Ruapehu on the rise

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TOP TEAM: Ruapehu College deputy principal Marama Allen (left), principal Kim Basse and deputy principal Jason  White.
TOP TEAM: Ruapehu College deputy principal Marama Allen (left), principal Kim Basse and deputy principal Jason White.

Staff and board members at Ruapehu College are very pleased with the latest Educational Review Office (ERO) report on their school.

The college in Ohakune has been through a period of change in recent years and the report gives recognition for the progress made since 2012 when the school was placed under statutory management.

Principal Kim Basse was appointed in May of 2013 and since then the college has grown steadily in its capacity to serve the Waimarino community and the recent ERO report highlights this.

The report states that "Ruapehu College has made significant changes to improve its curriculum and teaching,"

"High expectations for attendance and achievement have increased student engagement.
"Links with iwi and culturally responsive practices are supporting Maori students to be engaged achievers.

"The school has strengthened its capacity to sustain ongoing improvement to enable students to achieve successful outcomes."

The school has a roll of 155 students with 69 percent Maori, 24 percent pakeha, 4 percent Pasifika and the the other 3 percent is made up of students from other ethnic groups.

The ERO reports shows that there has been noticeable improvement in educational achievement and students are now achieving at, or above, national averages.

Ruapehu College recently received an innovation award of 50,000 dollars to fund the blended delivery of English and History by teachers Jerry Jordan and Johnny Green.

One of the college's aims is to be the school of choice for the community it serves.
The success of programs such as CACTUS (Combined Adolescent Challenge Training Unit and Support programme), Te Kakahu ( a Ministry of Education supported Whanganui iwi initiative of embedding the identity, language, and culture of their Maori students into school programmes), and the recent return of rugby teams competing in the newly established Whanganui competition are all signs that the college is meeting this goal.

Local iwi, Ngati Rangi, have established a learning facility at Ruapehu College, further strengthening the capacity for the school to engage with their Maori community.
The report recognised that school leaders have meaningful relationships with iwi through regular conversations and events.

The college's Board of Trustees has been instrumental in supporting the college through the changes, and the recently elected board have a mix of experience and expertise.
Principal Kim Basse said Ruapehu College's progress has caused a buzz in the community, with many locals expressing their pleasure of seeing the school performing well.

"The progress seen at Ruapehu College in recent years is down to the hard work of a dedicated and passionate team of educators," she said.
"Our staff know our community, and work tirelessly to provide an education for the youth of the Waimarino that is responsive to each learner's needs.

"We are excited about continuing to build on our successes and celebrating the achievements of our students."

The satisfactory ERO report means that Ruapehu College will now be reviewed every three years rather than the more frequent reviews that were carried out during the last few years.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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