Annamarie Haas, Principal Ocean Academy/Cape May County High School
The Cape May County High School is the secondary component of the Cape May County Special Services School District, providing services to students from grades 9 through 12, and when appropriate to age 21. The high school serves multiply disabled students from Cape May County and surrounding counties, providing a full range of academic and vocational programs. Instruction is designed in order to meet the individual needs of each student as per their Individual Education Plan (IEP).
Courses offered meet the state requirements for graduation and are aligned to New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards. Small group instructional settings, behavior management and crisis prevention strategies, comprehensive transition services and a variety of vocational offerings provide a specialized educational environment. A state of the art Media Center, emphasizing the Project-based learning model, is located in the school. A three-station gymnasium, weight room and swimming pool are integral parts of the health and physical education program. Driver's Education includes classroom instruction and hands-on training in a “Behind the Wheel” training simulator.
It is our goal to provide programs that will assist students in obtaining the skills they need to enter the job market and be successful contributors to their community. With vocational offerings in such areas as auto mechanics, carpentry, custodial services, floriculture, retailing, restaurant occupations, and supermarket careers, students are prepared to enter the world of work. The Back Porch Cafe offers lunch in a restaurant setting, and the Cougar Deli provides convenience store services. The Pocket of Posies florist creates floral arrangements for a variety of functions. The Cougar Corner is a school store where students and staff can purchase school-theme clothing and other items.
Our Transition and School To Careers staff interface with community agencies including local businesses, the Division of Developmental Disabilities, and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation to provide a wide variety of direct and related job site support services including: job mentioning, shadowing and job coaching.
The Job Connection program is designed to increase basic literacy, mathematics, workplace readiness skills and the employment opportunities for students found eligible to participate in this grant program. Students receive instruction in literacy, math skills, social skills and employability skills in the classroom. They also receive instruction in how to incorporate these skills into a work experience through school and community based job shadowing work sites. These sites have included the Acme, McDonalds, Cape May County Zoo, Youth Shelter, Police Academy, and Crest Haven Nursing Home.
The Outdoor Experiential Education (OXE) program provides students with innovative educational opportunities through a variety of outdoor and indoor activities in the community (such as hiking, camping trips, community recreation activities, and service projects). The OXE curriculum emphasizes the development of self-confidence, self-esteem, self-awareness, problem solving skills, and recreation skills. Experiences in the arts, leisure activities, homemaking, career awareness and ecology are provided to each student.
Related services are provided to students as per their IEP's. Speech and Language pathologists assist students in developing individualized, pragmatic communication skills through the use of highly specialized therapeutic techniques and augmentative communication systems. Occupational and physical therapies are provided to children by highly trained therapists with many years of experience working in the field of special education. Programs enhance the students’ sensorimotor integration through controlled sensory input and various motor activities. School Psychologists, learning disabilities teacher consultants, and social workers provide individual and group support, guidance, and counseling to students as per their individual needs.
The Cape May County High School offers an Extended School Year Program (ESY) each summer. This is a four-week session during which students continue to address the goals specified in their Individual Education Plans (IEP's). Determination of participation in ESY is made by the student’s IEP team.
The Cape May County High School is a unique educational institution. In providing a wide range of programs for our students, we take into consideration the specific strengths and needs that each child brings to our school. The result is a place of learning, growth and development for young men and women in need of a specialized school environment.