It is amazing to realize that we are already in the month of December! Here are some highlights of activities that have taken place or are upcoming at “The Mountain”….

Grandparents and other family members enjoyed shadowing their children at Grandparent’s Day. They observed how students learn, visited the book fair, and had family portraits taken.

We recently hosted a First-Grade Literacy Night where parents received specific training on Fundations and how students learn to read. This program was sponsored by the Vernon Township Education Association, which received a Pride grant to fund this event. Mrs. Krops, our Reading Specialist, made an informational presentation to teach parents about our phonics program. Many thanks to the teachers that worked with families one-on-one to teach parents how to use the Fundations cards at home with their child: Mrs. Barone, Mrs. Battista, Ms. Cummins, Mrs. Czergovits, Mr. Dente, Mrs. Novak, Mrs. Rogers, Mrs. Start, and Mrs. Zicopoulos.



Trimester One ends on Thursday, December 7, report cards will be issued on Thursday, December 14. Thank you for signing the envelope of your child’s report card. If you have questions regarding the rubric grades (a scale of 1-4) your child has earned, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher. 

On Friday, December 8, Cedar Mountain students will be treated to a winter concert by the Glen Meadow Middle School band, choir, and orchestra. Please sign the permission slip that was sent home last week. We will walk across the field at approximately 9:35, we will return to the building at approximately 11:00. We thank Glen Meadow Middle School for inviting us to this very special day!

Students in Mrs. Barone’s class are practicing critical computer skills while writing Wish Lists to Santa. Through the Macy’s annual Make a Wish campaign students are writing a note with a wish,  a note telling Santa how they celebrate the holidays, or telling Santa how someone or something makes their holiday magical.  Here is a link if you would like your child to “make a wish” at home.


Hour of Code:  The Hour of Code is a special activity to teach students the basics of computer programming in 60 minutes in a fun, simple way. It is part of a campaign that launched in the US with the goal of introducing coding into the US curriculum and raising awareness of computer coding. Mr. Joseph introduced this concept to our students in his Media Center. Here you can see students concentrating on an iPad as they learn about coding. 

On Thursday, December 7th, Mr. Joseph, Media Specialist, has arranged for a Google Expeditions Augmented Reality Pioneer Program.  Throughout this day, students will be exploring Forces of Nature (Weather), Solar System, and Dinosaurs. Representatives from Google will be with us all day to assist with this virtual field trip. With Expeditions Augmented Reality, teachers bring 3D objects, like one of Michelangelo’s statues for example, on the students’ desks so that everyone can examine the object together at the same time. Here is an informative YouTube video to understand what a Google Expedition will look like in our libraryThis special activity is a first for our district! Check back after December 7th for pictures of this very special day.

On Thursday, December 14th, at the Board of Education meeting at Lounsberry Hollow School, at 7:00 pm, Mr. Moschella will be directing Mrs. Battista and Mrs. Start’s classes in dancing and singing. Please consider joining us for this very special music show!


Our kindergarten and first graders are certainly growing readers at Cedar Mountain. Avid, excited, motivated readers to be exact…

In our kindergarten classrooms, readers have been learning how to make text-to-self-connections and text-to-text connections as they read and listen to stories. This strategy of making connections helps readers to better understand how a character feels in a story and why they react or don’t react a certain way to situations that arise.

In our first grade classrooms, readers have been learning to notice their thoughts in a deeper way as they read. We use the mantra “Reading is Thinking” on a daily basis.  We have focused on making connections, noticing when we learn something new and asking questions when something is confusing or not clear.  We’ve talked about listening to our inner voice as it says things like “Wow, I never knew that fact!” or “This reminds me of when…” and “I wonder how…” Students have been taught the technique to visualization to help “see” a story in our mind. When readers use these strategies and notice their thinking, their comprehension deepens.

Cedar Mountain Primary School art students will be engaged in creating artwork with a winter theme.  Kindergarten students are creating their own unique mittens.  Learning a stitchery technique (the whip-stitch) on tag board mittens that the students designed and cut provide an introduction to fiber arts.  Next, sampling another type of fiber art, kindergarten students will learn to weave with paper strips.  They will learn to rule lines at even intervals as they make the warp into which the colored strips will be woven.   First-grade students will learn how to create “anatomically correct” (six-sided) paper snowflakes; each one will be as unique and special as the child who makes it.  Look for our mittens on our tree in the main lobby. Next, first graders will learn about brushstrokes and painting techniques (including splatter painting) as they work with tempera paint to create real or imaginary snow creatures.  Later in the winter, first-grade students will use dry pastels to create a snowscape that is reminiscent of the mountain view from the front our school, learning about background, foreground, and perspective.  Then they will learn about birds that are seen in our area in winter as they practice their representational drawing skills on the birds that they choose to be in the foreground of their scenes.

Our November First-Grade Students of the Month

First-Grade Students pose with their medals


First-Grade Students of the Month at their luncheon

Meet: Katherine               Nickname: Katie


Sport: Basketball            Food: Clams   

Singer: Taylor Swift      Book:  Brown Bear, Brown Bear

TV Show: “Loud House”  School Subject: Math

Name of Sister: Tina

Katie’s teacher should know that she is smart!

When Katie is not in school, she likes to watch TV, go camping, and play games.

Katie is really good at math.

When Katie grows up, she wants to be a secret spy.


Meet: Layne        


Sport: Football   Food: Pizza    

Singer: Alice in Chains      Book:  Naughty Pigeon

TV Show: “Parker Plays”  School Subject: Music

Names of Brother and Sister: Jake and Colby

Layne’s teacher should know that he is fair!

When Layne is not in school, he likes to play video games.

Layne is really good at playing video games.

When Layne grows up, he wants to be a police officer.


Meet: Jack           


Sport: Basketball            Food: Tacos

Singer: Justin Timberlake          Book:  Big Snow

TV Show: “Loud House”  School Subject: Math

Name of Brother: Owen

Jack’s teacher should know that he likes to play sports!

When Jack is not in school, he likes to play outside.

Jack is really good at math.

When Jack grows up, he wants to be a police officer.


Meet: Drew          Nickname: Dr. Ew (look closely at this!!)


Sport: Baseball               Food: Chicken Cutlets           

Singer: Imagine Dragons           Book:  Harry Potter

TV Show: “ESPN College Game Day”  School Subject: Language Arts

Name of Brothers: Zack and Ty

Drew’s teacher should know that he really likes school!

When Drew is not in school, he likes to play Roblox.

Drew is really good at reading.

When Drew grows up, he wants to be a teacher.


Meet: Shaun Mary          Nickname: Shaunie


Sport: Tennis      Food: Pizza    

Singer: Taylor Swift      Book:  Mo Willems’ books (Pigeon and Piggy)

TV Show: “The Thundermans”  School Subject: Gym

Name of Brother: Liam

Shaun’s teacher should know that she has been to 17 states!

When Shaun is not in school, she likes to dance hip-hop.

Shaun is really good at tennis, running, art, and writing jokes.

When Shaun grows up, she wants to be a Veterinarian.


Meet: Kaya           Nickname: Kajusia (Polish)


Sport: Dance      Food: Yogurt 

Singer: One Direction    Book:  Elephant and Piggie

TV Show: “Jessie”  School Subject: Math

Name of Brother and Sister: Dylan and Mia (her twin)

Kaya’s teacher should know that she really likes her (Mrs. Rogers); she is the best!

When Kaya is not in school, she likes to play with her sister, Mia, and listen to music.

Kaya is really good at reading.

When Kaya grows up, she wants to be a teacher.


Meet: Jacob          Nickname: Jake


Sport: Basketball            Food: Pancakes          

Singer: Alvin and the Chipmunks    Book: Green Eggs and Ham

TV Show: “Teen Titans Go”  School Subject: Math

Name of Brother: Austin

Jacob’s teacher should know that he likes to help his family cook and bake!

When Jacob is not in school, he likes to watch TV and movies and read comic books.

Jacob is really good at drawing.

When Jacob grows up, he wants to be a dad.



Meet: Isabella       Nickname: Bella, “Is”


Sport: Gymnastics          Food: Chocolate         

Singer: Carrie Underwood        Book:  Penny Dreadful

TV Show: “Paw Patrol”  School Subject: Math

Name of Brother and Sister: Logan and Lillyana

Isabella’s teacher should know that she has a beautiful house!

When Isabella is not in school, she likes to go on the trampoline.

Isabella is really good at gymnastics.

When Isabella grows up, she wants to be a doctor.


Meet: Edward      


Sport: Baseball               Food: Chicken

Singer: Marshmello    Book: I Love You Stinky Face

TV Show: “Tom and Jerry”  School Subject: Gym

Name of Sister: Azraelle

Edward’s teacher should know that he loves being in her class (Mrs. Giangrande)!

When Edward is not in school, he likes to dance to smooth beats.

Edward is really good at making friends.

When Edward grows up, he wants to work with his dad.



Meet: Isabella                   Nickname: Bella


Sport: Gymnastics          Food: Mac and Cheese          

Singer: Billy Joel           Book:  Too Much Trouble by Stan & Jan Berenstain

TV Show: “Paw Patrol”  School Subject: Art

Name of Sister: Kendra

Isabella’s teacher should know that she is cousin now.

When Isabella is not in school, she likes to play, draw, and make a Santa list.

Isabella is really good at being a good friend.

When Isabella grows up, she wants to be a nurse like her mommy.


Our next SCA meeting will take place on Monday, December 6, 2017, at 9:30. Please note that we will no longer be holding evening meetings this year. We have found that parents are attending our meetings in the morning and we are not seeing parents come out for our evening meetings. If you cannot make a meeting and would like information, I would be very happy to go over the highlights of our meetings as well as send home any handouts. Please call Cedar Mountain or email me directly at to request SCA information.  At December’s meeting, Mrs. Nicole Keane, School Counselor, will go over her program at our meeting. Cedar Mountain is very proud to remind you that Mrs. Nicole Keane is the State School Counselor of the Year!! Mrs. Keane will have Rusty, the Seeing Eye Dog with her. Rusty recently earned his six-month-old vest!!

We have many SCA activities coming up:

Dinner with Santa: Wednesday and Friday, December 6th and 8th at 6:30 pm- this year, you can take your own family pictures with Santa Claus

Holiday Shoppe: Monday-Wednesday, December 11th-13th Your child can shop for small items for every family member, please see the flier that was sent home.

Cookie Decorating Party: Friday, December 15th at 6:00 pm

Family Craft Night: Wednesday, December 20th at 6:30 pm

Outdoor Recess: As a reminder, our students will go outside for recess as long as the temperature is about 25 degrees. Please make sure your child wears a warm coat, hat, and gloves daily in preparation for playing outside. We try as often as possible in the winter months to have our students go outside for physical activity.

As we settle into the winter months, I would like to remind you to update your personal information on the School Messenger database. It is important for you to be informed of emergency school closings, early dismissals or delayed openings. If you did not receive a call, text or email from last month’s test of School Messenger, this means you are not signed up for this program. Please call the main office at 973-764-2890, if you need assistance creating an account for School Messenger. You can also find our school closings, delayed openings, and early dismissals on the main page of the VTSD site or on the Vernon app.

As always, let’s keep working together to make sure your child…our students… stay focused, achieve their very best, and stay on the path to excellence!

It is an honor to work with your children…

Rosemary Gebhardt