transition back into mainstream education at Portland Secondary College.

What do our students say?

“If there was no Re-Engagement Centre there would be no schooling option for me and I’d probably just be sitting around at home. But now I wake up and want to go to school because I enjoy it here and if you don’t enjoy school you won’t go and you won’t learn.” – Liam, 16

“It’s just really hands on here and that is just a thousand times better for me. It’s just the best place.” – Zane, 16

“It’s really good here, there is heaps of nice students and staff. It is a great environment.” – Syhmaria, 16

“Staff are really respectful, it’s peaceful, calm and it’s enjoyable.” – Alannah, 17

Community involvement

We aim to develop young people who are active members of the community. We are well supported by various groups within our community and to make sure that we give back, we regularly contribute to our community.

Fresh Fruit Program – Supported by Portland Aluminium, the students from the Re-Engagement Program order, count and allocate fruit for the students at the Primary Schools of Portland and district. It is a hands on way for students to learn about ratios and teamwork.

Reconciliation Day – For the past four years, students from the Re-Engagement Program have been involved in supporting Reconciliation Day at the Portland Civic Hall. Students have learnt about service of food and communication through their involvement in the day.

International Day Celebrating People with Disability – Students from the Re-Engagement Program have taken an active role in this annual day, which supports and celebrates people with a disability. Students have improved their understanding of themselves and others from the day as well as their communication skills.

Partners

  • Portland Secondary College
  • Port of Portland
  • Portland Aluminium
  • Brophy Family Youth Services
  • DET South Western Victoria Region
  • Dhurrud Wurrung Elders Corporation
  • Glenelg Shire Council
  • Glenelg & Southern Grampains LLEN
  • Portland District Health
  • United Way Glenelg
  • Victoria Police
  • Winda Mara Aboriginal Corporation
  • YMCA

Q & A

How do I enrol?

Potential students and families are encouraged to contact Portland Secondary College on 5523 1344 to express an interest in the program. Re-Engagement Program Leader Katie Kelly will then arrange a meeting time for you to come in and learn more about the program and see the facility first hand.

What do you teach?

Students in year 10-12 are enrolled in the Victorian Certificate of Education at either Foundation or Intermediate level. They will also be enrolled in a VCE subject and if possible, a VETiS subject (such as Hospitality or Engineering).

What are the start & finish times?

Start and finish times differ from class to class so this will be dependent on which class you are enrolled in.

What do we offer?

  • A comfortable, homely environment at out South Portland satellite campus.
  • Experienced and emphatic teachers.
  • A holistic approach that values each young person as an individual with much to offer.
  • Individually developed programs of study including VCAL and VETiS options.
  • Support and guidance to transition to further education, training and employment.

How can I help?

The PSC Re-Engagement Program offers small class sizes and greater individual attention. However this comes at a significantly higher cost when compared to mainstream education models. Currently the program is funded by the Portland Secondary College and charitable donations.  However, the continuation of the program is a year proposition unless a sustainable funding source can be secured.

We are thankful for the support received so far and desperately need the community to continue to get behind us to ensure we can provide this much-needed service to benefit out whole community.

It is for this reason that we have initiated the opportunity for businesses, community groups, families or individuals to sponsor a student.

The annual cost for a student is $2,000 annually, however we will gratefully accept smaller contributions for partial sponsorship.

This tax deductible donation will allow a student to continue their education at the centre and give them the very best chance of success in life.

MAKE A DONATION

You can make a donation to the program through United Way Glenelg Sponsor a Student Placement Initiative:

BSB: 033-656

A/C: 238688

Donations are tax deductible.