Collegium Newsletter October 14, 2019

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CCS Family Calendar

Mon., Oct. 14th, Day 4

  • CMS and 500 Building: Cycle A
  • 150 Building: Grades 3-4 STEM Design Club | Room 971 3:45pm - 5:00pm
  • MS Cross Country vs. Kimberton Waldorf 3:45pm @ Kimberton Waldorf School-Upper Field
  • 500 Building: Student Council Meeting | Room 126 4:15pm - 5:15pm
  • Girls JV Volleyball vs. Pottsgrove 5:30pm @ Pottsgrove High School
  • Girls V Volleyball vs. Pottsgrove 7:00pm @ Pottsgrove High School

Tues., Oct. 15th, Day 5

  • CMS and 500 Building: Cycle A
  • Grades 9-12: Detention | Designated Classroom 3:00pm - 4:30pm @ 515 Building (HS)
  • Grades 9-12: CCS Morning News Meeting | Mac Lab 3:15pm - 4:15pm @ 515 Building (HS)
  • 150 Building: Little Artists Club (Session 1) | Room 908 4:00pm - 5:00pm
  • 486 Building: Little Artists Club (Session 2) | 486 Building Room 518 4:00pm - 5:00pm
  • 500 Building: Advancing Artists Club (Session 1) | Room 207 4:00pm - 5:00pm
  • Grades K-12: CCS Athletics Chipotle Fundraiser 4:00pm - 8:00pm @ Exton Chipotle
  • Girls JV Volleyball vs. Dock Mennonite 5:45pm @ Dock Mennonite Academy-Longacre Gym
  • Girls V Volleyball vs. Dock Mennonite 7:00pm @ Dock Mennonite Academy-Longacre Gym

Wed., Oct. 16th, Day 6

  • CMS and 500 Building: Cycle A
  • Grades K-4: "Be An UPSTANDER" (Bullying Prevention Month) | Wear ORANGE Shirt W/ Uniform Bottoms
  • Grades 9-11: PSAT Testing | Gym, Library, and Classrooms 7:30am - 2:30pm @ 515 Building (HS)
  • 150 Building: 4th Grade Field Trip 8:00am - 3:15pm @ Philadelphia Zoo
  • Boys V Cross Country vs. BAL Championship 3:00pm @ Tyler State Park
  • Girls V Cross Country vs. BAL Championship 3:50pm @ Tyler State Park
  • 486 Building: Junior Artists Club (Session 2) | 486 Building Room 515 4:00pm - 5:00pm
  • Boys V Soccer vs. Lower Moreland 6:00pm @ Lower Moreland High School
  • Grades 9-12: Multi-Cultural Arts Night | Cafeteria 6:00pm - 8:00pm @ 515 Building (HS)

Thurs., Oct. 17th, Day 1

  • CMS and 500 Building: Cycle B
  • Grades 9-12: Detention | Designated Classroom 3:00pm - 4:30pm @ 515 Building (HS)
  • Grades 9-12: Art Club & NAHS Pumpkin Carving | Cafeteria 3:15pm - 5:00pm @ 515 Building (HS)
  • CougarTek EsportsTeam Meeting | Technology Lab (Room 705) 3:30pm - 5:30pm @ 535 Building (MS)
  • 150 Building: Junior Artists Club (Session 1) | Room 908 4:00pm - 5:00pm
  • Grades K-6: English Language Development Family Night | Gym 6:00pm - 7:30pm @ 500 Building
  • CCST Presents: Clue on Stage (High School Edition) | Gym 7:00pm @ 535 Building (MS)

Friday, Oct. 18th, Day 2

  • CMS and 500 Building: Cycle B
  • Box Tops Contest Ends (Sponsored by the HSA)
  • Grades K-12: Cougar Pride Day - Wear Your Cougar Gear With Uniform Bottoms or Jeans
  • Grades K-12: 20th Anniversary October Celebration | Class Community Day (Team-Building Activities)
  • CCST Presents: Clue on Stage (High School Edition) | Gym, 7:00pm @ 535 Building (MS)

Saturday, Oct. 19th

  • High School Detention | Designated Classroom 8:00am - 11:00am @ 515 Building (HS)
  • CCST Presents: Clue on Stage (High School Edition) | Gym, 1:00pm @ 535 Building (MS)
  • CCST Presents: Clue on Stage (High School Edition) | Gym, 7:00pm @ 535 Building (MS)

Celebrating Breast Cancer Warriors

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Unfortunately, many people know someone who’s been impacted by breast cancer, whether they’re a close family member, a friend, or even a teacher.

Last week in the 468/486 Building, a “Pink Out” event was held to honor and support all those who’ve been affected by this terrible disease. The event was also organized to celebrate a milestone for a brave breast cancer survivor, our own Ms. Kelly O’Connor. October 9th marked five years of being cancer-free for Ms. O’Connor, an Autistic Support Teacher in the 468 Building.

468/486 Building Principal, Mr. Tom Glennon, joins several of his students who participated in the October 9th Pink Out event.

For the Pink Out, students and staff in the 468/486 Building were encouraged to wear pink shirts, pants, socks, and other school-appropriate attire. One student even wore a pair of Patrick Star-inspired sneakers (Patrick is the silly pink starfish from SpongeBob SquarePants), and others proudly flaunted pink hair for the day!

The idea to hold the 468/486 Building Pink Out on this special day came from Mrs. Nicole Cuesta, a Kindergarten Learning Support Teacher and Ms. O’Connor’s colleague and friend. “Thank you, Principal Glennon, for opening up the door for this incredible opportunity. As mentioned in the ClassDojo flyer, breast cancer touches the lives of everyone in one way or another. I’m so glad we celebrated Kelly’s five-year cancer-free anniversary while remembering everyone else affected as well!”

Pictured above is the ClassDojo flyer announcing the 468/486 Building's Pink Out event.

In addition to students and staff wearing pink, many staff members worked hard to make the day extra special for Ms. O’Connor. They surprised her by decorating her classroom with pink streamers and balloons. They also brought in a number of delicious pink snacks and desserts for Ms. O’Connor and her students. The 468/486 Building’s Sunshine Committee supported her with cakes that read, “Hope, Courage, Strength.”

The 468/486 Building's Sunshine Committee celebrated Ms. O'Connor's fifth cancer-free anniversary with pink treats for her and her students.

Principal Glennon was thrilled about the Pink Out event. “I’m very pleased with how the day turned out,” he said. “I think it’s important to raise awareness and provide support for all the brave cancer survivors and their families … whether they’re still actively fighting their battle, are currently in remission, or have finished their fight and are now in a better place. I’m looking forward to making our Pink Out an annual event here at CCS.”

Left: 468/486 Principal, Mr. Tom Glennon. Right: Autistic Support Teacher and five-year breast cancer survivor, Ms. Kelly O’Connor.

Ms. O’Connor was extremely grateful for the Pink Out event. “I was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly after starting my teaching career at Collegium,” she explained. “Since the day of my diagnosis, I’ve received an outpouring of support from everyone. Today I was reminded of how far I’ve come, how lucky I am to work with such amazing people and have a community that supports me. Thank you for everything!”

CCS employees often refer to our community as a “big family.” Just like with family, Collegium employees always show up and show out for one another!

Elementary Art Department News

Kids Kreations Fundraiser

CCS’s Annual Elementary Kids Kreations Fundraiser is just a few weeks away. In preparation, our team of Elementary Art Teachers—Ms. Darci Galie and Ms. Madison Stanton (150 Building), Ms. Amanda Shortridge and Ms. Alexis Mandell (468/486 Building), and Ms. Allison Thomas (500 Building)—have been working closely with your young artists to prepare special pieces for submission to Kids Kreations.

Elementary student-artists proudly display their giraffe creations.

“After seeing the quality of merchandise families received from Kids Kreations last year, we are very excited to work with them again for this year’s Elementary Art Fundraiser,” said Ms. Thomas. “In response to feedback we shared from our families, Kids Kreations is extending its ordering timelines, improving shipping costs, and simplifying the ordering systems this year,” added Ms. Shortridge. “This will allow our students’ work to become meaningful keepsakes with ease, all while directly raising funds for our Elementary Art Classrooms!”

Kids Kreations makes it possible for CCS families to choose from dozens of quality keepsakes, gift items, and other treasures imprinted with their children’s artwork. “Our students love the products,” said Ms. Shortridge. They include phone cases, iPad covers, blankets, matted prints, cutting boards, jewelry, and much more. "There'll be something for every family’s budget and gift list!”

“Watch for more information soon about the Fundraiser, but you can expect catalogs and stickers personalized with students’ creations to be sent home in early November,” Ms. Shortridge advised. Completed orders will be delivered before CCS's Winter Break.

Ms. Thomas shared that they’ll be a second Kids Kreations Fundraiser this spring. “We’ve already got another special art project in the works for the spring fundraiser!” she said. “Now families will have a second opportunity to purchase fun keepsakes featuring their children’s spectacular artwork.”

All proceeds from our Kids Kreations Fundraisers will be used to purchase materials and make improvements to CCS’s Elementary Art Rooms and curriculum. The Elementary Art Team hopes CCS families will continue to support their efforts to encourage and guide our students’ artistic development!

K-6 Art Clubs

Art is a wonderful way for students to express themselves and take pride in their work.

Session 2 of CCS’s Elementary Art Clubs is about to begin:

  • 468/486 Building’s Little Artists Club (Grades K-1) | Tuesday, October 15th
  • 500 Building’s Advancing Artists Club (Grades 5-6) | Wednesday, November 6th
  • 150 Building’s Little Artists Club (Grades K-1) | Tuesday, December 3rd
  • 150 Building’s Junior Artists Club (Grades 2-4) | Thursday, December 5th
Elementary Art Club members can really focus on bringing their creative visions to life.

Art Club is a wonderful place where our hosting Elementary Art Teachers mentor young artists, inspire them, and help them to make artistic choices. Participating students have many opportunities to use different tools and learn skills that may not be included in their Art classes during the day.

Art Clubs provide like-minded and supportive small-group environments for CCS's young artists.

Art Club is $25.00 per student. You don’t need to pay right away but can wait to be notified that your child has been placed in Art Club before sending in the participation fee.

Permission Slips for the 468 Building’s Little Artist’s Club (Session 2) have already gone home with students. Parents/guardians of young artists in the 150 and 500 Buildings will hear about Session 2 soon.

Art Club Pride!

If you need more information, feel free to email Ms. Shortridge (468 Building), Ms. Galie (150 Building), or Ms. Thomas (500 Building) using the buttons provided below.

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

CCS Safety Procedures and Related Communications

I’m sharing the information below to address and clarify Collegium’s process for responding to threats on campus and communicating related information to our parents/guardians—our trusted partners in education. Let me begin by saying that the physical and mental well-being and the security of our students and employees are paramount to me.

In August, I kicked off our 20th Anniversary celebration with a presentation to all Collegium employees. My address included a flashback to 1999. Amid all of the fun facts that I was able to share, I also highlighted a very sobering event that changed the world of education and ushered in our new and unfortunate reality surrounding school safety and how we must approach it each day: The April 1999 tragedy at Columbine High School.

In our commitment to intentionally focus on proactive prevention, Collegium has added both School Safety Officers and Mental Health Therapists. We’ve also increased the number of School Counselors on our staff. To help ensure that valid concerns regarding school safety and mental health are addressed, Collegium implemented the Safe2Say Something program over the course of the last two years.

From left to right: Collegium's School Safety and Security Coordinator, Mr. Bill Duffy, our Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Marita Barber, and CCS's Campus Safety Supervisor, Mr. Joe Vogelgesang.

In spite of the collective best efforts both at home and at Collegium, students making threats toward others or toward our school is sadly still a factor. When Collegium learns of a threat, the following takes place:

  • The building administrator determines if immediate action is necessary (evacuation, shelter in place, lockdown, or that there is no imminent threat)
  • Campus Safety is notified and dispatched to the building; our Campus Safety Officer determines if the involvement of the West Whiteland Police Department (WWPD) is necessary and contacts the WWPD if warranted
  • A thorough investigation is conducted involving but not limited to interviews and review of video(s) and other potential evidence
  • Once facts are gathered and verified, the building administrator distributes a communication to the specific class, grade, or entire building, as necessary
  • Based on the outcome of the investigation, possible disciplinary action according to the CCS Student Code of Conduct is taken and legal action is evaluated

It is not our practice to communicate with the entire CCS community about an event that is isolated to one building on our campus. It is not our practice to post on social media sites about an event that is isolated to one building on campus. Our practice is to be as transparent as we legally can be when communicating situations involving minors. Our practice is also to be honest with you when we are given the opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations.

"I understand that in our current reality of social media saturation and crowdsourcing, information might move more quickly; however, I encourage you to not mistake information for truth."

Our building and school administrators welcome those discussions to avoid confusion and misinformation about the facts. I encourage you to reach out to your child’s building administrator if you have questions or concerns regarding your child’s, or any child’s, safety and well-being. I understand that in our current reality of social media saturation and crowdsourcing, information might move more quickly; however, I encourage you to not mistake information for truth.

Thank you for taking the time to read this important communication. I especially thank you for entrusting your children to us as we work together as their co-educators. Your children are our most precious treasure and hope for our future.

School Spirit Tastes Great

CCS’s Athletics Department is partnering with the Exton Chipotle for a School Spirit Tastes Great Fundraiser on Tuesday, October 15th. Chipotle will contribute 33% of your purchases between 4:00 PM and 8:00 PM on Tuesday to CCS Athletics!

To make sure your Chipotle purchase counts towards the CCS Athletics Fundraiser:

  • Tell your Chipotle cashier that you’re there to support CCS Athletics;
  • Show the cashier a copy of the School Spirit Tastes Great Fundraiser flyer (accessible below); or
  • Display a digital copy of the flyer on your smartphone or another device.

Questions? Email John Allen, Director of CCS Athletics and Extracurricular Activities, at the button provided.

Thank you for your support!

Part-Time Food Service Assistant Needed

Do you have a passion for food, working with children, and want to make a difference? Then our Part-Time Food Service Assistant Position may be the perfect position for you! We offer a fun and collaborative work culture and the chance to work with a diverse student population.

We offer a fun and collaborative work culture and the chance to work with a diverse student population.

Responsibilities of this position include preparing and serving lunch for CCS students, as well as clean-up and sanitation of food service areas. Our Food Service Assistants typically work five-hour shifts each school day (approximately 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM).

If you or someone you know is interested in pursuing a position with our school, please use the button below to access CCS’s Employment page for information on how to apply!

From Our Home & School Association

Serving in a capacity similar to a Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) or Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO), our Home & School Association (HSA) owes its success to the efforts of our many parent/guardian, teacher, and staff volunteers! Proceeds from HSA fundraisers and activities help fund CCS education and operations. Questions? Email our HSA Officers using the button below.

BoxTop$ For Education

Our HSA’s BoxTop$ For Education contest is in its last week! Friday, October 18th, is the last day to send your child’s Box Tops to school.

Please cut out the whole Box Top and make sure its Expiration Date is current.

Every Box Top collected is worth 10¢ for CCS. Don’t forget to scan your receipts and to check Box Top expiration dates.

In November, HSA Officers will announce the class who wins our BoxTop$ For Education contest. To help the HSA give credit for Box Tops to the correct class, please clearly write the name of your child’s teacher on your child’s sealed bag of Box Tops!

Contact the HSA with questions, and thank you for your support.

Science/STEM Fair Committee Needs Volunteers

Can you believe that CCS’s first Science Fair was 18 years ago in February 2001? We’ve got the original event program to prove it. (See the pictures below.)

Shown above is a scan of the program used during Collegium's first annual Science Fair in 2001.

The Fair’s name has changed since then (“STEM” was added to better reflect the Fair’s scope), but the event’s purpose has remained the same: To encourage K-12 students to ask questions about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math topics that interest them, and to help them find those answers through actual experiments they design.

“I have been a part of the Science Fair Committee for the last 10 years, and every year it gets better!” said Mrs. Kate Tobin, an Elementary ESL Teacher who's helping to coordinate this year’s event. “Our Committee includes teachers and parents who all bring different ideas and backgrounds to our planning. We work together to be sure that our young scientists have a wonderful experience!”

Student award recipients from our 2019 Science/STEM Fair ceremony.

The Science/STEM Fair Committee is looking for volunteers who want to help plan this year's event. If you enjoy Science and other STEM-related projects and would like to help students explore their STEM interests, the Committee would love to hear your fresh, new ideas! Meetings are held about every third Wednesday from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM in the 435 Building’s Large Conference Room.

To join CCS’s Science/STEM Fair Committee or learn more about it, please reach out to Mrs. Tobin using the button below. Thank you!

Great News Regarding 2019-2020 Yearbooks

Our CCS “Anamnesis” Yearbook Committee has some great news for you regarding yearbooks for 2019-2020:

  • Families will have TWO yearbook selections this year, one for Grades K-6 and a second for Grades 7-12.
  • With the help of an online yearbook production company called TreeRing, CCS yearbooks will be produced and printed digitally in 2019-2020. That means that the production and printing process will be more creative, flexible, and efficient.
  • Since our production and printing costs will be lower, CCS can make the yearbooks available at a much-reduced cost.
  • Families won’t see any yearbook price increases as the printing deadlines approach.
  • Each yearbook will have two free customizable pages where families can include photos and personal messages in the yearbooks they purchase.
  • Families can order yearbooks online using a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or other device.
  • All orders placed before October 31, 2019, will be discounted by 10%!
Members of the CCS Anamnesis Yearbook Committee.

The Anamnesis, Grades K-6 edition will be an 80-page softback book that will cost just $20. The Anamnesis, Grades 7-12 yearbook will be a 120-page hardback book that will include photos of all of the Middle and High Schools’ activities, events, and fun. The cost will be only $40.

The Anamnesis Yearbook Committee is looking forward to capturing a year full of fun and memories for both yearbook editions! Check out the flyers below for more information on our 2019-2020 yearbooks and TreeRing.

Examples of the TreeRing flyers showing information for K-6th Grade families (left) and 7th-12th Grade families (right).

Questions? Contact Mr. Jason Springer, High School Art Teacher and Faculty Advisor for the Anamnesis Yearbook Committee, using the button provided.

500 Building Career Day

CCS will host a Career Day for our 5th and 6th Grade students on Monday, November 25th between 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM.

Pictured above is one of our 500 Building students exploring her interest in Graphic Design.

One of the most important aspects of Career Day is when parents/guardians and community members volunteer to talk to our students about their careers. We can share all sorts of information with students about different careers, but hearing first-hand from adults in varied, real-life professions is especially meaningful.

The two students above could be headed towards future careers in Nursing!

Volunteers are asked to make three or four 25-minute presentations on Career Day, including a brief Question and Answer session with students after each presentation. “Career Day is a wonderful opportunity to increase our students’ awareness of the many possibilities their futures hold,” commented Mrs. Corinne Hirst, School Counselor in the 500 Building. “In this age of technology and rapid change, we’re especially interested in helping our 6th Grade students learn about entrepreneurial opportunities.”

If you’d like to volunteer at the 500 Building’s Career Day, please use the button below to email Mrs. Hirst.

CCST Presents Clue On Stage (HS Edition)

It's a dark and stormy night, and you've been invited to a very unusual dinner party. Each of the guests has an alias, the butler offers a variety of weapons, and the host is, well . . . dead. So whodunnit? Join the iconic oddballs known as Scarlet, Plum, White, Green, Peacock, and Mustard as they race to find the murderer in Boddy Manor before the body count stacks up. Based on the cult classic film and the popular board game, Clue is a madcap comedy that will keep you guessing until the final twist.

One of our CCST actors rehearsing for this week's productions of Clue on Stage (High School Edition) at CCS.

Please join the talented students of our Collegium Center Stage Theatre (CCST) program as they present this year's fall production, "Clue On Stage (High School Edition)". Performances will take place at 7:00 PM on Thursday, October 17th, Friday, October 18th, and Saturday, October 19th. An additional matinee performance will be held at 1:00 PM on Saturday, October 19th.

Tickets cost $10.00 and can be purchased online or at the door. It is strongly encouraged that audience members purchase their tickets ahead of time to ensure that they secure a seat for this popular show!

To purchase* your “Clue On Stage (High School Edition)” tickets online, use the button below.*

On Friday and Saturday, please consider bringing a few store-bought candy treats (no baked or home-made goods, please) to donate to our Treats for Troops Drive. Your donations will benefit patients in Veterans Health Administration hospitals who will miss out on Halloween festivities. The Drive is sponsored by our High School Tri-M Music Honor Society. Thank you!

*Considering the subject matter of this production, it’s recommended that children attending be in 7th Grade or higher.

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.