Collegium Newsletter December 10, 2018

Welcome to Collegium Charter School's weekly digital 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., Dec. 10th - Day 4

  • HSA: Five Below Fundraiser Ends (Began Saturday, November 10th) @ Five Below (Brandywine Square)
  • K-12: Toys for Tots Collection Ends (Began Monday, November 26th) | All Buildings
  • Grades 9-11: Winter Keystone Testing | Library, Conference Room, and Classrooms 7:30am - 3:30pm @ 535 Building
  • Grades 9-12: AP Midterms | Library, Conference Room, and Classrooms 7:30am - 3:30pm @ 535 Building
  • Girls Varsity Basketball vs. Mercy Career & Technical High School | Gym 3:45pm @ 535 Building
  • Grades 5-6: Choir and Orchestra Winter Concert (Ticketed Event) | Gym 6:00pm - 6:45pm @ 500 Building
  • Grades 5-6: Band & Jazz Lab Winter Concert (Ticketed Event) | Gym 7:30pm - 8:30pm @ 500 Building

Tue., Dec. 11th - Day 5

  • Grades 9-11: Winter Keystone Testing | Library, Conference Room, and Classrooms 7:30am - 3:30pm @ 535 Building
  • Grades 9-12: AP Midterms | Library, Conference Room, and Classrooms 7:30am - 3:30pm @ 535 Building
  • Grades 9-12: Detention 3:00pm - 4:30pm @ 535 Building
  • Boys 7th & 8th Grade Basketball vs. Delaware County Christian School 3:30pm @ Delaware County Christian School
  • 150 Building: Little Artists Club (Session 2) | Room 827 4:00pm - 5:00pm
  • Girls 7th & 8th Grade Basketball vs. Delaware County Christian School | Gym 4:00pm @ 500 Building
  • Boys Junior Varsity & Varsity Basketball vs. Sun Valley/Northley High School 5:30pm @ Sun Valley High School

Wed., Dec. 12th - Day 6

  • Grades K-12: Poinsettia Fundraiser Ends (Sponsored by the MS/HS Music Department) (Began Wednesday, November 28th)
  • Grades K-6: ROAR T-Shirt Day (With Uniform Bottoms)
  • Grades 9-11: Winter Keystone Testing (Makeup Test Date) | Library, Conference Room, and Classrooms 7:30am - 3:30pm @ 535 Building
  • Grades 9-12: AP Midterms | Library, Conference Room, and Classrooms 7:30am - 3:30pm @ 535 Building
  • Girls Varsity Basketball vs. Perkiomen School | Gym 3:45pm @ 535 Building
  • 150 Building: Junior Artists Club (Session 2) | Room 908 4:00pm - 5:00pm
  • 468/486 Building: Grades 2-4 Lego STEM/Coding Club (Fourth Session) | 486 Building Art Room (#515) 4:00pm - 5:00pm
  • Grade 12: FAFSA (Federal Student Aid) Completion Night | Library 7:00pm - 9:00pm @ 535 Building

Thu., Dec. 13th - Day 1

  • 150 Building: 3rd Grade Field Trip @ The Franklin Institute
  • Grades K-12: SPCA Drive Sponsored by the National Junior Honor Society Ends (Drive Began Monday, December 3rd)
  • Grades 9-11: Winter Keystone Testing (Makeup Date)| Library, Conference Room, and Classrooms 7:30am - 3:30pm @ 535 Building
  • Grades 9-12: AP Midterms | Library, Conference Room, and Classrooms 7:30am - 3:30pm @ 535 Building
  • Grades 9-12: Detention 3:00pm - 4:30pm @ 535 Building
  • Boys 8th Grade Basketball vs. Chester Charter School For the Arts | Gym 3:30pm @ 535 Gym
  • 150 Building: K/1 STEM Club | Room 961 3:45pm - 5:00pm
  • 150 Building: Student Council Meeting | Room 902 3:45pm - 4:45pm
  • 500 Building: Advancing Artists Club (Session 2) | Room 228 4:00pm - 5:00pm
  • Girls 8th Grade Basketball vs. Chester Charter School For the Arts | Gym 4:30pm @ 535 Building
  • Board of Trustees Work Session | Conference Room 6:00pm @ 435 Administrative Offices
  • Girls Varsity Basketball vs. Phoenixville Area High School | Gym 6:00pm @ 535 Building
  • Board of Trustees Regular Public Meeting | Conference Room 7:00pm @ 435 Administrative Offices

Fri., Dec. 14th - Day 2

  • 468/486 Building: 3rd Grade Field Trip @ The Franklin Institute
  • Grades 7-12: Cougar Pride Day - Wear Your Cougar Gear with Uniform Bottoms or Jeans
  • Grades K-12: Candy Gram Fundraiser Ends (Sponsored by CCST) (Began Wed., December 3rd)
  • Grades 9-12: AP Midterms | Library, Conference Room, and Classrooms 7:30am - 3:30pm @ 535 Building
  • Boys 7th & 8th Grade Basketball vs. Owen J Roberts Middle School 3:30pm @ Owen J Roberts Middle School
  • Girls 7th & 8th Grade Basketball vs. Owen J Roberts Middle School | Gym 3:30pm @ 535 Building
  • Boys Junior Varsity & Varsity Basketball vs. Lincoln Leadership Academy | Gym 6:00pm @ 535 Building

Saturday, Dec. 15th

  • 535 Detention 8:00am - 11:00am @ 535 Building
  • Boys Junior Varsity Basketball vs. West Chester East High School | Gym 1:00pm @ 535 Building
  • Boys Varsity Basketball vs. West Chester East High School | Gym 2:30pm @ 535 Building

Veteran Visit from the VVA

On Wednesday, November 21st, four first grade classes in the 150 building received a very special visit from three members of the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) Chapter 436, Chester County.

Air Force Master Sergeant (Ret.) Frank Houck was joined by Mr. Barry Amole and Mr. Ralph Bassetti (both Army, Ret.) as they visited the classes of Mrs. Ely, Mrs. Perri, Mrs. Makriniotis, and Mrs. Rooney.

The veterans talked about their careers in the United States Armed Forces, describing the importance of their jobs and the impact they had on their peers and the country. Also discussed was how they helped people all over the world and how challenging it was to be away from their family for various amounts of time. The veterans emphasized the importance of paying attention in school and working hard as a team, and how, in the military, everything that you do is for the good of the group. The children asked questions of the veterans and learned much about the military. Some bits of knowledge obtained were: tanks don't have windows, the first day in the military can be nerve-wracking (just like the first day of school), and you need to know how to do math in order to do many jobs in the military.

Msgt. Houck now serves as President of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 436, as well as being a member of the VFW and American Legion. Mr. Amole and Mr. Bassetti are active members of the VVA and other veterans organizations, as well.

The visit by the veterans was initiated when first grade teacher, Mrs. Meredith Ely, reached out to the VVA Chapter with her class as they completed a cross-curricular writing and Social Studies activity for Veterans Day. Mrs. Ely was inspired to reach out to the VVA as her own father is a Vietnam Veteran and was an active member of a VVA chapter in Northeastern Pennsylvania. She knew that, too often, veterans of the Vietnam Conflict are overlooked. Msgt. Houck asked if he and his fellow veterans could express their gratitude to the children in person. In addition to the presentations, the veterans gave a small American flag to each student.

In an unexpected further expression of gratitude following the presentation by the veterans, Msgt. Houck presented Mrs. Ely with a challenge coin from the Vietnam Veterans of America Major LF Guillermin Memorial Chapter 436 Chester County. Challenge coins are usually earned by members of the Chapter for various good deeds. While it is not unprecedented that they be presented to civilians, it is not a common occurrence. Mrs. Ely is extremely honored to have been chosen to receive her coin.

The First Grade Team in 150 are ever so thankful to Msgt. Houck and his fellow Veterans! They look forward to working with them again.

5th Grade ELA Isn't Just About Reading

Mrs. Roggio, a 5th Grade English/Language Arts (ELA) teacher, and her Instructional Assistant, Mrs. Evie Clemins, are known for the creative ways they engage their ELA students. For instance, last week Mrs. Roggio asked students to divide into teams for a special project. The students followed step-by-step instructions to create a recipe and had so much fun that they forgot they were learning about main ideas and details!

“It was exciting to watch the students problem solve together and have fun working as a team,” Mrs. Roggio said.

Everyone agreed that the final projectDirt Puddingwas delicious!

Here are some ideas for fun English/Language Arts activities families can do at home. Maybe you can try some over Winter Break!

December Skills & Drills Basketball Clinic

Collegium students in Grades 1-6 are invited to attend our Skills & Drills Basketball Clinic on Saturday, December 29th in the 535 Gym. The cost is $10.00/child.

Students in Grades 1-3 will participate from 10:00 AM until 11:00 AM, while our 4th-6th Grade students will participate from 11:00 AM until 12:00 PM. Payment and Permission Slips (below) are due by Saturday, December 29th.

Questions? Email Coach Markel Jones.

College Board AP Exam Registration: May 2019

Taking the Advanced Placement (AP) exams is an important part of all AP courses. Collegium encourages students to take AP exams for the AP classes in which they're registered. Scoring well on an AP exam can often earn students college credit for their high school class, which can help save a significant amount on tuition.

For the 2019 College Board AP Exams, students at Collegium will register online through the third-party website below.

Registration opens at 7:00 AM on Monday, December 10th. Letters with details about the online registration process are being mailed home this week to families of AP students.

Questions? Email Dr. Rebecca Ratti or Ms. Doreen Jenkins.

Collegium Employee Spotlight: Eileen Kahl

This Newsletter section highlights one Collegium employee each week, and allows families and students to get to know them better. Now, when you see featured employees on campus, you can greet them by name and strike up conversations!

Watch this video to learn more about, Eileen Kahl, Technology Teacher in the 500 Building.

Education Explained: Tips and Resources to Promote Writing In Students K-12

Each week, CCS employees highlight common terms and philosophies in education and explain how they impact teaching and learning at Collegium. This week's contribution comes from Collegium's High School English Department.

Students begin their journey to become writers the very first time they hold a pencil. Regardless of what college or career path your student eventually chooses, the ability to write clearly and effectively will be a valuable asset.

At Collegium, writing instruction is a priority, and Collegium teachers employ a writing-to-learn philosophy that helps to promote critical thinking and deeper understandings in all the content areas. Many of our students are also talented creative writers with a love of language that will last a lifetime.

As writing tasks become more complex, students sometimes need additional support or encouragement. Collegium High School’s English Team would like to share some tips and resources that can help connect your children’s learning from our classrooms to your homes.

  • Get Creative: Young writers often find learning new words and telling stories to be exciting. Give them opportunities to write creatively. Illustrate and bind their books; download writing apps to help; play storytelling games; and, for older children, encourage participation in after-school writing clubs (like our High School’s Creative Writing Club) or writing camps.
  • Help Your Children Develop Good Habits: The world’s best writers will argue that reading is one of the most important steps to becoming a good writer. We encourage you to read with your children, help them to get into the habit of journaling or keeping a diary, and visit libraries and bookstores together. Let your children see you reading, as well, and talk with them about your reads.
  • Build Vocabularies: Another important practice is helping students learn new words so they can better express themselves in writing and conversation. In CCS’s High School, students use a free computer program called Vocabulary.com to enrich their vocabularies. Children also enjoy playing vocabulary games, testing their families on new words they’ve learned, and competing to find words.
  • Invest In A Good Dictionary or Thesaurus: Learning to look things up and to research and explore ideas is critical to good writing (and to learning, overall). We recommend having a good dictionary or thesaurus at home or using one of the many online versions available. For those times when a word is on the tip of your child’s tongue, try using a reverse dictionary, which helps students find a word with a phrase or description of what it means.
  • Review the Nitty Gritty: Grammar is nothing to be afraid of, and it’s really important to good writing! There are endless online resources to help students determine what grammar to use, and when. Grammar Girl is a fun, clever site that provides quick, easy-to-follow explanations of complicated grammar rules. For research purposes, the CCS Library recommends that students and families refer to the Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University. OWL helps with grammar basics for searching, citing, and embedding source and reference information.
  • Listen To Your Student Reader/Writers: The more students write and reflect on their writing, the more sophisticated and powerful their voice will become on the page. Invite your student writers to share their writing with you, and discuss it in positive, open-minded ways. Your children and their writing will benefit tremendously from these conversations, and you will be helping to bring them closer to their writing goals.
  • Work With Your Children: Websites like ReadWriteThink provide tools and resources for parents and students. Here are some other suggested resources you can consider:

CCST Candy Grams

The cast and crew of Collegium Center Stage Theatre's (CCST) upcoming production of Les Misérables School Edition are selling Candy Grams from Monday, December 3rd until Friday, December 14th.

Candy Grams cost $1.00 each and include candy and a personal message. They will be distributed across campus on Friday, December 21st. 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 14th. Late orders will not be accepted. Any orders missing information (recipient's name, HR teacher, and/or building number) may not be delivered.

Questions? Email Ms. Stell, who will be happy to help.


Collegium's National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) is hosting its annual SPCA Drive for the Brandywine Valley SPCA. The Drive begins on Monday, December 3rd and continues through Thursday, December 13th.

Items to be collected will meet different SPCA needs, including those for the animals and for the shelter itself. See the list of requested items below; you can click on the image to enlarge the list.

All donations can be dropped off in any of Collegium's Main Offices. Questions? Email Mrs. Wallace.

On behalf of the NJHS, we thank all SPCA Drive participants for helping to keep our four-legged friends warm and well fed this winter season.

FAFSA Completion Night Rescheduled

Due to the unseasonable winter weather on Thursday, November 15th, Collegium's FAFSA Completion Night has been rescheduled for Wednesday, December 12th at 7:00 PM in the 535 Library.

On December 12th, Financial Aid experts will be at Collegium to answer your questions and to help you complete the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA). Completion and submission of the FAFSA is necessary for students to be eligible for financial aid. Seniors and their parents/guardians are encouraged to attend. Please RSVP using the email address below.

Planning to attend? Prior to the event, parents/guardians and students should visit the website below and create FSA IDs (for both parents/guardians and students). Please also bring prior-year tax information to help complete the FAFSA application.

Nominate CCS Teachers For Citadel's Heart Of Learning Award

Citadel Federal Credit Union has announced the opening of nominations for its 2019 Citadel Heart of Learning Award. Use the link below to nominate Collegium teachers for this, the 18th Annual Citadel Heart of Learning Award. Citadel will accept nominations through December 31, 2018.

Together with the Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU), Citadel created its Heart of Learning Award in 2001. Any person who teaches at a public or private Chester County school is eligible to win. Every year, Citadel receives thousands of heartfelt nominations from Chester County students, parents/guardians, and community members for teachers who are making a true difference in students’ lives. Last year, more than 2,300 teachers were nominated.

After the nomination period ends, 15 finalists are selected from the nominations: One from each of the 13 public school districts in Chester County, one from the CCIU, and one from a Chester County non-public school. All finalists receive $500 to use in their classrooms and are honored at the Citadel Heart of Learning Awards Banquet in early May. Three winners (one each from a High School, Middle School, and Elementary School) are selected from the 15 finalists to receive an additional $1,500 to use in their classrooms.

In addition to the teaching excellence award, the three schools that submit the most nominations are designated “Schools with Heart." Citadel awards these schools cash prizes to be used for assemblies or events: $1,500 to the school in first place, $750 for the second-place school, and $500 for third place.

Planned Absences: How To Obtain CCS Approval

Will your child be absent from school because you're planning a trip, visiting relatives, scheduling college visits, or for religious instruction/observation? Ten (10) 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.

Home & School Association (HSA) Updates

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! Proceeds from HSA fundraisers and activities help fund CCS education and operations.

HSA Five Below Fundraiser Ends Monday, December 10th!

Shop at Five Below through Monday, December 10th to donate a portion of your purchases to our HSA. As with all HSA fundraisers, the proceeds go to the HSA, which uses them to support CCS activities and classrooms.

Just print the flyer (below) and present it at checkout to contribute to this HSA fundraiser. Thank you!

Earn Money for CCS While You Shop

Shoparoo and AmazonSmile are two ways you can easily donate to Collegium when you shop, especially during the upcoming holidays.

Shoparoo is a free iOS and Android app that turns pictures of your shopping receipts into CCS donations. Using the app is quick, easy, and convenient. Shop anywhere you want and buy whatever you normally buy, then snap a picture of your receipt and submit it to Shoparoo. Voila! You’ve made an instant cash donation to Collegium.

Shoparoo requires no personal information, and you can mark out anything on your receipts that you don’t want to submit. For more information on Shoparoo, visit Shoparoo's website (linked below).

AmazonSmile offers the same products, prices, services, and benefits (including Amazon Prime) as Amazon.com. The extra benefit with AmazonSmile is that you can effortlessly donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to Collegium!

Simply log into smile.amazon.com (link below) using your existing Amazon account login and password, select Collegium as your charity, and start shopping!

Outgrown, Gently Used Uniforms Needed!

Our Uniform Resale Shop needs donations! Our gym pants, sweatshirts, and skorts inventories are very low. Please consider donating your outgrown uniforms. All proceeds directly benefit the Uniform Scholarship Fund for CCS students and families in need.

Volunteer At Our School Stores

CCS students in the 150, 468/486, and 500 Buildings love their School Stores! We need volunteers to keep them open for students before school and during lunch periods. If you can offer a few hours to work a School Store, please sign up using the link below. Note that clearances are required for School Store volunteers.

Winter Coat Collection Continues

The CCS HSA is collecting gently used winter coats, hats, and gloves in adult and children’s sizes. Donations can be dropped off to the Uniform Resale Shop in CCS’s 500 Building. These donations are for CCS students in need who may be without winter coats. All infant and toddler donations will benefit the Chester County Intermediate Unit's Head Start Program.

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 use to provide information quickly and directly to them.

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):

Important Collegium Telephone Numbers

Collegium's Main Number


Building 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 to deny material for submission if it is deemed to be inappropriate or of little or no interest to CCS families.

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