Collegium Newsletter February 18, 2019

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., Feb. 18th

  • School Closed - Presidents' Day
  • Grades 1-6: Boys & Girls Skills & Drills Basketball Clinic | Gym (See Event Details at Family Calendar Link Below) 10:00am - 12:00pm @ 535 Building

Tue., Feb. 19th - Day 3

  • National Junior Honor Society Field Trip @ The Philadelphia Zoo
  • Grades 9-12: Detention 3:00pm - 4:30pm @ 535 Building
  • 150 Building: Little Artists Club (Session 3) | Room 827 4:00pm - 5:00pm
  • 486 Building: Junior Artists Club (Session 3) | Room 515 4:00pm - 5:00pm
  • Grades 5-6: Basketball Intramural Program | Gym 4:00pm - 5:30pm @ 500 Building

Wed., Feb. 20th - Day 4

  • 535 Building: Principals' Coffee Chat | Conference Room 8:30am - 9:30am
  • 500 Building: Principals' Coffee Chat | Conference Room 9:00am - 10:00am
  • 150 Building: Junior Artists Club (Session 3) | Room 908 4:00pm - 5:00pm
  • 468/486 Building: Grades K-1 Lego STEM/Coding Club (3rd Session) | 486 Building Art Room (#515) 4:00pm - 5:00pm
  • 500 Building: Advancing Artists Club (Session 3) | Room 228 4:00pm - 5:00pm
  • Grades 5-6: STEM Design Challenge Teams | Library and Room 202 4:30pm - 6:00pm @ 500 Building

Thu., Feb. 21st - Day 5

  • Grades 9-12: Music Field Trip | Philadelphia Orchestra Open Rehearsal 8:30am - 2:15pm @ Kimmel Center
  • Grades 9-12: Detention 3:00pm - 4:30pm @ 535 Building
  • 150 Building: Student Council Meeting | Room 902 3:45pm - 4:45pm
  • Grades 5-6: Basketball Intramural Program | Gym 4:00pm - 5:30pm @ 500 Building
  • Board of Trustees Work Session | Conference Room 6:00pm @ 435 Administrative Offices
  • YMWIC Workshop | Rooms 206 and 207 6:15pm - 7:45pm @ 500 Building
  • Board of Trustees Regular Public Meeting | Conference Room 7:00pm @ 435 Administrative Offices

Fri., Feb. 22nd - Day 6

  • Grades K-6: Spirit Day - Mismatch Day (Sponsored by Elementary Student Council) (See Event Details at Family Calendar Link Below)
  • Winter Coat & Sock Collection Drive Ends (Sponsored by Junior Tri-M) (Began Monday, February 11th) | All Buildings
  • Junior Class Ring Ordering Meetings | Cafeteria 10:30am - 1:30pm @ 535 Building
  • 515 Building: Principals' Coffee Chat | Conference Room 2:00pm
  • Grades 9-12: Movie Night Sponsored By The Black Student Union (See Event Details at Family Calendar Link Below) | Library 3:15pm - 6:00pm @ 535 Building

Sat., Feb. 23rd

  • Parents' Night Out Fundraiser (Sponsored by MS/HS Music Department) 5:00pm - 9:00pm @ 515 Building

Cyberbullying Survivor Presents At Collegium

The time for ending suicide attempts, cyberbullying, and the stigma against mental illness is now. Please join us on Thursday, February 28th at 7:00pm in our 535 Building to hear award-winning speaker, Emily Torchiana, talk about her personal experience and triumph over cyberbullying and its consequences, including attempted suicide.

Ms. Torchiana suffered extreme cyberbullying in High School, but has transformed those experiences and their traumatic after-effects into award-winning presentations, Tedx Talks, and much more. Her messages increase awareness of the shame society places on mental illness and the damage caused by cyberbullying, and also help educate audiences in suicide prevention education. Ms. Torchiana has founded several nonprofit organizations that further her mission, including Lost Got Found and The Invisible Illnesses.

This free event was arranged and facilitated by Collegium's Acting CEO, Marita Barber, who shared special invitations for the presentation with the Superintendents of Coatesville, Downingtown, and West Chester School Districts. Ms. Barber asked each Superintendent to also share the presentation details with members of their respective school communities.

"Rather than emphasize differences between Collegium and our surrounding traditional public schools, I choose to focus on our shared goals. Collegium students live in Coatesville, Downingtown, West Chester, and roughly 20 other PA school districts. This presentation is a small step toward unifying our approach to better ensuring students' mental health and the ever-evolving supports they need to maintain it." -Marita Barber, Acting CEO, Collegium Charter School
“Emily is a young and vibrant speaker who speaks for the generation of those on social media. She can motivate the audience, especially [the] young folks, to the perils of social media and its impacts.” -Larry Sullivan, The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

To learn more about Emily Torchiana and Lost Got Found, view the video below, access her website at the link, and join us to hear her speak on Thursday, February 28th at 7:00pm!

CCS High School Boys Varsity Basketball Team Captures Championship

It’s been five years, but on Wednesday, February 13th, the CCS High School Boys Varsity Basketball Team captured the Tri-County Independent School League (TCISL) Title with a 52-39 victory over Mercy Academy!

This is only the second time in the history of Collegium Athletics that the boys have lifted the TCISL Championship trophy. Even more impressive, our team was led by Freshmen DiNero W. and Massai H., who scored 15 and 12 points, respectively, during the Championship game.

"I am so proud of everyone on this team," said CCS Senior Sion A. "Not only have we worked hard together, but we have become a family. This moment is bittersweet; I’m happy that we won, but sad I’ll never get a chance to play with my brothers again." Cris S., a Senior on the Championship Team, added, “This is something special that they will never be able to take away from us!”

John Allen, CCS’s Director of Athletics, praised Head Coach Mr. Jones, and Assistant Coaches, Mr. Lawrence and Mr. Nelms. “What does it take to win a championship of this caliber?” asked Mr. Allen. “Extremely talented players, supportive families, classmates, and school staff, and coaches whose hard work and commitment are second to none. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this trophy win. Go, Cougars!”

From our Board of Trustees

CCS 20/20 Update

CCS 20/20, Collegium’s strategic planning process, accomplished two important steps during January and February.

First, Strategy Arts, the local firm engaged by the Board to lead CCS 20/20, conducted two online surveys to obtain input from Collegium employees and families regarding the future direction of our school. There was a significant response, with 724 families and 227 employees sharing ideas and perspectives via their unique surveys.

Then, on February 7th, a planning meeting was held to review research gathered through the fall family and employee interviews and focus groups; data from the surveys; and innovation trends in charter schools around the country. The meeting comprised a representative group of 19 Collegium teachers, principals, administrators, and support personnel, along with representatives from Strategy Arts and the Board.

Through open, honest, and enthusiastic discussions, meeting participants developed areas of focus for Collegium’s future planning. The areas of focus identified will be reviewed and discussed at the Sunday, March 3rd Board of Trustees Public Work Session, scheduled from 1:00pm until 4:00pm in the 435 Building’s Conference Room. We will continue to update all stakeholders on the planning process as we move forward.

Thank you again to everyone who has participated in this important work thus far.

CCS Student Excels At Chester County Spelling Bee

On Wednesday, February 13th, students from across Chester County met to compete in the annual Chester County Spelling Bee at the Chester County Intermediate Unit. CCS 5th Grader, Lily C., represented our school this year. She was one of 45 Chester County students who attended the Annual Bee.

Lily C., a 5th Grade CCS student, proudly representing our school at the annual Chester County Spelling Bee.

The group of 45 was broken into two smaller groups. Lily worked through five rounds, correctly spelling reckless, foist, bambino, predicate, and irony, which then sealed her spot in the Championship round. Lily moved on to correctly spell haiku in the sixth round. As the Championship pool dwindled, Lily stepped up to the microphone in round seven and was challenged with the word triumvirate. Sadly, Lily did not spell the word correctly. However, she finished 24th out of 45 participants in the Spelling Bee, an accomplishment about which Lily, her parents, and our school can be very proud!

Lily C. and her parents at the annual Bee, where Lily placed 24th out of 45 Chester County contestants.

We thank you, Lily, for all of your hard work and for representing CCS so well at this event!

Middle School PSSA Messages Of Support

As our 7th and 8th Graders approach the end of their PSSA (Pennsylvania System of School Assessment) testing years, they haven’t forgotten being nervous 3rd Graders taking the tests for the first time. In a show of support, the Middle Schoolers spent time in their homerooms creating motivational greeting cards for our 3rd Graders. The cards will be distributed closer to April’s PSSA Testing Window.

The Middle School students created the messages to encourage 3rd Graders that they can successfully take the exams, and to help lessen any anxiety they might be experiencing about them. Mrs. Cassie Brusch recalled one of her students saying that he hopes his 3rd Grade sister will receive the card he made. In Mrs. Brusch’s opinion, “It’s important to nurture a culture of compassion between age groups. It also allows our 7th and 8th Graders to feel a sense of leadership in shaping the culture of CCS.”

Many students experience stress during standardized testing seasons. CCS is helping to combat those feelings in our 3rd Graders by creating connections between them and “veteran” test-takers, our Middle School students. Ms. Kimberly Robinson, a Middle School Science teacher, agrees with this thinking. “We want to remind students that they are not alone, that they are loved, and that we will cheer them on through their entire testing experience.”

Good luck on your PSSAs, CCS 3rd Graders!

Elementary Student Council Presents: K-6 Mismatch Day

On Friday, February 22nd, the Elementary Student Council is hosting Mismatch Day!

Students in Grades K-6 can wear their craziest mismatching outfits, like mixing polka dots with stripes. This is a Spirit Day, which means it is a free Dress Down Day for our K-6th Grade students.

If you have questions, please email the Elementary Student Council Chair in your child's building.

Collegium Employee Spotlight: Elizabeth Stone

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 Elizabeth Stone, Middle School Spanish Teacher.

Education Explained: Targeted Support and Improvement Designation Update

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 Marita K. Barber, Acting CEO and Director, Academic and Student Services.

In December, I shared that Collegium Charter School was one of roughly 200 Pennsylvania schools designated for Additional Targeted Support and Improvement by the federal government under ESSA (the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015). Our designation is based on data suggesting that CCS students receiving special education services need additional supports in three areas: academic proficiency on state assessments; academic growth; and English language proficiency.

Since then, Pennsylvania has provided additional information, including resources and supports available to CCS as we undertake our improvement efforts. The first major step in the improvement cycle was to establish a School Improvement Steering Committee. By following ESSA guidelines, Collegium’s Committee was formed to include the following members:

150 Building

Gavin Lawler, Colleen Danilson, Mary Watson, Kaitlyn Ubaldini, Meredith Ely, Rebecca McKlindon, Courtney McNeil, and Jess Guarente

468/486 Building

Marcell Moore, Kate McCain, Amy Leonard, Ryan Thom, Brad Gubanich, Laura Stauffer, Melanie Lewis, and Angela Warfield

500 Building

Shaun Murphy, Alicia Morisset, Abbey Roggio, Holly Loescher, Marissa McIntyre, Allison Thomas, and Molly McConnell

515 Building

Paul Harkins, Megan Shields, Jamie Batty, Joe Michetti, Cassie Brusch, Katie Zimmerman, Jen Conroy, and Renee Erich

535 Building

Pat O’Brien, Kaitlin Spangler, Laura Rager, Elise Borig, Cindy Applebaum, Stephanie Lawrence, Nicole Cianci, Kellyann Bradley, and Donna Levan

435 Building

Jenni Burton, Amber Ammon, Rebecca Ratti, Christine Koberg, Kristin O'Keefe, Maureen Wilkins, and Marita Barber

Collegium’s Committee will begin our improvement process by conducting a comprehensive needs assessment using tools from the Commonwealth. The data gathered through the assessment process will help us identify areas where improvement is needed in our teaching and our students’ learning.

The Commonwealth also provided surveys to collect specific data from our students in Grades 3-12, our employees, and CCS parents/guardians. The link to the parent/guardian survey is below. We welcome your input!

I continue to view this improvement process as a tremendous opportunity for the CCS Community and one that will result in the most beneficial teaching methods for your children. Members of the School Improvement Steering Committee are committed to finding strategies that work best for our students. We look forward to collaborating with you as we embrace this challenge!

Junior Tri-M Winter Coat and Sock Collection

Can you imagine not having a winter coat or warm socks during a Pennsylvania winter? Neither can the members of the Junior Tri-M Music Honor Society. That's why they've organized a Sock and Winter Coat Drive to benefit families in need.

Through Friday, February 22nd, the Middle School Music Honor Society will collect donations of new or gently used winter coats and new, warm socks. Donations of clothing in all sizes from newborn to adult are also welcome.

The children's clothing donations will go to the Chester County Intermediate Unit's Early Head Start Program. This program supports area families in need by providing full-time, high-quality childcare for children up to three years of age. Larger-sized clothing will be donated to local shelters.

Please consider sharing the gift of warmth with your community this winter by supporting the Junior Tri-M Honor Society's Sock and Winter Coat Drive. You can gather donations from your family's closets and buy donations of new winter socks from your local clothing or discount stores. Collection boxes will be set up in the lobbies of all student buildings.

NEHS 10th Annual Pajama Read-a-Thon Party

On Friday, March 1st, from 6:30pm until 9:15pm, our National Elementary Honor Society (NEHS) with host its 10th annual Pajama Read-a-Thon Party for students in Grades 3-6.

Reading activities will include Reader's Theater, Book Blitz, Read Alouds, Partner Reads, and lots of DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) time. Permission Slips are available below and are due, along with the participation fee, by Monday, February 25th. There are limited spaces available—registration will be completed on a first come, first served basis.

Questions? Email Mrs. Hirst.

Elementary Career Days Coming This Spring

486 Building Career Day

On Friday, March 29th, the 486 Building will host its 2nd Annual Career Day for Grades 2 through 4. We are looking for volunteers to come and speak with our students about their careers. The event will begin at about 8:30am and runs through 11:30am.

Career Day is an excellent opportunity for students to think about what their futures could look like. At this stage in their career development, it's important for students to be aware of the variety of career fields and opportunities available to them.

The 486 Building is excited for the 2nd Annual Career Day to be a great event! With help from parents, teachers, and members of the community, students will be even more prepared for their futures.

Would you like to participate? Do you want to share your career or area of expertise? Please complete and submit the 486 Building Career Day Sign-Up Form below.

Questions? We encourage you to email Mrs. Yack or Ms. Warfield for further assistance.

150 Building Career Day

Career Day is rapidly approaching for the CCS 150 Building, and we need YOUR experiences! We're looking for a variety of people interested in spending a morning talking about their careers with our students. Whether you're a nurse, mechanic, astronaut, custodian, or business owner—our students want to hear from you!

Many students are unaware of the different career opportunities available to them. Career Day is a fantastic way to provide students with first-hand knowledge of potential career paths. The event will also help you to get involved with CCS and make an impact on our students’ future. If you're interested, please use the link below to sign up for the 150 Building's Friday, March 22nd Career Day.

Questions? Email Mr. Dower, 150 Building K-1 School Counselor.

First Annual 468/486 Building Heritage Celebration

You are invited to join the 468/486 Building in its first Heritage Celebration scheduled for Wednesday, March 20th from 6:00pm to 7:30pm.

We're extremely excited about this event, which is designed to showcase traditional clothes, food, flags, pictures, songs, dances, artifacts, and more from our students' and families' countries of origin, or from any country in which students might be interested. Our goal is for participants and visitors to have fun learning about the diversity of the children and cultures represented at Collegium.

Please click the links below to access the Heritage Celebration flyer and participation form. See you there!

Questions? Email Mrs. Inaganti.

College Board AP Exam Registration: May 2019

Taking the Advanced Placement (AP) Exams is an important part of all AP courses. Collegium would like all students to take AP Exams for the AP classes that they've completed. Scoring well on an AP Exam can often earn students college credit for the high school class, saving a significant amount on tuition for families.

For the 2019 College Board AP Exams, CCS students will register online through a third-party website, called "Total Registration." Using Total Registration (linked below), you can directly access Collegium's Advanced Placement Exam Registration page.

AP Exam registration will close on Friday, February 22nd at 12:00pm. After that time, all registrations will incur a $10.00 late fee. Late registrations will only be accepted until Friday, March 1st. Letters were mailed home in December to AP students' families with all the details pertaining to the online AP Exam registration process.

Questions? Contact Ms. Jenkins.

Upcoming Parents' Night Out

Need a few hours to yourself? The CCS Middle and High School Music Departments have just the solution: A Parents’ Night Out with childcare! This evening will feature lots of fun for kids, including games and a movie. Pizza and juice will be provided, along with a snack.

Our Parents' Night Out Fundraiser will take place on Saturday, February 23rd from 5:00pm until 9:00pm in our 515 Building. The child care fee is $20.00 for the first child, and $15.00 for each additional child. Children must be at least three (3) years old and fully toilet-trained (no pull-ups or diapers). Children must be CCS students or CCS students’ younger siblings (fully toilet-trained). Younger siblings may only attend if their older CCS student siblings attend.

Interested? Fill out the form below, and send it to the attention of Mrs. Jones in the 515 Building, along with your payment (cash, or check made payable to “CCS”) by Wednesday, February 20th.

All proceeds of this fundraiser will benefit CCS's Middle and High School Music Departments. If you have questions, email Mrs. Jones for assistance.

CCS Athletics Department Reminders

Last Chance: February 2019 Skills & Drills Basketball Clinic

Collegium is happy to offer another Skills & Drills Basketball Clinic to our students in Grades 1-6.

The Clinic is scheduled for Monday, February 18th in the William D. Winters Gymnasium (535 Building Gym). The cost is $10.00/child. Payment and Permission Slips (linked below) are due by Monday, February 18th. The first Skills & Drills Basketball Clinic session will be for students in Grades 1-3 from 10:00am until 11:00am. The session for our 4th-6th Grade students will be from 11:00am until 12:00pm.

At the Clinic, students will learn from Collegium’s Boys and Girls Varsity Basketball Coaches and student-athletes as they teach the fundamentals of basketball and share their love of the game!

If you have questions about Collegium’s Spring 2019 Skills & Drills Basketball Clinic, email Coach Jones.

Spring 2019 Intramural Programs

Collegium’s Elementary Intramural Programs offer a variety of opportunities for students in Kindergarten through 6th Grade to participate in activities designed to promote a healthy and active lifestyle. Our programs focus on athletic fundamentals and social interactions with an emphasis on sportsmanship. Programs this spring consist of a variety of activities including Running, Basketball, Kickball, Flag Football, and Cougar Olympic Games.

Programs are scheduled after school. The number of sessions offered will vary depending upon the particular program. To register, please complete the registration for the desired Intramurals Program and return it to Mr. Revnell (515 Building), along with the necessary fee, by the designated due date. Registration form links are included below and posted on the CCS Intramurals webpage prior to the start of each program.

Questions? Email our Intramurals Program Coordinator, Mr. Revnell.

Updates From CCS's HSA

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, teacher, and staff volunteers! Proceeds from HSA fundraisers and activities help fund CCS education and operations.

HSA Annual Outgrown & Vendor Sale Back By Popular Demand

The 2nd Annual HSA Outgrown & Vendor Sale is scheduled for Saturday, March 2, 2019 from 8:00am to 2:00pm. We anticipate a fun and successful sale again this year. The Outgrown & Vendor Sale is an HSA Fundraiser that benefits Collegium.

Outgrown & Vendor Sale Consignors

Consignors are now being accepted! Pay $25.00 to consign, or volunteer for two hours and consign for free! Consignors receive 70% of their sales; 30% of each sale benefits CCS. Email Sarah Hanna to sign up.

Volunteers Needed For The Outgrown & Vendor Sale

We need volunteers for the Outgrown And Vendor Sale to run well. Please use the SignUpGenius link below to schedule one or two hours. Thank you!

Early Admission Tickets For The Sale

Want to access the sale before the general public? Purchase your Early Admission tickets using the link below.

Consignors: Information About Purchasing Your Tags

Consignors should send an email to Mrs. Anna McFadden to coordinate tag purchase and pickup.

Spring Box Tops For Education Contest

Our Spring Box Tops Contest is coming soon. Don’t forget to start clipping and saving your Box Tops now!

Teacher Appreciation Week

This spring’s Teacher Appreciation Week is also approaching. We’ll be in touch soon to ask for volunteers and donations for this important recognition event!

School Store Volunteers Needed!

Please consider volunteering to work a School Store in our 150, 468, 486, and/or 500 Buildings. Your kids love their school stores, and we need volunteers to make them available to students in the morning and at lunch. The School Store SignUpGenius link is below. Note that clearances are required for School Store volunteers.

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 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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