Ocean Academy is an educational facility that provides programs for children, ages 3-13, with special needs. These children may present with a wide range of disabilities that have stemmed from physical and learning disabilities, emotional disturbance, developmental delay, and/or cognitive, visual or hearing impairment.
EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAMS
Beginning at age three, preschool children are offered a special educational program based on the High Scope Curriculum. They are presented with pre-readiness experiences that focus on language development, physical, sensory and perceptual motor integration, social skills and school adjustment.
In addition, there is also a preschool program specifically developed for young children with autism. Using the High Scope Curriculum as its foundation, this program is highly individualized and carefully planned according to each child’s unique learning style. Concrete, hands-on activities and experiences are created in an effort to elicit beginning language, play, imitation and social interaction skills.
ELEMENTARY GRADES K-8
Once a child becomes kindergarten age, they are placed in a program based on their individual strengths and needs. There are programs for children with Multiple Disabilities (MD), children with Emotional Disabilities (ED) and those within the Autism Spectrum. At the youngest level, the programs offer individual and small group instruction in learning readiness, self-care, language development, and social skills. Each child has an Individualized Educational Program (IEP) that outlines the specific goals and objectives that the child will be working on. These goals and objectives reflect the standards outlined in New Jersey’s Core Curriculum Content Standards. As the students get older, the programs focus primarily on the development of age-appropriate academic, language and social skills. In addition, pre-vocational activities are introduced as the student becomes ready for the transition to a high school setting.
EXTENDED SCHOOL YEAR PROGRAM (ESY)
Ocean Academy also offers an Extended School Year Program (ESY). This is a 4-week session during which students continue to address the goals specified in their IEPs. Recreational swimming classes are provided during the summer, along with other summertime community and recreational activities.
Integral to the curriculum are activities provided by the School Library/Media Center including story hours, independent reading, study skill development and multi-media computer access. A special section of the center is devoted to professional journals and resource materials are provided for parents and teachers.
Speech and Language Pathologists help students develop individualized, pragmatic communication skills through the use of verbal language, sign language, simultaneous communication (pairing verbal and sign language), and picture exchange or augmentative communication systems. The latter include picture books, language boards and a variety of computerized devices with voice output.
Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy are offered to children as noted in their IEPs. The therapists are highly trained, with many years of experience working in the field of Special Education. The programs enhance the students’ sensorimotor integration through controlled sensory input and various motor activities.
School Psychologists, Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultants, and Counseling Social Workers provide individual and group support, guidance, and counseling to students on a daily basis.
PARENT TEACHER ORGANIZATION
An active group of parents, community members and staff participate in the extensive activities of an Educational Foundation, which supports the district's programs. Professional growth is encouraged through in service, a clinical evaluation model, consultation and group problem solving.