News from the Superintendent

November 30, 2020

Dear Families,

The last nine months have been terribly trying on so many families and students. While there have been extreme challenges, the recent Thanksgiving Holiday has inspired me to report something other than challenge, uncertainly, and worry. This message is about all that we (as a school community) have accomplished. It is about the hope we have for the future as well as about the journey we have all been on. It is about finding a "silver lining" during a difficult time and maybe even about finding ways to reimagine how we do things amid the stressors of COVID-19 and finding how to simply do things better.

This newsletter is dedicated the the efforts and talents of everyone who is working on behalf of our children. I want to publicly acknowledge and thank our teachers for continuously inspiring our children and thank our parents for doing everything in their power to support their child's unique learning needs. It truly takes a village. In our case, a Viking village. Thanks for all you do!


Karen D'Avino

Superintendent of Schools

Vernon Township High School Students Take First Place at the TSA Competition

VTSD Prevails Over 28 Other NJ High Schools

In November our very own VTHS local TSA (Technology Student Association) Chapter Leadership (Seniors) participated in the NJIT/TCNJ-TSA Leadership State Challenge. Our Seniors competed (virtually) against 28 other High Schools throughout New Jersey. They needed to research, design, construct and test a prototype parachute system. Also, the team needed to provide supporting documentation that was submitted the night before. Our wonderful students, under the direction of Mr. Bruno and Mr. Focco placed first in the state! This is a great start to the TSA season for Vernon Township High School and they are recruiting members in grades 9-12 to compete virtually for the spring virtual TSA State competition hosted through TCNJ. This is just one of the examples of ways that our students have proven that competition, school pride, socialization, and academic fortitude can prevail over the virus.

Vernon Township School District

Should you wish to contact any faculty or administrator, the best way to do so during virtual learning is via email. All email addresses are first initial followed by last

Service Projects and Giving Back to our Community

This season our students faculty and community volunteers proved the the Viking spirit cannot be diminished, even during a pandemic. During one of the most difficult times in our nation's history, student volunteers cleaned yards and parks and made donations to families and organizations in need.

If you are in the position to give back, consider purchasing poinsettias from the Harvest House. This annual fundraiser provides important proceeds to keep the Community Lunch Program going.

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PreSchool Students Learning Every Day!

The Preschool program continues to learn about the importance of community through sharing toys, taking turns, and helping friends! In recent weeks the Pre-K honored our veterans, discussed Halloween safety and, most importantly enjoyed playing and learning in-person. While COVID has posed challenges for our youngest learners, the joy of learning on their faces and the high levels of engagement they enjoy with their classmates and teachers is invaluable.

Due to the virtual platform we are currently experiencing, Christmas came early from Secret Santa ,Mrs. Vanderbeck. She was awarded a $500 grant from author, James Patterson and was able to purchase a book for every preschooler. Additionally, she is in receipt of generous donations of brand new toys! We are grateful for the generosity and hard work of our faculty, staff, and volunteers.

Congratulations to Matthew Celentano for winning the VFW Patriot's Pen Essay Contest at Glen Meadow

Matthew Celentano won this year’s VFW Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest writing on the theme, “What Patriotism Means to Me”. His proud teachers are Ms. Krauss and Ms. Sisco. In Matt’s essay he writes about how proud he is of his grandfather who helped with the creation of The Northern NJ Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery in Sparta, NJ. Matthew will be reading his essay at the December Board of Education Public Meeting.

Glen Meadow Middle School Prepares for an Outdoor Classroom and Sensory Garden

Through a grant that art teacher Mrs. Lisa Hirkaler received fromThe NJEA Frederick L. Hipp Foundation for Excellence in Education, Glen Meadow Middle School is creating an outdoor classroom and sensory garden. This is a multi-class project involving Mrs. Hirkaler’s art students, Mrs. Stigler’s and Mr. DeYoung’s technology classes, Mrs. Bailey’s class, and the ICR classes of Mr. Galante. In addition, VTHS Junior, James Dorsey, from Boy Scout Troop 912, will be completing his Eagle Scout project in our outdoor classroom creating a walkway. Here is Mrs. Hirkaler’s watercolor rendering of what the outdoor classroom will look like upon completion, look closely at the picture, it labels information in our plan:

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