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Principal’s Blog: September 2023

September 2023

Welcome back! 

I am hoping that everyone had a fabulous summer and had time to relax with family and friends. 

As we begin the new school year your child(ren) may be experiencing a little anxiety and stress about the first day of school and new expectations. Please reassure them that this is normal and we will do everything we can to make the transition from summer into the new school year as stress-free as possible. All we are asking is that they get a good night’s sleep the night before and relax!

During the first couple days of school, all first grade students will be dismissed from their buses, met by their teachers in front of the building, and escorted to their classrooms.  Then we will dismiss kindergarten students, who will also be met by their teachers in the front of the building and escorted to their classrooms.   

As a reminder, we will be operating on an early dismissal schedule for the first two days of school, Thursday, September 7th and Friday, September 8th. Buses are scheduled to depart Cedar Mountain at approximately 1:30 pm.  However, during the first week or two of school, things do tend to run a little later due to students becoming familiar with finding their bus in the afternoon lineup and buses themselves arriving a little late to Cedar Mountain. 

Cedar Mountain Primary School’s drop off/pick up procedure: Parents that drop off and pick up their child(ren) will be required to park in an available spot in the parking lot or on Sammis Rd. and escort their child to the walkway by the parking lot or stand on the playground by Sammis Rd. with your child. Please be aware that Cedar Mountain Primary School does not have the personnel to supervise students who are dropped off early; therefore, students will only be permitted to enter the building at 9:20 AM when students are dismissed from their bus. If you are picking up your child at the end of the school day, students will be dismissed to the front foyer pick-up line at 3:40 pm (regular school day)/1:10 pm (early dismissal day). You must present a proper ID to the office staff who will bring your child(ren) to you. 

Our district will continue to use the Raptor Visitor Management System for those parents, guardians, or other family members who are entering the building. All guests will be required to sign in and show his or her driver’s license upon entering the building at the welcome window where they will be greeted by Mr. Mullane or Ms. DeCepoli.  Every visitor will be issued a visitor’s pass, will be requested to wear the pass in a visible place on their clothing, and will be required to turn in the pass and sign out before leaving the building. 

We will be using Digital Backpack to notify parents/guardians of school happenings, important information, school closings as well as delayed openings and early dismissals. We will often send important memos and school letters to you through Digital Backpack. You will not see a lot of fliers and letters sent home with your child. If you are not receiving Digital Backpack information, please call Cedar Mountain. 

Please visit the Cedar Mountain website for other important school information and see this Letter  regarding Schoology and how to access the Schoology Parent Portal.

Our first School and Community Association (SCA) meeting of the year will take place on Thursday, September 21st at 9:45am. At this first meeting, there will be an SCA sponsored Meet-and-Greet in the cafeteria. Please come meet other SCA parents and our new officers to learn how the SCA enhances every student’s experience and how you can get involved in your child’s school. Our meetings are generally held on the first Thursday of every month at 9:45am


September 2023 Upcoming Events:

Tuesday, September 5th – Back to School Night 

Kindergarteners: 3:00 – 4:00pm (bring your child with you!)     

First Graders: 4:30 – 5:30pm (for parents only)


Thursday, September 7th – First day of school & School Spirit Day! Wear your class t-shirt, Vernon wear or Blue & Gold to show your school spirit for the new school year! 

Thursday, September 7th & Friday, September 8th  – Early dismissal days CM dismisses at 1:25pm

Wednesday, September 20th  – Omegaman Assembly

Monday, September 25th – All Schools CLOSED for Yom Kippur


Tuesday, September 26th – Author Visit, Brendan Wenzel


Wednesday, September 27th – Sign up for Family Math Night 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm 


Thursday, September 28th – Picture Day!

I am looking forward to seeing your child in the coming weeks!


Kristin Gudenkauf


Kindergarten Orientation 23-24

Please click the link below for the Kindergarten Orientation presentation.

Click Here


Principal’s Blog: June 2023



June 1, 2023


Dear Cedar Mountain Families,


And just like that the school year is coming to an end! With the busyness of this past Memorial Day weekend and the end of the school year, it sometimes feels challenging to find the time to simply breathe and think. And this is exactly what is needed and helpful. The last day of school is not too far away, rather than seeing it as the finish line, let’s slow it down a bit, reflect, articulate some goals, and show kindness and gratitude for all this year has given us.


Dates to keep in mind…

  • Thursday, June 15th through Thursday June 22nd are early dismissal days.
  • Monday, June 19th Vernon Schools are CLOSED for Juneteenth.
  • Thursday, June 22nd is the last day of school.


The BOGO (Buy One Get One, of equal or lesser value, FREE) Book Fair is Monday, June 5th from 4-6 pm. And, just a reminder, to please hand in any outstanding library books at this time, as notices will be going out. 


Looking back on May…


A happy and healthy summer to all our Cedar Mountain families! 



Kristin Gudenkauf


Principal’s Blog


May 1, 2023


Dear Cedar Mountain Families,


Do you believe it is May already?! We are hoping that the warmer spring weather is on the way to stay, but in the meantime, please remember that we do go outside everyday so please dress appropriately.


There are eight weeks left of the school year and we are still learning and making the most of the time that we have left. The inclination might be to give up and give in…to coast. But our teachers have great ideas for motivating learning right down to the very last day of school!


What better way to start the month than with Teacher Appreciation Week May 8th – May 12th!

Two…Four…Six…Eight…Who do we appreciate?! All of our fabulous teachers!! Thank you for all you do, day in and day out!



There is an SCA meeting Thursday, May 4th at 9:45 in the Cedar Mountain Cafeteria. It’s not too late to get involved!


The SCA is hosting a Mom & Pop shop for all students during the school day Monday, May 8th through Wednesday, May 10th for all classes. A memo will be sent home the week prior.


Friday, May 12, 2023 there is a District-Wide “Spirit Day” for Staff & Students. Wear your favorite Tie Dye attire and bring $1 in an envelope marked SCA. All donations will go to the Artstanding Program.

Fun Days at Cedar Mountain!

Kindergarten: Tuesday, May 16, 2023

First Grade:  Wednesday, May 17, 2023


Rain Dates:

Thursday, May 18, 2023 and/or Friday, May 19, 2023



All Vernon Schools will be CLOSED Monday, May 29th in observance of Memorial Day.


Taking a look at April….


Our Magic Show was amazing!



Mrs. Casper’s class during the SCA Egg Hunt


Some of our amazing paraprofessionals at Cedar Mountain! Thank you for all you do!

Thank you to Michele, Barbara and Dhalma, our fabulous Administrative Assistants for their hard work, tireless effort, and every day enthusiasm!



And let’s not forget our therapy dog, Sunny!


Kristin Gudenkauf



Principal’s Blog: April

April 1, 2023


Dear Cedar Mountain Families,


April is here and there is magic in the air! Cedar Mountain SCA is hosting a Magic Show for students on Monday, April 3rd! This event is for students only, during the school day. Abracadabra Kalamazoo having fun is part of learning too! 


Wednesday, April 5th is Paraprofessional Appreciation Day! This day is dedicated to those who work in a classroom under a teacher’s direction. They are also known as teacher’s aides, paraeducators, para-pros, and classroom assistants. These amazing people deliver targeted support to students who may need extra help and work to maintain the classroom, keeping it running smoothly. Paraprofessionals are the unsung heroes of the education system, helping to shoulder the workload and allow teachers to focus on what they do best – teach! Paraprofessional Appreciation Day seeks to bring these professionals to the forefront and show them a little extra love for all the incredible work they do, day in and day out.  


There is an SCA meeting Thursday, April 6th at 9:45 in the Cedar Mountain Cafeteria. It’s not too late to get involved! 


The SCA is hosting an egg hunt for students during the school day on April 4th, 5th and 6th for all classes. 



Kindergarten – Mrs Waller’s Class with $167.96 raised!

First Grade – Mrs Mariconda’s Class with $376.60 raised!!


Money raised by the SCA is used for programs, events and special treats for our students. The winning class in each grade level will get to choose the picture that will be on the “Fun Day” t-shirts for their grade level, as well as choose the color t-shirts their class would like to wear. The class will also be treated to a pizza party! Congratulations!


All Vernon Schools will be CLOSED April 7th through Friday, April 14th for Spring Break! 


Vernon Township ESCA Ladies Night OutApril 14, 2023 at the Red Tail Lodge – PLEASE CLICK HERE  for information on this important annual event that raises money for the ESCA scholarship fund. CLICK HERE to purchase tickets.  50/50 Raffle Tickets are on sale.PLEASE CLICK HERE  for additional information. CLICK HERE to purchase raffle tickets.


Cedar Mountain SCA Mother-Son TripSunday, April 23, 2023 at Fairview Lakes YMCA Camp from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Please pack your own picnic lunch. Enjoy candle making, boating, rock climbing, archery, and the big swing! PLEASE CLICK HERE  for additional information. PLEASE CLICK HERE to purchase tickets.


Administrative Professionals Day is Wednesday, April 26th. A strong administration is absolutely essential for maintaining office decorum and daily operations. Hats off to Dhalma Donovan, Barbara O’Keefe, and Michele Speight…the glue that holds us all together! 

Taking a look at “Love of Reading” in March…



And a Happy St. Patrick’s Day from… 

Mrs. Waller’s leprechauns!

…and Mrs. Mariconda’s class!


We love our Therapy Dog visits too!…



Kristin Gudenkauf


Principal’s Blog: March 2023


March 1, 2023


Dear Cedar Mountain Families,


Spring is in the air and so is the love of reading! Read Across America week continues with…

Wednesday, March 1st – Wear a crazy hat or hair…Wacky Wednesday!

Thursday, March 2nd – Wear a readable shirt…words close to your heart. 

Friday, March 3rd – Dress like your favorite book character!


We will also have guest readers visiting us throughout the month to read our Tournament of Books, which include pre-selected Social and Emotional Learning, Picture, Award Winning, and Non-Fiction Books!


SCA Pounds of Pennies Campaign begins Monday, March 6th and runs through Monday, March 20th. Send in your pennies (and other change)! The Kindergarten and First Grade classrooms with the most money collected will have a pizza party!

Kindergarten Registration for the 2023-2024 school year is now open on our website @ www.vtsd.com. Please spread the word to Vernon friends, family, and neighbors who have children turning 5 years old by October 1, 2023. There is also an in-person registration at Cedar Mountain Primary School on Tuesday, March 7th from 9:30am-11:30pm and on Wednesday, March 8th from 4:30pm to 7:30pm in the gym. 


Trimester two ends on Friday, March 10th. Report cards will be available to view in Genesis on Tuesday, March 21st.


On Wednesday morning, March 15th Kindergarteners and First Graders will be walking over to Glen Meadow Middle School to see their Spring Musical! 

Cedar Mountain Primary School classrooms will be visiting with Author Kira Willey virtually on Wednesday, March 22nd (Snowdate: Thursday, March 23rd).


Please join us on Wednesday, March 22nd for Family Literacy Night at 6:00pm-7:00pm!



  • All Vernon Schools will be CLOSED to students on Monday, March 13th (in-Service for teachers).
  • All Vernon Schools will have an EARLY DISMISSAL  for students on Wednesday, March 29th (In-Service Wellness Wednesday for teachers).


Taking a look at Fabulous February…

Retired teacher, Fran Boltz, reads to Mrs. Casper’s class.

Cedar Mountain celebrates the 100th day of school on February 14th! 

Thank you to VTHS CFM students for constructing the 100!

Officer Kuzicki and Officer Russo visit Cedar Mountain students

during Kindergarten and First Grade lunches

Mrs. Sweeney’s Kindergarten class celebrated Kindness Week Pajama Day!

Mrs. Hartman and Ms. Ollert’s students during library time

Kids Heart Challenge during PE Classes!


Kristin Gudenkauf




Principal’s Blog: February

February 1, 2023


Dear Cedar Mountain Families,


There are so many great things about this month that make it special. February is the month of LOVE with Kindness Week, Valentine’s Day, and Love of Reading/Read Across America Week. We will celebrate the 100th day of school on February 14th! (as long as we don’t have any snow days between now and then). It is also starting to stay lighter a little bit longer. Is Spring right around the corner? Will Punxsutawney Phil see his shadow or not?! February is a time for magical learning in the classrooms when our students begin to hit their stride and “get it.” Teachers and students are starting to see that their hard work is paying off! 


Cedar Mountain Primary School is participating in the American Heart Association Kids Heart Challenge this month. Mr. Hernandez will have an assembly for students on Friday, February 10th to kick it off! Flyers/Donation forms will be sent home that day as well. 


The Cedar Mountain SCA is hosting a Candy Bar Bingo on Friday, February 10th from 6:00pm – 7:30pm (Snowdate: Friday, February 17th).


There will be an early dismissal on Wednesday, February 15th for an afternoon teacher in-service. Our school district will be closed on Monday, February 20th in observance of President’s Day. 


Author Kira Willey will join our classrooms “virtually” on Thursday, February 16th @ 1:30pm. Kira brings moves, music, and mindfulness to our students and teachers!


Kindness Week is the week of February 13th. Cedar Mountain will celebrate as follows…

Monday, February 13th – Wear bright colors…let your kindness shine!

Tuesday, February 14th – Wear RED…show your love & kindness!

Wednesday, February 15th…Wear a sweater…warm up with kindness!

Thursday, February 16th…Wear team apparel…be a part of team kindness!

Friday, February 17th…Wear pajamas…dream of kindness!


The Vernon High School Key Club is hosting a Winter Wonderland at Cedar Mountain Primary School on Saturday, February 18th from 10:00am – 12:00pm. (Snowdate: Saturday, February 25th). Please join us for winter crafts and games! There will also be a hot chocolate bar and cookies!


There will be a dental assembly on Friday, February 24th during school hours for Dental Health Month! They will focus on dental hygiene and healthy dental habits.


Read Across America Week is the week of February 27th. Cedar Mountain will celebrate as follows…

Monday, February 27th – Wear comfy clothes & silly socks…get cozy with a good book!

Tuesday, February 28th – Wear tie-dye or bright clothes…books are fun!

Wednesday, March 1st – Wear a crazy hat or hair…Wacky Wednesday!

Thursday, March 2nd – Wear a readable shirt…words close to your heart. 

Friday, March 3rd – Dress like your favorite book character!


Taking a look at January…


The CM SCA hosted a movie night!

Mrs. Waller’s class was awarded the Cedar Mountain trophy from Physical Education teacher, Mr. Hernandez, for the “fastest” Kindergarten class competition! Congratulations!

Looking forward to a Fabulous February! 


Kristin Gudenkauf


Principal’s Blog: January 2023

January 3, 2023


Dear Cedar Mountain Families,


I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and was able to relax and spend some quality time with your families! It is a pleasure to have all of the children, teachers and staff back at school after a long, well deserved break. We are also excited to welcome some new families into our school community. 


Just a reminder that as the snow flies and the temperatures dip, children need to be dressed appropriately to come to school and to play at recess time. Coats, hats, and mittens/gloves are a must this time of year.


A reminder from Kim Forrest, our school nurse…

If your child has a fever, coughing, shortness of breath, vomiting/diarrhea, unknown rash or displays any other signs or symptoms of illness, please keep them home and consider a medical evaluation if necessary. Please do not medicate your child with fever-reducing medication and send them to school-remember a child with a fever that is controlled by medicine is still ill and can spread illness to others.  Please reference illness criteria located on the Vernon Township School District website.  Adherence to exclusion guidelines will continue in order to prevent Covid-19 or other disease outbreaks in our community. Thank you for doing your part to help keep everyone healthy and to curb the spread of illness in school.


Our school district will be closed on Monday, January 16th in observance of Martin Luther King Day. There is also an early dismissal day on Wednesday, January 25th for an afternoon teacher in-service/wellness day. Student pick-up is at 1:10. Buses depart at 1:30. 


Cedar Mountain First Grade Girls! It’s time to try Field Hockey!!  – Join Coach Killeen, Vernon’s head coach, Monday, January 9th through Thursday, January 12th, 2023 in the Cedar Mountain Gym from 4:00 – 5:00 pm. Free four-day clinic with equipment provided! Please Click this link https://forms.gle/LvXQTEdzif9sLqUU9 for the google form to sign up. 


The SCA is hosting a Movie Night at Cedar Mountain on Friday, January 20th at 6pm (Snowdate: Friday, January 27th). 

A look at December…


Many blessings in the new year to all our Cedar Mountain families!

Principal’s Blog

Dear Cedar Mountain Families:

November flew by with many events at Cedar Mountain! 

Our students learned about Veterans Day and the importance of this national holiday. They learned how to give thanks to the many Veterans and the work they do to keep our country free and all of us safe. Thank you to all our Veterans and thank you for participating in our Veteran’s Day Parade!

We had many visitors on International Night and Math Night!



Father/Daughter/Special Person Dance was amazing! Again, thank you to all our SCA ladies and parent volunteers who helped to make this event as special as it was.

We had many happy visitors on Grandparents’ Visitation Day. Students were excited to show their families around Cedar Mountain. Thank you to the many who came to visit, and to our wonderful SCA and parent volunteers for helping with this event!  



Exemplary Elementary Educators!

Mrs. Maureen Sweeney and Mrs. Lois Battista




Teacher and Educational Services Professional of the Year!

Ms. Mary Ollert and Mrs. Sherry Polhemus


And let’s not forget our therapy dogs who visited us at Cedar Mountain this month!



Project Self-Sufficiency Toy Drive is underway!  If you would like your child to donate a new unopened gift and/or gift card for children of all ages, please do so by December 12th. The toys will be distributed to local families in need through the Season of Hope Toy Shop.


Come to Cedar Mountain on Saturday, December 10th to have Breakfast with Santa! Pre-Registration is required via cheddar up at https://breakfastsanta.cheddarup.com

Please see the parent letter from the Vernon Coalition by clicking the LINK

Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday season!

CMPS International Night


Older Entries »

Upcoming Events

September 2023

Wednesday September 27

6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
CM Family Math Night

Thursday September 28

All Day
CM Picture Day

October 2023

Monday October 2

All Day
CM Week of Respect - Blue Shirt Day!

Blue Shirt Day-Better Together!
World Day of Bullying Prevention is a national initiative held on the first Monday of October. Stomp Out Bullying created this exciting initiative where people are asked to wear a blue shire in an effort to join together in solidarity to stop bullying and cyberbullying

Tuesday October 3

All Day
CM Wear your favorite color!

Put the I in KIND! Wear your favorite colors to show off your individuality!

Wednesday October 4

All Day
CM Wear your favorite team jersey or shirt!

Stronger as a TEAM!

Thursday October 5

All Day
CM - Wear your pajamas to school!

Put Name Calling to Bed! Wear your pajamas to school (no slippers please)

Friday October 6

All Day
CM Wear Vernon gear or school colors!

Show School Spirit and Unite!

Friday October 13

5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
CM SCA Halloween Dance
View the Full VTSD Calendar