Pupils to return to shared sites in earthquake-stricken Christchurch

JO GILBERT
Last updated 05:00 08/03/2011

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Christchurch earthquake

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Shorter holiday breaks and Saturday lessons are options for quake-stricken Christchurch secondary schools looking to make up lost class time.

The city's 163 primary and secondary schools have been working with the Ministry of Education to welcome back about 50,000 pupils after last month's earthquake.

For most of the city's schools, today marks the beginning of the third week of closure, although a handful of schools reopened yesterday and more are expected to do so throughout the week.

Secondary schools with reopening dates were now trying to figure out how to make up the lost class time to Scholarship and National Certificate of Educational Achievement pupils.

Shirley Boys' High principal John Laurenson said his badly damaged school, which is having to site-share, was considering Saturday classes taught by recently retired staff, and morning correspondence and online lessons.

"There are a number of options we have to make up the lost time," he said.

"It's become quite an interesting exercise."

St Andrew's College rector Christine Leighton said reducing the school's three-week term breaks was one option up for discussion, as was timetable rescheduling.

Rescheduling would make teaching and learning "the absolute focus of the day", she said, but did not necessarily mean breaks or extra-curricular activities would be cut.

"Nothing's been decided yet, but obviously there is a lot of problem-solving going on right now," Leighton said.

New Zealand Qualifications Authority deputy chief executive, qualifications, Bali Haque, said his organisation met Christchurch principals on Friday to discuss how to ensure pupils were not disadvantaged by February's tremor. There were no specific conclusions yet.

"We will continue to work with schools to ensure that we factor in the differing needs of students and schools and how that might affect students' ability to prepare for the NCEA examinations which begin in November," Haque said.

Education Minister Anne Tolley said no decisions or advice had yet been given on how schools should make up lost class time, as the focus remained on getting schools open.

Ninety schools now had structural clearance and were working on satisfying ministry health and safety criteria before they would be allowed to reopen.

Another 24 had engineer reports but had concerns that required further analysis.

Eleven schools were on the seriously damaged list and would not reopen this term.

Shirley Boys' High was expected to start sharing Papanui High's site on Tuesday. Shirley Boys' is one of five seriously damaged city schools known to be temporarily relocating.

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Papanui's 1600 pupils would have their campus in the morning, while Shirley's 1500 boys would take over in the afternoon. Classes would be reduced to about 45 minutes' duration. This arrangement was expected to last until at least the end of the year.

Catholic Cathedral College will share St Thomas of Canterbury College's campus, while Marian College will share St Bede's College and Avonside Girls' High will share Burnside High.

St Mary's School on Manchester St is expected to share St Teresa's School site in Riccarton.

St Paul's in Dallington, which relocated to Catholic Cathedral College's city campus after the September quake, will operate from a former school site on Edgeware's Champion St.

REOPENING DATES

TODAY

Allenvale, Breens, Casebrook Intermediate, Cashmere Primary, Kendal, Kirkwood, Ouruhia Model, Sacred Heart and Waitaha Learning Centre.

TOMORROW

Aidanfield Christian, Branston, Christchurch Adventist, Cobham, Cotswold, Elmwood Normal, Fendalton Open-air, Glenmoor, Halswell, Hornby Primary, Linwood Avenue, Paparoa St, Rangi Ruru, Riccarton School, Roydvale, St Bernadette's, St Joseph's, St Teresa's, Selwyn House, Sockburn, Spreydon, Villa Maria, Wairakei and Waltham.

THURSDAY

Beckenham, Ilam, Linwood Intermediate, Lyttelton Main, Lyttelton West, Mairehau High, Marshlands, McKenzie Residential, Our Lady of Assumption, Our Lady of Fatima, Russley and St Margaret's.

MONDAY

Bromley, Burnside High, Burnside Primary, Hagley, Linwood North, Merrin, Queenspark, Richmond, St Andrew's, Shirley School and Windsor.

TERM TWO

Halswell Residential College

Expected to have reopened yesterday: Ashgrove, Duvauchelle, Gilberthorpe, Governors Bay and Cholmondeley, Le Bons Bay, Little River, Medbury, Papanui School, Rangiora High and Yaldhurst.

- The Press

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