CGSD Newsletter

September 2018

Welcome Back!

Dear CGSD Community,

I hope this letter finds you and your family enjoying the opening weeks of school! We had a busy summer, but it's long behind us and our team of educators and support staff are ready to give of their time, energy, empathy, compassion and creativity. Welcome to the start of the 2018-19 school year!

I am amazed each time I visit one of our schools and witness the methods and tactics used to reach each child. I see educators inviting students to take ownership of their learning and taking risks with innovative practices that propel students to new heights. I smile knowing that we’re doing this not for ourselves, but for your children!

In fact, we have so many incredible people in our schools doing extraordinary work that it’s become the focus of this year's initiatives. Our administrative team undertook a summer book study, BrandED, written by Eric Sheninger and Trish Rubin, and during the 2018-19 school year, we will formally promote the Cedar Grove School District “brand” by telling our own story through social media, print media and face-to-face relationship-building. If we don’t tell our own story, someone else will!

With a focus on student achievement, innovative instructional practices, indicators of staff quality and extracurricular activities, we will work together to identify our own unique brand to promote and protect the interests of our schools and their achievements. Your administrative team is excited to share the highlights of their journey and partner with you to unleash the power of our story! Would you like to contribute to this process by becoming a Brand Ambassador for our district? Please reach out to your building principal (or myself) and let us know. Together we can accomplish great things!

And speaking of the CGSD's unique brand, in the coming days we will be launching our latest strategic planning process. The BOE has partnered with the Rutgers Center for Effective School Practices to facilitate a multi-year research-based plan, so stay tuned for additional details!

As the first few weeks of school unfolded, I am reminded of how fortunate I am to work in a school district as dedicated as ours to the well-being of children. I am proud of the direction we are headed and eagerly anticipate the spread of innovative practices that personalize student learning and promote the retention of big ideas that fuel creativity.



Michael J. Fetherman


Please reference the 2018-19 District Calendar for all of your monthly scheduling needs.

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Curriculum and Instruction Update: Mrs. Janine Barboza & Mr. Bart Pierson

English Department

Bart Pierson, K-12 English/Language Arts Supervisor

Elementary Level Language Arts

For the 2018-19 school year, there will be an increased focus on the instructional development of student writing skills with an emphasis on Grades 1-3. Likewise, teachers will continue to focus on alignment of writing and reading comprehension skills with the New Jersey Student Learning Standards in order to boost a smoother transition from the elementary schools to the Middle School.

Middle School/High School English

Middle school and high school teachers will likewise continue to focus on the development of student writing skills as well as individual instructional practices that have led to success. Teachers will be observing each other in the classroom in order to refine and share “best practice” lessons, specific writing-based methodology, and differentiated learning.

New Curriculum Developed for 2018-19

The 1-4 Health curriculum was rewritten last year to address current health-related topics as well as lifelong fitness and healthy lifestyle choices. Implementation of this new curriculum began this September.

Curriculum Priorities for 2018-19

Currently, the K-4 Social Studies curriculum is scheduled to be rewritten to address further alignment to state standards and to develop additional connections between Social Studies content and nonfiction reading comprehension. This rewrite will include addressing our ever-changing world and state culture as well as to further develop student map skills. This curricular update will also include the adoption of a new textbook series.

Other New Curriculum to Be Implemented This Year

Engineering Robotics (Grades 11-12)

Grade 7 Math

Grade 7 Accelerated Math

Math/Science Department

Janine Barboza, K-12 English/Language Arts Supervisor

Financial Literacy to be revised to include more “real-life application” projects and tasks over terms and definitions. The teachers of this course plan on extending the College portion in the “Game of Life” structure in order to increase relevance to the students.

Engineering Robotics is new to the CGHS program of studies. David Coster will lead students through a year-long course designed to introduce the design and engineering processes. Through lab assignments, group projects, online resources, and authentic learning experiences, students will develop the skills required to design, build, and program autonomous robots. The Engineering Robotics course is characterized by self-directed personalized instruction, differentiated for students with various levels of computer programming proficiency. The use of open-source hardware and software, in conjunction with an online community of makers and coders, will expose students to the latest technological advancements. The course concludes with students applying their knowledge of microprocessors, circuitry, design, and engineering to produce an original invention or innovation of an existing product.

Computer Programming, in Year 2, will be expanding to encompass a full year of Python. Computer Science Principles is staying the same.

Connected Math is rolling out in Grade 8!

For more information on the Mrs. Barboza's vision for Math/Science instruction, click here:

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The CGSD website has better functionality and a new look! Updates and important information from each school can be found at your fingertips. Whether you're looking for policy guidance, the delayed opening schedule or the Friday Folder, we've got you covered!

CGSD Back-to-School Nights

Sept. 20 - CGHS Open House: Grades 9-12 Early Dismissal

Sept. 27 - MMS Open House: Grades 5-8 Early Dismissal

Oct. 4 - NE & SE Open House: PreK-4 Early Dismissal

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School safety and security is our top priority. To further enhance the safety of our students and staff, the Board of Ed will be conducting a Voter Referendum on Tuesday, Oct. 2. Polls will be open from 2 - 8 PM.

The remaining information sessions will be held as follows:

  • Sept. 20 @ 6:15 PM, CGHS Auditorium (Open House)
  • Sept. 20 @ 7:30 PM, SE Media Center (FSA Meeting)
  • Sept. 27 @ 6:30 PM, MMS Auditorium (Open House)

Please see the attached Quick Facts and FAQs for detailed information. Additional information can be found in the Friday Folder.

CGSD is Back to School!

Opening Day at SE School!
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Click above to view each team's athletic schedule, obtain directions, secure athletic participation and physical packet, research NCAA Clearinghouse requirements, and more!

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CGSD Proudly Welcomes New Incoming Staff!

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Cedar Grove Waves 2018

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