The Marine Oceanographic Academy Prep Program (MOA Prep)

The Marine Oceanographic Academy Prep Program (MOA Prep) is a specifically directed program of preparatory studies for a limited cohort of grade 6-8 students who have been selected for transition to the upper level Marine and Oceanographic Academy of Harbor Branch at Florida Atlantic University. MOA Prep is a district middle school attractor program with 50 students per grade. It is offered to students in St. Lucie County who demonstrate an aptitude in science and academic ability by scoring high on standardized tests and maintaining a high standard of behavior in school.

Students are chosen from the entire St. Lucie School District and are bused to Forest Grove. Students chosen must perform at levels 4 or 5 on the FSA English/Language Arts and Math assessments and obtain a recommendation from their current science teacher. They should show an interest in research within the science fields of marine and plant biology, oceanography and environmental science. MOA Prep involves students directly with their surrounding environment and enhances science content within the standard curriculum. Students take advanced classes in math, language arts, science and social studies and take the MOA Prep class as a science elective.

For more information on MOA Prep or to find out how you can help contact Elayne Ferris-Cole at
In 2008, Forest Grove Middle School opened our first MOA Prep program with over 100 students. Upon successful completion of all three middle school years of the MOA prep program, students may attend the prestigious Westwood MOA program.
In the 2017-2018 school year, Forest Grove Middle School’s MOA Prep program participated in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest. Out of 3,000 entries nationwide with 5 schools chosen from each state, Forest Grove was 1 of 255 State Finalists and the ONLY middle school designated as a finalist in the state of Florida.
Our project for Solve for Tomorrow is a community – based action plan to reduce urban runoff in our local water-ways. Students from each grade level will have a key part in the implementation of our plan. 6th grade learns to use the ORCA Kilroy system that monitors water quality in the Indian River and researches algae blooms, and point source pollution. 7th grade will be rearing and breeding Gambusia holbrooki or Mosquito fish to release in the surrounding areas in conjunction with the Mosquito control district. 8th grade researches and studies plant biology to raise native plants to restore shore line habitats.
Moa Prep’s emphasis on community involvement and interaction is for the purpose of building communication, science and math skills by teaching St. Lucie County’s brightest and best students about aquaculture, coastal habitats, water quality and marine life. Students go on field trips to local research and oceanographic institutions; Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, The USDA Agricultural Research Lab, The Smithsonian Marine Ecosystem Exhibit, Florida Oceanographic Society, University of Florida Aquaculture facility, area parks and water attenuation facilities. MOA Prep students hear speakers with expertise in related fields; Harbor Branch and related organizations, The USDA research institute in Ft. Pierce, Ocean Research and Conservation (ORCA), and The University of Florida.



Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBiS) is to help parents and school staff create and maintain a safe, supportive, learning environment, promote positive life skills, and reduce negative behaviors so that all children can succeed in school.
PBiS focuses on both individual behavior and environmental factors and has proven more effective than punitive discipline strategies, such as suspension and expulsion. PBiS programs can address issues such as bullying prevention, social skills development, resiliency building, and discipline strategies.
Bulldog Bucks
Faculty and Staff distribute Bulldog Bucks to students who meet our Bulldog Expectations. Students are provided opportunities to spend their Bulldog Bucks on items at the PBiS store, on admission to PBS activities, and on various other rewards.

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