Term Dates 2023:

Term 1: Wednesday 2 February - Friday 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 
King'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)

Photo: PJ, RSS

Room 2 doing the recycling

Photo: PJ, RSS

Our new playground

Photo: PJ, RSS

Enjoying the swing

Kia ora Koutou.  

Welcome to our 2023 year.

Currently we have 92 students, which we know will grow as the year progresses. The Board will be pursuing options for new Satellites to cater for anticipated roll growth in the near future.  Our school is fortunate in having the support from Selwyn Primary School for another Satellite class; however this is only for this year 2023.  We are scheduled to have a new classroom built at the rear of our Base School which has been based on our current roll. This has taken over four years to get to this stage.  Currently we have five families waiting for a vacancy for their child to commence schooling with us.

We have a new Board of Trustees representing us after elections in September of last year.

Our Satellite classes are situated at:

Owhata Primary (1), Kaitao Intermediate (1), Sunset Primary (2), Selwyn School (2), Malfroy School (2), Western Heights Primary (1) and Aorangi Primary (1).

Here at Base we have six classes of primarily older students.  All students enrolled with us must be ORs verified. Our young 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 8 person Therapy Team comprising of:

Physiotherapists (2), Orientation and Mobility Therapist (1), Occupational Therapists (2), Speech Language Therapists (3), plus a part time Psychologist.

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

Our large Activity Centre is used primarily for Perceptual Motor Programme, with a dedicated Dark Room for Sensory activities.  Kapa Haka also utilise this area.  Therapists are also able to utilise the area for their student care.

The school has term events involving the whole school, consisting of the School Picnic/Athletics/Soccer/Swimming/Tabloids/Art Expo/Fun Days, just 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. Yoga is being introduced and implemented school-wide led by our two Physiotherapists.  Bal-a-Vis-X is also being introduced.  In Term Three this year we may be staging a full school musical or a School Ball, with our highly regarded Art Expo and Noho Marae to be held in Term 4.  The two senior classes may be embarking on end of year Summer camps this year, if practicable.  Vegetable gardening involves our 3 senior classes who then use the food they harvest for their class cooking.

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 a focus of all our planning.  Our school is a member of the Te Maru o Ngongotahā Kāhui Ako, which involves 12 schools in and around our school in close proximity.  One of our Leadership Team is An Acoss School Leader in the Kaui Ako and another is a Within School Teacher representative.

IEPs meetings are held twice a year with whanau and are included as part of our reporting process.  Our Teachers work closely with whanau and therapists to set collaborative goals for our students.  These are moderated by the Leadership Team of Principal/Deputy Principal and two Assistant Principals.

Rotorua Specialist School is one of the schools using Lunches in Schools and Fruit in Schools, with continued success.  We are also supported by Kids Can who supply us with jackets, shoes and food for our young people.  We are very grateful for this support.  Ngati Whakaue provide 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.

Our Board of Trustees meet on the third Wednesday of most months. The first one for the year will be on February 22, 2023.  My vision as Principal is 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.  Community integration is a feature of our school and we are privileged to have a fleet of vehicles to enable this to occur.

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.

All of our School Policies may be viewed via School Docs.  Log in: wonderful. Password: 1772

Nga Mihi nui

Sherie Collins/Principal

Photo: PJ, RSS

Enjoying the shade

Photo; PJ, RSS


Photo; PJ, RSS 

Hi-vis ninjas!