Ocean Township School District (Monmouth County, New Jersey)
|Township of Ocean School District|
|163 Monmouth Road
Oakhurst, NJ 07755
|Superintendent||Dr. James Stefankiewicz|
|Business administrator||Kenneth Jannarone|
|Students and staff|
|Enrollment||3,877 (as of 2014-15)|
|District Factor Group||FG|
The Township of Ocean School District is a comprehensive consolidated public school district serving students from two communities in Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States. The district serves students in Kindergarten through twelfth grade from Ocean Township and from the tiny village of Loch Arbour.
The district is classified by the New Jersey Department of Education as being in District Factor Group "FG", the fourth-highest of eight groupings. District Factor Groups organize districts statewide to allow comparison by common socioeconomic characteristics of the local districts. From lowest socioeconomic status to highest, the categories are A, B, CD, DE, FG, GH, I and J.
In 1834, land was purchased by the trustees of the Deal School District and a two-room schoolhouse was built it served the students until 1885 when the school had 156 students and a larger building was needed. (This school is currently located on Monmouth Road, Oakhurst)
The Poplar Road School, since demolished, was located between Deal Road and West Park Avenue in the Poplar section of town, this school was used from 1864 until 1911 when the students were sent to the new Oakhurst School.
The first Wayside School was located on the Tinton Falls side of Hope Road it was used until 1911, when pupils were sent to the new Oakhurst School, at this time however all high school students traveled to Long Branch High School by stagecoach.
The Oakhurst School was built in 1900. It accommodated all students from Wayside and Oakhurst in grades one to eight from 1900 until 1958. From 1959 to 1978, it was used as a K-4 and K-5 facility. Principals included Ralph Busch, Charles J. Strahan, Frank Parker, Jesse Love, Harry Patterson, Estelle Voorhees, Ernest Smith, Richard Randall, John D.W. Rasp, Donald Vineburg, and Glen Morgan. Since 1978, the building has been used as the school district's administrative offices.
The Wanamassa School, opened in 1930 to serve all students in Wanamassa. Before that, students walked to the Bradley School in Asbury Park. The school is stilled used to this day for grades PK-4 and Special Education Disabilities Classes. Principals included Victoria Green, Edward German, J. Anthony Covino, Joseph Palaia, Douglas Deicke, Camille Tighe, Margaret Grilli, Justine Salvo, and current Victor Milano.
The Ocean Township Elementary School on Dow Avenue opened in 1958 as a middle school, serving grades five to eight. Upper-grade teachers from Wanamassa and Oakhurst Schools moved to the new school with their principal J. Anthony Covino. In 1984, Cavino retired and Mrs. Villapiano, Assistant Principal, took over. At her retirement in 2002, William Galatro took over and served until 2007. Dr. Doreen O. Ryan is currently Principal. The school currently housed Grades PK-4 and Special Education Disabilities Classes.
The Wayside Elementary School opened on January 5, 1970. It houses grades PK-4. John D.W. Rasp was the first principal until 1988. Other principals have included Douglas Deicke, Thomas Pagano, David Enderly, and currently Denise Palaia.
Before the Ocean Township High School opened in 1965, students from the district were bused to Long Branch High School or Asbury Park High School. The principals were Charles Scott, Douglas Fredricks, Robert Mahon, Gardner Atlee, John Crews, John Connelly, John Tighe, Margaret Morgan, John Lysko, Dr. William Cohee, Julia Davidow, and currently Kelly E. Weldon. Under Miss Weldon serve Gina Hagerman, Grades 10-12 Assistant Principal and Michael Lambusta, Grades 9-11 Assistant Principal.
The Township of Ocean Intermediate School was opened in 1975 to house grades seven, eight, and nine. It now houses grades five, six, seven, and eight.
In April 2017, more than 95% of Loch Arbour voters participating in a referendum chose to leave the Ocean Township district and to begin sending students for elementary school to the West Long Branch Public Schools and then move onto attend Shore Regional High School, under the terms of sending/receiving relationships with the two districts by which Loch Arbour would be charged on a per-pupil basis. The average cost to Loch Arbour taxpayers of educating students in the sending districts would be $16,000 per student, a significant drop from the $126,000 was paying in property taxes per student under its relationship as part of the Ocean Township School District.
Laramie Project controversy
In August, 2007 the high school received international attention when its principal, Julia Davidow, backed by superintendent of schools Thomas Pagano decided to prohibit West Park Players, the school's drama club, from staging the play The Laramie Project. The play, an account of the 1998 murder of gay Wyoming student Matthew Shepard, had a pro-LGBT and pro-tolerance message that the two administrators felt would offend conservative community values, Davidow stating "I do not want to draw a line between those who think homosexuality is right and those who think it is wrong. I have a school community to run here and I must protect everyone involved." In the wake of widespread outrage at Pagano's and Davidow's act and calls for their disciplining, the play was reinstated.
- Elementary schools
- Ocean Township Elementary School (in Oakhurst; with 422 students, in grades PreK-4)
- Dr. Doreen O. Ryan - Principal
- Wanamassa Elementary School (Wanamassa; 306, K-4)
- Victor R. Milano - Principal
- Wayside Elementary School (Wayside; 663, PreK-4)
- Denise T. Palaia - Principal
- Middle school
- Ocean Township Intermediate School (Wayside; 1,140, 5-8)
- Larry Kostula - Principal
- Candice Vasta - Assistant Principal
- James Maliff - Assistant Principal
- Christopher Amato - Assistant Principal (Grade 5)
- High school
- Ocean Township High School (Oakhurst; 1,213, 9-12)
- Kelly E. Weldon - Principal
- Gina Hagerman - Assistant Principal / Grades 10 & 12
- Michael Lambusta - Assistant Principal / Grades 9 & 11
Board of education
The Ocean Township School District is led by a nine-member Board of Education.
The members are:
- Joseph Hadden, President
- Jim Dietrich, Vice President
- Steve Clayton
- Denise Parlamas
- Sylvia Sylvia-Cioffi
- David Marshall
- Amy McGovern
- Michael Palutis
- Sean Moore
The district provides a Free Appropriate Public Education for all students with disabilities between the ages of 3 and 21 in the least restrictive environment. All children 3 through 21, who reside in the Township of Ocean School District are provided with access to some kind of special education.
- Dr. James Stefankiewicz, Superintendent
- Kenneth Jannarone, Business Administrator / Board Secretary
- District information for Township Of Ocean School District, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed December 7, 2016.
- Taxpayers' Guide to Education Spending April 2013, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed April 15, 2013.
- DeNicola, Linda. "Ocean Township voters approve school budget: Taxes will rise 3.3 percent in Ocean, decrease in Loch Arbour", Atlanticville, April 28, 2005. Accessed April 6, 2011.
- NJ Department of Education District Factor Groups (DFG) for School Districts, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed March 18, 2015.
- Spahr, Rob. "Shore town votes to leave longtime school district", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, April 5, 2017. Accessed April 16, 2017. "According to unofficial results posted by the Monmouth County Clerk's Office, Loch Arbour residents voted - by a margin of 93 to 4 - to withdraw from the Ocean Township School District and enter into 'send-receive' relationships with the West Long Branch and Shore Regional school districts.... The commissioners explained that Loch Arbour pays approximately $126,000 to educate a single student in Ocean Township, when it could educate the same student in West Long Branch and Shore Regional for approximately $16,000 per student."
- Larsen, Erik. "School officials forbid club to perform play", Asbury Park Press, August 4, 2007. Accessed August 12, 2007.
- Angelini, Bob. "Wyoming Town Rejected Bigotry: Will Ocean Township High School?", Asbury Park Press, August 9, 2007. Accessed August 12, 2007.
- Larsen, Erik. "No mention of controversial play at board meeting: Principal nixed Laramie Project", Asbury Park Press, August 8, 2007. Accessed August 12, 2007.
- Larsen, Erik. "Jersey Guys offer to pay for staging of The Laramie Project", Asbury Park Press, August 8, 2007. Accessed August 12, 2007.
- Larsen, Erik. Instructor Assails Banning of Play, Asbury Park Press, August 5, 2007. Accessed August 12, 2007.
- Papaianni, Joanne L (August 9, 2007). "Play Will Go On In Ocean". The Coaster. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007.
- School Data for the Ocean Township School District, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed December 7, 2016.
- Home Page, Township of Ocean School District. Accessed January 10, 2017.
- New Jersey School Directory for Township of Ocean School District, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed December 29, 2016.
- Ocean Township Elementary School, Township of Ocean School District. Accessed January 10, 2017.
- Wanamassa Elementary School, Township of Ocean School District. Accessed January 10, 2017.
- Wayside Elementary School, Township of Ocean School District. Accessed January 10, 2017.
- Ocean Township Intermediate School, Township of Ocean School District. Accessed January 10, 2017.
- Ocean Township High School, Township of Ocean School District Ocean Township School District. Accessed January 10, 2017.
- Central Office Administration, Township of Ocean School District. Accessed January 10, 2017.
- New Jersey School Directory for Monmouth County, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed December 29, 2016.
- Superintendent's Message, Township of Ocean School District. Accessed January 10, 2017.
- Township of Ocean Schools
- Ocean Township School District's 2015–16 School Report Card from the New Jersey Department of Education
- School Data for the Ocean Township School District, National Center for Education Statistics