Kapiti College keeps on growing

TALIA CARLISLE
Last updated 08:13 31/01/2013
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Shining faces: Paraparaumu year nine students Anna Kieft, left, and Victoria Bruce enjoy a sunny first day at school.

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Kapiti Observer

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Kapiti College had an extra large welcome on Tuesday, with 320 new year nine students joining the school.

The influx of new students has boosted the roll to more than 1200, up from 1135 last year. The college has had to build extra rooms and employ 11 additional teachers.

Principal Tony Kane said that last year the school had 260 year nines, and in August staff estimated they would have between 280 and 290 this year but "it's slowly but steadily climbed since then".

"We've just kept on having people coming in. When we realised what was coming about we started doing something about it quite quickly."

Construction of a new lab and classroom will be completed in two weeks.

In the meantime, some classes are being held in rooms above the gym, and others in unused areas across the school.

"You name it we're using it," he said.

Mr Kane said the increase in students often fluctuated but if numbers continued to rise the government might ask the school to implement a zone area to restrict enrolments.

"We don't particularly want to. We want the kids to be able to choose which school to go to."

Meanwhile Paraparaumu College held a powhiri to welcome 219 year nine students on Monday, a "slightly smaller" number than usual, new principal Gregor Fountain said.

"This is a school that had gone through some very rapid role growth in the 80s and 90s," he said. "It has been bigger in the past, but [with 1255 students] it's still a very large school."

Last year's roll at Paraparaumu College was 1320.

Starting as principal this term, Mr Fountain enjoyed the powhiri on Monday, which he said was a great way to welcome the "fantastic group" of new students and four new staff.

"I'm particularly proud of our kapa haka group," he said.

"It was the first time I had spoken on behalf of the school and to be supported by that group of kapa haka students was a real highlight for me."

Otaki College acting principal Andy Fraser said the school received more year nine enrolments than expected this year, although most new enrolments came into the college at year seven.

"Because we're a year seven to 13 college, we don't don't tend to attract too many year nines, a lot of our kids just roll in from intermediate," he said.

"We had about 50 year sevens [last year] so we've gone up about at least another 20 at this stage."

In total the roll was expected to fall slightly to 440 from 458.

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The college will hold a school- wide powhiri for students and their families tomorrow.

- Kapiti Observer

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