Dear Cedar Mountain Families:

Now that we are in the coldest part of the winter, what a better time to snuggle up and READ!! It really is all about reading! You will read below about our exciting district reading program, “Read the McKay Way”, as well as how guided reading works in the classroom now that every student has received a benchmark reading assessment called the Fountas and Pinnell Baseline Assessment System. Congratulations to our Mind Traveler Award recipients, as well! Happy Reading!


It’s “Read the McKay” Way time!  Join us in an exciting district-wide reading initiative, which honors Dr. Charles McKay, who will be retiring at the end of the school year. The “Read the McKay Way” officially begins on February 1st and ends on March 11th. We encourage our students and their family members to participate in this exciting endeavor. Please check out this informational flyer for the program READ THE McKAY WAY! Students and family members can log their pages read HERE and may also leave a video message for Dr. McKay HERE on our district’s FlipGrid page. What a great way to celebrate reading as a family, a school, and a district! Below is the QR code that will take you to the QR code to log your pages. You will also see A LINK on the main page of our website that will take you to all of this reading information as well. Share your favorite book or what you are reading on social media with #VernonReads.





Kids Heart Challenge: This year Cedar Mountain will be participating in the American Heart Association Kids Heart Challenge in physical education class as well as in our classrooms. The classroom from each grade with the most students signed up to take one of the Kids Heart Challenges to “Move More and/or Be Kind” will receive a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card!  


All students need to do with the help of a grown-up is register online and list his or her teacher in the application.  If half of the student body registers online, Cedar Mountain will earn $500.00 from US games to purchase physical education equipment.  HERE IS THE LINK FOR STUDENTS TO REGISTER.


Check out this Cedar Mountain video to encourage students to participate in this year’s Kid Heart Challenge:




Congratulations to our Mind Traveler winners! At the January 27, 2022, Board of Education meeting, preschool through 5th-grade students were awarded the Mind Traveler Award. Each student received a book and certificate from the Board of Education.  Congratulations to Cedar Mountain students……

Kindergarten: Bryn Jannace

Kindergarten: Kaeilah Davis

Frist-Grade: Jameson Osborne

Fitst-Grae: Clayton Hastie





The Great Kindness Challenge: The week of January 24-29, 2022, has been designated as the annual Great Kindness Week Challenge. At school, we have been celebrating The Great Kindness Challenge that highlights the meaning of Kindness at Cedar Mountain School each day this week.

The Great Kindness Challenge is a positive anti-bullying prevention program that improves school climate and increases student engagement. The Great Kindness Challenge is one week devoted to performing as many acts of kindness as possible at school! Students are writing their acts of kindness on paper hearts that are displayed in our main hallway. 

Mrs. Yarosz’s students read We’re All Wonders. The class created an anchor chart on acts of kindness and during the week the students received individual kindness trackers to document their number of kind acts. 




February Safeties: Each month students are selected by their teacher to be a “Safety” in our hallways to encourage students to be safe when entering the school. Congratulations to our  February Safeties that will help our hallways be safe during student arrival…

Lucas Foy

Kaiden Miller

Caelyn Mackwell

Jaime Szigethy

Trent Bailey

Shane Lowell

Caeden Downs

Kayson Vandunk


VTHS Key Club Winter Wonderland: The HS Key Club will be hosting a Winter Wonderland at Cedar Mountain on Saturday, February 5 (snow date February 19) from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. There will be games and activities that will be led by the HS students. Come out for a morning of fun. Tickets are $5.00 for an “arm’s length”. We thank the Vernon Township Education Association for sponsoring this event! Click on the picture below to read the details. 




Next SCA Meeting: Monday, February 7, 2022, at 8:00 pm via ZOOM. We thank the SCA for all the wonderful programs they bring to the students of Cedar Mountain. We appreciate your dedication to our school and students; your countless hours of volunteer time do not go unnoticed! There are many upcoming SCA activities this winter. Our Mr. Cupcake Fundraiser will begin on January 18 and conclude on February 1, 2022. A flyer has been sent home for you to select from dozens of delicious cupcake flavors. Pick up for the cupcakes will take place on Thursday, February 17, and Friday, February 18, 2022, after school, in the main hallway.  The SCA will also be holding a “Smencils” fundraiser enabling you to purchase a “smelly pencil” of your choice for your child that they will receive for Valentine’s Day.


The SCA is selling “smencils” that you can have delivered to your child’s classroom for Valentine’s Day. Each pencil costs $2.00 and you can purchase one for each student in your child’s class for $30.00. CLICK HERE FOR THE INFORMATIONAL FLYER. All orders are due to Cedar Mountain on Wednesday, February 7th.


Executive SCA Ladies Night Out: On Friday, April 22, 2022, the Executive SCA will be hosting their annual Ladies Night Out. Proceeds from this event fund generous SCA scholarships to our VTSD graduating seniors.  CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION ON THIS EVENT. Thank you for considering donating to make this night special. There is a link on the flyer that will take you to the Ladies Night Out Wish List on Amazon.



Girl Scout Daisy Troop: Cedar Mountain has its own Daisy Troop #98460. The Daisies meet twice a month and are learning about being a girl scout and developing a friendship group that builds curiosity, kindness, and can-do spirit. The Daisies are learning to problem solve and take a closer look at the world around them. In a recent troop meeting, Daisy Troop #98460 taste-tested Girl Scout cookies and ranked their favorites. You’ll see from the picture that S’Mores cookies were their overall favorite cookie. They also learned how to sell Girl Scout cookies in the community. The Daisies practiced how to politely talk to potential cookie customers when selling over the next few months! Good luck to Troop #98460! We also thank our troop leaders and Cedar Mountain parents Mrs. Elmo and Mrs. MacIntosh!



Guided Reading: Now that we have assessed all students’ reading levels at Cedar Mountain, guided reading becomes a very important part of the school day. While first-graders have been having guided reading, some of the guided reading groups in this grade level have changed as students show growth in their reading or require more support with the reading process. For our kindergarten students, guided reading is underway! Guided reading is a time when the teacher focuses on the level the student is reading and will target specific areas for each student. Here are some bullets on guided reading:

  • Students reading teacher-selected text that are at the students’ developmental, instructional level, where the teacher provides explicit teaching prior to, during, and after reading the text.
  • Differentiated, small group reading instruction that supports a student’s actions for processing text.
  • Students are supported by the teacher in response to their individual needs during the lesson.
  • All students read the whole text
  • Encourages silent reading
  • Observations from the lesson are noted (ex. where a student needed frequent reminders/ extra support) which directs what to teach the group in the next lesson.


Classroom Centers: Students experience literacy and math centers during the day to enable them to apply skills they are learning, encourage collaboration, independence, cooperation, and allow the classroom teacher to work with small groups of students on targeted instruction, such as Guided Reading groups. This time is also called the WIN block, which stands for “What I Need”. Here are kindergarten students practicing letters by using Play-doh and working on letter puzzles.




Literary Story Elements: Mrs. Giangrande and Mrs. Brady’s students are learning about story elements when reading a fiction book. To practice this skill, students wrote a book report on a favorite book in their book bags. Book bags are special bags that house “just right” books that the student selects on his/her own. Here are some pictures of students holding up their snowman book reports on books they read. Students presented their book reports to the class proudly telling about the characters, setting, plot, problem, and solution of the problem. Check out the Vernon Vlog spotlighting some of the students in the class presenting their book reports. 




Dental Assembly Program– February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. To teach the importance of having good dental health and how to take care of our teeth, on Thursday, February 10th all students will be treated to a dental assembly program by Newton-Sparta Dentistry. We thank Mrs. Forrest, School Nurse, for organizing this event for our school.



Think Spring and Kindergarten Registration! Do you know of a family member, friend, or neighbor whose child will be turning five by October 1, 2022? If so, please pass on this information to those interested in enrolling their child for kindergarten for the 2022-2023 school year. Registration is open online! Our in-person registration will take place at Cedar Mountain School in the gym as follows:


Monday, March 7th, 2022: 4:30-7:30 pm

Tuesday, March 8th, 2022: 9:30-11:30 am

Wednesday, March 9th, 2022: 4:30-7:30 pm

Thursday, March 10th, 2022: 9:30-11:30 am


Whether you are registering online and uploading your documents or bringing all of your information with you, here is a listing of what you will need when you register:

Your child’s Birth Certificate

Your child’s immunization records and current physical

Proof of residency


We encourage all families to start the registration process online by clicking HERE.  If you do not have a computer at home to start the process, we will have computer kiosks set up for you to enter your information when you come to in-person registration. Upon registering, you will also arrange a time for the entering kindergarten student to be screened using the DIAL4. You must register online to begin the process. You can do this at home on any device or you can log on at Cedar Mountain to complete this step of the process. You can always call for assistance, or if you would like to come in for a tour! We love visitors!


Revised 2021-2022 Calendar: Please note, our Board of Education just added an additional day off for our students on Tuesday, February 22, 2022. Our schools will now be closed on Monday, February 21, and Tuesday, February 22, 2022. This is also going to be a Tech-Free weekend for all students! It will be a long weekend for families to spend together and not worry about homework or studying!




In closing, thank you for working with us during these challenging winter months. As a reminder, I would encourage you to ensure that your child’s health is in good condition each day before sending your child to school.  If your child is not feeling well your child should stay home. As has always been our school’s policy, if your child has a fever, he or she can return to school after being fever-free for 24 hours. While this can be frustrating for families, we appreciate your understanding and cooperation. I thank you for staying in touch with our nurse, Mrs. Forrest, regarding your child’s health. Mrs. Forrest is always available to speak with you. 

Thank you for partnering with all of us at Cedar Mountain to make your child’s experience positive and enriching!


Rosemary Gebhardt