Planning a Safe Return for All Students

Principal: Mrs. Gebhardt  Assistant Principal: Dr. Kosek

Welcome to the 2020-2021 School Year!

Dr. Kosek and I would like to extend a special Glen Meadow welcome to all entering 6th graders and all of our returning 7th and 8th graders, as well as all of the transfer students that have recently moved to Vernon. We are excited to have our students back in classrooms (in-person or virtually) and in the hallways filling our school with energy and enthusiasm for learning. We have missed you and we look forward to seeing everyone on our first day of school, Tuesday, September 8, 2020. Your child’s safety and education is most important to us. Our schools have been deep cleaned and many safety procedures are in place to keep your child safe at school.  Here is a recent interview with our Superintendent of Schools, Ms. D’Avino, Dr. Kosek, and me talking about the new school year.


Your child’s middle school years are an exciting time when children embark upon new adventures in the world of learning.  Although the 2020-2021 school year will look different from any other year, we are dedicated to providing your child with a memorable, interactive, engaging in-person and distance learning experience. As some of our students will be learning in person on a Blue/Gold schedule (Hybrid Learner) and others will be learning online (Exclusively Virtual) Glen Meadow Middle School is committed to providing a challenging and rigorous curriculum that helps each student progress at a developmentally appropriate rate that provides a safe environment for all students. If you have been following the video broadcasts of our Superintendent, Ms. D’Avino, and our Assistant Superintendent, Dr. McKay, this summer, they have explained what school will look like this year. You may recall hearing terms like Blended Learning, Flipped Classroom, Synchronous (live classes), and Asynchronous teaching (classes recorded and accessed at a different time). Dr. Kosek and I want you to understand what learning will look like this year and these terms will be explained below. To adjust to the Blue and Gold schedule and the Early Dismissal Schedule we will be following this fall, our teachers have worked very hard all summer to review the curriculum and prepare units and lessons that can be delivered either in-person or online.


Blended Learning– The blended learning model is a teaching methodology that is done in the classroom and/or online. Blended learning combines classroom learning with online learning, in which students can control the time, pace, and place of their learning. 

  • Blended Learning is a fusion of using online learning tools and traditional teaching methodology. With blended learning, teachers are not replaced by digital courseware such as SumDog, Raz Kids, Newsela, or IXL, because teachers are still the primary drivers of the learning experience for students.
  • With Blended Learning, there must be a direct connection between the content being taught and students’ digital work. In fact, this model creates an opportunity for teachers to explore new and engaging teaching methods that can provide students with access to a great deal of content at their own pace of study.
  • Blended learning is more than just substituting digital tools for pencil and paper. Students have the chance to dig deeper into the content to learn through discovery and problem solve. This also often involves student collaboration and discussion.
  • Blended learning has a direct connection between the content being taught
  • Here is an example of a blended learning activity that you might see in a math class. This lesson has been created by Mrs. Holderith, one of our 7th-grade math teachers.


Types of Blended Learning

  • The Flipped Classroom Model– Students receive instruction (usually via video) at home and practice and apply concepts in class through projects and activities.
  • The Station Rotation Model-Stations are set up and students rotate through sets of activities at specific times. One station may be a tech-based station, one may be small group instruction. Students rotate through all stations.
  • Lab Rotation Model– Students receive traditional instruction and then rotate into a lab setting where online learning takes place. Online learning is personalized according to data specific needs.



6th Grade Orientation– Because we could not have our traditional 6th Grade Orientation, a group of 8th-grade students created short orientation videos to help our new students transition to middle school. There are 13 episodes that spotlight common areas in the building, explain our procedures, and is a way to help your child feel comfortable coming to their new school. You might like to re-watch the videos now that school is just around the corner. All of the 6th-grade orientation videos can be found at VTSD Studios. Click on the word Videos on the top and you will see all of our episodes as well as other VTSD videos and previous Board of Education meetings.


Informational Parent/Guardian LetterPlease click here to read the letter that was sent to you in a School Messenger email recently, many housekeeping topics are covered such as how to read your child’s schedule, how our Grab-n-Go lunch will work, and our district’s mask covering policy.


Virtual Back-to-School Night– Glen Meadow will be holding our Virtual Back-to-School Night, beginning at 5:00 pm on Friday, September 4, 2020. You will be able to go into each Schoology class where you and your child will find each teacher’s Back-to-School presentation. You will learn about your teacher and the class expectations. You will learn how each class will be organized whether your child is a Hybrid Learner or is Exclusively Virtual. Remember, that presentation will always be there for reference if you need to go back and review anything the teacher placed in this program. If you need a Schoology parent refresher course, click this link that will take you to our parent training page. In addition, you may want to access The Tech Resources for Parents page. There are some helpful training videos that you may want to watch prior to the year beginning.


Blue and Gold Schedule-Here is the district Blue and Gold schedule for reference.


6th Grade MANDATORY Immunizations to Attend School at GM


As per regulations with the NJ Department of Health (NJDOH), all incoming 6th graders, aged 11 years or older, must prove compliance with receiving their mandatory 6th-grade immunizations prior to attending school.  These immunizations include a tetanus booster (Tdap) and the meningococcal immunization.  If your child is under 11 years of age, they must receive Tdap and meningococcal vaccines once age 11 is reached.  The Department recommends the dose be received within two weeks of the 11th birthday. 


The NJDOH has made recent changes to their requirements, which reads:


“The value of immunizations is even more evident during this pandemic. Receiving timely immunizations and ensuring compliance with New Jersey school immunization requirements is key to reducing the potential for vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks. The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) will not waive the vaccine requirements nor will there be any extensions for the upcoming school year. Students will be expected to comply with all vaccine requirements prior to attending virtually or in-person at a New Jersey child care/preschool and school. New Jersey still allows for medical and religious exemptions when applicable.”


Parents/guardians are strongly encouraged to make an appointment with their child’s physician if immunizations are not yet up-to-date.  Reminders regarding this issue began at the end of 5th grade from Lounsberry Hollow School, with follow-up reminders being sent out over the summer from the main office at Glen Meadow Middle School. Another reminder letter was sent again this week.


Parents/guardians can email their child’s immunization schedule to the health office at  Also, schedules may be faxed to the health office at 973-764-0851.  If possible, hard copies may be dropped off at the school between the hours of 8 am and 4 pm.  If you have any questions, please call the nurse at 973-764-5839 or the main office at Glen Meadow Middle School.  


Mask Wearing– Facial coverings/masks are recognized as a valid tool in the fight against the COVID-19 spread. Based on CDC and State of NJ DOE/DOH guidelines, Glen Meadow Middle School will adhere to and enforce the following protocols:

Face coverings will be constructed of solid fabric cloth that provides full coverage of a person’s mouth and nose. Face coverings should not cover a person’s face above the nose, nor restrict visibility.

Students are required to wear a face-covering/mask while entering a school bus, being transported on a school bus, and departing a school bus.

Students are required to wear a face-covering/mask at all times while in school unless they are given direct guidance by an administrator, faculty member, or nurse to remove the covering. This will include, but not be limited to, school entry, all hallways, stairwells, bathrooms, classrooms, and all security and fire drills.

Face coverings with any design or symbol must be school appropriate and consistent with our current district dress code, Policy/Regulation 5511.

Face Covering Exceptions

Please note that consistent with The New Jersey Department of Education guidance on face coverings, that while all students are required to wear face coverings, exceptions include students with a documented medical condition or disability, as reflected in an IEP, that precludes the use of a face covering. Consistent with this guidance, please be aware there may be students present in school buildings and on district transportation who are unable to wear face coverings. 

For more information on face coverings and a complete list of exceptions please refer to: 

Update to Conditions of Learning, Health and Safety, “Critical Area of Operation #5: Screening, PPE, and Response to Students and Staff Presenting Symptoms” and “Critical Area of Operation #3: Transportation.”

School Supply ListPlease click here to reference this year’s School Supply List. This can also be found on the Digital Backpack.


Grab-and-Go Breakfast and Lunch- Here is Sodexo’s letter describing their cleaning procedures for meal preparation as well as our Grab-and-Go prices for breakfast and lunch. Students will be required to order a lunch by completing a Google form on a daily basis whether your child qualifies for free lunch or will be purchasing a lunch. It is not necessary to place an order for breakfast. Parents/guardians are requested to put money on their child’s MealTime account instead of sending your child to school with money to purchase breakfast and lunch. Students will be “grabbing” their pre-made lunch at four kiosks located by all exit doors. Lunch will not be served at school until we begin Phase IV (tentatively November 11, 2020). Students are permitted to bring a NUT FREE light snack to school. 


Some information on communication and the proper channels… As school begins, it is very important that we promote communication with you via this blog, emails, phone calls, our calendar, Friday School Messenger blasts, and the occasional memos that will be sent home with students. With this in mind, below are the steps to use as a reference if you need to reach someone at school to discuss an educational matter. These steps support direct, open, and respectful interactions so that problems and concerns can be worked out quickly and efficiently. Any question or concern should always start with the person listed in Step 1, as that person will usually has the most information on the topic. If you have a question or concern, please follow the steps listed below for the relevant topic.

Classroom Issues Involving an Individual Child

(Classroom procedures, behavior, bullying, HIB, grades, schedule, etc.)


Curriculum and Instruction

(Subject matter being taught, teaching strategies, textbooks and materials used, etc.)


STEP 1: Classroom Teacher; if not resolved…

STEP 2: School Counselor; if not resolved…(Grade 6-Ms. Regan, Grade 7- Mrs. Pisco, Grade 8- Mrs. Keane)

STEP 3: Director of Humanities, Mr. Vincent Gagliostro, or Director of Math and Science, Mr. Russ Rogers

STEP 4: Building Principal and/or Building Assistant Principal; if not resolved…

STEP 5: Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Charles McKay; if not resolved…

STEP 6: Superintendent of Schools, Ms. Karen D’Avino


Special Education, 504 Plans, and IEPs

STEP 1: Teacher, Specialist, or Child Study Team Member (Psychologist, School Counselor, Social Worker, Speech and Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist); if not resolved…

STEP 2: Case Manager; if not resolved…

STEP 3: Building Principal; if not resolved…

STEP 4: Supervisor of Special Services Grades 7-12- Mrs. Cheryl vonSalzen; if not resolved…

STEP 5: Superintendent of Schools, Ms. Karen D’Avino


Medical Concerns

STEP 1: School Nurse; if not resolved…

STEP 2: Building Principal; if not resolved…

STEP 3: Superintendent of Schools, Ms. Karen D’Avino


School Counseling and Related Services

STEP 1: School Counselor, Social Worker, School Psychologist; if not resolved…

STEP 2: Supervisor of School Counseling- Mrs. Kristin Gudenkauf; if not resolved…

STEP 3: Building Principal or Assistant Principal; if not resolved…

STEP 4: Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Charles McKay; if not resolved…

STEP 5: Superintendent of Schools, Ms. Karen D’Avino


Transportation Concerns

(Behavior on school buses, etc.)

STEP 1: Building Assistant Principal; if not resolved…

STEP 2: Building Principal; if not resolved…

STEP 3: Supervisor of Transportation, Mrs. Jamie VanGilist; if not resolved…

STEP 4: Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Charles McKay; if not resolved…

STEP 5: Superintendent of Schools, Ms. Karen D’Avino


We eagerly look forward to greeting our students in the coming weeks. Dr. Kosek and I are honored to serve as school leaders at Glen Meadow Middle School. Thank you for partnering with us this school year; while we know we will be facing many challenges, please know that your child’s health, safety, and education are very important to us.




Rosemary Gebhardt                                Eric Kosek, Ed. D

Principal                                                     Assistant Principal