Term Dates 2022:

Term 3: Monday 25 July - Friday 30 September

Term 4: Monday 17 October - Thursday 15th December (half day)


Term Dates 2023
Term 1 : Wednesday 1 February -Thursday 6 April
Term 2: Monday 24 April - Friday 30 June
Term 3: Monday 17 July - Friday 22 September
Term 4: Monday 9 October - Friday 15 December (half day)
2023 Public Holidays (during Term time):
Term 1:
Waitangi Day - 6 February
Good Friday - 7 April
Term 2:
Anzac Day - 25 April 
Queen's Birthday - 6 June
Matariki - 24 June
Term 3: Nil
Term 4: Labour Day 24 October

Contact Details:

Rotorua Specialist School
36 Kea Street
Selwyn Heights
Phone: (07) 3476717
Fax no: (07) 3476714
Email: office@rss.ac.nz




Together we Care, Learn and Excel

Kia tatou ka ako, ka awhi, ka piki ake

(School Mission Statement)

Kia ora koutou.  
Welcome to our 2022 year.

Currently we have 95 students, which the Board has set as our capacity roll. The Board will be pursuing options for new Satellites to cater for anticipated roll growth in the near future. We are scheduled to have a new classroom built at the rear of our Base School which has been based on our current roll.

Our Satellite classes are at:

Owhata (1), Kaitao (1), Sunset (2), Selwyn (1), Malfroy (2), Mountview/Taupo (1), Western Heights (1) and Aorangi (1).

Here at Base we have six classes of primarily older students.  All students enrolled with us must be ORS verified. Our people are aged from 5 years to 21 years old, and all have intellectual disabilities and/or physical challenges.

Rotorua Specialist School has a team of 25 teachers, 40 Teacher Aides, 2 Admin staff, an IT support person and a Caretaker.

Also we have our own Therapy Team comprising of:

A Physiotherapist (and Team leader), Orientation and Mobility Therapist, Occupational Therapist, 2 Speech Language Therapists, plus a part time Psychologist.

Rotorua Specialist School employs a Te Reo tutor plus a Music Specialist. We have a Learning Support Co-ordinator who is with us one day a week.

Our large Activity Centre is used primarily for Perceptual Motor Programme and a Dark Room for Sensory activities.  Kapa Haka also utilise this area.

The school has term events involving the whole school: Athletics/Soccer/Swimming/Tabloids/Art Expo/Fun Days to name a few.

Students are fortunate in having Swimming as an option on most weeks and for the younger children Horse Riding and Gymnastics. We have an emphasis on Fitness and Well-being especially aimed at the more physically able young people.

This year in Term 3 we may be staging a full school musical with our highly regarded Art Expo to be held in Term 4.

We are part of the Central Regions Cluster which involves 12 Special Needs Schools from Wellington in the South, to Paeroa in the North. The Principals meet once a Term.

Our school follows the National Curriculum where relevant, plus the Central Regions Schools ‘Curriculum. Key Competencies are focussed on with all of our planning.

IEPs are held twice a year and are the reporting to whanau requirement. Our Teachers work closely to set collaborative goals for our students with respective Therapists, moderated by the Leadership Team of Principal/Deputy Principal and two Assistant Principals.

Rotorua Specialist School is one of the schools for Lunches in School which is a continuing success. We also apply to Kids Can and have gained jackets/shoes and food for our young people. We are very grateful for this support. We also receive Fruit in School.

Ngati Whakaue support us with funding to enable us to continue with Lego Therapy as well as the commencement of a Six Bricks programme, which is led by a trained tutor.

Play Based Learning is also a component of our children’s learning.

Vegetable gardening involves our 3 senior classes who then use the food they harvest for their class cooking.

In Term 4 of this year we plan to hold a Noho Marae for our senior classes.

Community integration is a feature of our school and we are privileged to have a fleet of vehicles to enable this to occur.

The Three senior classes may be embarking on end of year Summer camps this year if practicable.

Our Board of Trustees meet on the third Monday of most months. The first one for the year will be on February 28, 2022. 

The school is part of the Te Maru Ngongotaha Kahui Ako, which involves 12 schools in and around our school in close proximity.

My vision as Principal to strive to employ the best staff for the students, and to provide a nurturing environment for them, where they are truly valued.

Our collective vision is to provide opportunities for each student to access learning at their level, and develop to their full potential as learners and members of the community in Aotearoa.

I welcome the involvement of the community and work closely with our students whanau, the local authorities as well as our on-site Multi Discipline team, to provide excellent learning opportunities and support for all students.

This website is intended to give you an overview of life at our unique school. We always encourage visits by prospective families and should you need to contact us please do.

Nga Mihi

Sherie Collins/Principal