Collegium Newsletter August 21, 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. For best results, orient mobile devices horizontally (sideways).

Mark Your Calendar!

Collegium follows a 6-day rotating schedule for all students. This type of schedule reduces the effects of scheduling changes on classes that do not meet daily.

For example, instead of your child's schedule going from Monday to Friday, he/she will have a schedule for each of the following: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, and Day 6. The “Days” are published here in our weekly Newsletter and on the homepage of our website.

Monday, Aug. 21st - Day 1

  • First Day of School for Students

Tuesday, Aug. 22nd - Day 2

Wednesday, Aug. 23rd - Day 3

Thursday, Aug. 24th - Day 4

Friday, Aug. 25th - Day 5

A Welcome Message From Dr. Rath, Collegium CEO

Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year! We are very happy to have you and your child as a part of our CCS family. A new school year is always the greatest time of year for me. It is a time that is filled with promise, possibility, and with fresh opportunities to learn, grow, and inspire.

Opening this school year has an especially promising meaning for me. As many of you are aware, just a few short months ago, I lived through a health nightmare of a significant cancer diagnosis. Because of your support, prayers, and well-wishes and because of the importance of searching deep within my being for strength and faith, I begin this school year, stronger than ever, and say…Thank You! There are too many in our CCS community to thank by name, but I promise you that I will always remember the loving support sent my way.

This year, Collegium will focus on our commitment to provide our students with a quality 21st-century education. We are honored that you chose to have your children receive a Collegium education. To demonstrate our passion to be the best at what we do, we created new classroom spaces for your children to learn and grow; we enhanced our curriculum to focus on critical thinking skills, curiosity, creativity, problem solving, analytic thinking, and collaboration. We created new course offerings and we hired exceptional new staff who stand ready to meet the educational, social, and emotional needs of your children. Classrooms are decorated, iPad carts are fully charged, and our staff are prepared professionally to meet the unique and individual needs of our learners!

On behalf of all staff, we will continue to provide you with many reasons why Collegium Charter School is The Smart Choice in Public Education. We look forward to many wonderful partnerships with families and an exciting 2017-2018 school year!

CCS Welcomes New Director of Athletics and Extracurricular Activities

We proudly announce the appointment of former international basketball player and Coatesville native John Allen as our new Director of Athletics and Extracurricular Programs. Previously, Allen served as Assistant Athletic Director for Phoenixville Area High School. Allen replaces Matthew McCain, who held the position since 2005.

“We are very excited to welcome John Allen to the Collegium Community! John’s vast experience with interscholastic athletics, student activities, camps for school-aged children, and community-based programs for college-bound athletes, are a perfect fit for Collegium,” said Amanda Lake, Allen’s supervisor and CCS Director of Educational Services. “The fact that John has so much history here in Chester County enables him to relate to our students, while his international experiences will encourage students to dream big and broaden their horizons.”

Allen is very pleased with the potential of his new position. He shared, “I'm ready to get started. The students seem so happy, and they get along so well while doing everything — athletics, academics, and so much more. I want to be a part of that and help them grow. My goal is to put my stamp on a program that already seems to be blossoming and is becoming a great program throughout the state and throughout District I.”

Over the years, Allen built an outstanding resume. During his many years as a professional international basketball player, Allen gained relationships with people from other cultures and backgrounds, and developed the skills and mindset of a true team player. Allen is far more than an accomplished athlete. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Seton Hall University and is finalizing his Master’s degree at Neumann University in Sport and Entertainment Management.

As Phoenixville Area High School’s Assistant Athletic Director, Allen helped manage game-day operations, and monitored student-athlete eligibility, attendance discrepancies, and aspects of student discipline. Allen also served as the Director of Phoenixville Summer Camps, and is the Founder and Director of Coaching Victory, a community-based organization that promotes the sport of basketball to the youth of Coatesville.

Allen generously invested his time and talent in our local communities. A graduate of Coatesville Area Senior High School (CASH), Allen later served as a CASH Community Liaison, partnering with the Salvation Army to create a program for providing meals to underprivileged students.

While clearly excited by Allen’s enthusiasm for new opportunities at Collegium, Lake took time to praise the established progress of CCS’s Athletics and Extracurricular Programs under Matthew McCain’s leadership. She said, “Matt shaped our athletic programs into what they are today, and laid a firm foundation for our future success. Under John’s leadership, we look forward to building on those successes, expanding opportunities for our students, and taking our programs to the next level.”

See John share some of his thoughts and ideas regarding joining the Collegium Community by viewing our Video Press Release below.

John is already working to enhance our athletics and extracurricular activities and one specific project is to rebrand CCS athletics. He is seeking the help and talents of a parent/guardian in the Collegium Community with graphic design expertise. Willing to donate your time, develop a new logo for the department, and work with John directly? Please email him via the link below.

The New and Improved Collegium Website

Over the summer, Collegium transitioned to a new website, and we are grateful for countless parent and employee volunteers who helped us hone the content and make our new website easy to navigate.

Over the next several weeks, we will highlight several "bells and whistles," allowing everyone to understand just how powerful and resourceful our new website is for the entire Collegium Community. This week, we're focusing on Responsive Design.

Remember trying to navigate our old website from a mobile device? How much did we all love (not!) pinching-to-zoom just to make a tiny selection? Those days are gone. Thanks to Responsive Design, our new website displays beautifully on desktops and laptops, but also makes our site mobile-friendly. The site now "responds" to the screen size and vertical/horizontal orientation of your device and loads the content accordingly.

Education Explained

Education Explained is a new section in our Newsletter, written by Amanda Lake - our Director of Educational Services. Each week Ms. Lake will highlight common terms and philosophies in education, and explain how they impact teaching and learning at Collegium.


Differentiation is the process of adjusting the curriculum, the way we teach students, and our methods of assessing whether or not they are learning based on students’ individual needs.

As a teacher, there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing your students finally “get it” because you made tweaks to your lesson plan, changed a classroom activity, or used the perfect example to help students understand a complicated concept or idea. Excellent teachers know that in order to successfully differentiate, you have to know your students! You have to know their academic strengths and weaknesses, the things they like to do outside of school, what they want to be when they grow up, and even what makes them giggle. The only way to individualize instruction for students is to know them as individuals!

So, don’t be surprised if you hear about a lot of “getting to know you” games and activities when you ask your child about his or her day at school these first few weeks. While we’re all excited to jump into the curriculum and learn new things, we know that the time spent learning about your children in these beginning weeks will help us to better meet their needs all year long.

Cougar Gear Sale

On the 3rd Friday of each month, CCS students are encouraged to show their school spirit by wearing Cougar Gear. What’s Cougar Gear? Cougar Gear includes CCS T-shirts, sweatshirts, etc. with our logo, usually from a CCS team, club, event, or fundraiser. New Cougar Gear T-shirts are on sale until September 2nd.

To make our Cougar Gear Sale an easy online process, Collegium partnered with Bonfire. Bonfire is a design and technology company that helps people design and sell custom shirts.

Tracking Bonfire Orders

You can track your order’s status by visiting their Track Your Order page. Just enter the order number from your confirmation email to view your complete shipping details. This page will keep you updated during each stage of the production and shipping process. If you didn’t receive an order confirmation email, check your Spam/Junk folder and search for “Bonfire”. If all else fails, send Bonfire a message on their Contact Us page.

Bonfire Shipping Options

  • Domestic Shipping: Bonfire charges a flat rate of $5.00 for shipping and handling on all orders shipping within the United States. So whether a CCS family buys 2 items or 20+ items, they only ever pay $5.00. That means, you and your friends and family can combine your orders and ship them to one location, all for just $5.00.
  • International Shipping: Bonfire is one of the few platforms that ships worldwide. For all orders outside the U.S., we charge a flat rate of $11.
  • Estimated Printing and Shipping Times: U.S. customers will receive their shirts between 7 and 14 business days after a campaign ends successfully. International orders may take up to 21 business days.

Returns, Refunds and Exchanges Curtesy of Bonfire

For all refund or reprint requests, just reach to Bonfire on their Contact Us page. Their Customer Happiness Team will be happy to make it right. Here’s how:

  • Misprinted, Damaged, Defective or Incorrect Orders: If Bonfire messes up and your order arrives misprinted, damaged, defective or is incorrect in any way, they will gladly offer you the choice between a reprint of the product or a full refund.
  • Shirt Size Exchanges: If your shirt order does not fit as expected, or if the wrong size was ordered, Bonfire will gladly reprint that order in the correct size, free of charge.
  • All Other Returns: If you’ve simply changed your mind and would like to return your order, Bonfire is able to issue a refund for the cost of the apparel + shipping costs. Not included in your refund are the funds raised for Collegium (just a few dollars per shirt), which are sent to Collegium after the campaign ends.
  • Order Cancellations: If you’d like to cancel your order before the campaign’s end date, simply contact Bonfire and they'll cancel it and issue you a full refund. After a campaign’s end date, Bonfire is not able to cancel orders as they are already being produced and shipped. Instead, please use their Contact Us page to explore other options.

Arrival and Dismissal Reminders

During arrival and dismissal, always have your building-specific vehicle placard(s) displayed when on campus. Forgot your placard(s)? Be prepared to present photo ID to CCS staff.

To ensure the safety of our students, parents must stay in their vehicles during arrival and dismissal. Do not enter the school buildings during arrival and dismissal. Maps and videos of the dismissal routes are on our website. Review your route(s) ahead of time and know your route(s) when you arrive on campus. Please share this information with anyone who may be driving your child.

Be patient with the buses – they may be arriving early and late to the bus stops during the first few weeks of school. If you are concerned because your child’s bus is more than 20 minutes late, please contact the bus company for your school district. They will make direct contact with your child’s bus and let you know when it will arrive. These numbers are on the Transportation page on our website. Please don’t call CCS - by contacting the bus company directly, you will get the information you need.

It will be hectic during the first two weeks or so, but after that, things will be running smoothly. Please be patient and follow the instructions of CCS staff.

Campus Glossary

We recognize that it can be tricky keeping up with our grade levels and buildings. Here’s a glossary to help you keep track:

  • Elementary: grade levels K-6.
  • MS: our Middle School students, grades 7 and 8.
  • HS: our High School students, grades 9-12.
  • 150: 150 Oaklands Boulevard. This building is home for half of our K-4th grade classes.
  • 468/486:468 Thomas Jones Way and 486 Thomas Jones Way. These buildings are home for half of our K-4th Grade classes.
  • 500: 500 James Hance Court. This building is home for our 5th and 6th grade students.
  • 515: 515 James Hance Court. This building is home for our 7th and 8th grade students.
  • 535: 535 James Hance Court. This building is home for our 9th-12th grade students.
  • 435: 435 Creamery Way. This building is home to our Administrative Offices. Classes are not held in 435.

General Reminder

Label your child’s backpack, lunchbox, uniform pieces, outerwear, etc. with your child’s first and last name. If you have enough space, also include a phone number.

Attendance Reminder

If your child is absent, please call to let us know and send in a signed excuse note with your child on the day he/she returns.

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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