Dear Parents and Guardians,

Greetings from our faculty!


2018-2019 Cedar Mountain Faculty

Our Fall Harvest Open House was a great success! Families enjoyed the events that took place at Cedar Mountain on Saturday, September 15th! A special thanks to the VTEA Pride Committee chaired by Mrs. Laurie Nelson, for being awarded a generous NJEA Pride grant to fund this annual program.

Mrs. Zinni and Ms. LaBar’s kindergarten class read The Kissing Hand a heartwarming story about Chester the raccoon that is reluctant to go to kindergarten. In this special story, Chester’s mother teaches him a secret way to carry her love with him to school.  The class made their own Chester by carefully following directions to assemble him correctly. Students are so proud of their work!

Mr. Maurice, our new School Counselor, taught our students about bus safety. Each class loaded a school bus where they learned the rules of the bus and how to stay safe on the bus. Below is Mrs. Battista class:


School Spirit Day is Thursday, September 20th! As a reminder, Cedar Mountain holds a School Spirit Day on the third Thursday of every month. On School Spirit Days, students are encouraged to wear their Class of 2030 or 2031 t-shirts and/or BLUE and GOLD, Vernon’s school colors. All School Spirit Days are on the Cedar Mountain calendar.

Principal’s Forum: Tuesday, September 25, 2018, from 6:30-7:30 pm: Please join me for my Principal’s Forum on Tuesday, September 25, at 6:30 pm, to hear from building curriculum experts Mrs. Gibson, Speech Therapist; Mrs. Krops, Reading Specialist; Mr. Maurice, School Counselor; and Mrs. Nelson, Math Coach. Learn about our curriculum, receive helpful handouts, and learn ways that you can support the learning process and collaborate with us at Cedar Mountain.

Our Reading Workshop Curriculum is well underway in each kindergarten and first-grade classroom. Students’ passion for literacy, reading and their natural curiosity is growing every day! The format for Reading Workshop is actually a set of several mini activities. Below is an actual example of a typical lesson in a kindergarten or first-grade classroom. You will read the actual dialogue that the teacher will say to her students.

Mini Lesson:   Connection: Last week I taught you how to work with your partner during our lessons and I taught you about books.  Today I am going to teach you how to choose books and give you an opportunity to choose some books for your own reading collection.
Teach:   Tell the students how excited you are that they are finally going to begin building their own collection of books to read each day during quiet reading time.  Before I send you off to choose books I want to help you think about what books are right for you.  What book will be a ‘good fit’ for you? When you choose a book to read from a tub of books, instead of choosing to read the first book your hand touches, I want you to take that book and look closely at the cover.  Does this book seem like something that you would like to read? Is it a good fit for you?  If the answer to these questions is no, then it is OK to put the book back without reading it. Let me show you what I mean.  Take a tub of books and choose one book.  Look at the cover and think aloud about whether or not this book would be good for you.  For instance, if you choose a book with a farm scene on the front you would say something like ‘Well look at this, this book has a farm on the front. I really like farm animals so I am going to read this book.’  Lay that book aside and choose another. 
Active Engagement:  Show students several book covers.  Display them where all can see.  Choose books that represent a wide range of interests (non-fiction, etc.).  Ask students to look at the covers of the books and think about which book would be a good fit for them.  Give the students a few moments to think.  Ask them to turn and talk with their partner about which book they would choose and why.  Listen in as the students talk.  Call the students back to your attention and comment on a few of the things you heard.
Link: Today and every day when you have the opportunity to choose books look closely at the cover of the book and choose one that you think is a good fit for you.  Tell students that when they go off to read today, they should choose 4 books that are a good fit for them. Remind students to respect each other and not to fight over books.  Make sure students have a designated area to keep their personal selection.
Share: Call students back to the teaching area and ask them to tell one way they can choose a good fit book.

October 1-5, 2018 is the Week of Respect all schools in the state of New Jersey celebrate this week with activities and lessons surrounding being bully-free. It is our hope that the students of Cedar Mountain Primary School will be respectful and kind 365 days a year. However, this week the entire school community will focus on being respectful, kind, thoughtful, and using proper manners. On the back of this letter that will be sent home in the coming days, you will find an Act of Kindness sheet. Your child is requested to draw and write a specific act of kindness that occurred either at school or at home. It is so important to recognize the good behavior that our children display. Please support us in the initiative by working with your child on this special assignment. All kindness sheets will be due back to your child’s teacher anytime during the week of October 1st. We will be reading many examples over our public address for many weeks. Please encourage your child’s participation in this meaningful activity. Throughout the week, Mr. Maurice, our School Counselor, will be teaching a respect lesson in each classroom.  Below is a listing of activities taking place during this week:

Monday, October 1, 2018Wear blue and gold!  Wear your Class of 2030 or Class of 2031 t-shirts or any other blue and gold attire. Cedar Mountain will take part in the World Day of Bullying Prevention on Monday, October 1st by wearing blue and gold and other school spirit attire.  This World Day of Bullying Prevention came to be through the “Stomp Out Bullying” organization. Please visit the Stomp Out Bullying link for more information

Friday, October 5th – “Rainbow of Respect!”  Details below…

Kira Willey is coming to Cedar Mountain on Friday, October 5th!! Kira Willey is an award-winning American musician best known for her song Colors. Kira Willey is also a certified Yoga instructor. Cedar Mountain is so fortunate to have her return to our school again this school year. We thank the Cedar Mountain SCA for providing the funds to bring this special concert to our school. Please visit Kira Willey’s site to hear her music (note that Kira Willey mentions our school on her site). Kira Willey’s concert will culminate our Week of Respect. We will be surprising Kira Willey by having classes wear a different color of the rainbow in honor of her song Colors; a special song that Mr. Maurice uses to teach many of her school counseling lessons. Please see the letter from your child’s teacher with the color for your class. We are excited to hear her beautiful music while practicing yoga poses.

SCA Meetings are held on the first Monday of every month at 9:30 am AND 6:30 pm. Come out to learn about the programs the SCA brings to all of our students as well as learn about the academic programs in our school. Our next meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 1, 2018. This month we will have Mrs. Krops, our Reading Specialist speak to our families about early literacy and what you can do at home to support the reading process.

First-Grade Family Dance Nights are coming! Mr. Moschella has invited all first-grade classes to bring their families to Cedar to experience all of the dances they have learned in kindergarten and are learning this year. Each Dance Night begins at 6:00 pm. Your child will bring home an informational memo stating the night his or her class is invited to attend. The schedule is as follows:

  • Friday, October 5th for the classes of Mrs. Giangrande, Mrs. Hartman, and Mrs. Megnin 
  • Friday, October 12th for the classes of Mrs. Battista, Mrs. Barone, and Mrs. Rogers
  • Friday, November 19th for the classes of Mr. Dente, Mrs. Novak, Mrs. Start, Mrs. Talerico/Mrs. Ollert, Mrs. Vanadia, and Miss Waleck

October 8-12, 2018, is Fire Prevention Week The Vernon Township Fire Department will be here to speak to our students about Fire Safety on Wednesday, October 10, 2018. Our students will be learning about how to stay safe and how to prevent fires in their homes. This is a good time to practice fire drills in your own home! Please check your fire/smoke detectors as well as carbon monoxide detectors in your home. We thank the Vernon Township Fire Department for volunteering to keep us safe and for coming to our school to teach about fire safety. 

Fall Reading Night, sponsored by Project Self-Sufficiency will be held on Wednesday, October 10, 2018, at 6:00 pm. Please click here for a flier will be sent home soon regarding sign-ups for this special activity.  Students must be pre-registered in order to participate.

Our new Librarian, Miss Winzer, has introduced library rules to all students of Cedar Mountain. Using the book Library Lion, students learned how to show respect to everyone when in the library. In the pictures below, you will see students comfortably reading for leisure in the flexible seating throughout the library. 

 Please see the Cedar Mountain Digital Backpack for other important school information

Our year is off to a great start! I hope to see you at our school events…

Mrs. Gebhardt