Dear Cedar Mountain Families:

Our students have been enjoying the month of February which is filled with learning opportunities such as Ground Hog’s Day to having fun with numbers as we celebrate 2-2-22 and look forward to celebrating the 100th day of the year,  2-22-22, as well as learning about Black History Month. Kindergarten students are learning about addition and have begun guided reading groups. Some classes made time capsules to commemorate the special activities of this month. We also celebrate our 1st-grade Students of the Month and are proud of how they serve as role models for our school.



As a Reminder…School is closed on Monday, February 21, AND Tuesday, February 22, 2022, for observance of President’s Day



Presidents Song: Introducing first-grader Gabby who has memorized all the presidents by singing their names. Gabby will sing the presidents’ names for our school on February 23rd in honor of Presidents’ Day.





It’s “Read the McKay” Way time!  Our students are enjoying the district-wide reading initiative, which honors Dr. Charles McKay, who will be retiring at the end of the school year. We encourage every student 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 may 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.



School Spirit Week: VTSD schools are showing their school spirit during Valentine’s week…here are our scheduled dress-up days…

Monday, February 14th – Wear Red –  Show Your Love and Kindness on Valentine’s Day

Tuesday, February 15th –  100th Day of the Year- your classroom teacher will give you information on this day

Wednesday, February 16th – Wear a Sweater –  Warm Up with Kindness

Thursday, February 17th –  Wear Team Apparel – Be a Part of Team Kindness

Friday, February 18th –  Wear Pajamas –  Dream of Kindness





100th Day of the Year Fun: Tuesday, February 15, 2022, is our 100th day of the year, and it’s like a holiday at Cedar Mountain. Students were involved in activities surrounding the number 100. In Mrs. Sweeney’s class, students had to think like a scientist and decide if the containers of items actually contained 100 things like keys, blocks, and math counters and tell how they knew. Many students dressed as if they are 100 years old…there were a lot of gray-haired “grandparent look-alikes” in our school!! One “grandmother” actually gave me a hard candy! In other classes, students created necklaces with 100 pieces of cereal or beads, classes learned how to tally by 5s and count to 100, and other classes made trail mix that contained 100 edible treats. Mrs. Yarosz took pictures of her students that “aged” them to be 100!


Congratulations to our February Students of the Month! Check out each student’s proud picture!

























Saluting our Vets: Cedar Mountain students have been making Valentines for Vets this month as part of a program supported by Congressman Josh Gottheimer from the 5th Congressional District. The Valentines that we are making will be sent to VA hospitals in New Jersey. We have also created a Salute to Vets showcase where some of our Valentines are on display.





February is Dental Health Month: Thank you to hygienist, Miss Lisa, from Dr. Mike’s office in Sparta, who came to CMPS to make a special Dental Health presentation. Students learned about the tools the hygienist and dentist use in our mouth and on our teeth and students learned about foods they should avoid to keep their teeth healthy. Miss Lisa brought “Dudley the Dinosaur” to demonstrate how you should brush your teeth. All students received a dental goodie bag to use at home.






Celebrating 2-2-22: Many classes made time capsules and also wrote letters to themselves to be opened on 3-3-33 when our students are either a junior or senior in high school. Mrs. Yarosz’s class recognized “Two’s Day” on February 2, 2022. It was a very special day since Mrs. Yarosz’s class of first-grade students will participate in a “Three’s Day”, on March 3, 2033, when they are high school seniors!! To mark this memorable day, Mrs. Yarosz’s class created a time capsule. Students noted various things about their first-grade year: age, grade, school, teacher, president, and a goal they have for this year. Students recorded their favorites: food, subject, song, TV show, animal, and book. They also traced the size of their hands. Students then looked forward to the future (2033), they wrote how old they will be, how they hope they will be, a goal that they hope to achieve, and what their future career plans are. Mrs. Yarosz sealed up the time capsules for her students and they will be mailed to each student in 11 years!






Virtual Author Visit: Our students will continue monthly Zoom visits with author, songwriter, and yoga instructor, Kira Willey.  Kira Willey will be using her books to teach us mindfulness and self-regulation skills that will complement our Social and Emotional (SEL) instruction used every day at school. Our next Virtual Author Visit will take place on Wednesday, February 16th.

Kira Willey will read and demonstrate simple, fun mindfulness exercises–specifically designed to help children calm themselves, focus their energy, and let go of stress–from her six children’s mindfulness books, including the #1 bestseller Breathe Like a Bear. She’ll also perform her original songs, and lead simple, fun rhythm games and chair-based movement. Kira’s visits will complement the training we have received from our Trauma-Informed team that focuses on The Circle of Courage.  The Circle of Courage is a model of positive youth development based on the universal principle that to be emotionally healthy all youth need a sense of belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity.

Kira Willey with Mrs. Giagrande’s class



VTHS Key Club Winter Wonderland: Cedar Mountain would like to thank the HS Key Club for coming to our school to hold a Winter Wonderland program. The high school students prepared multiple stations for students to create, imagine, explore, socialize, and play. Some of the stations included hand art/temporary tattoos, making snowflakes and winter scenes, creating tissues flowers, scratch art designing, paper plate designs, and creating Valentine cards. In the gym, students played corn hole, parachute games, bowled for stickers, played velcro darts, and took winter selfies with an ice castle theme. Keeping with the theme of “the winter games”, students earned medals for their efforts. This event was made possible by a generous NJ Education Association Pride Grant procured by the Vernon Township Education Association.



Game Days at Cedar Mountain: Cedar Mountain will be having planned Game Days with all of our students beginning in March. We will start small with a designated time and day in all classrooms. Our goal is to expand our Game Day to involve blending classes and then grade levels by year’s end so that all of our students across the building get to play together and interact. 

We are very excited to bring back Game Day to Cedar Mountain School! This building-based activity supports students’ social/emotional skills in a natural play environment, as we know, play is the work of childhood. We are asking parents/guardians to donate a game or puzzle that you might already have at home. We kindly request that if you are donating to this program, the game/board game/puzzle be in good condition with all its parts, and one that can be played together in a group of three or four children. 

Below is a list of some suggested games we would like for our students.

Puzzles: no more than 50 pieces (floor puzzles are great)

Game examples:



Connect Four




Board Game examples:

Candy Land

Chutes and Ladders 

Don’t Break the Ice 

Hi Ho Cherry O 


Yeti in my Spaghetti 


Math Night: Thank you to Mrs. Battista for organizing our Family Math Night that will take place on Tuesday, March 1, at 6:00 pm. PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR THE LETTER ABOUT THE EVENT.    Please note, you must sign up for this program as materials will be given to each family that can be used at home to continue to reinforce math concepts taught at school.


Reading Night: Later this spring, we will be holding a Family Reading Night organized by our Reading Specialist, Mrs. Krops. Please look for information to follow in the coming weeks.


Next SCA Meeting: Monday, March 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! The Mr. Cupcake Fundraiser was a great success. Pick-up will take place on Thursday, February 17th, and Friday, February 18th, after school. Thank you also for purchasing “Smencils” for your child that they received on Valentine’s Day. SAVE THE DATE! Our Mother/Special Person/Son Dance will be held on Friday, March 25, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. Information will follow with details and a sign-up. Our Father/Special Person/Daughter Dance will be held on Friday, April 8th, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. We are looking for parent volunteers for both events. 


Executive SCA Ladies Night Out: The Executive Ladies Night Out will take place on Friday, April 22nd. PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR AN INFORMATIONAL FLYER ON THE EVENT. The Executive SCA is looking for donations for the event, there is a link on the flyer to Amazon for your consideration; thank you for your generosity. The Ladies Night Out event benefits the scholarship program for our VTHS graduating seniors


SchoolStore Spring Fundraiser: This Spring you have 160 chances to win one of the prizes in the $100,000 Family Fun Giveaway. PLEASE CLICK HERE for a flyer with all of the information you need to know!



Love of Reading Week: Here is a schedule of activities going on the week of March 7th to celebrate the Love of Reading and “Read the McKay Way”…

Monday, March 7th: “Get Cozy with a Good Book”   –Wear comfy clothes, crazy socks, & BRING IN a book to read

Tuesday, March 8th: “Books are Fun!”  –Wear tie-dye & bright clothing!   

Wednesday, March 9th: “Wacky Wednesday”  –Wear a crazy hat or hair!

Thursday, March 10th: “Wear Words Close to Your Heart”   –Wear a readable shirt

Friday, March 11th: “Favorite Book Character” -Dress as your favorite character from a book


Kindergarten NJ Child Assault Prevention Program: The NJ CAP Program aims to prevent child assault by teaching children to recognize and deal with potentially dangerous situations and by training teachers and parents/guardians to help prevent the victimization of children; their slogan “Empowering our Children to be Safe, Strong, and Free”. CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE NJ CAP WEBSITE. The classroom workshop combines guided group discussion with a series of role-plays focusing on situations children may sometimes encounter a child-to-child assault, adult stranger-to-child assault, and an assault involving an adult known to the child.  Discussion helps children identify what options they have to protect themselves.  The developmentally appropriate strategies focused on are self-assertion, peer support, and telling a trusted adult. Our kindergarten students will have this program in their classrooms in March. HERE IS THE LETTER THAT WAS SENT HOME FOR REFERENCE.


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 or bring 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 recently added an additional day off for our students on Tuesday, February 22, 2022. Our schools will now be closed on Monday, February 21 and 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!




As a reminder, Check out the Vernon School District App…add it to your device to have VTSD information at your fingertips. The app will have stay connected to all schools in our district. You will get notification of important school and district events, including delayed openings, early dismissals, and emergency school closing right on your phone.


It is an honor to have a parent partnership with you regarding your child’s education….


Rosemary Gebhardt