Dear Cedar Mountain Families: Spring is the air, bringing some much needed sunshine and warmer temperatures! Our students have enjoyed getting outside more for recess enjoying the spring air. Everyone seems to be smiling a bit more, and steps are lighter as we round out the last two months of school together. Please enjoy reading about some of our school events and hallway highlights. As we progress in the merry-month-of-May, I want to take time out to thank all of our families for having your child arrive to school on time and well-prepared for learning each day. This both supports and optimizes facilitates our instructional goals for each child, and aids us in helping your child be as successful as he/she can. As always, if I can be of any assistance, my door is always open. You can reach me at 973-764-2890.



2021-2022 Teachers of the Year: Congratulations again to Mrs. Czergovits, kindergarten teacher, and Mrs. Karlewicz, Speech/Language Pathologist, who were recognized at the Board of Education meeting on April 28th. Here is Mrs. Czergovits and Mrs. Karlewicz with our Superintendent, Dr. D’Avino, and Assistant Superintendent, Dr. McKay, receiving their plaques.





Did you know that the month of May has been designated as Better Hearing and Speech Month? This annual event was founded in 1927, by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). The aim of Better Speech and Hearing Month is to raise awareness about communication disorders and to promote treatment that can improve the quality of life for those who experience problems with speaking, understanding, or hearing. Speech-language pathologists (speech and language specialists) support students with communication needs related to their articulation, phonology, language, fluency, pragmatics, and voice in the school environment. Our Speech and Language Pathologists, Mrs. Gibson, and Mrs. Karlewicz, have some suggestion for parents to support your child’s speech and language development in the home environment, such as the following:

  • Talk to your child often:  Praise your child when they talk and show that you understand their words.
  • Ask your child to tell you 1 or 2 things that happen each day.
  • Do projects with your child like arts/crafts, baking, or washing the car. Talk about what you’re doing together and give your child directions to follow (i.e. sequencing).
  • Use everyday activities to learn language.  Go grocery shopping together and describe each item in terms of size, shape and color.
  • Read a variety of books to your child — Talk about the stories together.
  • Help your child listen to sound patterns in words — Use rhyming books and games.
  • Talk about how things are the same and different.
  • Work on groups of items or categorization. Find the item that does not belong in the group.
  • Have your child follow 2-3 step directions in the context of play. Have your child give you directions as well (i.e. how to build a tower with blocks).
  • Expand and extend your child’s sentences by repeating what they say using more advanced language (i.e. “Daddy goes bye-bye” -> “Yes, daddy is leaving now”)



First-Grade Poetry Assembly: On April 27, 2022, first-grade students proudly recited various poems they have learned in class for their classmates and guests in a Poetry Reading Assembly. Throughout the month of April that is designated as “Poetry Month”, all first-grade students learned about poetry and practiced reading poems their teachers selected based on themes and topics they are studying including famous poets and poetry styles. In each first-grade classroom, all students participated in a “poetry slam” which mirrors the guidelines of While Poetry Out Loud is a high school activity which encourages students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation, the overarching concept was adjusted for first-grader learners. Poetry Out Loud helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about literary history and contemporary life. Each first-grade teacher rated each student’s poetry reading based on a rubric analyzing: memorization/accurate reading, expression- rhythm/tune, reading at the right rate, voice projection, and clarity of speaking. Using this rubric, a class representative was selected. At the Poetry Assembly, some students sang their poems, some used interpretive music to introduce the poem, and others wore accessories in the theme of the poem. Throughout the month of April, class representatives read poems to all students of Cedar Mountain on the public address system. Parents and family members in attendance were so proud of their child’s performance.

The following poems were recited by our students:

“Spring is Here” by author unknown, read by Celia Odeh

“Little Bird” by author unknown, read by Heidi Galway

“Bee” by anonymous author, read by Avery Molette

“I have a Little Frog” by anonymous author, read by Drew Pelak and Shane Mish

“April Showers” by author unknown, read by Paola Arguelles

“The Little Plant” by anonymous author, read by Logan Muscarnero

“Spring Rain” by Marchette Chute, read by Hadley White

“In the Spring” by L. Norris, read by Aria Burtis




Kira Willey Concert: Our students enjoyed meeting Kira Willey and singing and dancing to her music and practicing mindfulness techniques. We had four virtual author visits with Kira Willey this winter and spring. The students were so excited to get to meet Kira Willey in person! We thank the Cedar Mountain SCA for graciously providing this program to our school!




Take Your Child to Work Day: Children of teachers and aides came to Cedar Mountain to experience the work of their parents on Take Your Child to Work Day on April 27th. The children that attended, assisted with various activities in the classroom. Our guests enjoyed spending the day at Cedar Mountain School being a “teacher’s helper”.




Art Star: Congratulation to Paola Arguelles for being selected as an Art Star. Mrs. Steinbach taught students about the artistic style of Georgia O’Keeffe. Paola created a Georgia O’Keefe-inspired magnified symmetrical flower filled in with warm and cool color chalk pastels.




Kindergarten Activities: Students are practicing their early engineering skills as they build structures with blocks. Other students are learning about weather and made windsocks to celebrate Earth Day. Team work makes the dream work!




Egg Hunt: Thank you to the Cedar Mountain SCA for organizing an egg hunt in our gym as well as in our side yard. Students had an “eggciting” time selecting the just-right egg that were filled with small trinkets and toys.




Family Book Donation: Cedar Mountain received a very generous book donation from the Umansky family. The Umansky family are avid readers who LOVE books. To show their gratitude for our teachers and all of their hard work this year, the Umansky Family purchased over 100 books for the classrooms and libraries of the Vernon Township School District. Below is a picture of Collin, who is surrounded by just some of the books that her family donated to our school. Thank you again, to the Umansky Family!




License to speed: Mrs. Sommers has a math competition in her class to encourage her students to learn their addition and subtraction facts. The first winner of the “License to Speed in Addition” is Sambor! Sambor completed all eight addition tests in a minute or less each.  Each test had 30 questions on it. Way to go Sambor!





Teacher Appreciation Week: The CM SCA will be honoring the Cedar Mountain teachers for National Teacher Appreciation Week, May 2-6. With the theme of “Let’s Taco ‘Bout An Appreciation Fiesta”, the SCA will be having sweet treats for our teachers as well as a taco fiesta luncheon. We are very grateful to the Cedar Mountain SCA and all that they do for our school!



SCA Mom and Pop Shop: Our students recently went on a “shopping spree” for their moms and dads. Special items perfect for a mom or dad where available for our students to purchase for Mother’s and Father’s Day. Students were so proud as they selected just-right gifts for their parents, guardians, and special people in their lives. The SCA volunteers helped students with making selections.



May SCA meeting will take place on Monday, May 2nd, at 8:00 pm, via Zoom. HERE IS THE LINK FOR THE MEETING. At this meeting, we will be electing our new officers. The SCA is looking for parent volunteers for the Mother’s Day Planting assembly that will be taking place on Friday, May 6th. HERE IS THE SIGN UP GENIUS LINK to volunteer.




School Nurse’s Day is May 11th! Thank you to Mrs. Kim Forrest, Cedar Mountain’s finest School Nurse. Mrs. Forrest is responsible for 400 students and care for each student as if he or she were her very own. Mrs. Forrest turns every office visit into a mini-lesson instructing students on their ailment or ache, how to treat it, and how to stay safe and healthy. We are all very grateful that Mrs. Forrest is Cedar Mountain’s School Nurse. Mrs. Forrest is completing her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Learning with a concentration in School Nursing at William Paterson University this spring; congratulations, Mrs. Forrest, this is a wonderful accolade. Mrs. Forrest serves as the district CPR trainer. We are very thankful for you Mrs. Forrest!



Stone Soup: Cedar Mountain students will be seeing the play Stone Soup performed by The Pushcart Players on May 9th. Stone Soup is a European folk story in which hungry strangers convince the people of a town to each share a small amount of their food in order to make a meal that everyone enjoys. The moral of the story is about the value of sharing. To tie into the play and storybook our  students will be seeing, Cedar Mountain will be hosting a Family Literacy Night on Tuesday, May 17th, at 6:00 pm, where families will be making “Stone Soup” for families in need that will be shared with My Brother’s Place and the food bank at St. Francis DeSales Church. HERE IS THE INFORMATIONAL FLIER to sign up for Family Literacy Night. Thank you to our Reading Spcialist, Mrs. Krops, and our ELL teacher, Mrs. Wilson, for organizing this community-building event. Thank you also to the VTEA and NJEA for providing funding for this prograrm. Even if you are not attending this program, we are requesting all Cedar Mountain students donate one non-perishable food item that will be packaged for making “Stone Soup”. Below is the list of what is requested by each classroom. We thank you for your generosity.



(corn, peas, green beans, etc.) 


(elbow, ditalini, small shell, orzo, etc.)

Diced Tomatoes Beans Broth 

(vegetable, chicken, beef)























Spring Book Fair: Please join us on May 16th and May 17th from 4:00 to 6:00 pm, in the Cedar Mountain gym for the Scholastic Buy One Get One Free Book Fair. If you are attending Family Literacy Night, why not stop at the Book Fair before you attend the program?



Fun Day: First-Grade: Thursday, May 26 (rain date May 31st) and Kindergarten: Friday, May 27 (rain date June 1st).

We are looking for parent volunteers; please call the main office at 973-764-2890, if you are available to assist- we love our parent volunteers. If volunteering, you will assist with the opposite grade of your child so you can come to see you child participate. Here are our parent/guardian visitation times:

Kindergarten: 10-11:15 and 12-2:30
1st Grade: 10-11:30 and 12:30-2:30

Please send your child to school with…

Comfortable/weather appropriate clothing (Fun Day T-shirt) & sneakers!

Sunscreen (already applied at home before school)

A water bottle with his/her name on it!



Memorial Day Parade: As our school year is in our final trimester, we continue to value promoting the connection of home, school, and community. In late May/early June, we will celebrate patriotism and would like to do so by honoring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country as we teach our students about Memorial Day.

While we will be honoring those who have given their lives for our country, we are inviting any relative of a Cedar Mountain student who is a veteran to come to school on Monday, June 6, 2022, at 9:45 am, to be a part of our Memorial Day Parade in the Cedar Mountain school yard. The Vernon Township High School Marching Band will be performing for us on this day. Please encourage your child to wear red, white, and blue to be in the spirit of the day. PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR THE FORM TO LET US KNOW YOU’RE ATTENDING.




Did you know?

  • Missing 10%, or about 2 days each month over the course of a school year, can make it harder to learn to read.
  • Students can still fall behind if they miss just one or two days every few weeks.
  • Being late to school may lead to poor attendance.

What You Can Do

  • Set a regular bedtime and morning routine.
  • Lay out clothes and pack backpacks the night before.
  • Develop backup plans for getting to school if something comes up. Call on a family member, a neighbor, or another parent.
  • Avoid medical appointments and extended trips when school is in session. •
  • Keep in mind that complaints of a stomach ache or headache can be a sign of anxiety and not a reason to stay home. If your child seems anxious about going to school, talk to teachers, school counselors for advice on how to make your child feel comfortable and excited about learning.



Online Safety for Your Children: It has come to the attention of our teachers that some students have developed a curiosity about a social media character called “Huggy Wuggy”. After doing some research, which you can read below, Cedar Mountain teachers are requesting that you speak to your child to reinforce to them that we will not be encouraging conversations or any activities that include “Huggy Wuggy” or “Poppy’s Playtime”. PLEASE READ THIS IMPORTANT LINK. Thank you for your assistance and support with this matter. Here is a helpful PARENT NEWSLETTER regarding online safety for your children.




2022-2023 Kindergarten Orientation: We will be holding our 22-23 Kindergarten Orientation on Tuesday, June 21, at 2:00 pm (A-L) and 3:00 pm (M-Z). CLICK HERE FOR A LETTER ABOUT OUR ORIENTATION PROGRAM.



Sign Up Genius for Entering Kindergarten Families: CLICK HERE to sign up for a time to bring your entering kindergarten child in for a Meet and Greet this summer.




Second-Grade Orientation: Save the date! Rolling Hills Primary School will be holding its 2022-2023 2nd Grade Orientation on Monday, June 6th, at 3:45 pm.



2022-2023 VTSD School Calendar: For planning purposes, Click HERE  to view the 2022-2023 school calendar. The Back to School Night is scheduled for Thursday, September 1, 2022. The first day of school is on Tuesday, September 6, 2022.




A Few Reminders:

  • SCA Meeting- Monday, May 2, at 8:00 pm, via Zoom HERE IS THE LINK
  • Stone Soup play- Monday, May 9
  • Family Literacy Night- Tuesday, May 17th, at 6:00 pm (sign up required)
  • Kindergarten Fun Day- Thursday, May 26th
  • First-Grade Fun Day- Friday, May 27th
  • School Closed for Memorial Day- Monday, May 30th
  • Memorial Day Parade performed by the VTHS Marching Band-Monday, June 6th, at 10:00 am
  • RHPS 22-23 2nd Grade Orientation- Monday, June 6th, at 3:45 pm
  • SCA Meeting- Monday, June 6th, at 8:00 pm HERE IS THE LINK
  • VTSD Artstanding- Friday, June 10th, at 5:00 pm at Lounsberry Hollow School
  • Kindergarten Patriotic Sing Along- Tuesday, June 14th, at 10:00 am
  • Early Dismissal Days- Friday, June 17th through Thursday, June 23rd
  • 2022-2023 Kindergarten Orientation- Tuesday, June 21st-Letters A-L at 2:00 pm and M-Z at 3:00 pm



Rosemary Gebhardt