Collegium Newsletter September 9, 2019

Welcome to Collegium Charter School's weekly multimedia Newsletter. Access our Newsletter content by scrolling through to the end, just like you would for popular social media feeds and timelines.

CCS Family Calendar

Mon., Sept. 9th - Day 3

  • CMS and 500 Building | Cycle A
  • Grades K-6: Home & School Association KidStuff Coupon Book Fundraiser Begins (Ends Friday, September 20th)
  • Boys & Girls V Golf vs. Lower Moreland 3:00pm @ Ingleside Golf Club
  • Grades 9-12: CCS Morning News Meeting | Mac Lab 3:15pm - 4:15pm @ 515 Building (HS)
  • Boys MS Soccer vs Renaissance Academy 3:30pm @ United Sports Training Center
  • CougarTek ESports Club Open House Meeting 4:00pm - 8:00pm @ Level13 eSports Gaming Center

Tue., Sept. 10th - Day 4

  • CMS and 500 Building | Cycle A
  • Boys and Girls V Golf vs. Jenkintown 3:00pm @ Flourtown Country Club
  • Grades 9-12: Detention | Designated Classroom 3:00pm - 4:30pm @ 515 Building (HS)
  • Grades 9-12: GSA Leadership Meeting | Room 329 3:00pm - 4:00pm @ 515 Building (HS)
  • Boys V Cross Country vs. BAL League Meet 3:45pm @ Tyler State Park
  • Boys V Soccer vs. MaST 3:45pm @ Boyle Recreation Center Playground
  • Girls JV Volleyball vs. Phoenixville | Gym 3:45pm @ 535 Building (MS)
  • Girls V Cross Country vs BAL League Meet 3:50pm @ Tyler State Park
  • 486 Building: Little Artists Club (Session 1) | 486 Building Room 518 4:00pm - 5:00pm
  • Girls V Volleyball vs. Phoenixville | Gym 4:45pm @ 535 Building (MS)
  • Grades 5-6: Back-to-School Night 6:00pm - 8:00pm @ 500 Building
  • 500 Building: School Supply Drive at Back-to-School Night (Sponsored by NHS and UNICEF Club) 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Wed., Sept. 11th - Day 5

  • CMS and 500 Building | Cycle A
  • Grades K-4: ROAR Review Day | Wear ROAR Shirts W/ Uniform Bottoms
  • Grade 5: Team-Building Activities | Field 9:00am - 3:00pm @ 500 Building
  • 486 Building: Junior Artists Club (Session 1) | 486 Building Room 515 4:00pm - 5:00pm
  • 468/486 Building (K-4): Back-to-School Night 6:00pm - 8:00pm
  • 468/486 Building: School Supply Drive at Back-to-School Night (Sponsored by NHS and UNICEF Club) 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Thu., Sept. 12th - Day 6

  • CMS and 500 Building | Cycle A
  • Grades 9-12: CHS Reading Olympics Team Meeting | Library 7:00am @ 515 Building (HS)
  • Grade 5: Team-Building Activities | Field 9:00am - 3:00pm @ 500 Building
  • Grades 9-12: Detention | Designated Classroom 3:00pm - 4:30pm @ 515 Building (HS)
  • Boys and Girls V Golf vs. New Hope-Solebury & Lower Moreland 3:30pm @ Heron Glen Golf Course
  • Boys V Soccer vs. Morrisville 3:30pm @ United Sports Training Center
  • Girls JV Volleyball vs. MaST 3:45pm @ MaST Community Charter School Gym
  • Girls V Volleyball vs. MaSt 5:00pm @ MaST Community Charter School Gym
  • 150 Building (K-4): Back-to-School Night 6:00pm - 8:00pm
  • 150 Building: School Supply Drive at Back-to-School Night (Sponsored by NHS and UNICEF Club) 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Fri., Sept. 13th - Day 1

  • CMS and 500 Building | Cycle B
  • 468/486 Building: ROAR T-Shirt Sales End (Began Tuesday, Sept. 3rd)
  • Grades 7-12: Cougar Pride Day - Wear Your Cougar Gear With Uniform Bottoms or Jeans
  • Grades 7-12: NHS and UNICEF Club School Supply Drive Ends (Began Tuesday, September 3rd)
  • Grades 9-12: CCS High School College Fair | 535 Building Gymnasium
  • Grade 5: Team-Building Activities | Field 9:00am - 3:00pm @ 500 Building
  • Girls JV Volleyball vs. Oxford 3:30pm @ Oxford High School Gym
  • Boys MS Soccer vs. DelCo Christian 3:45pm @ DelCo Christian Academy Lower School Field
  • Girls V Volleyball vs. Oxford 4:45pm @ Oxford High School Gym

Sat., Sept. 14th

  • Boys V Soccer vs. Oxford 11:00am @ Oxford High School

Back-To-School Nights At Our Middle And High Schools

From Mr. Sterious, Middle School Principal

"The CMS Back-to-School Night in our new 535 Building was a smashing success. It was very powerful to see the high attendance of our parents as valued partners in our children's educational journey."
Mr. Sterious (MS Principal, Top) and Mr. Harkins (MS Assistant Principal, Bottom), interacting with families during their Back-to-School Night event.
"We are truly looking forward to a great school year. Having events like this helps bridge the gap between school and parents."
"As the school year continues, please email, visit, call, and reach out to me as we support our most precious gift, your children." - Mr. Sterious

From Dr. O'Brien, High School Principal

"Our High School Back-to-School Night started with a packed parking lot and incredible enthusiasm. The opportunity to build on the essential partnerships with parents and guardians is always a privilege for me and the High School staff."
Dr. O'Brien (HS Principal, Top) and Mr. Testa (one of our HS Assistant Principals, Bottom), interacting with families during their Back-to-School Night event.
"Parents and teachers enjoyed sharing goals and expectations for the school year. The School Counselors were available for schedule and college preparation questions and cherished the opportunity to get to know families better."
"The night put an exclamation point on the successful start of the school year in our new home! Thank you to all of the parents and guardians who joined us!" - Dr. O'Brien

A Message From Marita K. Barber, Collegium's CEO

The Political Climate For Pennsylvania Charter Schools

Did you know that when you selected Collegium Charter School for your children’s education, you were also making an important legislative stand in support of educational choice? Thanks to the Pennsylvania charter school movement, families now have more choices to consider regarding where and how their children are educated. For these reasons, I continue to be humbled and grateful that your family chose Collegium.

Collegium’s primary focus is the wellbeing and education of your children, as well as the partnership we continually build with you, their parents and guardians. As a charter school, we are also very appreciative of the role the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools (PCPCS) plays in advocating for the rights of charter school administration, educators, students, and families. Led by Ana Meyers, its fearless and passionate Executive Director, PCPCS defines itself as “the voice of charter schools in the state of Pennsylvania - representing both brick-and-mortar and cyber schools throughout the Keystone State.”

I encourage Collegium families to continue to support the charter school movement in Pennsylvania! I’ve included information from Ana Meyers and PCPCS below that addresses the current political climate in Pennsylvania for charter schools.

Please review the information, gather additional resources, and use the link below to make a vocal stand in support of ensuring charter schools continue to be a valuable option for local families for the next 20 years!

The 500 Building Integration Project

The 500 Building (Grades 5 and 6) is implementing an “Integration Project” created to help students see connections between the many content areas their CCS education covers. “It’s critical for our students to discover that there are skills that can be acquired and improved upon that cross over content areas,” explained Mr. Shaun Murphy, 500 Building Principal. “For example, a great problem solver in Math may have the skillset to be a great problem solver when composing a song in Music.”

By design, education integration projects bring together previously separate subjects in ways that help produce new understanding and value for both students and teachers. “The Integration Project will also increase teacher collaboration and encourage staff to work with others they may not typically work with to plan lessons and projects,” shared Mr. Murphy. “We’ve already seen some amazing, hands-on lessons that have our students highly engaged! It really has been an awesome start to this project!"

Health and Physical Education Teacher, Ms. Allison Winters, during Math integration.

Special Area Teachers in the 500 Building—Ms. Jacki Urbas (Music), Mrs. Eileen Kahl (Technology), Ms. Allison Winters (Health/PE), Mr. Tom Schultz (Health/PE), Mr. Dan Karstetter (Technology), and Ms. Allison Thomas (Art)—worked with the building’s Math and Science Teachers to launch the Innovation Project. The team is excited to see how bringing their separate expertise to other classrooms can create more meaningful instruction with fresh connections between subjects. “We’re all taking a step out of our comfort zones and taking risks," Ms. Thomas observed. "Without risks, we would never innovate, question, or redefine meaning. The goal of our efforts is to encourage students and provide them with new avenues to explore core content.”

While working on their multiplication math fluency as a team, Health and PE students were able to also practice their basketball skills.

The 500 Building’s Integration Project is a prime example of CCS’s Vision Statement in action. We expect that the Project will continue to produce innovative strategies and ways of thinking for our students and staff!

“Collegium Charter School will create a safe, supportive, and student-centered environment with a focus on rich, diverse relationships and authentic learning experiences rooted in cultural competency. Staff will be catalysts of innovation through collaborative and evidence-based practices to increase engagement and academic outcomes. Families will be valued partners in their child’s educational journey. Students will rise to the expectations set before them, will embrace success, and will develop the resilience to face future challenges.” - CCS Vision Statement

From Our Food Service Department

Application Expiration

The meal applications for the school year 2018-19 expire on October 1, 2019. If you are in the Free or Reduced-Price Meal program, you must reapply by this deadline or your benefits will expire.

Letters and emails have gone out to all of the families who need to reapply. You can apply online using the link below or fill out a paper application and send it in with your child. If you have already reapplied, thank you!

If you have questions, please email our Food Service Assistant, Mrs. Francine McGrath.

Updated MS and HS Main Office Contact Information

Our Middle (MS) and High School (HS) families, students, and employees are still getting used to many changes this school year. They include new contact information for the buildings' Main Offices.

The new homes of Collegium's High School (Top) and Middle School (Bottom).

To quickly reach the Main Offices of our MS and HS, please use these updated email and phone extensions:

  • High School Main Office: CHSoffice@ccs.us; (610) 903-1300, Ext. 6300
  • Middle School Main Office: CMSoffice@ccs.us; (610) 903-1300, Ext. 6602

Extensions for CCS’s other Main Offices are listed at the bottom of each of our Newsletters. We hope that this information makes contacting CCS easier and more productive!

Collegium's 20th Anniversary: September Celebrations

This September marks Collegium Charter School’s 20th Anniversary, a milestone for CCS as a charter school in Pennsylvania.

To celebrate CCS’s epic anniversary, we’ve planned many activities and events for the entire CCS community. September’s events include:

Kick-Off Dress-Down Day, Friday, September 20th

Families arriving to Collegium's very first day of school in September 1999.

On Friday, September 20th, students and staff are encouraged to dress like the 1990s, that important decade when CCS first opened its doors. Fashion trends in the 90s included denim-on-denim, vests, flannel shirts, and bandanas. See what your research shows! (Note that dress-down clothing must be school appropriate.)

Anniversary Spirit Week, Monday, September 23rd to Friday, September 27th

For students in Grades K-12, there'll be an Anniversary Spirit Week from Monday, September 23 through Friday, September 27 with special dress-down attire for each day.

  • Monday, September 23rd, “Marvel Monday”: Students will write letters to their personal heroes, like someone in their family or from the community. The heroes will actually receive the letters!
  • Tuesday, September 24th, “Twin Day”: Students are invited to dress like someone else in their building. They’ll have great fun seeing if their “twins” recognize themselves.
  • Wednesday, September 25th, “Wish Upon A Star Day”: Students can dress as their favorite Disney character, from a princess to a stormtrooper. Props are not allowed, however.
  • Thursday, September 26th, “Monster University”: College shirts and jeans are the dress of the day today!
  • Friday, September 27th, “Show Your Cougar Pride”: Students may wear a Collegium shirt (e.g., ROAR, Cougar Pride) with jeans.

We’ll share activities for October and future months in our weekly Newsletter and via the Collegium Family Calendar. We hope that all families will join us to celebrate CCS, our 20th Anniversary, and school choice in Pennsylvania!

Our sincere thanks to everyone who helped to make this 20th Anniversary possible!

Book Fair Volunteers Needed!

The 500 Building’s Scholastic Book Fair begins Monday, September 30! We’ll share the Book Fair details soon. First, though, we’re looking for parent/guardian volunteers to help us make the Book Fair happen. Volunteers help set up, tear down, and run the Fair for our 5th and 6th Grade students. They also receive loads of thanks, praise, and appreciation from everyone in the 500 Building for their assistance!

If you can help with the 500 Building Book Fair, please make sure your clearances are up-to-date.* Then use the Book Fair Sign-Up button below to select a time slot when you can volunteer. Thank you!

*Volunteers must have a current PA Child Abuse Clearance, a PA Criminal Record Check, and an FBI Fingerprint Clearance on file with the school. To find out more, access the Volunteering Page of our website using the button below.

MS/HS School Supply Drive Expanded

Our High School (HS) UNICEF Club and National Honor Society (NHS) members would like to invite CCS’s Elementary students and families to participate in the MS/HS School Supply Drive going on now. The Drive ends on Friday, September 13th.

UNICEF Club and NHS members, along with their faculty advisors, will be present at collection stations this week at each of the Elementary building's Back-to-School Nights:

  • 500 Building (Grades 5-6): Tuesday, September 10th, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
  • 468/486 Building (Grades K-4): Wednesday, September 11th, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
  • 150 Building (Grades K-4): Thursday, September 12th, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Please bring your new or gently used school supply donations to your child’s Back-to-School Night this week! School supplies collected will first go to meet CCS MS and HS students’ needs. Any extra donations will go to Philadelphia’s Youth Emergency Service, Inc. (YES) and Covenant House, two organizations that help get school supplies to students who need them.

If you have questions about the MS/HS School Supply Drive, contact Ms. Nicole Cianci, HS Social Studies Teacher and UNICEF Club Faculty Advisor, using the button below. You can learn about YES and Covenant House by viewing their websites at the buttons provided.

Urgent: PowerSchool Student Data Verifications Due Now

For the 2019-2020 school year, parents/guardians must use their online PowerSchool Parent Accounts to complete their children's Student Data Verification processes and signature page submissions. It's no longer possible to complete these tasks in paper form.

If you haven't already done so, please take a few minutes now to log into your account and complete the Student Data Verification process. Simply access your PowerSchool Parent Account, click the Student Data Verification Link in the navigation menu, and follow the screen instructions.

Need help logging into your account? Email our PowerSchool Administrator.

Important Information From Our School Nurses

Our School Nurses want to remind parents and guardians that Pennsylvania requires the following student medical forms for 2019-2020:

Physical Examination Reports

Physical Examination Reports are required for Kindergarten, 6th, and 11th Grade students and must be:

  • Signed by a physician
  • Less than nine (9) months old as of August 19, 2019
  • Uploaded to Magnus Health by January 30, 2020

Dental Examination Reports

Dental Examination Reports are required for students in Kindergarten, 3rd Grade, and 7th Grade and must be:

  • Signed by a dentist
  • Dated after July 1, 2019
  • Uploaded to Magnus Health by January 30, 2020

Magnus Health

Magnus Health is CCS’s online medical record management system. Families must upload Medical and Dental Examination Forms to Magnus Health as soon as possible, but by no later than January 30, 2020.

To Access Magnus Health:

  • Sign in to your PowerSchool Parent Account
  • Locate the dark blue toolbar towards the top of the screen
  • On this toolbar, click the icon shaped like a square with an arrow pointing up
  • Then click the blue Magnus Health link

If you’re using Magnus Health for the first time, please watch the introductory video before moving on to other sections.

We’ve provided links to Magnus Health Customer Service below if you need help navigating the system, entering data online, downloading cover sheets and forms, or other issues. There is also a button for CCS personnel if you want to notify us of Magnus Health circumstances you encounter. Please note that our School Nurses are not able to reset Magnus Health passwords. Thank you!

Call Magnus Health Customer Service:

Email Magnus Health Customer Service:

Notify CCS About Magnus Health Issues:

Little-Known Secrets Of Paying For College

Attention families of students in Grades K-12! CCS has arranged for The College Funding Coach® to come to CCS on Thursday, September 19th to present a workshop titled, "Little-Known Secrets of Paying for College." The workshop will take place in the 515 Building (HS) Cafeteria between 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM.

According to Collegium High School Counselor Mrs. Tracy Wolfe, “The College Funding Coach organization is well known for providing helpful information to families about how to pay for college and save for retirement simultaneously. When families understand the college financing process and payment strategies available to them, they can better plan for college costs and the future of all family members.”

The “Little-Known Secrets of Paying for College” workshop is free to all CCS families. We hope you’ll join us! Please R.S.V.P. using the link below.

Tip Resources From The West Whiteland Police Department

Collegium maintains a strong and trusting partnership with the West Whiteland Police Department (WWPD). Together, we encourage all Collegium students, staff, and parents/guardians to contact the WWPD with any information they feel should be investigated.

The WWPD has a dedicated email address and phone number for the public to provide information quickly and directly to the WWPD.

The email address and phone line above are monitored by the WWPD Criminal Investigation Unit. If you have information about suspected criminal activity, we encourage you to contact the WWPD using the email address, or by leaving a voicemail message on the WWPD Tip Line. Everyone utilizing the phone number or email address can remain anonymous if they wish.

If your concerns are specific to the Collegium campus, please also contact your Building Principal(s):

Attendance Reminder

If your child is absent, please let us know by calling 610-903-1300, choosing Option #1, and following the instructions for your child's building. You must also send a signed excuse note with your child on the day they return to school.

Collegium's Main Number


Extensions For Our Buildings' Main Offices

  • 150 Building: Ext. 6811
  • 435 Building: Ext. 6002
  • 468 Building: Ext. 6401
  • 486 Building: Ext. 6501
  • 500 Building: Ext. 6106
  • 515 Building (HS): Ext. 6300
  • 535 Building (MS): Ext. 6602

Collegium reserves the right to edit submissions and deny material for submission if it is deemed to be inappropriate or of little or no interest to CCS families.