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Graduating seniors return to middle school to receive a graduation clap-out after the event was cancelled due to the pandemic

Ocean City High Schoolers Return for 8th Grade Graduation They Missed During COVID

Ocean City High Schoolers Return for 8th Grade Graduation They Missed During COVID

From Nina Contento for Ocean City High School

OCHS seniors get emotional as they walk through the hallway during the OCIS clap out.
OCHS seniors get emotional as they walk through the hallway during the OCIS clap out.

Ocean City High School’s (OCHS) Class of 2024 is excitedly preparing for their upcoming graduation ceremony, but first the seniors went back to middle school and celebrated their eighth-grade commencement.

The graduating seniors recently visited Ocean City Intermediate School (OCIS) to mark their eighth-grade accomplishment with a school-wide clap-out. The students were presented with time capsules and special surprises, and many became emotional when they were reunited with their former teachers.

“We saw how the pandemic disrupted the lives of our students, taking away opportunities to experience normal milestones. These missed moments, whether graduations, proms, or everyday school interactions, have left a lasting impact,” said OCIS Principal Michael Mattina. “It is incredibly important for us to honor them now, giving them the chance to celebrate this achievement before they leave our district. Not only a recognition of the past, but also a moment to look forward to their bright futures.”

This important milestone was long-delayed due to the pandemic, which caused the then-middle schoolers to leave the school building during the year and not return. Students, parents and school staff were disappointed that the class did not have the opportunity to commemorate their achievements together. 

Ocean City School District’s (OCSD) teachers, staff and administrators wanted the Class of 2024 to have this experience, and worked together to give the students a day that created many heartwarming middle school memories.

“We are thrilled to finally be able to recognize the students with a clap-out as they begin the next chapter of their lives,” said OCSD Interim Superintendent Terrence Crowley. “Celebrating milestones is important and we wanted the Class of 2024 to know we are proud of them and their accomplishments, including the admirable way they overcame obstacles brought on by the pandemic.”

Ocean City School District will hold its commencement ceremony for the senior class on June 13. For additional information on district initiatives, visit ocsdnj.org.  

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