Collegium Newsletter March 12, 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.

Update to 2018-2019 School Year Calendar

The Pennsylvania Department of Education recently notified Collegium about 2019 Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) and Keystone exams testing window updates. We have changed our 2018-2019 School Year Calendar to reflect the revised exam dates. View our updated calendar via the link below.

Mark Your Calendar

Monday, Mar. 12th - Day 4

  • 150 Building: Little Artists Club 3:45pm - 4:45pm @ Room 827

Tuesday, Mar. 13th - Day 5

  • 150 Building: Principal Coffee Chat for Parents 3:30pm @ 150 Conference Room, Room 825
  • 500 Building: Advancing Artists Club 4:00pm - 5:00pm @ Room 228 (See Article)
  • 500 Building: National Elementary Honor Society Student Meeting 4:00pm - 5:30pm @ Room 118
  • Intramurals: Spring K-1 Club 4:15pm - 5:30pm
  • 535 Building: Open House for New Students and Current 8th Grade Student Transition Night 6:00pm - 8:00pm (See Article)
  • 535 Building: High School Scheduling/DCCC Dual Enrollment Night 6:00pm - 9:00pm @ 535 Library and Cafeteria (See Article)

Wednesday, Mar. 14th - Day 6

  • Grades K-6: ROAR T-Shirt Day with Uniform Bottoms
  • 150 Building: Junior Artists Club 3:45pm - 4:45pm @ Room 908
  • 468 Building: Little Artists Club 4:00pm - 5:00pm @ Room 425
  • 486 Building: Junior Artists Club 4:00pm - 5:00pm @ Room 532
  • HSA Public Meeting 4:30pm - 5:30pm @ 535 Cafeteria (See Article)
  • Science Fair Committee Meeting 5:00pm - 6:00pm @ 435 Conference Room

Thursday, Mar. 15th - Day 1

  • 150 Elementary Student Council Meeting 3:45pm - 4:45pm @ Room 902
  • Intramurals: Spring K-1 Club 4:15pm - 5:30pm
  • CCST Hairspray Performance 7:00pm @ 515 Auditorium (See Article)

Friday, Mar. 16th - Day 2

  • Elementary 2nd Trimester Report Cards Distributed
  • Grades K-12: Cougar Pride Day - Wear Your Cougar Gear with Uniform Bottoms or Jeans
  • High School Online Course Registration Ends
  • Middle School Spring Sports Physicals and Permission Slips Due 8:00am - 9:00am
  • 468/486 Buildings Career Day 8:30am - 11:30am
  • CCST Hairspray Performance 7:00pm @ 515 Auditorium (See Article)

Saturday, Mar. 17th

  • CCST Hairspray Performance 1:00pm @ 515 Auditorium (See Article)
  • CCST Hairspray Performance 7:00pm @ 515 Auditorium (See Article)

STEAM Inspired Art Club

Members of the 500 Building’s Advancing Artists Club are up to some pretty amazing STEAM work! Under the guidance of Elementary Art teachers Ms. Thomas (500 Building) and Ms. Shortridge (486 Building), the students are creating 3D soft sculptures (“stuffies”) that are illuminated with LED lights.

The project began with the Club members watching “Light Balance,” a “light-up group” that uses wearable LED lights, music, choreography, and technology to create show-stopping performances. (The group performed last year on America’s Got Talent.) Next, Ms. Thomas and Ms. Shortridge asked the students to design, sew, and illuminate a stuffy using personal, handmade patterns, applique, conductive thread, and battery packs. The creations perfectly illustrate how the components of STEAM—Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math—work together in a creative way to solve challenges.

Ms. Thomas and Ms. Shortridge are as enthusiastic about the projects as their students: “It has been really exciting to teach students new skills, especially sewing, a basic skill many of us take for granted,” Ms. Thomas says. “Our Advancing Artists really stepped up to the adventure and embraced new things, like completing an electronic circuit, while testing the limits of their own creativity.”

Both teachers also said that it was “humbling to teach life skills within the art classroom to students from different backgrounds and perspectives. The students all were so empowered to take risks and embrace the challenge in the Club meeting environment.”

Ms. Thomas’ inspiration for the project came from a Pennsylvania Art Education Association (PAEA) workshop she took at Kutztown University. She plans to incorporate more fiber arts and light conductivity into her Art Curriculum. “Our students really need more exposure to the possibilities of art and science,” she observed, “because there are so many fascinating things we can do with advancing technology. I look forward to more art club sessions this year and to be part of the students’ artistic discoveries inside and outside of art class!”

NHS Red Cross Blood Drive

The CCS National Honor Society (NHS) will once again sponsor a spring Red Cross Blood Drive at Collegium. Scheduled for Thursday, March 22nd in the 535 Gym, donation appointments are available from 7:00am to 5:00pm that day.

Last fall, donations totaled 63 units, exceeding the NHS Blood Drive goal. Blood supply levels are very low right now because of catastrophic storms last year. In response, we have raised the spring Blood Drive goal to 80. Come out and help us meet it!

Note that blood donors must meet certain age (16 years or older), height, and weight criteria. These are listed on the American Red Cross website at the link provided below.

Please consider donating to those in need of this priceless resource. To register for our donation event, visit the link below and use Collegium’s Sponsor Code (CollegiumCS) when asked for the Zip Code or Sponsor Code.

Questions about donating at the NHS Blood Drive? Email NHS Advisor, Mrs. Fronheiser.

Camp Collegium 2018 Waiting Lists

Registration for Camp Collegium 2018 is still open! Although some weeks have reached camper capacity (see the list below), registrations for those weeks are still being accepted, but will be placed on the Camp Collegium 2018 waiting list in case there are cancellations. Registrations are still being accepted for the open weeks, as well (also listed below).

Camp Collegium weeks that are full (but for which we are accepting waiting list registrations):

  • June 25th - 29th
  • July 9th - 13th

The following weeks are rapidly approaching camper capacity; less than 10 spaces remain for each:

  • July 2nd - July 6th
  • July 16th - 20th

Visit the Summer Camps page of our website for additional details about Camp Collegium 2018 and registration. If you are ready to submit registration information now, please use the link below. Questions? Email Ms. Horsey, Director of Child Care Programs.

CCST Presents Hairspray!—Tickets Still Available!

Performances for Collegium Center Stage Theatre's (CCST) Spring Musical Production of Hairspray! are this week!

David James, a CCST Acting Coach, Collegium parent, and seasoned performer, recently chased down a few members of the Hairspray! artistic team to chat about direction, choreography, and costumes. Watch this fun CCST Vlog Series to learn more about our fantastic production.

Performance Schedule: 7:00pm on Thursday, March 15th; Friday, March 16th; and Saturday, March 17th. There will also be a 1:00pm Matinee on Saturday, March 17th.

Come and enjoy the show this weekend! Purchase your tickets using the link below.

Please note that this show is rated "PG" by Music Theatre International. While it is generally a family-friendly show, it does include language and topics relating to race, relationships, and body image.

Food Service Menu Updates

Oh, this winter weather! The Food Service Department could not receive some of its deliveries last week, so Monday, March 12th's menu items have been adjusted, as follows:

  • Grades K through 4: Chicken Quesadilla
  • Grades 5 and 6: Baked Pasta with Marinara Sauce
  • Grades 7 and 8: Roasted Chicken
  • Grades 9 through 12: Macaroni and Cheese (Scheduled)

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 Marita Barber, Director of Student Services.

Universal Design for Learning

Believe it or not, architecture and education have a lot in common! In addition to both terms starting with a vowel, they involve processes that produce an end result. At their core, both architecture and education rely on designs and plans that must be followed to get a successful end result.

Similar to an architect’s building plans, education must be:

  • Designed from the beginning to address the needs of all learners, and not changed or added to later
  • Accessible to all students
  • Flexible, offering alternatives for learners

These are basic principles of Universal Design.

Universal Design has its origin in building design with the onset of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Borrowing from these principles, Universal Design for Learning (UDL) represented a new approach to teaching, learning, and assessment that served as a “blueprint” to help design and implement a flexible, responsive curriculum for all students. UDL provides options for how information is presented, how students respond or demonstrate their knowledge and skills, and how students engage in learning.

So how and when are UDL principles used by teachers and staff?

BEFORE instruction, by:

  • Getting to know their students’ abilities, special needs, and learning styles
  • Reviewing students to be taught, and determining their learning needs and necessary supports
  • Devising instructional approaches to reach the greatest number of students

DURING instruction, through:

  • Differentiation of instruction to reach students on their own levels
  • Collaboration with grade partners, special education teachers, and other education specialists
  • Using ongoing feedback to adjust instruction

AFTER instruction, by:

  • Employing ongoing or alternate assessments to determine progress, needs, and future direction of the class
  • Repeating the planning cycle

When Universal Design is used in architecture, buildings result that can be accessed and used by a broad range of individuals. Similarly, Universal Design for Learning provides students with a learning environment they can access, and in which they can participate and progress.

To learn more about Universal Design for Learning, please visit the following websites.

Collegium Employee Spotlight: Stephen Norris

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

3rd Annual 5K Cougar Classic

The 3rd Annual 5K Cougar Classic is approaching! Scheduled for Saturday, April 21st on Collegium’s campus, event activities include: A competitive 5K, 1-Mile Fun Run/Walk, and a Kids' Dash. Sign up before March 21st for a reduced registration rate!

For registration, more information, and details on how to become a sponsor, access the 5K Cougar Classic website link below.

Deadline Extended: Flag Football Intramurals

Elementary students in Grades 5 and 6 are invited to participate in our Flag Football Intramural Program. We will provide a non-competitive environment that will allow each child to be physically active while having fun, learning new skills, developing team building and good sportsmanship traits, and making some new friends. To participate, please return a $25.00 registration fee and a completed Registration Form (below) by 8:30am on Wednesday, March 14th (extended from Wednesday, March 7th). Your check or Money Order should be made payable to "CCS."

Questions About Intramurals? Email Mr. Handley, Intramural Program Coordinator.

Reminder: Upcoming PSSA Testing

PSSA (Pennsylvania System of School Assessment) testing for Grades 3 to 8 begins Tuesday, April 10th, and will follow the schedule below. It is important that students are well-rested, eat a healthy breakfast, and arrive to school on time for their assessments.

English/LA (Tuesday, April 10 to Thursday, April 12th)

  • Grades 3-6: 8:40am-10:40am
  • Grades 7-8: 7:48am-10:47am

Math (Tuesday, April 17th to Wednesday, April 18th)

  • Grades 3-6: 8:40am-10:40am
  • Grades 7-8: 7:48am-10:47am

Science (Tuesday, April 24th to Wednesday, April 25th)

  • Grade 4: 8:40am-10:40am
  • Grade 8: 7:48am-10:47am

Please take a moment to review the parent/guardian information linked below that outlines: Frequently Asked Questions, the policy for electronic devices, the policy related to calculator use on the assessment, and the PSSA Student Code of Conduct.

Questions? Email Mrs. Ammon if your child is in Grades 3-6. If your child is in Grades 7 or 8, please email Mrs. Ratti.

CCS High School Counseling Office Reminders

The CCS High School Counseling Office: Mrs. Wolfe (right), Ms. Tracey (center), and Ms. Whisler (left).

Important High School Events On Tuesday, March 13th

  • Open House for New High School Students and Current 8th Grade Students, 6:00pm to 8:00pm, 535 Building Cafeteria*
  • High School Course Scheduling Night, 6:00pm to 7:00pm, 535 Building Cafeteria**

*Optional scheduling assistance for students and parents/guardians will be available during the Open House.

**School counselors, teachers, and principals will be on hand to answer questions about course offerings and to provide course scheduling assistance for current 8th through 11th Grade students and families. Attending this event is optional; schedule requests can be completed from home, if you choose.

Important High School Online Course Registration Information

Through March 16th, parents/guardians of rising 9th through 12th grade students (current 8th through 11th Grade students) can review teachers' core course recommendations and make course selections for the 2018-2019 school year. Students and their parents/guardians will use the PowerSchool Parent/Student Portal to make 2018-2019 course selections. Both core and elective course selections must be made. For more detailed course information, families can reference the 2018-2019 High School Course Descriptions document below.

Please note: The course selection process cannot be completed through the PowerSchool mobile application. Please review the attachments to this article, which include directions for creating a PowerSchool Parent Portal to complete the course selection process.

Help Wanted: Part-Time Nurse

This is a school year position with a start date of as soon as possible. The schedule is Monday through Friday, for 4 hours per day. Hours are flexible, but must cover the lunch hour (12:00pm-1:00pm). Schedule options include 11:00am-3:00pm, 10:00am-2:00pm, etc.

Interested? Please complete and return a Collegium Application, and/or email your resume and Nursing License via PDF email attachment to our Human Resources Department.

West Whiteland Police Department Tip Resources

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 are monitored by the WWPD Criminal Investigation Unit. We encourage anyone with information concerning suspected criminal activity to contact the WWPD using the email address, or by leaving a voicemail message on the WWPD phone 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 our Building Principals:

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

Thank you to all the families that have already registered for our 1st Outgrown & Vendor Sale. We are looking forward to a very successful event for everyone. If you haven’t registered yet see the article below for the links!

Upcoming HSA Monthly Meeting

The HSA is always looking for new ideas and for volunteers to help make them happen! We invite you to share your suggestions with us now via email. You can also complete our HSA Interest Form and/or attend monthly HSA meetings.

The rear entrance of the 535 Building, furthest from the rear 535 Gym entrance.

The next HSA General Meeting will be Wednesday, March 14th, at 4:30pm in the 535 Cafeteria (rescheduled due to the March 7th Snow Day). Please enter the 535 Building via the rear entrance (shown in photo) furthest from the rear 535 Gym entrance. Building access is not available after 4:45pm, so please arrive before 4:30pm! Thank you!

HSA Outgrown & Vendor Sale

Get ready CCS, the HSA is hosting our first Outgrown and Vendor Sale on Saturday, May 19th!

This is your opportunity to clear out those closets of outgrown kids' clothes in good condition. We will accept children's clothes and shoes in all sizes, in addition to sporting equipment, toys, books, video games, and even CCS Uniforms (with a fee to the Scholarship Fund). Consignor registration is now open exclusively to CCS families.

Consignors: Please complete the online registration (link is below), and read the Consignor Guidelines provided. Signed Consignor Agreements (also below) must be returned to school before April 13th to the attention of "HSA Outgrown & Vendor Sale."

Vendor spots will be available on a first come, first served basis. One vendor per company will be accepted. We cannot accept prepared food vendors. Registration is now open exclusively to CCS families through April 1st. Beginning April 2nd, registration will open to the general public, as well.

Vendors: Please register online using the link provided. Vendors must review the Vendor Guidelines and return a signed Vendor Agreement (in hard copy) to Collegium by April 13th. Please mark your envelopes "Attn: HSA Outgrown & Vendor Sale."

Join us for our next planning meeting: Sunday, April 8th at 2:00pm, in the 435 Conference Room. If you are not available then but want to help with the planning, let us know by completing our Contact Information form.

Save the Dates

1. Hershey Park Ticket Sale: Tickets On Sale Now (See Article Below)

2. Box Tops Classroom Contest: April 3rd - April 20th. Stay tuned for more details!

3. Chick-fil-A Spirit Night: Wednesday, April 11th from 4:30pm until 7:30pm (Downingtown and Lionville locations).

4. Teacher Appreciation Week: May 7th - May 11th

5. HSA Outgrown & Vendor Sale: Saturday, May 19th

Discounted Hershey Park Ticket Sale

Time to get your chocolate on! The HSA is selling discounted tickets for Hershey Park again this year.

The discounted cost for tickets is $35.00 each (all ages)—48% less than the gate price. Meal tickets are available for an additional $12.00 each.

All orders must be submitted by Wednesday, March 21st. Print the order form below, and return it to your child's teacher with payment. Please mark the envelope "Attn: HSA Hershey Tickets."

HSA Social Media Chair Wanted

The HSA’s Facebook Page is an important way the HSA communicates with the Collegium Community. We need your help to develop, organize, and post photos and content. Interested? Please email the HSA Officers directly.

Elementary School Store Volunteers Needed!

Collegium's Elementary students love the School Stores! The HSA needs your help to ensure that the School Stores in Buildings 150, 468, 486, and 500 are open for students every Wednesday before school and at lunchtime. Please sign up to volunteer today! Clearances are required.

Ongoing Fundraisers


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

Ongoing Fundraisers


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

Community Opportunities

In this section, Collegium passes along information on local events and activities our families may want to explore. We will not include information about activities that compete with Collegium programs, non-Collegium fundraisers, or information from for-profit companies.

Academy Sports Complex - Girls' Lacrosse Clinics

Thorndale's Academy Sports Complex is offering lacrosse clinic sessions for girls Grades 5-8 on Saturdays in March. The two-hour sessions will focus on stickwork, shooting, footwork, and scrimmaging. Hosted by Division I players from Drexel University and William and Mary University, as well as local club coaches, the sessions are geared to prepare players for their seasons. New players will be introduced to the country's fastest-growing sport. Access the link below for additional information.

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 to be inappropriate or of little or no interest to CCS families.

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