OCVTS Performing Arts Academy

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Grunin Performing Arts Academy
1 College Drive

, ,

United States
Coordinates40°00′34″N 74°09′55″W / 40.0095°N 74.1654°W / 40.0095; -74.1654Coordinates: 40°00′34″N 74°09′55″W / 40.0095°N 74.1654°W / 40.0095; -74.1654
TypeMagnet public high school
EstablishedSeptember 2001
School districtOcean County Vocational Technical School
NCES School ID341198006122[2]
PrincipalChristine Santasieri[1]
Faculty31.1 FTEs[2]
Enrollment284 (as of 2021–22)[2]
Student to teacher ratio9.1:1[2]
AccreditationMiddle States Association of Colleges and Schools[3]

Ocean County Vocational Technical School Grunin Performing Arts Academy (or PAA for short) is a specialized, public high school program which concentrates heavily on the fields of performing arts such as dance, vocal music, and theater, serving students in ninth through twelfth grades from all of Ocean County, New Jersey, United States. Located in Toms River on the campus of Ocean County College, it is the sister high school of the Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Sciences, another full-time program that is also part of the Ocean County Vocational Technical School district. Because the school is a full-time program, students take both their performance major and academic courses at the school.[4] The school is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools through July 2027.[3]

As of the 2021–22 school year, the school had an enrollment of 284 students and 31.1 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 9.1:1. There were 16 students (5.6% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 5 (1.8% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.[2]


In January 2020, the OCVTS Grunin Performing Arts Academy moved from its original facility in Lakehurst to a new building located on the Ocean County College campus. The 57,000-square-foot (5,300 m2) facility was constructed at a cost of $27 million, with about $11 million covered by the State of New Jersey, $8 million by the County of Ocean and $8 million received from the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation.[5]

Awards, recognition and rankings[edit]

Schooldigger.com ranked the school tied for 173rd out of 381 public high schools statewide in its 2011 rankings (a decrease of 139 positions from the 2010 ranking) which were based on the combined percentage of students classified as proficient or above proficient on the mathematics (78.5%) and language arts literacy (95.3%) components of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).[6]

Students at the school have won numerous awards such as state-level and international level rankings at the New Jersey Thespian Festival and International Thespian Society Festival. The school, staff, and students also hold achievements at the Montclair State University Theatre Night Awards and Paper Mill Playhouse Awards for their work in school productions.


PAA relies heavily on block scheduling; each year is broken up into two semesters and each semester consists of four 80-minute, 5-credit classes. Every class offered is either an honors course or college-prep course because the high school is designed to test and challenge the brightest students both academically and in performance.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Administration, Ocean County Vocational Technical School. Accessed March 6, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e School data for OCVTS Grunin Performing Arts Academy, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed December 1, 2022.
  3. ^ a b Ocean County Vocational Technical School Performing Arts Academy, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools. Accessed December 28, 2022.
  4. ^ Performing Arts Academy, Ocean County Vocational Technical School. Accessed March 6, 2012.
  5. ^ Vosseller, Bob. "Curtain Opens For OCVTS Performing Arts Academy", Jersey Shore Online, January 21, 2020. Accessed February 14, 2022. "They arrived by bus and car and entered with excitement for their first day of class in the brand new Ocean County Vocational Technical School Performing Arts Academy building. It wasn’t just the students that were excited about the state-of-the-art facility but administrators, staff, OCVTS Board of Education members and elected officials. The building is on the campus of Ocean County College in Toms River."
  6. ^ New Jersey High School Rankings: 11th Grade HSPA Language Arts Literacy & HSPA Math 2010-2011, Schooldigger.com. Accessed March 6, 2012.
  7. ^ Sockol, Matthew. "Jackson actor enjoys role in Luke Cage", CentralJersey.com, October 24, 2016. Accessed January 19, 2022. "Elijah said he became involved in acting when he was 10. During his high school years, he attended the Ocean County Vocational Technical School Performing Arts Academy in Lakehurst."
  8. ^ Oglesby, Amanda. "Barnegat teen top vote-getter with #IDontDoDrugs song", Asbury Park Press, April 15, 2015. Accessed January 19, 2022. "Had things gone differently, Brigid Harrington should have performed in the same room as actor Philip Seymour Hoffman..... 'I've liked his work for a while,' said Brigid, who voices the character of 'Koko' on the animated children's show Chuggington when she's not attending class at the Performing Arts Academy in Lakehurst."

External links[edit]