Cedar Hill Prep Blog

The Power to Change: A Cedar Hill Prep Family Promotes Literacy with a New Graphic Novel Series

Posted by Helen Gocher on Dec 6, 2016 9:21:02 AM

When the drowsy sun escapes her days for an early slumber and the crisp nights scatter snowflakes in a dance across sky, we collectively comprehend that we’ve entered the holiday season — a bustling time brimming with excitement, when families trim trees, stuff stockings, sing carols, light candles, exchange presents, and prepare feasts. The holidays are filled with faith, love, laughter, childhood wonder, and celebrations.

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Topics: School Beliefs, Middle School, Elementary

Interview With A Top Cedar Hill Prep Alumnus: Nima

Posted by Donald Seeley on Dec 5, 2016 9:48:42 AM

One of the best ways to measure the success of a school is through its alumni. Here at Cedar Hill Prep, we take tremendous pride in our alumni and what they have accomplished since leaving. We talked with Nima, a 2015 graduate, about his life so far after CHP.

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Topics: Competition, Prospective Parents, School Beliefs, Middle School

Cedar Hill Prep Is More Than A School — It's A Vibrant Community.

Posted by Donald Seeley on Nov 30, 2016 9:34:18 AM

In the United States alone, there are well over 130,000 schools, both public and private. While some can boast about academics, extracurriculars, or top college admission rates, not many can say they are a true community. 

Some schools may be too large, too bureaucratic, or may simply not consider it important for a school to be a community. However, no matter where you look, you will be hard-pressed to find a better community atmosphere than at Cedar Hill Prep.

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10 Historical Places In New Jersey To Take Your Kids To This Fall

Posted by Nandini Menon on Nov 16, 2016 9:48:00 AM

With the explosion of Pokémon GO, historic sites across the country and the world are seeing an uptick in visitors. However, a visit to a historic site should be more than just a Pokestop.

New Jersey is home to some amazing U.S. history. From battlegrounds to lighthouses and villages preserved in time, New Jersey has a wealth of places to visit that will keep kids engaged and interested in more than just trying to catch Pokémon.

Need some inspiration? No problem. Here are just 10 of some great places to visit in The Garden State.

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Topics: Prospective Parents, School Beliefs, Middle School, preschool, Elementary

Millennials Prefer Small Private Schools For Their Children

Posted by Nandini Menon on Nov 11, 2016 10:26:49 AM

As many of you know, my grown son went off to college last year.

The other day, he shared with me that he sees a large deficit in problem solving skills and critical thinking skills on campus. He has noticed a great lack of an insatiable love for learning among his classmates. He mentioned that while most kids are really smart, there is a very apparent gap between those who went to public school and those who went to small private schools. When he and his classmates discussed these observations, many agreed and went on to mention that they are planning to send their own future children to small private schools. 

Hearing this, I wasn't surprised. The CAPE, the Council for American Private Education, recently asked:

"If it were your decision and you could select any type of school, and financial costs and transportation were of no concern, what type of school would you select in order to obtain the best education for your child?"

  • 43% (2012: 38%) of Millennials said they would select a private school (including independent, parochial, and religious)
  • 28% (2012: 30%) would choose a regular public school
  • 13% (2012: 11%) would home school
  • 8% (2012: 9%) said they would choose a charter school
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Topics: Prospective Parents, School Beliefs, Middle School

Keeping Our Children Safe: Safety Rules at CHP

Posted by Nandini Menon on Oct 28, 2016 8:58:59 AM

Welcome back to school!

With the school year in full swing, it's a very good time to remind ourselves of the safety precautions we can all take to ensure that our children remain secure.

As many of you know, the security of your children and our staff is a top priority here at CHP, but it takes the dedication of everyone in the community to maintain the highest possible security standards. Students, parents, teachers, and administrators all play a part in keeping each other safe.

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Topics: Prospective Parents, School Beliefs

How Your Child Can Go From Straight A's To Straight F's

Posted by Helen Gocher on Oct 7, 2016 2:55:46 PM

Do you remember the last time you failed at something and someone rubbed it in your face like you were a puppy being house-broken?

I’m sure you felt ready to take on the world, right? Or how about that amazing time you felt inspired, encouraged, and believed in enough to tackle that tremendous challenge again after being reminded of how royally you ruined your previous attempt — do you remember that? Do you remember how your self-confidence felt completely restored?


Yeah, neither do I.

I’m not saying there isn’t that 1% of humanity who rises up from the ashes of failure all by themselves and flies away on magical flaming phoenix wings of success.

But the majority of us wouldn’t get anywhere worth going in this life without some wind beneath those wings. (My inner high school self is cringing at the 1980s Bette Midler reference, but c’est la vie.)

Take off your parent hat for a moment and think back to when you were a child. Who was your wind? Who lifted you up when you were covered in your proverbial ashes, dusted you off, and made you feel like you could soar again? Was it a beloved grandparent? Perhaps an invested teacher?

As a parent, wouldn’t it fill your heart with unparalleled joy to hear your children say that, in times of personal failure, you were the wind that lifted them up, not the weight that held them down?  

“But if they don’t make straight A’s in middle school, they’ll never get into a good high school!”

“And if they don’t make straight A’s in high school, they’ll never get into a good college!”

“And if they don’t make straight A’s in college, they’ll never get chosen for that graduate program, fellowship, medical school, law school, etc.!”

“And if they never get those few elite letters at the beginning or end of their names, then they’ll never have a good career, or good money, or good ANYTHING!”

Cue the parental harping, and the lecturing, and the never letting a single infraction slide. Because in today’s competitive, dog-eat-dog world, good is never good enough, right? But what happens when even that A is no longer good enough? What happens when your child brings home a test to be signed and points to the grade at the top? Do you instantly focus on the few marked wrong instead of the majority marked right? And what happens when that test grade actually is an A? Be honest. Are you the parent who asks, “Where’s the plus?”

You might be laughing. You might be thinking, “No one would say THAT. That’s preposterous.” But I know children who actually fear bringing home an A. May we please pause and think about that for one moment?

Afraid of getting an A.

The insanity of that statement staggers the mind, but don’t take my word for it. Google the words “school stress” and be prepared to peruse page after page of articles and videos. The research is clear and the reports, studies, surveys, and statistics are, sadly, plenteous.

Today’s educational landscape for far too many middle and high school students is dark and riddled with anxiety, stress, sleep-deprivation, clinical depression, and unfathomable horrors like self-harm and — every parent’s worst nightmare — suicide. Even the most loving, most well-meaning parents can inadvertently trap their children under this avalanche of pressure. There’s a reason people say the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Your child, my child, their classmates — what they truly need from us, what they truly deserve for success and happiness in both school and life is not a push for more A’s, or even A plusses, but 4 solid F’s.

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Interview With A Top Cedar Hill Prep Alumnus: Pranav

Posted by Nandini Menon on Oct 5, 2016 1:33:09 PM

Meet Pranav. Pranav is an alumnus of Cedar Hill Prep (2nd through 8th grade) and is currently in his sophomore year at Princeton Day School after having completed a successful freshman year.  

We asked him to share some of his experiences and how they have shaped his academic and social experiences since graduating from Cedar Hill Prep.  

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Why Your Child Should Join Our Robotics Club

Posted by Nandini Menon on Sep 28, 2016 11:36:25 AM

You might have heard: At the end of the last school year, our Robotics Team traveled to Leipzig, Germany for the RoboCup 2016, a worldwide meeting of high-performance robots and 3,500 participants from 45 countries and regions who competed in 17 disciplines.

Since the Cedar Hill Prep Robotics Club had previously won the US championship, Arjun Agrawal, Aarav Gupta, Nitasha Gupta, Nivritti Mantha, and their coach, Neetika Bhalla, represented Team USA in the category OnStage which involved programming the robots to dance to music. After an intense competition, the team won first place for Super Teams at this World Competition!

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Preschool Options In Somerset, NJ & How To Choose The Best For Your Child

Posted by Nandini Menon on Sep 16, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Choosing the right preschool is a choice many parents have a hard time with because, for most, this is the first time they will have to dip their toes into making formal education choices. Thankfully, there are a lot of different options in Central New Jersey where the education system ranks second nationwide!

Since this is a hard decision for many to make, we thought we would put the best preschool options together for you — including some pros and cons for each choice.

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Topics: Prospective Parents, preschool

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Our goal with this blog is to provide parents, students, staff and prospective parents a look into our daily school life. It will enable us to share with you more of our vision, our goals and values. 

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