Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Cedar Mountain

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Our Fall Harvest Open House was a great success! Families enjoyed the events that took place at Cedar Mountain as we celebrated our 30th anniversary! 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.

Take the 21 Day Reading Challenge!

Cedar Mountain will be participating in an exciting national reading challenge from ReadAloud.Org  called the 21 DAY CHALLENGE. Here’s how to participate:  

  1. Sign your family up at ReadAloud.org to take the 21 DAY CHALLENGE!

      All you need to do is to read aloud for 15 minutes or more for 21 days – October 2 – October 23.

      2. On October 2- you begin the challenge!

  – Mark the challenge paper (on the back)

  – Share a picture of you and your family reading aloud to social media if you like!

  – Share the challenge with friends… spread the word!

  1. For the next 21 days, continue to read and spread the word.

      Remember to mark the challenge paper each day to keep track of your progress.

     4. Return your 21 Day Challenge paper to school on Tuesday, October 24, 2017,

     through Friday, October 27, 2017, so that we can add your family name to the Read

      Aloud scrolling screen in the foyer bat Cedar Mountain.           

 We appreciate your partnership with us and in your willingness to be another voice that shares the power and importance of reading aloud to our children each and every day!

Our Reading Workshop 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 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 are 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 2-6, 2017 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 a letter that has been sent home, 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 2nd. 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, Mrs. Keane, 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 3rd – “I respect Cedar Mountain, its students, and my teachers!” Wear blue and gold!  Wear your Class of 2029 or Class of 2030 t-shirts or any other blue and gold attire.

Friday, October 7th – “Rainbow of Respect!”  Details below…

Kira Willey is coming to Cedar Mountain on Friday, October 6th!! 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. 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 Mrs. Keane 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.

Cedar Mountain Rocks! In Mrs. Keane’s lessons for The Week of Respect, she will be leading a very special school activity where students will be painting rocks that will be placed in our Cedar Mountain Kindness Garden. Pictures of our garden will be coming soon. We thank Sanders Excavating for donating the rocks to Cedar Mountain. 

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 2nd. This month we will have Project Self-Sufficiency speak to our families about the many programs they offer to strengthen families. 

First-Grade Family Dance Nights are coming! Mr. Moschella has invited all first-grade classes to bring their families 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 6th: Mrs. Barone, Mrs. Battista, Mrs. Giangrande, and Miss White

Friday, October 13th: Mrs. Hyche, Mrs. Novak, Mrs. Rogers, and Mrs. Zicopoulos

Friday, October 27th: Mrs. Start, Mrs. Sweeney, Mr. Dente, Mrs. Talerico/Mrs. Ollert

October 9-13, 2017, is Fire Prevention Week. The Vernon Township Fire Department will be here to speak to our students about Fire Safety on Tuesday, October 10, 2017. 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 11, 2017, at 6:00 pm. Please click here for a flier will be sent home regarding sign-ups for this special activity.  Students must be pre-registered in order to participate. Don’t forget to bring your sleeping bag and lawn chair for this event!

Parent Conference Week: Please see the memo on our Parent Conference Week. Please note, Thursday and Friday, October 19-20, 2017, are full days of school. Cedar Mountain will have early dismissal days on Monday through Wednesday of this week, releasing students to buses at 1:20 pm. Teachers will be using Sign Up Genius for you to sign up for your conference slot on a first-come first-serve basis.  If you would like to order a lunch for your child, please complete the form that will be sent home. Conferences will run as follows:

Monday, October 16- 3:45-7:30 pm

Tuesday, October 17- 2:15-4:00 pm

Wednesday, October 19- 3:45-7:30 pm

Sign Up Genius Links for Cedar Mountain teachers:

Kindergarten Teachers:

Mrs. Arlington

Mrs. Bross

Mrs. Czergovits

Mrs. Gagliardi

Mrs. Haw

Mrs. Horn

Mrs. Stefkovich

Ms. Thomas

Miss Winzer

Mrs. Zinni/Ms. LaBar

First-Grade Teachers:

Mrs. Barone

Mrs. Battista

Mrs. Giangrande

Mrs. Hyche

Mrs. Novak

Mrs. Rogers

Mrs. Start

Mrs. Sweeney

Mrs. Talerico/Mrs. Ollert

Miss White

Mrs. Zicopoulos

Mrs. Keane, K-1 School Counselor


 Picture Re-Takes: Are scheduled for Wednesday, October 25, 2017, if you need to have your child’s picture retaken or taken for the first time if they were absent or not yet enrolled at Cedar Mountain during our first picture day.

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

Enjoy some of Mrs. Giangrande’s students buddy reading:


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

Mrs. Gebhardt