CGSD Newsletter

October 2018

Dear CGSD Community,

Where did September go? You know what they say...time flies when you're having fun! The month of October has been filled with student-centered engagement, personalized learning for staff and countless co-curricular activities and events, some of which we'd like to feature in this month's CGSD Newsletter!

Showcased this month is the FearlesslyGIRL Summit (See website here) held at CGHS. Featured as one of our "Week of Respect" activities, this event was more than we could have hoped. Internationally recognized and dedicated to creating a "Kinder Girl World" in schools and communities across North America, FearlesslyGIRL is specifically designed to target the unique challenges girls face and provides them with the tools and confidence to become more kinder and supportive of one another. Girls participated in group discussions and activities designed to boost self esteem and create a sense of sisterhood and support. By some accounts, this half-day program was a life-changing experience; it offered our girls a safe, conversational environment to help break down barriers and share experiences.

Led by Kate Whitfield, founder of FearlesslyGIRL, topics covered included self esteem, body image and the pressure to be perfect; girl world relationships; conflict resolution tips and building healthy relationships; navigating the complicated world of girls' online relationships; self respect and self worth - helping girls discover authentic confidence and inspire others; the power of kind - inspiring girls to connect with and support each other, commit acts of kindness and build a kinder girl world.

Dr. Robyn Silverman, Child and Teen Development Specialist, was also present at this event. Dr. Robyn recently interviewed Kate on her podcast entitled, "How to talk to Girls about Overcoming Fears and Embracing Kindness." Dr. Robyn also participated in the workshop, helping facilitate group discussion. Here is the link to Dr. Robyn's page as well as the podcast Dr. Robyn Podcast with Kate

Feedback from our girls who attended the workshop has been overwhelmingly positive and strategic planning is underway to sustain the lessons learned from FearlesslyGIRL through follow up meetings on the topics mentioned above. Please see the attached video clip of when all the girls "threw away" their fears!



Michael J. Fetherman


REFERENDUM PASSES! School safety, security and site improvements on the way!

The Bond Referendum held on October 2, 2018 passed by overwhelming majority! Unofficial totals have it 809 YES to 266 NO votes, with provisional ballots yet to be certified.

Our immediate next steps include conducting final walk-throughs of each building to finalize all project drawings and securing bids for the security vestibules at CGHS and MMS. Please visit the Friday Folder for additional information regarding this important project.

The CGSD Welcomes Mrs. LeighAnn Tedesco, LCSW

It is with great enthusiasm that the CGSD initiates the R.I.S.E. program for the 2018-2019 school year! R.I.S.E. (Reaching Individuals Socially and Emotionally) has been created to assist students with developing better emotional and social skills. Through assisted counseling sessions with a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, LCSW, students will work on basic needs identification and strategies to overcome challenging issues. The program's focus will also include other individual needs as determined by the R.I.S.E. team, which, along with Mrs. Tedesco, is comprised of administration, guidance and Child Study Team members.

Mrs. Tedesco is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a private practice in Montclair, NJ. She has over 25 years' worth of experience in the mental health field in the following settings:

1. Hackensack UMC at Mountainside as an inpatient clinician and ER crisis counselor;

2. CompCare in Lyndhurst, NJ, as an outpatient clinician;

3. East Orange General Hospital where she served as both an inpatient clinician and liaison to Marlboro State Hospital and Essex County Hospital Center.

Mrs. Tedesco's expertise is in treating individuals and families with anxiety disorders, mood disorders, depression, women’s issues and life transition. She has a BA in Sociology from Wagner College in NY and a Masters in Social Work from NYU. Additionally, she has post-masters training in psychotherapy from the Institute for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis of NJ (IPPNJ).

Mrs. Tedesco (see photo below) resides in Essex County with her husband, 2 children and their dog, Cooper.

Big picture

October EdCamp a Huge Success; Staff PD a District Priority

The CGSD staff participated in an October 8 EdCamp (see photo below) that featured several interesting workshops, two of which focused on mathematics and science. In “Science Literacy,” consultant Nancy Fredrick led teachers through a series of reading and writing strategies applicable to science and other non-fiction subjects. Teachers then participated in a seminar with K-12 Math/Science Supervisor Janine Barboza in which they were exposed to “3 Act Lessons” and “Low Floor- High Ceiling” problem-solving approaches. CLick here to review other topics explored during our Oct. 8 EdCamp:

“Moby Day” came to Cedar Grove on October 9. Over 20 teachers from all 4 buildings participated in a full-day workshop to learn about the many facets of the online assessment system, Moby Max.

While the district has been using Moby Max primarily for mathematics, we are looking to take full advantage of the Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies components as well as all of the diagnostic tools and data available through the program. Teachers are working to develop presentations, informational guides, and video tutorials to successfully turnkey what they learned at this session to their grade level teams.

K - 8 teachers are continuing to take courses at Conquer Mathematics including a 3-part series in Assessment as well as Literature in Mathematics (see photos below). Several teachers from multiple grade levels will be attending workshops at PRISM in Montclair State in the coming months.

Parents can access several resources to support what our students are learning in the math classroom. Check these out:

Bedtime Math: this is a new, free app created for young children and PK - 2 students. Cedar Grove has developed a community account.

Illuminations: This site, from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), features complete lesson plans, mobile games for students, interactive activities and brain teasers.

Illustrative Math: High-quality educational resources for teachers and students. Excellent math tasks, videos, lesson plans and problem-based curriculum modules.

Khan Academy: Khan Academy is on a mission to give a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere. Their personalized learning resources are available for all ages. Video learning segments are followed by practice activities.

Basic Skills reinforcement and materials:,,,,,

Big picture

NE Annual Safety Walk!

North End held their annual Safety Walk for PreK &. K students on Friday, October 12. Detective Lynch, Fire Fighter Freitas and friends taught our students about safely walking throughout town and fire safety.

Big picture
Big picture
Rikki-Tikki-Tavi Activity
Big picture

CGHS Talks About the Dangers of Vaping ... and the Extent of the Problem

Timothy Schomaker (, nationally recognized speaker, trainer and consultant, visited CGHS to speak with students about the dangers of vaping and the challenges our kids face with this habit-forming addiction. Tim's presentation was well-received and provided a meaningful message for further discussion. Check out this short video clip to learn more:
Big picture

MADISON CHESNEY named CGHS Student of the Month!

In physical education/health, students are allowed more freedom to expose their competitive nature, sportsmanship, strategic competencies, social interactions, and work ethic. Madison (see photo below) is one of those students who succeeds in all of these areas. In today’s society where instant gratification is expected, Ms. Chesney rises above the social norms and encompasses a strong foundation of necessary characteristics to stand out from the crowd. She is consistently respectful in a way that is innate and natural. Congratulations, Madison!

Big picture
Big picture