Bright Harbor Healthcare

News & Events

Summer Wrap Up

By: Heather Lacher, Instructional Paraprofessional

Ocean Academy students got to experience a virtual 3-D show of space at the Ocean County College Planetarium . Throughout the live show the students learned about the Sun ant its motions, the moon, the Lunar phases, and the constellations, bright stars, and planets visible in the current sky.  After the educational show, the staff and students of OA were able to enjoy a special laser light show.


By: Kathleen Caffee, Science Teacher

Students got the opportunity to visit Barnegat Bay and take in a beautiful day.  There was a nice breeze and the sun was shining!  As some students sat and chatted, some choose to use a fishing pole to capture and release the local fish.  Others tried their hand at crab pots or just using a line with bait.  Teamwork was needed to haul in their catch.  We ended our outing with a crab race back into the bay.  It was a memorable day!


By: Sarah, OA Student 

Today the students at Ocean Academy were visited by a local Veterinarian.

Dr. Laura Taylor,DVM was kind enough to share her experiences with the students and explain to them what it is like to be a mobile vet. Dr Taylors practice consists of only doing house calls. Dr. Taylor brought her pet snake and educated us with it. The snake is a young male Pastel Ball Python. She also educated us on different skulls she had which included a raccoon skull, a cat one, and the nail of a seal.

A student asked “How do you grieve over animals you euthanize?” Dr. Taylor’s response was that the term Veterinarians feel when they have to euthanize a pet is called Compassion Fatigue. She stated as well that she euthanizes an animal when she feels it is the animal’s time to go so they don’t suffer anymore. “It is hard.” Dr. Taylor stated. But she also agrees that it is the best, most peaceful way to do for an animal that is sick and suffering. Euthanizing is one of the hardest things to do as a vet.

One student also asked “What are the educational requirements to become a vet?” Dr. Taylor said that you have to have 4 years in college and a bachelor’s degree, and an additional 4 years of Veterinary specialized schooling. Also, a fact from our Veterinary speaker is that more women are in the field of Veterinary practice than men. Approximately 75%-80% are women! But really, anyone can become a Veterinarian! That sounds like a lot when it comes to the schooling part of the process, but is so worth it if you want to pursue in helping animals in need or any job for that matter. Dr. Taylor explained to anyone that you can pursue in any career, like being a Vet, and can do so many positive and beneficial acts of greatness and you can overcome anything. Dr. Taylor shared her enthusiasm and love of animals with us and encouraged the students to follow their dreams.


By: Robert Austin, LCSW & Alysha Simmons, Instructional Paraprofessional 

The summer of 2017 will go down as the summer of champions at Ocean Academy.

What started as a simple social skills group utilizing traditional board games turned into a heated competition amongst the students. Board games are often used therapeutically to teach valuable social skills lessons such as impulse control, decision making skills and critical thinking. Students were able to demonstrate an increase in their ability to focus while engaging with each other.  Friendships were formed and interpersonal relationships reinforced.

Competitions play a role in motivating students to perform, and excel, and offer a lot more reward than just winning a prize. Competitions offer a chance for students to gain substantial experience, showcase skills, analyze, and evaluate outcomes. As well as uncover personal aptitudes. Competitions also encourage students to adopt innovative techniques and develop their ideas and skills.

Some of the exciting games we played this summer included Othello, Connect four, Sorry, Trouble, Search & Find, plus an assortment of card games.  After practicing these game students had the opportunity to challenge their peers to be crowned champion.  When the students proved their excellent abilities their picture was placed on the championship wall for all to see.  In a therapeutic manner good sportsmanship was taught and reinforced, so the students could carry this valuable life skill with them into other areas, including academic and social situations.


By John Condoleon, Instructional Paraprofessional, Drama Instructor

Summer lovin’, had me a BLAST!

They say all good things must come to an end. For me, my time at the Ocean Academy ESY was just the beginning. What an incredible experience it was! Having the opportunity to come into a new school and have fun with the students and staff, going on trips, participating in drama games and yoga class, was something I will always remember. I established some great relationships with the students and staff and want to personally thank everyone for making my stay at Ocean Academy a really special one. You all impacted my life in a positive way and for that I am truly grateful and blessed.

The last day of ESY at Ocean Academy was a great one! Although the rain tried to put a damper on the day, the staff had it covered!  Mr. Austin pulled out the board games and we all partook in Othello, cards, chess, and connect four! It was a great time for staff and students to connect one more time, eliminating formalities and just having a good time conversing and playing friendly games.

Once the games ended, it was time to eat! Mr. Corbett and Jayden manned the grill and made some delicious BBQ chicken sandwiches and Miss Judy and some other staff assisted in serving us all a delicious last lunch together. It was tasty!

The BBQ lunch was a great way to close out summer. I am going to miss you all and CAN’T WAIT to come back and work with you all again next summer!

Have a great and relaxing rest of your summer and have a productive and successful school year!

Respect the Talent and see you all soon!