Western New Jersey

The last year begins for the oldest school in New Jersey

STOCKTON BOROUGH, N.J - The beginning of the new school year is bittersweet for one school in Hunterdon County.

Stockton Elementary has been in operation for 185 years, the oldest and smallest continuously operating school in New Jersey.

Karen Edwards and her son Jack set up the annual first day of school breakfast at Stockton Elementary school in Stockton borough, New Jersey Tuesday morning.

It was apples for the students and a teacher or two.

But this breakfast is a little different.

"It's kind of sad it's the last school year. At least I am graduating though," said Jack, a student at the school.

"It's like a giant family, a whole big family, except not so big a family this year," he wistfully added.

At its high point the community school had 57 students. This year, there will be 12.

“It's been a long struggle for the last couple of years. Once regionalization passed, I think a lot of folks saw that it might be the writing on the wall, so to speak," explained Karen Edwards, President of the Stockton Parent-Teacher Organization.

Many students, now in the 6th grade, took time to look at their yearbook photos from kindergarten.

The kids compared their looks, and talked about the good times.

"It's a happy school. It's different from every other school because it's not big. But it has heart inside of it," said Jack.

It's still unknown what will happen to the building once the school year ends, but many hope it still will be a place that serves the community.

Jack, though, knows what is in store for him...a new school.

"It will be fun going to South, but it will be way different. I mean, there are hallways," added Jack.

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