So a few years into this school, I'm happy with the teachers and the 1:1 help my kid has needed. I think the theme days and many field trips fall into the not-worth-it category. The kids get dragged to up ~ 1 field trip a month. Ride in other parents cars rather than buses/vans. I feel like we do an awful lot of driving for a short stay somewhere and half the time the kids are getting yelled at to behave (natural to need to do in any group of kids). I guess they are educational for about an hour ( for a 1-1.5hr drive each way sometimes). Same goes for the theme days. Just silly little activities designed to give parents time to volunteer. I like the parent volunteering in theory. But I'd rather have that time on direct education and not gluing a sparkly decoration to a felt one. Some parents do get to help w/ ed but its more an exception than a rule. If you are helping w/ ed, its only for ~1hr a day and that's rough on working families. There needs to be a lot more oversight on safety of the campus as a whole. The upper grades are well behaved kids, maybe a little bored. From the outside looking in, the PE program and extracurricular are marginal. The families are definitely burned out at the end of the year and older kid families seem bitter. But, my kid is getting educated and happy-ish. so, we'll stay. I am not confident its better anywhere else.
This school has some things I cherish- things other schools have begun imitating. It is a "parent participation" school, which means that I get to watch and help my child in his classroom, get to know his friends, and his teachers, not to mention the other parents. Their Ocean's 411 week is a deep-dive (pardon the pun) into specific elements of ocean learning, integrating into the curriculum through science, art, and math. Diversity Day, International Learning Day, Literacy Week, are all annual events that bring special and unique opportunities for the kids to learn things they may not in other schools. The hands-on learning, field trips almost monthly are incredibly important to kids and teachers alike. This school is as close to a private school, without the fees, that we could find, and I wouldn't do it differently, were we to have the chance again. The teachers are committed, wonderful people, partic. the 4/5's, which are the best teaching years the school offers. Middle school has its challenges at the moment, with new teachers, new class sizes and new Core Curriculum, but I have every faith, they will iron out the kinks in the next year.
We love the school although the volunteer hours are quite tremendous. I like the idea of lots of field trips. Indeed, my kids learned a lot from those trips especially overnight trips. However, I agreed with one of the parents' comment that the school should focus more on academics.
Ocean Shore I feel this school is not emphasizing enough on academic. For example, there are too may field trips during school year, and there is not enough decent computers for students. As a result, Math is lagging compare to other schools nearby. This is the time that we need to produce more well prepared math and science students.
I love Ocean Shore!!! Parents and teachers work very hard together to make sure our children get the best education. My son look forward going to school because of all field trips and activities. If it wasn't because of the hours the parents put in none of that would be possible! This school is a great school...
Reading all these glowing reviews, I get excited about the ideal of what OSS promises all over again. I reviewed this school in 2008 and my opinion is still that OSS still requires a lot of work with regard to character building. The adults at the school from parents to school personnel need a constant reminder that children learn by what we do, not what we say. For example, respect can be taught in very simple, concrete ways. When a child goes hungry, because several adults refused to listen and dismissed that child, it is neither nurturing nor respectful. Tolerance and compassion are hallmarks of COMMUNITY. Sadly, we have not experienced the community, collaboration and sharing that is so often mentioned here. We do so wish that other families would reach out to each other with sincerity. Once again, I hope OSS adults will take it as a challenge to act on rather than a personal attack.