Staff at Ruahine School are upset to have discovered that someone has broken in to the school over the weekend.
"It's awful, absolutely awful," said principal Sarah McCord.
She said one of the teachers had got to the school before her and found smashed glass.
Televisions were also taken.
Ruahine School is about 9km south-west of Dannevirke on a rural road, which means it is a little isolated.
"It's pretty frightening out in the country," McCord said.
She was relieved that none of the children's work had been damaged and there had been no vandalism.
The school was closed for the day today while staff sorted out the mess, but the children could return to school tomorrow and be assured it was safe.
The major damage was to doors, as well as some broken glass.
Police were at the school today to investigate the incident while a forensics team was also there to carry out scene examination.
McCord said the school had good systems and good locks.
"A lot of things are pretty tight here. They've managed to get TVs out but that's about as far as they got."
She felt it was "unfair" and "unkind".
"This is the children's school. This is Dannevirke's future that they have stolen from."
While the children who did go to school were kept away from the damage, McCord said it was still pretty upsetting for them.
"This is their place. Their safe place.
"These children haven't done anything to deserve this."
She said school was a place for the children "to learn, grow and flourish."
"To have somebody try to take that away from them is horrendous."
The community had rallied round, with parents bringing in morning tea for staff, or just to help out.
"Our community is amazing," McCord said.
"They just look after each other so well."
The school had a rough start to the year, along with other schools in the town, dealing with Covid.
McCord said they were all doing pretty well now and hoped it would stay that way so as not to disrupt the children's learning.