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You can embrace a brighter, pain-free future.

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  • Back PainBack Pain
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  • Hip PainHip Pain
  • Shoulder PainShoulder Pain
Physical Therapy Union Beach, NJ  Sciatica Pain Therapy Union Beach, NJ

Physical Therpy For Injuries and Pain in Union Beach, NJ

If there's one universal truth in life, it's that it can be unpredictable. Everyone experiences unexpected events that throw us off. While some surprises may only affect our bank accounts, such as home expenses, others can cause physical harm, such as car accidents that result in long-term pain and discomfort. Many Americans suffer from chronic neck and back pain - according to research, half of Americans over 18 develop musculoskeletal injuries that last longer than a year. These injuries often cause a range of mobility issues that make everyday tasks seem hard to do. Unfortunately, many people with chronic pain turn to addictive medications and invasive surgeries for relief, which tends to lead to further complications.

However, if you are experiencing chronic pain or mobility issues, there's good news: Safer and more effective options are available to you. Physical therapy in Union Beach, NJ is one of the best solutions for eradicating pain, maximizing mobility, improving range of motion, building muscle strength, and helping you regain control of your body. At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, our physical therapists and trainers offer customized programs designed for your body and address your pain symptoms. That way, you have the best possible chance of reclaiming a normal, active life, without surgery or harmful pills.

With the incorporation of therapeutic exercises and manual therapy as well as newer techniques and modalities like AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmills and DRX9000 Spinal DecompressionMachines, our physical therapy services can help address conditions such as:

  • Sciatica Pain
  • Ankle Pain
  • Back Pain
  • Elbow Pain
  • Headaches and Migraines
  • Hip Pain
  • Knee Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Wrist Pain
  • TMJ Pain
 Headaches And Migraines Therapy Union Beach, NJ

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When it comes to physical therapy in New Jersey, few clinics can match the care, compassion, and effective treatment options that NJ Sports Spine & Wellness can provide.

Why is Physical Therapy in Union Beach, NJ So Important for Wellness?

Physical therapy can provide numerous benefits, such as pain reduction, enhanced joint and body movement, improved range of motion, proper alignment, and more. While the main goal of physical therapy is to restore function and facilitate a return to regular activities, these outcomes usually result from a broader rehabilitation process, wherein many patients learn a brand-new way of moving.

At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, our physical therapists work closely with patients to understand their unique goals, preferences, and abilities. Based on their findings, they create a customized treatment plan that caters to the patient's specific needs.

Here are just a few specific examples of why physical therapy is crucial when recovering from an injury:

  • Physical therapy helps restore function and mobility after illness, injury, or surgery.
  • Physical therapy promotes healing and pain management by utilizing therapeutic modalities and exercises.
  • Physical therapy helps patients suffering from neurological conditions improve their independence.
  • Physical therapy helps seniors avoid falls by improving balance.
  • Physical therapy can improve flexibility and strength to enhance sports and physical activity performance.
  • Physical therapy facilitates injury prevention through education and analysis of proper body mechanics.
 Shoulder Pain Therapy Union Beach, NJ

Whether you're searching for long-term pain relief or need to improve your strength and balance as you age, physical therapy from NJSSW can help.

Now that you understand why physical therapy is crucial for recovery and wellness, let's take a closer look at some of the most effective treatments at our physical therapy clinic in New Jersey.

 Wrist Pain Therapy Union Beach, NJ

The DRX9000: Relief from Chronic Back and Neck Pain

Are you sick of living day-to-day with long-lasting neck or back pain? Have you searched high and low for a safe and effective alternative to surgery? The DRX9000 may be the answer you're looking for.

Beloved by high-level athletes and even celebrities, this advanced medical device employs non-surgical spinal decompression therapy to treat painful conditions such as:

  • Bulging Discs
  • Herniated Discs
  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Facet Syndrome
  • Sciatica
  • Arm Pain from Nerves in Your Neck

The DRX9000 is a device that has been approved by the FDA for treating herniated discs through spinal decompression therapy. This therapy works by applying equal amounts of pressure on your vertebral columns, which stretches your spine and creates a gap between spinal discs. This gap allows for better nutrient flow through your spine, which can help heal injuries gradually with regular treatment sessions. The DRX9000 also utilizes servo motors that rely on nested closed-loop feedback to customize therapy to your unique needs. By using DRX9000, you can often speed up your recovery by addressing your spinal disc issues ASAP.

No Harmful Medications Needed (Do we really need this paragraph or could we just mention it int he beginning about how it is a non-pharmaceutical method)

Perhaps the most significant advantage of the DRX9000 is that it provides a non-pharmaceutical method for relieving pain. With the opioid epidemic affecting the entire nation, many patients are reluctant to take prescription painkillers. The DRX9000 offers a secure and non-addictive alternative for pain relief that does not require medication.

During the course of the treatment, the patient will lie down on a specially designed table that is connected to the machine. The table will then be gently stretched as the machine creates negative pressure within the affected disc. This process will be repeated over a series of sessions, typically ranging from 20 to 30 sessions, depending on the patient's specific condition.

The DRX9000 treatment is considered to be safe and effective for many patients. It is designed to be gentle on the body, and patients usually experience little to no discomfort during their sessions. The machine is also equipped with advanced safety features, including sensors that can detect any sudden movements and stop the machine if necessary.

Expedite Rehab and Training with the AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill

The AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill boasts NASA Differential Air Pressure (DAP) technology, which is a highly accurate air calibration system that leverages your actual body weight to achieve exceptional results in rehab and training. By utilizing a pressurized air chamber, the AlterG allows you to move freely and without pain, as it uniformly reduces gravitational load and body weight by up to 80% in precise 1% increments. This process helps foster improved muscle strength, balance, function, range of motion, and overall fitness.

What Makes the AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill So Effective for Physical Therapy in CItyname, State?

AlterG®'s state-of-the-art treadmill provides an entire range of benefits, such as mimicking natural movement and rhythm without the contrived feel of hydrotherapy or harnesses attempting to imitate real-life strides and motions. Additionally, it's beneficial for speeding up recuperation after orthopedic injuries or surgeries by enabling early mobilization and retaining strength. Furthermore, it's excellent for sports recovery since athletes can utilize it to maintain their physical fitness.

Some of the numerous benefits of using the AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill include:

  • Accelerated Recovery Time
  • Relief from Impact-Related Pain and Discomfort
  • Customized Programs Suited to Your Needs
  • Effective Solution for All Ages
  • Safe and Controlled Environment
  • Improves Motivation and Confidence
  • Used by Elite Athletes and Celebrities

The AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill is a revolutionary piece of equipment that has transformed the field of physical therapy. With its list of unique features and superhero-worthy benefits, this anti-gravity treadmill is a game-changer that can help you achieve your fitness and recovery goals while also minimizing the risk of injury.

 Chronic  Pain Therapy Union Beach, NJ
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Physical Therapy Union Beach, NJ

Experience Optimized Healing with LiteCure Low-Level Laser Therapy

After reading the headline above, you might be asking yourself, "Are lasers really used for physical therapy in cityname, state?" The answer to your question would be a resounding "Yes!" This advanced type of laser therapy harnesses the power of light through photobiomodulation (PBM), which is revolutionizing how patients heal and deal with pain.

Photobiomodulation (PBM) is a medical process that utilizes targeted light to activate the body's natural healing mechanisms. By penetrating deep into the tissue, photons interact with mitochondria (the cellular powerhouses in your body) to increase energy production. This interaction triggers a biological cascade that leads to increased cellular metabolism. As a result, PBM can reduce pain, accelerate tissue repair, and enhance overall well-being.

Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is a non-invasive and painless treatment that utilizes specific wavelengths of light to stimulate healing and reduce pain. It works by penetrating the skin and tissues to promote cellular activity and increase blood flow, which in turn helps to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and accelerate the healing process.

LLLT has been shown to be effective for a variety of conditions, including musculoskeletal injuries, arthritis, neuropathy, and more. It is a safe and gentle treatment option that can aid in regaining function and mobility from injuries, accidents, surgeries, and other conditions. That makes it a viable and trustworthy addition to your personalized physical therapy plan from NJ Sports Spine & Wellness.

LLLT has shown promising results for challenging conditions that other treatments can't match. Some of the most common conditions treated include:

  • Muscle Pain
  • Pain from Tendinopathy
  • Osteoarthritis Pain
  • Swollen Joints
  • Myofascial Pain
  • Back and Neck Pain
  • Pain from TMJ
  • Achilles Tendon Injury Pain
  • Plantar Fasciitis Pain
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If you're slogging through life and suffering from one or more of the conditions above, you should know that there is hope for pain relief. Contact NJ Sports Spine & Wellness today to find out if low-level laser therapy is right for you.

Freeze Away Pain and Swelling with Ice Compression Therapy

Game Ready Ice Compression Therapy is an advanced treatment technique that combines the advantages of modern cryotherapy (ice therapy) with the proven benefits of compression therapy. This clinically proven, synergistic approach is widely used in sports medicine, physical therapy, orthopedics, and post-operative care to speed up recovery, alleviate pain and inflammation, and enhance rehabilitation.

Understanding the Powerful Benefits of Ice Compression Therapy

 Sciatica Pain Therapy Union Beach, NJ

Game Ready Ice Compression Therapy is an advanced treatment technique that combines the advantages of modern cryotherapy (ice therapy) with the proven benefits of compression therapy. This clinically proven, synergistic approach is widely used in sports medicine, physical therapy, orthopedics, and post-operative care to speed up recovery, alleviate pain and inflammation, and enhance rehabilitation.

The "cold" component of ice compression therapy helps nullify nerve-ending sensitivity, which provides pain relief. The extra compression gives you even more pain relief by reducing swelling and pressure on limbs and other body parts.

By improving lymphatic flow and enhancing blood circulation, compression therapy can help reduce swelling and edema, thereby improving your recovery process and simultaneously reducing pain and discomfort.

The concurrent use of cryotherapy and compression can enhance the body's innate healing mechanisms by reducing inflammation, mitigating tissue damage, and stimulating tissue repair.

Game Ready's combination therapy has been shown to be effective in improving joint flexibility and range of motion by promoting tissue healing. This treatment can be a great option for those looking to alleviate discomfort and improve overall joint health.

 Headaches And Migraines Therapy Union Beach, NJ

Whether you're recovering from surgery or you're trying to manage chronic pain in your back or joints, ice compression therapy may be the advanced treatment you need. Contact NJSSW today to learn more about how this treatment can help you live an active life free of pain.

NormaTec Compression Therapy:

A Non-Invasive Option for Enhanced Recovery

Game Ready Ice Compression Therapy is an advanced treatment technique that combines the advantages of modern cryotherapy (ice therapy) with the proven benefits of compression therapy. This clinically proven, synergistic approach is widely used in sports medicine, physical therapy, orthopedics, and post-operative care to speed up recovery, alleviate pain and inflammation, and enhance rehabilitation.

What Makes NormaTec Compression Therapy Best for Physical Therapy in Cityname, State?

Game Ready Ice Compression Therapy is an advanced treatment technique that combines the advantages of modern cryotherapy (ice therapy) with the proven benefits of compression therapy. This clinically proven, synergistic approach is widely used in sports medicine, physical therapy, orthopedics, and post-operative care to speed up recovery, alleviate pain and inflammation, and enhance rehabilitation.

NormaTec's compression therapy devices have undergone continuous refinement and improvement since their inception. The adjustable settings of their system enable users to regulate the intensity, duration, and pattern of compression, thereby enabling our skilled providers to tailor treatment to suit the specific requirements and comfort levels of each patient.

 Shoulder Pain Therapy Union Beach, NJ

Experience Holistic Wellness with Cupping Therapy in New Jersey

In the realm of holistic wellness, cupping therapy is a venerable and time-honored practice that has proven to be an effective technique for managing pain and enhancing blood flow. At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, we recognize the diverse benefits of cupping therapy, which we offer at both our Matawan and Marlboro, NJ locations.

This ancient technique creates suction on your skin using specialized cups that help promote blood flow, muscle relaxation, and pain relief.

Why is Cupping Therapy Helpful for Physical Therapy in CItyname, State?

 Wrist Pain Therapy Union Beach, NJ

At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, we believe that incorporating holistic treatments into physical therapy can greatly benefit our patients. As part of our efforts to alleviate stress and manage chronic pain or conditions, we offer cupping therapy as one of those holistic treatments. This modality has been proven effective and offers numerous benefits for physical therapy, which include:

Cupping therapy can help release muscle tension and relieve back pain. The suction from the cups releases fascial restrictions, decreases muscle tightness, and relieves muscle knots, providing relief from pain caused by muscular tightness or strain.

Our skilled practitioners and physical therapists use modern cupping devices and techniques to create consistent suction on the skin, which stimulates blood flow and encourages oxygen-rich blood to flow into muscles and tissues. This improved circulation can reduce inflammation, remove toxins, and promote healing.

Cupping therapy can relieve back pain by improving circulation, reducing muscle tension, and increasing lymphatic drainage. It's a natural and non-invasive approach that can improve mobility and quality of life.

Cupping therapy uses a gentle suction and pulling sensation that helps ease back pain and reduces stress by creating a calming effect on the body and mind, promoting physical and mental healing.

Reclaim Your Mobility with Physical Therapy in Union Beach, NJ

At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, we always prioritize your well-being and offer comprehensive care tailored to your needs. With customized physical therapy tailored to your specific needs, we provide a drug-free, non-invasive, and highly effective treatment path for pain relief and recovery. From tried-and-true techniques to cutting-edge treatments, we're New Jersey's top choice for innovative physical therapy.

Take the first step towards a pain-free, vibrant life by contacting our office today. It all starts by scheduling your initial consultation. With our highly-trained and licensed specialists by your side, you can embrace a brighter, pain-free future.

 Chronic  Pain Therapy Union Beach, NJ

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Latest News in Union Beach, NJ

Building a stronger, more resilient Jersey Shore community

Damage to Union Beach led to one of Superstorm Sandy's most iconic images. - Photos Patsy Lynch/ShutterstockTen years ago this past fall, Superstorm Sandy devastated the community of Union Beach in Monmouth County. You may remember the iconic photo, shared nationwide, of a yellow Union Beach home torn literally in half by the tempest. The storm impacted everything, from the community’s picturesque shorelines to local businesses, and destroyed or damaged more than 20% of the borough’s total housing stock.Union Beach ...

Damage to Union Beach led to one of Superstorm Sandy's most iconic images. - Photos Patsy Lynch/Shutterstock

Ten years ago this past fall, Superstorm Sandy devastated the community of Union Beach in Monmouth County. You may remember the iconic photo, shared nationwide, of a yellow Union Beach home torn literally in half by the tempest. The storm impacted everything, from the community’s picturesque shorelines to local businesses, and destroyed or damaged more than 20% of the borough’s total housing stock.

Union Beach has spent the last decade not only repairing the damage, but also preparing for future storms. While there is still work to be done — including a major shoreline restoration project now in progress — the inroads the community has made should be a blueprint for other communities along the Jersey Shore and throughout the mid-Atlantic region. It’s only a matter of time before Mother Nature batters us again.

Since Sandy raged through the region, structures throughout Union Beach have been elevated to safeguard them against future flooding. Buildings that could not be elevated have been dry-proofed by having their outer doors and lower-level windows sealed. This year, in partnership with the Army Corps of Engineers and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, we’re working to flood-proof the town itself against heavy rains and tidal flooding. We are restoring and preserving what the hurricane took away — our beautiful shoreline.

A beach fill project, which began in March, will involve the addition of 3,160 linear feet of dunes with three berm crossovers, composed of 688,000 cubic yards of sand. The project will make the community’s beach, currently only a few hundred feet, approximately three times as wide and four times as long. Future phases in subsequent years will involve the construction of storm gates, pump stations and earthen levees. We need to be mindful not only of tidal flooding, but of overflowing of the two main waterways that traverse Union Beach and drain into Raritan Bay. When the tide is up, these tributaries don’t flow as well, and heavy rains can prove disastrous. The eventual pump stations will ensure that excess water can be pumped over the levee and into the bay. Along the way, we’re taking steps to mitigate any wetland disturbance and keep the project as “green” as possible.

When will the “next Sandy” hit our shores? Some experts believe that climate change is making severe storms more common. Just two years ago, Hurricane Ida caused record damage and, late last year, Hurricane Ian ran roughshod across western Florida.

Simply put — cleaning up after a big storm isn’t enough anymore. We must prepare for them before they happen. We’re doing our part, and neighboring municipalities such as Long Branch, Spring Lake, Belmar and Deal have also made strides. Among numerous investments being made in New Jersey through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is $20 million to elevate U.S. 40, a main evacuation route for Atlantic City, which will help residents travel safely before a superstorm makes landfall. This and the work we are doing is important — but we’ll need to remain vigilant. Communities that don’t take appropriate measures to safeguard against future storms are virtually guaranteed to face significant hardships down the road.

Charles Cocuzza is the mayor of the borough of Union Beach. Robert Keady and Dennis Dayback are with T&M Associates, a leading national consulting, engineering, environmental, technical services and construction management company headquartered in Middletown.

NJ Veteran Gets Heroes Welcome into New Mortgage Free Smart Home

June 30, 2023UNION BEACH, NJ (MONMOUTH)–On Wednesday, June 28, 2023, hundreds of people gathered in Union Beach New Jersey, to welcome an American hero back into the community.The Tunnel to Towers Foundation held a home dedication ceremony for USMC Staff Sergeant Ben Webb, handing over the keys to a brand new, mortgage-free smart home.“It’s been a long road, a long struggle, many dark days of worry, of wondering, and hoping, of praying, and waiting but not anymore. I never stopped believing this day...

June 30, 2023

UNION BEACH, NJ (MONMOUTH)–On Wednesday, June 28, 2023, hundreds of people gathered in Union Beach New Jersey, to welcome an American hero back into the community.

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation held a home dedication ceremony for USMC Staff Sergeant Ben Webb, handing over the keys to a brand new, mortgage-free smart home.

It’s been a long road, a long struggle, many dark days of worry, of wondering, and hoping, of praying, and waiting but not anymore. I never stopped believing this day would come, that I would be able to come home, here in my little corner of the world,” said Staff Sergeant Webb.

Staff Sergeant Webb served four overseas deployments, three to Afghanistan and one to Iraq. During his 15 years of service to his country, he suffered multiple concussions and shrapnel wounds from RPG and IED blasts. He was awarded 3 Purple Hearts and retired in 2017.

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation’s Smart Home Program builds specially-adapted smart homes, giving America’s catastrophically injured veterans some of their day-to-day independence back and delivering them mortgage-free to these American Heroes.

Having a mortgage-free home has improved my life immensely not just mentally, but both physically and emotionally, I’m able to enjoy life again. This home will cater to my everyday physical needs, it is such a relieving feeling,” said Staff Sergeant Webb.

All of the essential features of SSgt Webb’s home, the lights, thermostat, and security system, can be controlled via an app or touchscreens installed around the home. The bathroom is completely ADA compliant and the kitchen features lower countertops and a stove that raises and lowers to wheelchair height.

This year, as we celebrate July 4th, I am honored to hand over the keys to a home that will deliver financial and personal independence back to Staff Sergeant Ben Webb, who has given so much to this country we all love,” said Frank Siller, Chairman & CEO of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

To join the Tunnel to Towers Foundation on its mission to provide these life-changing homes to America’s heroes please go to T2T.org and consider donating $11 per month.

Census 2020: Union Beach had big population loss, but change could be coming

According to the 2020 U.S. Census, no Monmouth County municipality lost more of its population over the past 10 years than Union Beach, which experienced an 8.4% decline in residents since 2010.You don’t need a demographics expert to explain why. Superstorm Sandy flooded 80% of the borough’s homes in...

According to the 2020 U.S. Census, no Monmouth County municipality lost more of its population over the past 10 years than Union Beach, which experienced an 8.4% decline in residents since 2010.

You don’t need a demographics expert to explain why. Superstorm Sandy flooded 80% of the borough’s homes in 2012. More than 400 of its 2,200 housing units wound up demolished.

“We lost between 9% and 10% of our tax base with Sandy,” borough administrator Bob Howard said.

MORE CENSUS: Lakewood sees NJ's highest population growth

Some of that’s been rebuilt; some hasn’t. The census showed a 5% decrease in Union Beach’s housing units from 2010. The borough’s current population is 5,723, down from 6,245 a decade ago.

“The housing stock that’s being rebuilt is a lot different than what we had here originally,” Howard said. “Back 100 years ago, when the town was first populated to a great extent on 25-foot lots, that was much smaller than what is being built post-Sandy.”

A big change is coming. A long-awaited Army Corps of Engineers flood-control project finally is underway. The beach berm and dune system, which was first approved in 2007, “will affect Union Beach greatly in the future,” Howard said.

MORE CENSUS:Why Aberdeen, Matawan are among fastest-growing towns

“Our beachfront area will be three to four times the size it is,” he said. “Phase one is due to go out to bid in the next couple of months. We’re acquiring the real-estate easements that are necessary now.”

The project will change the flood-zone designation of the Brook Avenue area, which was walloped by Sandy, from a “V zone” (most hazardous; subject to wave inundation) to an “A zone” (susceptible to overflow, but not the increased damage of wave action).

“There is not much area in Union Beach left to be developed,” Howard said. “This is our one tract of land where we will see additional housing in the near future hopefully.”

How much housing, exactly?

“I hate to make a prediction,” Howard said. “Developers have come in to speak to the borough about developing the parcel, and they’ve come in with a very high amount of units, which is understandable coming from them. But we have not had anybody come to the planning board yet for anything official. I would say it will be a significant amount of housing.”

Given how long it’s taken to reach this point, Howard said he could not pinpoint a timetable for construction.

“I would say within a couple of years,” he said.

The result could restore Union Beach’s population to pre-Sandy levels.

“Over the next 10 years, with all the people moving from the cities to the suburb areas and the Army Corps project changing our bayfront area considerably, yes we are very optimistic about that,” Howard said.

Jerry Carino is community columnist for the Asbury Park Press, focusing on the Jersey Shore’s interesting people, inspiring stories and pressing issues. Contact him at jcarino@gannettnj.com.

Fight between Jersey Shore towns over where kids go to high school gets heated

Vile. Demeaning. Illegal. Accomplices.Those are the fighting words being tossed back and forth between two school districts in Monmouth County in a series of letters last month.At issue is a decades-long agreement to have Union Beach schools pay tuition to Keyport for its students to attend high school there. Keyport claims the K-8 district of approximately 600 students has been inc...

Vile. Demeaning. Illegal. Accomplices.

Those are the fighting words being tossed back and forth between two school districts in Monmouth County in a series of letters last month.

At issue is a decades-long agreement to have Union Beach schools pay tuition to Keyport for its students to attend high school there. Keyport claims the K-8 district of approximately 600 students has been increasingly sending its students to other towns — and those other districts are “siphoning away” the students — resulting in strained finances for Keyport.

“This action is hitting Keyport in the pocketbook, as the tuition paid by Union Beach to Keyport continues to drop precipitously, significantly impacting Keyport’s budget and finances,” the district said in a letter sent to the community in early February.

But school officials in Union Beach contend that no official ‘send-receive’ agreement exists and parents say they want better academic choices for their kids.

Public records and archival newspapers show Union Beach and Keyport have struggled with the nature of their sending-receiving relationship for decades, specifically whether or not Union Beach has the right to send its high school students to other districts.

Union Beach even tried to terminate the relationship in a 1984 petition, alleging the Keyport High School program “did not meet the needs of all of its students.” But that request was denied.

Based on comments made by parents during two separate public meetings hosted by Keyport and Union Beach last week, there is still a belief that Keyport High School falls short of certain standards.

One Union Beach parent summed it up: “Why should any parent choose to send their children to a high school built in 1927 that is consistently ranked near the bottom of all high schools in Monmouth County?”

U.S News Rankings show Keyport High School is ranked 299th within New Jersey, out of 424 high schools. The high schools where Union Beach students are going — Red Bank Regional, Hazlet Township, and Henry Hudson Regional — all rank significantly higher.

Public records and reports also show the tuition for out-of-district students in those districts is less than the $18,300 tuition cost Union Beach must pay per pupil in Keyport.

According to Keyport Public Schools enrollment figures, there has been a 27% decrease in high school attendees from Union Beach over the past four years. This has coincided with a 17% drop in tuition received from Union Beach over the same time period. Since enrollment is one factor that determines how much state aid a school district may receive, Keyport officials said they are concerned with how this trend will impact that financial allotment as well.

“When we talk about things like course of study and what things are offered at different schools, imagine the challenges faced by any school where they’re losing over the course of a two year period of time over $800,000 in monies with a small budget,” Keyport consultant Scott Feder said last week.

In the letter sent Feb. 9, Keyport told the community its petitioning the state education commissioner to “address the years of financial harm and the ongoing negative disparate educational impact” to its students. The district said “the improper diversion of students” has also increased the percentage of special education students attending the district.

Without that balance, Keyport High School Superintendent Lisa Savoia said the trend could ultimately limit the district’s ability to expand programs and opportunities for all students.

Union Beach officials fired back with a letter to its own community and a second one to Keyport, saying the renewed fight, which they said came without notice, was driving a wedge between them. Union Beach Superintendent Amanda Lewert also took issue with Keyport accusing the special education students as being “lesser achieving learners who do not bring as much value” to the district.

“Instead of constructive action, you have determined to literally burn the bridge between our two towns,” wrote Union Beach administration and Board of Education members in the Feb. 22 letter to Keyport.

Things weren’t always like this between the two bayside communities, said Keyport Mayor Colette Kennedy. After storm surges from Hurricane Sandy destroyed hundreds of homes in Union Beach and damaged the elementary school, Keyport stood in solidarity, opening up its buildings to all displaced students for the remainder of the school year. And when Keyport experienced its own tragedy with the death of Board of Education president Ann Marie Panzarelli in March 2021 due to COVID, the Union Beach school community provided it support.

“The fact that this has gotten to this point, I can’t even explain the heartstrings it’s pulling…and I’m not oblivious to the fact that it’s rooted from my own municipality, and that’s even more heart wrenching,” Kennedy said in an interview with NJ Advance Media.

The mayor said where Union Beach students attend high school has been “a long standing issue” since at least the ‘70s.

“I think the topic did need to be brought to the fore in both districts and I do think the Department of Education needs to make a final decision. But I absolutely stand by that it could have been done in a different way,” Kennedy said.

The goal of the letter that sparked the latest dispute was not to stoke up discontent, said Joseph Stahley, vice president of Keyport Board of Education. Rather, the board felt “at this stage of the legal action, that we needed to communicate with the Keyport community on what was transpiring and what was at stake,” he said.

Union Beach Mayor Charlie Cocuzza said it’s the opportunity to make a choice about your own child’s education that parents in his town desperately want. He has a seventh grade daughter preparing to enter high school in the next two years. She’s unsure whether she wants to attend Keyport High School and the thought “that choice might be taken away from her” is upsetting, Cocuzza said.

Having a choice of high schools to attend provides children with “the best chance to pursue the educational opportunities that best fit their needs and goals,” said members of Union Beach Memorial School PTA Executive Board in a statement sent to NJ Advance Media.

The matter is still pending in the state Department of Education’s Office of Administrative Law.

Thank you for relying on us to provide the local news you can trust. Please consider supporting NJ.com with a voluntary subscription.

jroman@njadvancemedia.com and @ByJackieRoman.

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David Burke opening new restaurant The GOAT in Union Beach next month

First came a Red Horse. Now, The GOAT.Following the 2021 opening of Rumson's Red Horse by David Burke, the chef and restaurateur will open The GOAT by David Burke in Union Beach in early April.The 110-seat American bistro takes the place of Piero's Italian Restaurant, which closed in the fall. ...

First came a Red Horse. Now, The GOAT.

Following the 2021 opening of Rumson's Red Horse by David Burke, the chef and restaurateur will open The GOAT by David Burke in Union Beach in early April.

The 110-seat American bistro takes the place of Piero's Italian Restaurant, which closed in the fall. Burke bought the restaurant and began renovating in February.

The GOAT is accepting reservations for Easter Sunday and Mother's Day.

Featuring an open kitchen and wood-burning oven, the restaurant will serve modern Continental and American cuisines.

As of press time, the menu was being finalized, but dishes may include Wagyu meatballs with polenta; salmon crudo with peas and pistachio gremolata; and roasted chicken for two with penne flambéed table-side (prices, which also may change before opening, range from $16 to $35).

More:From Korean barbecue to clam pizza: Check out these 11 new Jersey Shore restaurants

More:Why did restaurant workers stay - or leave - during the COVID-19 pandemic?

“Piero’s lasted for 30 years, that says something about the location,” Burke said in a news release about deciding to open a restaurant in the Bayshore. “Somebody went to the Meatpacking District in New York first, right? Somebody had to be first in Asbury Park. There’s a 10-mile stretch of highway that is underserved. There’s a renewed interest in the area.

"People want to get out and dine out, and they are tired of going over to Highway 35 to eat at chain restaurants," he said. "I grew up near here, and I’m very excited about The GOAT."

In addition to Red Horse by David Burke in Rumson, Burke manages Drifthouse in Sea Bright, and owns restaurants in East Brunswick, Fort Lee, Morristown and West New York.

Go: 1411 Route 36 in Union Beach; 732-264-5222, thegoatbydb.com

Sarah Griesemer joined the USA TODAY NETWORK New Jersey in 2003 and has been writing all things food since 2014. Send restaurant tips to sgriesemer@gannettnj.com

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