New city base for students

16:00, Nov 29 2013
Ruru School students
CLASS ACTION: Ruru School students Chantel Leigh, 18, left, Josh Johnson, 17, and Darcy Murdoch, 19, are looking forward to their new vocational classrooms at SIT next year.

Preparations are under way to establish two new central-city classrooms for Ruru School.

School staff have been working with the Ministry of Education and the Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) to open two classrooms for senior Ruru pupils on the SIT campus next year.

Two houses would be shifted to the campus and turned into classrooms.

Ruru School principal Erin Cairns said the vocational block would be a great asset for the school.

"It's a fantastic option and opportunity for young people.

"Our students will participate in the life of SIT but also receive specialised programmes."

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About 20 pupils, aged between 18 and 21, would be based in the classrooms, which would be called SIT TEC and located in the F block car park, next to the Bungalow restaurant.

School staff pitched the idea to the ministry after being told the old Waikiwi School buildings were not an option for expansion, Ms Cairns said.

Acting deputy principal Paul Anderson-Kereti said the classrooms would allow pupils to be part of the wider community, and also tied into the school's motto of towards independence.

Senior pupils found out about the plans yesterday and were looking forward to their new classrooms.

Pupil Darcy Murdoch, 19, said it would be exciting to be based at SIT, especially as the students could walk around town on their lunch breaks.

SIT chief executive Penny Simmonds said the polytechnic saw the social merit in being involved when they were approached about the idea a year ago.

Classes would be run by Ruru, but would have access to SIT support services and would be integrated into other facilities, such as kitchens and workshops, where possible, Ms Simmonds said.

The Southland Times