Dear Cedar Mountain Families:

Welcome to Fall! I would like to welcome Mrs. Kristin Gudenkauf, who will be serving as Cedar Mountain’s Acting Principal, as I move to the Vernon Board of Education office to serve in the role of Acting Assistant Superintendent. Mrs. Gudenkauf is a Vernon graduate and has been an elementary teacher at Walnut Ridge and Cedar Mountain. In addition, she has served as a Math Coach, Assistant Principal at Lounsberry Hollow, Glen Meadow, and VTHS, and Supervisor of School Counseling. Mrs. Gudenkauf will begin her transition from her current role as Assistant Principal at VTHS to Cedar Mountain Acting Principal during the week of September 26th. Mrs. Gudenkauf’s email address is As always, please call the main office at 973-764-2890 if you would like to speak with Mrs. Gudenkauf.



A few reminders of upcoming dates:

School will be closed in observance of Yom Kippur on Wednesday, October 5th

School will be closed for students on Monday, October 10th for our Teacher In-Service

Early Dismissal Days will be on Tuesday through Friday, October 11-14th. Parent pick up is at 1:10 pm. Buses will leave the driveway at approximately 1:25 pm

Zoom Parent Conferences are listed below, you will soon be invited by your child’s teacher to select a conference date and time:

Tuesday, October 11th: 4:00 to 7:00 pm

Wednesday, October 12th: 2:15-4:00 pm

Thursday, October 13th: 2:15-4:00 pm

Friday, October 14th: 2:15-4:00 pm



Fall Harvest Open House: We had a very successful Fall Harvest Open House! Below are some pictures from this event. Thank you to the Glen Meadow National Junior Honor Society and the VTHS Key Club students that volunteered at this program.





Principal’s Forum: Thank you to Mrs. Battista, Math Interventionist, Mrs. Gibson, Speech Therapist, Ms. Green, School Counselor, and Mrs. Krops, Reading Specialist, for presenting at this year’s program that described our academic programs at Cedar Mountain. PLEASE CLICK HERE to access the slides that were presented.




Teacher of the Year Program:  You are invited to nominate a teacher for the annual NJ Department of Education Governor’s Teacher of the Year and Governor’s Educational Services Professional of the Year. Please use THIS FORM to nominate a teacher at Cedar Mountain. Our building selection will be made in early November. There are so many outstanding professionals in Cedar Mountain for you to consider! Last year’s recipients were Mrs. Diana Czergovits, kindergarten teacher, and Mrs. Ashley Karlewicz, Speech/Language Specialist. 

Each candidate should:

  • Inspire students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn;
  • Serves as an exceptionally skilled and dedicated educator in a public or charter school;
  • Expresses themselves in an engaging and articulate way;
  • Plays an active role in the community as well as the school;
  • Demonstrates leadership and innovation in and outside the classroom;
  • Has the respect and admiration of students, parents, and colleagues




Amira- Our first-grade students are taking their fall baseline reading assessment using Amira. Amira is an Artificial Intelligence online tool that assesses oral reading fluency and analyzes errors to pinpoint strengths and areas in which a student needs growth. Amira generates diagnostic reports that help teachers understand each student’s reading needs to place students in appropriate reading groups. Our first-graders will use Amira three times this year to continue to measure students’ reading growth including comprehension. Below are pictures of Mrs. Krops, Reading Specialist, and Ms. LaBar, teacher, administering Amira to students. Kindergarten students will be using Amira later this year. Please ask your child’s first-grade teacher more about this assessment. If you would like to read more about Amira, PLEASE CLICK THIS LINK.





Fundations: Fundations is our Word Study/Phonics program used in grades K-3. Please access the DIGITAL BACKPACK, scroll down to Cedar Mountain and click on the Fundations Parent Support Pack. You can follow along unit-by-unit with your child’s class. There are multiple activities you can do with your child at home to support this program.



Morning Meeting: Every day our students begin the day with a Morning Meeting. During this special time of the day, students greet one another in unique ways to learn each other’s names through games and chants, receive a peek of the day’s learning, practice math using Calendar Math, and develop important social skills to learn how to be a good citizen in the classroom and throughout Cedar Mountain. Morning Meeting helps students prepare for the day to become a ready learner and develop their self-regulation skills. Below are some pictures during Morning Meeting time.




Artists of the Day: Our art teacher, Mrs. Patchell, has so many talented art students! This year Mrs. Patchell is selecting Artists of the Day. Please enjoy these photographs of our proud students as they pose for their pictures. 




What Makes You Happy? Annually, The Center for Prevention and Counseling sponsors the “What Makes You Happy?” campaign. Mr. Hernandez, our Physical Education teacher, will be working with students on this project. Mr. Hernandez will be having students draw pictures of some of the favorite things our students like to do and the hobbies we are developing as youngsters. Students’ pictures will be entered into this contest. ATTACHED HERE IS THE INFORMATION on this campaign if you would like your child to work on this at home as well. Our Vernon Schools always has many winners in this contest that will be published in The NJ Herald. 




Field Trip to Pennings in Warwick: Thank you to our generous Cedar Mountain SCA, which has funded the buses for our fall trip to Pennings to have a fall experience. Our kindergarten students will be attending this trip on Tuesday, October 18th and our first-graders will be attending on Wednesday, October 19th. There are two rain dates, if needed, on Thursday and/or Friday, October 20th and 21st. The cost of the trip is $10.00 per student. Permission slips will be sent home the week of September 26th. If you would like to sponsor a student whose family may not have the funds for this trip, you will be receiving a special envelope for your generous donation.




Week of Respect: The week of October 3rd is our annual Week of Respect- it is a week that we focus on how we can show kindness to each other in many ways. Our classroom teachers will be conducting short activities with their students in commemoration of this week. Each day during this week we will celebrate The Week of Respect in a special way. We will also have a concert by Kira Willey a children’s songwriter, author, and yoga instructor who writes stories for children and how they can develop their self-regulation skills and ways to stay calm in challenging times.

Monday, October 3: “Stomp Out Bullying”-Wear a Blue Shirt for World Day of Bullying Prevention

Tuesday, October 4: Wear your pajama pants- to “put bullying to bed”

Wednesday, October: No School

Thursday, October 6: Vikings Stand United Against Bullying Day- “Team Vernon” wear your favorite Vernon gear

Friday, October 7: Dare to be Different Day-Wear a crazy hairstyle or a hat



Vernon VFW 1st Grade Coloring Contest: All first-graders are invited to participate in the annual VFW Patriotic Coloring Contest. Your child will receive a choice of coloring pages. Each student should place his/her name on the back. First, second, and third-place winners will be announced by Mrs. Auberger from the VFW Ladies Auxiliary at the Veteran’s Day Parade in November.



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.




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.



SCA Meetings

I would like to thank our 22-23 SCA officers for serving our school this year, their dedication to our school is greatly appreciated! They are…

President: Megan Kapusta

Vice President: Rose Ahearn

Recording Secretary: Ericka Petrucci

Treasurer: Rachel Cawley

Corresponding Secretary: Viviana Quiros


Our next SCA meeting will be held on October 6th, at 9:45 am, in the cafeteria. The meeting will also have a Zoom link open for anyone who cannot attend the in-person meeting. HERE IS THE ZOOM LINK. Those online are encouraged to be active participants with our parents and guardians who are in person. If you would like to read the minutes of September’s meeting. Please go to the Cedar Mountain website and click on PARENT GROUPS/SCA. This will take you to the district SCA page where you can read our minutes and access other Cedar Mountain information. Please note the following upcoming SCA events:

  • Pretzels/Popcorn/Pizza Fundraiser will run from September 19 through October 4, 2022-order forms will be given to homeroom teachers shortly
  • Puravida Bracelets Spirit wear sale- Fundraiser- CLICK HERE for the order form
  •  “Smencils” Fundraiser begins on October 3rd- form to order pencils will follow
  • SCA Hoe Down- Friday, October 7th from 5:30 to 7:00 pm, held in the lower parking lot. There will be a food truck and a “caller” who will lead our students in various dances. HERE IS the sign-up sheet.


Here are some helpful memos and information for the beginning of the school year




DIGITAL BACKPACKthis page contains many district letters, scroll down to read Cedar Mountain-specific letters. Remember, this is where the Fundations Parent Support Pack can be found as well.



As always, thank you for partnering with all of us at Cedar Mountain School! Our school year is off to a great start! 


Rosemary Gebhardt