Collegium Newsletter August 20, 2018

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.

CCS Family Calendar

Collegium follows a six-day rotating schedule for all students. This schedule reduces schedule change effects on classes that do not meet daily.

For example, instead of your child's schedule being the same from Monday to Friday, he/she will have a schedule for Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, and Day 6. You can find the Days here in our digital weekly Newsletter and on the homepage of our website.

Mon., Aug. 20th - Day 1

  • Grades 1-9: First Day of School for Students
  • Grades K-12: Cougar Gear Sale Begins (Ends September 2, 2018)
  • Kindergarten Orientation Session A (Bus Transportation Not Provided) 9:00am - 11:30am
  • Kindergarten Orientation Session B (Bus Transportation Not Provided) 12:30pm - 3:00pm

Tue., Aug. 21st - Day 2

  • Grades 10-12: First Day of School
  • Kindergarten Orientation Session A (Bus Transportation Not Provided) 9:00am - 11:30am
  • Kindergarten Orientation Session B (Bus Transportation Not Provided) 12:30pm - 3:00pm

Wed., Aug. 22nd - Day 3

Thu., Aug. 23rd - Day 4

Fri., Aug. 24th - Day 5

  • 150 Building: Grades K-1 Fall ROAR Kick-Off Assembly
  • 150 Building: Grades 2-4 Fall ROAR Kick-Off Assembly
  • Grades 7-8: Back-to-School Rec Night | Gym 6:00pm - 8:00pm @ 515 Building

Welcome Message From Dr. Rath, Collegium CEO

Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year! Tomorrow, nearly 3,000 Collegium students will walk through our campus doors and officially begin our new school year—what an exciting time for the CCS Family.

A broad range of teachers worked throughout the summer and helped enhance our established goals, curriculum, and common assessments. Collegium is also welcoming 40+ new members to our family of educators; our permanent employees now total over 500. Directly after my welcome message, you will see details of the many and varied enhancements we made in Technology, Facilities, and Curriculum.

Last week, I valued the opportunity to personally meet our new CCS employees, welcome back returning faculty/staff, and experience a powerful, meaningful, and motivating presentation by Dr. Tracey Severns. Dr. Severns shared her L.E.A.R.N. keynote address with all Collegium employees, then led a training for our Curriculum Supervisors, Special Education Coordinators, Intervention Specialists, and Instructional Coaches titled The Leader's Role in Using Data to Improve Teaching and Learning. Ending her time at Collegium, Dr. Severns offered The Role of Data Teams in Using Data to Improve Student Outcomes to all of our Building Level Data Teams. I participated in each training session and thoroughly appreciated her content, enthusiasm, and depth of understanding. With renewed vigor, we are now ready to greet our students!

Top: Meeting a few of our new Collegium employees. Bottom: One of Dr. Tracey Severns' training sessions.

My pledge to you, our parents/guardians and students, is to fill the coming school year with rich and meaningful activities certain to engage the talents of each of our CCS Cougars. CCS’s top priorities—from the classroom, to special events, and a plethora of extracurricular clubs and activities, performing arts groups, and athletic teams—are the safety, education, and individual development of your children.

Cheers to a dynamic new school year! Thank you for making Collegium the SMART Choice in Public Education.

2018-2019 Technology Enhancements

Hardware Purchases/Upgrades

  • 420 new student Chromebooks (the new Chromebook Lab pictured is just one result)
  • 50 new staff laptops
  • Windows 10 upgrades to all computers/laptops
  • 25 new projectors
  • A new Canon copier for both the 486 and 150 Buildings
  • 10 new touch-screen Point-of-Sale computers for our cafeterias

Network Purchases/Upgrades

  • New domain controllers (for faster access to digital resources)
  • 20 new GB switches (to improve connectivity within our buildings)
  • 2 new 10GB core switches (these connect our buildings’ internet)
  • 10 new Ruckus access points (to provide wireless access across our campus)

Important Software Initiatives

  • PowerSchool updated
  • PIMS State Reports uploaded
  • Magnus Health rolled out (this is our new paperless health information system)
  • Networking software patches/updates implemented

Updates to Our Campus Facilities

150 Building

  • 4th floor classroom carpets replaced
  • All student bathrooms painted
  • All hallways painted
  • Room 826, Multi-Purpose Room, painted
  • Playground blacktop area fenced, including the GaGa Pit area; new traffic gates installed
  • The playground area is complete! New grass, new mulch, new everything!
  • All student bathroom tile and grout power-washed, sanitized, and sealed

468 Building

  • All hallways painted
  • Student bathrooms touched-up and painted

486 Building

  • Construction for six new classrooms completed, including two New Music rooms and two new Art Rooms (one new amazing Art Room is pictured)
  • Cafeteria painted
  • Student bathrooms touched-up and painted
  • Installation of new sidewalk between the 468 and 486 Buildings completed

500 Building

  • All classrooms (except the Music Rooms) now have new tile floors!
  • Two classrooms added to Library (Rooms 201 and 242)

515 Building

  • Portions of Cafeteria painted (including support columns and the area below the chair rail)
  • All student bathrooms painted
  • Some classrooms painted; others will be finished over Winter Break

535 Building

  • All classrooms painted
  • All student bathrooms painted
  • All hallways painted
  • All classrooms tiled
  • Classroom window tint repaired
  • Front building windows (East side) sealed

Academics and Student Services Department Changes

Our newly formed Academics and Student Services Department enjoyed an exciting summer collaborating and preparing for the new school year!

The Department focused on providing CCS staff and students with programs and services needed to create optimal learning environments for student success. Here’s a brief overview of what Department members accomplished this summer:

Expansion of Support Staff

  • Mrs. Jenni Burton (K-4) joins existing Curriculum Supervisors Mrs. Amber Ammon (5-8) and Dr. Rebecca Ratti (9-12), allowing for a new Grades K-4, 5-8, and 9-12 support structure
  • Mrs. Kristin O’Keefe (7-12) joins existing Grades K-7 Special Education Coordinators Mrs. Maureen Wilkins and Mrs. Christine Koberg
  • Mrs. Jessica Guarente (K-2), Ms. Alicia Morisset (5-6), and Mrs. Cassie Brusch (7-8) (pictured) join existing Instructional Coaches Judi Hagerty (3-4) and Elise Borig (9-12)
  • Ms. Kaitlin Spangler (7-12) joins existing Intervention Specialists Jennifer Kearney (150 Building), Kate McCain (468 Building), and Holly Loescher (500 Building)

Expansion of Programs

  • 3rd Grade Fundations
  • 6th Grade Amplify Science Program
  • K-6th Grade Social Studies Pilot Program
  • Measuring Up Program for Grades 2-6
  • Middle School Geometry Course
  • Middle School Transition Lab
  • Pre-AP Program
  • High School Dual Enrollment Programs
  • Orientation Programs for Incoming Kindergarten and 9th Grade Students
  • Intervention Programs for MTSS (Multi-Tier System of Supports) and Learning Support Classes

Amazing Things Happen When You Try

Collegium’s High School faculty and staff worked hard to prove that amazing things happen when you try, by completing a project aimed to help students feel comfortable and welcomed on their first day back to school.

Assistant Principal, Graham Dryburgh, led the High School employees in a program they call “Building Project: Welcoming Students With Positive Messages.” It was a straightforward yet uplifting project that brought the 535 staff together through creative, joint efforts.

“My hope is for every student to see a sign made by their teacher or a staff member, and to smile, be motivated, and be encouraged.”

For the Building Project, 535 teachers and staff made and displayed 8” x 11” posters around the school that reinforced positive messages of all kinds for students. Some were direct quotes from inspirational people like, Maya Angelou, and others came straight from the employees’ hearts.

Principal, Dr. Pat O’Brien, was thrilled with the results. “The focus, attentiveness, and care that went into this [project] illustrate how all of the teachers and staff feel about our students. We can’t wait to have them back.”

The project goal was for each employee to make at least five posters, and many met that goal using colorful markers, unique fonts, and pictures. Often, the Building Project was more about connecting with the students than choosing a quote. High School Counseling Administrative Assistant, Vicki Whistler, reflected on the process: “When choosing these quotes for the students, it really made me stop and think about what our kids need to hear. I felt really connected to the kids while doing this.”

When the posters were completed, teachers and staff laminated them, and placed them literally everywhere—from above lockers, to up and down stairways, and even in the bathrooms. “I want our students to know and to see what we as educators believe to be true about them.” Mr. Dryburgh went on to say, “My hope is for every student to see a sign made by their teacher or a staff member, and to smile, be motivated, and be encouraged.” Amazing things do happen when you try!

Important Arrival and Dismissal Reminders

During arrival and dismissal, and at all times while driving on Collegium's campus, please display your building-specific vehicle placard(s). Forgot your placard(s)? Be prepared to present a 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 the Transportation page of our website. Review your route(s) ahead of time and know your route(s) when you arrive to our campus. Please share this information with anyone who may be driving your child.

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

District-Provided Transportation Reminders

If you are waiting at the bus stop and are concerned because the bus has not arrived:

Please do not call Collegium. Call the bus company directly. The bus company can radio your child’s bus, determine its location, and advise you of the bus’s anticipated arrival time. Please make sure to call the correct company for your child’s bus route (the name is on your child’s bus) and that you know the bus number and the location of the stop.

If the length of your child’s bus ride seems excessive, or if the bus is continually running late (or early):

Please contact your home school district’s transportation office. While CCS certainly sympathizes with these problems, we have no ability to effect change with your home school district on these issues. However, we do track the arrival of buses at CCS, and we report repeated late arrivals in the morning and late pick-ups in the afternoon to the home school districts and bus companies.

  • Coatesville Area School District Transportation: 610-466-2418
  • Downingtown Area School District Transportation: 610-269-8460, ext. 6120
  • West Chester Area School District Transportation: 484-266-1040, press 2
  • Great Valley School District Transportation: 610-889-2133
  • Owen J. Roberts School District Transportation: 610-469-5254
  • Tredyffrin/Eastown School District Transportation: 610-240-1680
  • Phoenixville School District Transportation: 484-927-5026
  • Unionville/Chadds Ford District Transportation: 610-347-0804

Collegium Glossary

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

  • Elementary: Grade levels Kindergarten-6th
  • MS: Our Middle School students, Grades 7-8
  • HS: Our High School students, Grades 9-12
  • 150 or 150 Building: 150 Oaklands Boulevard, home to half of our Kindergarten-4th Grade classes
  • 468/486 or 468/486 Building: 468 Thomas Jones Way and 486 Thomas Jones Way, home to the second half of our Kindergarten-4th Grade classes
  • 500 or 500 Building: 500 James Hance Court, where our students in Grades 5-6 have classes
  • 515 or 515 Building: 515 James Hance Court, our Middle School for students in Grades 7-8
  • 535 or 535 Building: 535 James Hance Court, our High School for students in Grades 9-12
  • 435 or 435 Building: 435 Creamery Way, where our Administrative Offices are located. No student classes are held in 435

Cougar Gear Sale For K-12th Grades

Throughout the school year, CCS students are encouraged to wear Cougar Gear to show their school spirit. Cougar Gear includes CCS T-shirts, sweatshirts, and other clothing items printed with the CCS logo. CCS teams, clubs, events, and fundraisers often also create various Cougar Gear items during the school year. The new Cougar Gear T-shirts pictured are on sale now through Sunday, September 2nd at 11:59 pm EST.

The design incorporates education-based graphic elements in the shape of a graduation cap, and includes the text, "Preparing Students For The Rigors Of College Life," and "Collegium Charter School."

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

Tracking Bonfire Orders

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

Domestic Shipping

With Bonfire, domestic shipping starts at $3.99 for the first item. Each additional item ordered from the same campaign adds $2.50 in shipping. For larger orders of four or more products from the same campaign, domestic shipping costs stay flat at $11.49.

International Shipping

Bonfire is one of the few platforms that ships worldwide. For all orders shipping to destinations outside the U.S., including U.S. territories, International shipping starts at $9.99 for the first item, and increases $4.00 for each additional product from the same campaign. For larger orders of four or more products from the same campaign, Bonfire's International shipping costs stay flat at $21.99.

Estimated Printing and Shipping Times

U.S. customers will receive their shirts between seven (7) and 14 business days after a campaign ends. International orders may take up to 21 business days to arrive.

Returns, Refunds, and Exchanges Courtesy of Bonfire

Occasionally, a Bonfire order might go awry. For all refund or reprint requests, just reach out to Bonfire via its Contact Us page. Bonfire's Customer Happiness Team will be pleased to make your order right. Here are few scenarios and how to resolve them with Bonfire:

  • Misprinted, Damaged, Defective, or Incorrect Orders: If Bonfire messes up and your order arrives misprinted, damaged, defective, or is incorrect in any way, it 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 your 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, plus shipping costs. Not included in your refund are the funds raised for Collegium (just a few dollars per shirt), which Bonfire sends 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. The company will cancel your order and issue you a full refund. After a campaign’s end date, Bonfire is not able to cancel orders because they are already being produced and shipped. Instead, please use Bonfire's Contact Us page to explore other options.

Label Your Children's Belongings!

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

Attendance Reminder

If your child is absent, please call 610-903-1300, and choose Option #1 to let us know. You must also send a signed excuse note with your child on the day he/she returns to school.

Tip Resources From the West Whiteland Police Department

Collegium is committed to maintaining 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. We encourage anyone with information about suspected criminal activity 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, we ask that you also contact your Building Principal(s):

Collegium Cares: CHIP

Pennsylvania's CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program) provides high-quality health care coverage to help keep children strong.

CHIP covers uninsured kids and teens up to age 19. With more than 111,000 uninsured children in Pennsylvania, this is great news for families!

CHIP provides quality, comprehensive health insurance for routine doctor visits, prescriptions, dental needs, eye care, eyeglasses, mental health, and much more. CHIP covers uninsured children who are not eligible for Medical Assistance. For most families, CHIP is free – for others, it is low-cost.

Use the link below to access additional details and resources on the CHIP website.

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: Ext. 6336
  • 535 Building: 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.

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