Collegium Newsletter November 27, 2017

Welcome to the weekly digital Newsletter for Collegium Charter School. Just like popular social media feeds and timelines, access our Newsletter content by scrolling down to the end.

Mark Your Calendar

Monday, Nov. 27th - Day 1

  • All Buildings: Toys for Tots Toy Collection Begins
  • MS/HS Music Program Poinsettia Fundraiser Begins
  • 468/486 Building: Grades 2-4 Art Club 4:00pm - 5:00pm @ 486 Art Room, 532
  • 468 Building: Kindergarten STEM Club 4:15pm - 5:30pm @ Room 418

Tuesday, Nov. 28th - Day 2

  • 468/486 Building: 2nd Grade Field Trip to Dutch Apple Dinner Theater
  • 500 Building: 5th & 6th Grade Jazz Lab Winter Concert Dress Rehearsal 4:00pm - 5:30pm @ 515 Auditorium
  • Girls' Varsity Basketball @ Unionville HS Main Gym #180
  • Winter Concert: MS/HS Small Ensembles 7:00pm - 9:00pm @ 515 Auditorium

Wednesday, Nov. 29th - Day 3

  • 515 Building: Middle School Coding & Robotics Program 3:30pm - 4:30pm @ 515 Building, Room 337
  • 150 Building: Grades 2-4 Art Club 3:45pm - 4:45pm @ 150 Art Room, 908
  • 150 Building: Grades K-1 Art Club 3:45pm - 4:45pm @ 150 Art Room, 827
  • 468/486 Building: Grades K & 1 Art Club 4:00pm - 5:00pm @ 468 Art Room, 425
  • 500 Building: Grades 5 & 6 Art Club 4:00pm - 5:00pm @ 500 Building, Room 228
  • Middle School Tri-M Induction Ceremony 6:30pm @ 515 Auditorium

Thursday, Nov. 30th - Day 4

  • Elementary 1st Trimester Report Cards Distributed
  • 150 Building: 3rd and 4th Grade STEM Club 4:15pm - 5:30pm @ Room 951
  • CCST Acting Workshop 6:00pm - 9:00pm @ 515 Auditorium

Friday, Dec. 1st - Day 5

  • Boys' Varsity Basketball vs. Phil-Mont Christian 4:00pm @ Phil-Mont Christian Academy
  • Girls' Varsity Basketball: Tri-Team Scrimmage 4:00pm @ 535 Gym
  • Open Mic/Coffee House 6:00pm - 8:00pm @ 535 Library

Saturday, December 2nd

  • Enrollment Open House @ 468/486 Building 8:30am - 12:00pm
  • Family Bingo Night Sponsored by the HSA 6:00pm @ 515 Cafeteria and Auditorium

Student Musicians to Represent CCS at District Festivals

On November 18th, Calder Adkins (Voice) and Kayla LaRue (Flute) were selected to the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association District 12 Choral and Band Festivals, respectively. Both students spent months preparing, and faced strong competition from numerous student musicians in Chester, Delaware, and Philadelphia Counties.

Kayla LaRue (left) and Calder Adkins (right).

Both students have a long history with music. Calder started choir when he was in 2nd grade, and Kayla began playing the flute in 4th grade. Calder says that he is a lover of music and musicals. This level of competition is a first for him, and he is very excited. Kayla shared that she likes playing with other musicians, and enjoys learning classical and jazz music.

Music instructors Mr. Nicholas Motter and Mrs. Jillian Gabel believe that this is a great chance for the two students to grow as musicians. They will be able to work with experienced conductors and learn more challenging music.

Next, Kayla will perform at the District 12 Band Festival on January 13th at Marple Newtown High School. Calder will perform at the District 12 Choral Festival on January 27th at Conestoga High School.

We are ecstatic to have these two outstanding student musicians represent Collegium Charter School on the District 12 stage!

Google Expeditions Virtual Field Trips

Google Expeditions has arrived at Collegium's 486 Building. Most recently, Mrs. Inaganti used Google Expeditions to visit two different virtual job sites. Her 2nd grade students have been studying communities and jobs that people within communities might hold. Mrs. Inaganti's students visited an airport to learn about being a pilot, and a restaurant to learn about being a chef. They explored words like: Community, career, pilot, chef, and server.

In 3rd grade, Mr. Stevenson's class visited the Arctic to see polar bears in their natural environment.

Students in Mr. Stevenson's class experiencing a virtual field trip to the Arctic.

This virtual field trip brought words to life for the students, like: Dormant, camouflage, habitat, and hibernation. Broadening vocabulary is just one reason Collegium teachers use an interactive and engaging learning tool like Google Expeditions!

Updates from Collegium's Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees' Public Work Session originally planned for Sunday, December 3rd, is now rescheduled for Sunday, January 28th from 1:00pm until 4:00pm in our 435 Building Conference Room.

The Board of Trustees' Public Work Session and the Board of Trustees' Regular Public Meeting, both scheduled for Thursday, December 21st, are now canceled.

The CCS Board of Trustees is looking to fill vacant positions on their Board and on the Collegium Foundation Board. Interested candidates can apply by sending copies of their resumes via email attachment using the address below. Resumes will be accepted through Sunday, December 31st.

8th Grade Field Trip Update

To give our students a better eating experience for dinner on our 8th Grade Field Trip, we are switching the lunch/dinner plans originally outlined on the permission slip.

Students will need to provide their own brown bag lunch for Thursday, and dinner will now be at the Hard Rock Cafe. These plans replace the Wawa lunch and Union Station dinner previously planned. Students no longer need to bring in money for dinner on Thursday, just money for lunch on Friday.

Questions? Please email Mrs. Wallace.

Obtaining Approval for Planned Absences

Will your child be absent from school because you are planning a trip, visiting relatives, scheduling college visits, or for religious instruction/observation? Ten days prior to the first date of absence, please submit a Request for Approval of Planned Absence Form for your child. Principal approval is required for these days of absence to be excused.

Collegium Art Display at West Chester Borough Hall

Collegium’s Art Department is honored that our talented students' artwork was selected this month to be displayed directly outside of Mayor Jordan Norley’s office in the West Chester Borough Hall.

Our display is part of a rotating monthly opportunity for local schools to showcase student artwork. K-12 student works were chosen to highlight a wide variety of student talent at Collegium.

You can see our amazing K-12 artwork display in the West Chester Borough Hall until Friday, December 22nd. The Hall is open to the public from 7:30am until 7:30pm, Mondays through Fridays.

Parent University Video Series

Units of Study and English Language Arts (ELA) Standards

In the newest video in our Parent University series, families can learn about the Units of Study Program implemented in grades K-6. Watch our video below to see 5th and 6th grade teachers incorporate the Program into their classrooms' studies and highlight its related components and benefits.

Education Explained

Each week, CCS Administrators highlight common terms and philosophies in education, and explain how they impact teaching and learning at Collegium. This week's contribution comes from Brianna Angelucci, 150 Building Assistant Principal.

Project Based Learning

It is always challenging to find new and exciting ways to motivate and engage students. Project Based Learning (PBL) is one way teachers are sparking increased interest in their classrooms.

The Buck Institute for Education defines PBL as: “[A] teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging, and complex question, problem, or challenge.” PBL allows students to invest in their education and set their own learning goals. Projects often feature real-world contexts, so students feel empowered to choose topics that will have real impact. While developing strong research skills, students using PBL are also deepening their understanding of topics and learning important critical thinking and problem solving skills. By fostering this curiosity, students become more engaged, and are more likely to retain what they have learned.

In keeping with Collegium’s committed focus on students’ academic needs, we provide many opportunities for PBL in our classrooms. For instance, in Collegium’s High School Language Arts Department, Mrs. Lawrence’s AP® Seminar class revolves around student-selected topics that require extensive, college-level research. In Mrs. Gerstemeier’s AP® Research course, students design their own research projects, and then investigate them throughout the school year. Both courses are part of the AP Capstone™ Program here at Collegium.

Some of Collegium’s Middle School teachers are using PBL components to give students more choice and ownership over their project work. In Mr. Ford’s Social Studies class, students choose topics and then, with the help of partners, formulate questions on which to focus their research. When their investigations are complete, the students write essays answering those questions and reflecting on their research processes. In Mrs. Manning-Smith’s Language Arts class, students are reading a novel. Once finished their reading, the students will split into small groups, called “law firms.” Each law firm will determine and present the case for the novel’s dominant theme.

Collegium is finding that by incorporating PBL into our curriculum, we are increasing our success in cultivating conditions that help motivate students in class. How students feel about school has strong implications for the rest of their lives. Students engaged in school feel motivated to attend and work hard. These students will be more likely to stay on track for long-range goals, like graduation, attending college, and beginning a career.

If you’d like to learn more about PBL, there are many resources available. You can begin with the Edutopia® article, “How Making an Impact on the World Motivates Students,” which provides an in-depth explanation of PBL and how it can be implemented in classrooms.

Collegium Employee Spotlight

This Newsletter section highlights one Collegium employee each week and allows families and students to get to know them even more. Now, when you see featured employees on campus, you'll have a better chance of being able to greet them by name and strike up conversations!

CCS Spelling Bee Tournament of Champions

Over the past few weeks, students in grades 5-8 competed in classroom Spelling Bees! Collegium is proud to announce the students who won their classroom Spelling Bee and earned the opportunity to participate in the CCS Spelling Bee Tournament of Champions, on Wednesday, November 22nd.

Sakshi Mehta, Emma Keen, Justin Carpio, Eburoluwa Ojikutu, Pooja Menon, Ava Deer, Juliana Lane, Mallory Bogle, Julius Rigo, Sisira Noolu, Aaron Myrie, Mustafa Gilani, Courtney Powell, Kereagan Gallant, Rosemary Tommy, Yash Patel, Daniel Carpenter, Chaitra Moligi, Andrew Fedor, Spencer Phillips, Michelle Canel, Noah Works, Iman Tariq, Ethan Rutkowski, Cecillia Buchanan, Angela Morris, Dinaye Smith, Julian Durnall, Jordan Kelly, Madison Wachter, Charles Adams, Jr. , Autumn Robinson, Alexa Sanchez, Trung Nguyen, Olivia Wiggins, and Autumn Dean.

Congratulations to all of the classroom winners and Tournament of Champions participants!

K-6 Lost & Found Clean-Out

Items in the 500 Building's Lost & Found.

On Friday, December 1st, all Lost & Found items in the 150, 500, and 468/486 Buildings will be donated to the CCS Uniform Resale Shop or a local charity. Please remind your children to check for their belongings before then!

CCST Candy Grams

The cast and crew of Collegium Center Stage Theatre's (CCST) upcoming production of Hairspray are selling Candy Grams from Monday, November 27th until Friday, December 8th.

Candy Grams cost $1.00 each and include candy and a personal message. They will be distributed across campus on Friday, December 15th. If you would like to send a student or employee a Candy Gram, please print out the form below and follow the directions.

Please Note: Candy Grams must be purchased with cash (no coins, please) and orders must be received by Friday, December 8th. Late orders will not be accepted. Any orders missing information (recipient's name, HR teacher, and/or building number) may not be delivered.

Questions? Please email Ms. Stell.

Collegium at Longwood Gardens

The CCS Art Department is proud to be selected again to decorate a Children's Tree at Longwood Gardens. Students in grades K-12 created adorable ocean-themed ornaments. Our tree will be on display from November 23rd until January 7th. For details and ticketing information, please review the Longwood Gardens website via the link below.

High School Morning News Fundraiser

Mrs. Maalouf's students are holding a fundraiser to purchase upgraded sound equipment needed to continue developing the High School's recording studio, Broadcasting and Video Production course, and Morning News programs. The new equipment will benefit Video Production and Broadcasting students through better audio production quality, greater familiarity with professional-level equipment, and enhanced technical skills.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will purchase equipment like new XLR microphones and mixers. The students use USB microphones now, which produce lower broadcast quality and limit the students' technical familiarity with sound mixing. Freeing up the USB microphones to be used individually in Broadcasting and Video Production courses, the XLR microphones and mixers would add a new dimension of technical performance to Morning News and our news broadcast projects.

The equipment to be purchased with fundraiser proceeds will also help the students prepare for when we are able to expand, as XLR outputs are the standard for professional quality sound equipment. Using a portable sound studio will enhance the quality of radio broadcasts, and having both reporter and interviewer microphones available will improve recording sound quality. Working with Apple Motion 5 and Final Cut Pro X will result in greater customization and further training opportunities for multimedia technology for students.

All of our Video Production and Broadcasting students will directly benefit from the new equipment we plan to purchase with proceeds from this fundraiser. Please consider donating online today to this important fundraiser by accessing the link below!

Questions? Please email Mrs. Maalouf.

Toys for Tots

Beginning Monday, November 27th until Friday, December 8th, Collegium will partner with Toys for Tots to collect new, unwrapped toys for local children in need. Donation boxes will be located in all CCS buildings.

PowerSchool Mobile App

Experience real-time student performance updates on any device, wherever you are.

Designed to better engage parents and students and enhance student achievement, the free PowerSchool Mobile App creates awareness of student performance and opportunities for improvement. Students can hold themselves accountable, and parents can stay apprised of grades, scores, performance, and attendance with real-time notifications.

Users can access PowerSchool Mobile from any iOS or Android device, including Apple Watch. Parents and students will enjoy the same clean, consistent design and interface across all devices. Learn more about the PowerSchool Mobile App by viewing the video below.

Ready to get started? Access additional PowerSchool Mobile parent information via the link below.

Questions? Send an email using the link below. A member of the Collegium IT Department will reply as quickly as possible.

From the CCS Home and School Association (HSA)

Serving in a capacity similar to a Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) or Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO), our HSA owes its success to the efforts of our many parent, teacher, and staff volunteers!

Pawsitive Praise

Thanks to all Collegium families who came out to Chuck E. Cheese's last Friday! We had a great time, and hope you did, too!

Family Bingo Night

Family Bingo Night is this Saturday, December 2nd from 6:00pm until 8:00pm! Doors will open at 5:00pm.

There will be raffle prizes, a 50/50 drawing, a silent auction, and snacks available for purchase. Tickets are now $15.00 each and can be purchased through Friday, December 1st until 5:00pm. If available, tickets will be sold at the door for $20.00 each.

We are still in need of donations and volunteers to help with the event. Please sign up at to volunteer via the link below.

1st Annual CCS Outgrown & Vendor Sale

On Saturday, May 19, 2018, the HSA will hold its first Annual CCS Outgrown & Vendor Sale. Please save the date, and add this exciting event to your family calendars.

The HSA will hold a planning meeting and work session in December to solidify plans for the event. If you are interested in being a part of the planning committee, volunteering at the event, or having a vendor space, please complete the interest form at the link. The HSA will contact you with related details. Thank you!

Five Below Fundraiser

Want to earn money for Collegium while completing your holiday shopping? Bring our flyer (below, printed, or on your mobile device) to Five Below, show it to your cashier and 10% of your purchase price will be donated back to Collegium. Our fundraiser runs until Sunday, December 24th.

HSA Volunteers Needed

Elementary School Stores

The HSA School Stores in 150, 468, 486, and 500 are open every Wednesday before school and at lunchtime. We need your help to ensure the stores are open for our students! Sign up today - clearances are required.

HSA Social Media Chair Wanted

The HSA Social Media Chair will develop content and serve as our HSA Facebook Page Administrator. Interested? Please email the HSA Officers directly.

On-Going Fundraisers


Simply shop at AmazonSmile and choose Collegium Charter School as your charity. A percentage of your purchase will be donated back to CCS!

On-Going Fundraisers


Download the free app, shop as you normally do, and then snap a picture of your receipt to earn money for Collegium.

Upcoming HSA General Meetings

Do you have questions about upcoming fundraisers or events? Want to be involved but not sure how? Or do you have a great idea for a fundraiser or event that you want to present to the HSA? Join us for our monthly HSA meetings!

Our next HSA General Meeting will take place Tuesday, January 9th at 4:30pm in the 535 Building Cafeteria. Our December meeting is canceled. Participating families should enter the building using the rear 535 entrance furthest from the rear 535 Gym entrance.

Collegium Main Number


Campus Main Office Extensions

  • 150 Building: ext. 6811
  • 435 Building: ext. 6002
  • 468 Building: ext. 6401
  • 486 Building: ext. 6501
  • 500 Building: ext. 6106
  • 515 Building: ext. 6336
  • 535 Building: ext. 6602

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

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