WARETOWN, NJ – The Ocean Township Board of Education has made it clear since the state closed in-classroom learning amid the pandemic. No matter what, they planned on some kind of recognition for sixth graduates of Waretown Elementary School. They are holding true to their promise.

It certainly does not hurt that two board members went through the township’s school system. Both Board of Education President Shawn Denning, Jr., and board member Brian D. Tart have fond memories of the year they graduated sixth grade. The transition to the Southern Regional School District has always been a big deal.

While the district will not be able to hold a graduation ceremony, they have some special plans for the Priff sixth grade graduating class. According to Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Chris Lommerin, they have something special in mind once the school yearbooks come in.

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“Over the summer, we would like to bring back sixth graders for yearbook signing and awards,” Lommerin shared. “We will be following distancing protocol and whatever guidelines are in place.”

The date for the planned get together has not been established and board members are invited to come partake in the celebration. Lommerin estimated the sixth graders would come in mid-summer, or late July.

Tonight, the district and PTA have worked together to begin a caravan to the homes of graduating sixth grade students. The event is split into two evenings and includes visits tomorrow.

“The PTA is sponsoring it,” said Lommerin. “We’re working in conjunction with Chief Rogalski and will have fifteen cars. There will be social distancing.”

According to Lommerin, he sees one of the highlights of the event that the sixth grade teachers will be able to see their students before they transition down to Southern and the kids will be able to see their teachers. Lawn signs will also be placed on the homes of all the students. There are other surprise gifts in store.

"The OTPTA we would also like to recognize the 6th grade dance committee, said Alice L. Goldnr.  “They are a team made up of volunteer parents that have been working tirelessly with the PTA behind the scenes. They have spent money out of their own pockets to purchase presents for each of the 6th graders (not to mention setting up the online group of Adopt a 6th Grader).  They will of course be included within the caravan tonight to celebrate our outgoing 6th graders promotion!

“It’s been 21 years ago that I was in that last year of sixth grade,” shared Tart. “They were so memorable and so much fun. You start out in kindergarten with the same kids. When you move to Southern, there’s a bond that will always be there.”