Changes sink in for Christchurch principals
Thu, 13 Sep 2012 6:03p.m.
By Jessica Rowe
A controversial proposal announced by the Government today is to merge five Christchurch eastern suburb schools, including a high school, an intermediate, and three primary schools.
They would all be on one site, in a so-called ‘learning cluster’, though what that means is still sinking in for the schools' principals.
Fifty-two years old and the future of Aranui High School in the quake-damaged east of Christchurch is under threat.
Families have moved out and the roll is down to 650. Under the proposals, the school would merge with three primary schools and an intermediate, and become an area school for years one to 13.
“It impacts on families and whanau and it would have been good to have had that information a day or two earlier,” says principal John Rohs.
It's in a hard-hit part of the city, but the school has made its name for success in national Shakespearian competitions.
Now the suggestion is for it to move to a new super school site in Wainoni Park.
“The ministry has invested almost $10 million in making a new school for us over the last three years, we love what we've got and we really want to stay there,” says Mr Rohs.
Since the earthquakes, rolls have fallen sharply in much of the east of Christchurch as families have had to move out of red-zone properties, or simply left the city.
Schools have been warned there would be cuts, but the news is still harsh.
The school Kym Wells runs, Wainoni School, would be a part of the cluster.
“[It’s] quite a shock - the plan, the amount of schools that are merging are far more extensive than I think any of us guessed,” says Ms Wells.
And it’s the same for Mark Scown, principal of Avondale School.
“We're all somewhat stunned,” says Mr Scown.
And the local intermediate school will also be included.
“It is a big surprise to think that a successful school of 750 students would actually deemed to be closed,” says Richard Paton, principal of Chisnallwood Intermediate School.
The principals are in for a busy time as they report back to the community, and wait anxiously for the final decision on their future.
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13/09/2012 8:00:57 p.m.
Julie Matthews wrote:
It is astounding that the current Key government would consider putting the boot into eastern christchurch after we didn't vote for them last election. Or is it. Key is more a Putin that an Obama. Watch out. Pussy Riot is coming.
13/09/2012 8:00:11 p.m.
Rebbecca Richmond wrote:
Where is the justification for Manning to be closed? There are new sub-divisions being built out this way, on the west side. Where would our children go? Intermediates is a good transition from primary to high school as this could be scary if the children are not ready.
13/09/2012 7:55:26 p.m.
Chelsea Halliwell wrote:
Dear Hekia Parata, when you are finished confounding Cantabs with your mixed up, politically influenced, munted proposals to merge and close our thriving and committed schools, give me a call. I'd be happy to come up with a communications strategy for you, despite you apparently believing you don't need one. At all.
13/09/2012 7:03:43 p.m.
It wasn't all that long ago that people on this side of town were petitioning on getting another high school over by burwood hospital
13/09/2012 6:52:52 p.m.
i go to aranui high schhol and i dont think that putting all the east side schools together is a good idea.
all its going to do is give more of a change for students to drop out when they turn 16.
i will be year 13 when this new school is meant to open and i wont go i dont see why the school boards, parents and students dont come together and protest against this shit plan
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