Collegium Newsletter December 17, 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.

Please Note: Due to Winter Break, we will not share a digital Newsletter for the week of January 7th. Instead, we will briefly share several items via plain text email message on January 6th. The digital Newsletter will return with our January 14th edition.

CCS Family Calendar

Mon., Dec. 17th - Day 3

  • 515 Building: Principals' Coffee Chat | Conference Room 7:45am
  • 535 Building: Principals' Coffee Chat | Conference Room 2:00pm - 3:00pm
  • 150 Building: K/1 STEM Club | Room 961 3:45pm - 5:00pm
  • Girls Varsity Basketball vs. Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy | Gym 3:45pm @ 535 Building
  • Grades 7-8: Middle School Winter Concert | Gym 7:00pm - 7:45pm @ 500 Building
  • Grades 9-12: High School Winter Concert | Gym 8:30pm - 9:30pm @ 500 Building

Tue., Dec. 18th - Day 4

  • Operation Lifting Spirits Presentation by the National Elementary Honor Society 9:30am - 11:30am @ Exton Senior Living
  • Grades 9-12: Detention 3:00pm - 4:30pm @ 535 Building
  • Boys Junior Varsity & Varsity Basketball vs. Mercy Career & Technical High School 3:45pm @ Gustine Recreation Center
  • Girls 7th & 8th Grade Basketball vs. Fred S. Engle Middle School | Gym 4:00pm @ 500 Building
  • Grades 5-6: National Elementary Honor Society Student Meeting | Room 228 4:00pm - 5:30pm @ 500 Building

Wed., Dec. 19th - Day 5

  • Grades K-6: "O" is for "Own It/Be Outstanding" - Wear Purple T-Shirt With Uniform Bottoms
  • Grades 9-12: Academic Competition Meet vs. Downingtown East High School & Avon Grove Charter School | Gym 7:30am - 12:00pm @ 535 Building
  • Grade 6: Heritage Fair - Team A | Gym 1:00pm - 2:30pm @ 500 Building
  • 468/486 Building: Grades 2-4 Lego STEM/Coding Club (Fourth Session) | Room 515 4:00pm - 5:00pm

Thu., Dec. 20th - Day 6

  • Grades 9-12: Brandywine River Museum Field Trip 8:45am - 2:30pm
  • Grade 6: Heritage Fair - Team B | Gym 1:00pm - 2:30pm @ 500 Building
  • Grades 9-12: Detention 3:00pm - 4:30pm @ 535 Building
  • Boys 7th & 8th Grade Basketball vs. Octorara Middle School 3:30pm @ Octorara Middle School
  • 150 Building: K/1 STEM Club | Room 961 3:45pm - 5:00pm
  • Boys Varsity Basketball vs. Valley Forge Military Academy & College | Gym 6:00pm @ 535 Building

Fri., Dec. 21st - Day 1

  • 468/486 Building: 2nd Grade Field Trip (Danenhower, Hannan, Jackson, and Llewellyn) @ Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre
  • Grades 9-12: High School Music Nursing Homes Field Trip
  • Grades 9-12: Ugly Sweater Dress Down Day @ 535 Building
  • Grades K-12: Cougar Pride Day - Wear Your Cougar Gear With Uniform Bottoms or Jeans
  • Boys Junior Varsity & Varsity Basketball vs. Calvary Christian Academy 4:00pm @ Calvary Christian Academy
  • Girls Varsity Basketball vs. Morrisville High School 6:00pm @ Morrisville High School

Try Something Different Over Winter Break

Winter Break fun could turn into a winning STEM/Science Fair Submission!

Collegium’s Winter Break is the perfect time for students and families to have fun exploring something they’ve always wondered about. The results can be transformed into what could be a winning STEM/Science Fair project.

Here are some wild ideas we hope will get you thinking about how different and creative STEM/Science Fair projects can be:

  • How do gooey, fragile egg whites make such stiff meringue for pies and other desserts?
  • How do birds make nests, and why do they choose the materials they do?
  • Why are drums always a part of a band? How does music sound without them?
  • Why do people make all kinds of faces when they hear different types of noises?
  • You can easily make slime, cloud dough, and playdough at home. How are they different? What do the different ingredients do?
  • How do different objects perform as paint brushes, and why? You can try potatoes, bubble wrap, ribbon, spaghetti, and...fly swatters?!
  • What makes waves? Why are some waves small, while others are large, and how do they become Tsunamis?
  • How can we make regular objects phosphorescent so they glow under a black light?

It’s not hard to put your adventure into a presentation for the STEM/Science Fair. To be judged, and for students in Grades 4-12 to advance to other competitions (if selected), the presentation has to be in a certain format. Students should be sure to document what they do (by taking notes, pictures, or making short videos), the result, and how it differed from what they thought would happen. Guidelines for STEM/Science Fair presentation format are discussed on the STEM/Science Fair Website linked below.

The 1st-12th Grade STEM/Science Fair is scheduled for Wednesday, January 23, 2019 in the 500 Building Gym from 4:30pm to 9:00pm. The deadline for registration is Friday, January 11th, so you have Winter Break to do some investigation and experimentation! Kindergartners are invited to participate in their very own fair on Wednesday, February 6th.

Express your individuality and help us learn something new! Mrs. High, the STEM/Science Fair Coordinator, would love to hear what you’re thinking of doing and answer your questions. Email her at the link below.

Super Reader Man Visits the 150 Kindergarten

Is it a bird? A plane? No...it’s Super Reader Man!

CCS’s 150 Building Kindergarteners finished their “Super Powers” reading unit last week, and were so surprised when Super Reader Man arrived to help them celebrate! We’ll come back to Super Reading Man in a bit, though. First, let’s talk about the unit itself and our Kindergarteners’ amazing reading accomplishments.

The Super Powers Unit from Reader’s Workshop is one of the students’ and teachers’ favorites. As students move through the unit, reading begins to form. Students start to independently use the super powers they are learning to enjoy reading. They also begin reading the text instead of the pictures.

"I thought he was really cool. My favorite super power is persistence power. It means to keep trying!" - Grayson B., Kindergarten Student

The super powers students develop that help them achieve these milestones include:

  • One-to-one matching so students begin to read the text itself instead of just the picture
  • Using the picture to solve unknown words
  • Automatically reaching for snap words or high-frequency words
  • Starting to sound words out using the beginning sound within the text
Super Reader Man!

During the end of unit Super Powers celebration, the Kindergarteners excitedly reviewed their super powers using the book they worked with throughout the unit. Then, a thrilling song came on to announce the unexpected arrival of Super Reader Man! Super Reader Man danced around the Kindergarten wing handing out individual bags of reading strategy tools for each Super Reader.

150 Building Kindergarten Team

Mrs. Amber Thomas, a CCS Kindergarten Teacher, enthusiastically explained, “Students are enamored with their super powers and have fostered habits that will allow them to be lifelong learners and enjoy the gift of reading.”

Make sure you congratulate our Super Readers as they continue to build their super reading powers. Take some time to let them demonstrate just how powerful their reading is becoming!

515 Canned Food Drive Success

Last month the 515 Building's Student Council organized a canned food drive to benefit the local community.

515 Building Student Council Members

Thanks to the generosity of 515 Building students and their families, we were able to donate 1,000 pounds of food to Coatesville’s Bridge Academy and Community Center and the Westside Community Center in West Chester. That's about 1,600 cans of food!

Great work, 515! We can all learn from your generosity and good citizenship!

CCS Advanced Placement Course Updates

AP Course Application Deadline

Students in Grades 8-11 met with the high school counselors and several AP teachers this week to learn about the Advanced Placement Courses that are offered at Collegium Charter High School. AP Courses are college level courses offered at the high school level. Upon completion of these courses, students take the AP Exam in May. If students score a 3 or higher on the AP exam, they can typically use these courses to earn credits in college.

In order for students to apply for Advanced Placement Courses, they must meet the following criteria: Students must have completed the PSAT exam and have a total average of at least a (90%) in their current College Prep course or an (85%) in their current Honors course to be considered. Please reference the application via the link below if your student is interested in applying for Advanced Placement Courses. All applications are due to subject area teachers by Thursday, December 20, 2018.

The High School Counselors, Mrs. Wolfe and Mrs. White, are available via email to answer your questions about AP Courses and the application process.

Grades 9-12 students with last names A-K: Email Mrs. Jocelyn White

Grades 9-12 students with last names L-Z: Email Mrs. Tracy Wolfe

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 opened at 7:00am 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.

Instructional Assistant Positions Available

CCS Instructional Assistant (IA) positions range from general education classrooms to positions that assist students receiving learning or emotional supports. IAs are vital to the efficient functioning of CCS classrooms and to our school’s ability to meet students’ educational and support needs.

Our IAs are permanent, full-time, school year employees who are eligible for Collegium's generous benefits package. IAs work closely with teachers to help deliver instruction to small and large groups of students, and are able to get to know the students well and to experience the satisfaction of watching them grow!

Please note that IA candidates must have professional experience as a classroom assistant, special education assistant, or the equivalent. Candidates with a PA teaching certification are preferred.

Visit the CCS Employment webpage and access the link to TalentEd to view and apply for our open positions.

Questions? Email or fax (610-903-6310) CCS’s Human Resources Department.

7th Grade Field Trip Reminder

Attention CCS 7th Grade Families

Payment for the 7th Grade Field Trip is due by Monday, January 28, 2019 at 3:00pm.

For questions or to make payment arrangements, please email Ms. Pouncy, 515 Building Receptionist, using the link below.

From Our School Nurse Offices

Mobile Dentist On Campus

The Mobile Dentist will visit Collegium on Thursday, January 31st in our 150 Building. Sign-up forms will be sent home this week with students. You can also access the form via the link below.

If you would like your child to see the Mobile Dentist, please complete and return a sign-up form to your child’s School Nurse by Tuesday, January 15th. Late forms will not be accepted.

Physical and Dental Exam Due Dates

Physical Exams

For students in Grades K, 6, and 11, physical exam forms are due no later than Tuesday, April 30, 2019. Be sure to upload the physical exam form to MagnusHealth.

Dental Exams

For students in Grades K, 3, and 7, proof of a dental exam is required by Tuesday, April 30, 2019. Be sure to upload the dental exam form to MagnusHealth.

Education Explained: Targeted Support and Improvement

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 2015, the federal government passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) into law. ESSA brought the Elementary and Secondary Education Act originally passed in 1965 back into effect and also replaced the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act. Name changes aside, the purpose of the law remains the same: To promote equal educational opportunities for traditionally underserved children including those from low-income families and under-represented minority groups.

Under ESSA, states are required to designate schools for support and improvement based on either overall school-wide performance (Comprehensive Support and Improvement) or performance by a specific student subgroup (Additional Targeted Support and Improvement). A wide range of academic and student success measures are used to make these determinations.

Collegium Charter School is one of roughly 200 Pennsylvania schools selected for Additional Targeted Support and Improvement. This 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.

CCS leadership views this designation as an opportunity to better meet our students’ needs. We also see it as a wonderful chance to lay the foundation for improved communication among CCS leadership, employees, parents, guardians, the CCS Board of Trustees, and other stakeholders.

We need your help to determine CCS’s most pressing needs—beginning with those identified within the Additional Targeted Support and Improvement designation, as well as strategies to best address them. Families are welcome to be more involved by participating in our Principals’ Coffee Chats in their children’s buildings, attending HSA meetings and activities, communicating with their children’s teachers, and attending IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meetings, if applicable.

In 2019, there will be additional opportunities when CCS leadership will invite families to respond to a parent/guardian survey and will ask for input on several new policies and initiatives.

By collaborating with the different member groups of the Collegium Community, we plan to make the improvements the Additional Targeted Support and Improvement designation suggests and improve the educational outcomes in areas Pennsylvania Department of Education has identified for CCS students receiving special education services. We are excited to increase the extent to which all CCS stakeholders are involved in the process.

Thank you for all you do to support CCS’s success!

Collegium Employee Spotlight: Jenni Burton

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 Jenni Burton, K-4 Curriculum Supervisor.

Deadline Approaching For Citadel's Heart Of Learning Award Teacher Nominations

Citadel Federal Credit Union is still accepting nominations for its 2019 Citadel Heart of Learning Award. Use the link below to nominate Collegium teachers for the Award. Citadel will accept nominations through December 31, 2018.

Citadel created its Heart of Learning Award in 2001 together with the Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU). Teachers at public and private Chester County schools are eligible to win. Last year, Chester County students, parents/guardians, and community members nominated more than 2,300 teachers.

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.

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 10:00am until 11:00am, while our 4th-6th Grade students will participate from 11:00am until 12:00pm. Payment and Permission Slips (below) are due by Saturday, December 29th.

Questions? Email Coach Markel Jones.

Updates From CCS's Home & 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! Proceeds from HSA fundraisers and activities help fund CCS education and operations.

HSA Annual Outgrown & Vendor Sale Back By Popular Demand

Start saving your items for the CCS HSA’s 2nd Annual Outgrown & Vendor Sale! The event is scheduled for Saturday, March 2, 2019 from 8:00am to 2:00pm. This event was a huge success last year, and we’re planning for even more fun and sales this year. The Outgrown & Vendor Sale is an HSA Fundraiser that benefits Collegium.

As a consignor, you can set up a table and sell your children’s items at the Sale. We’ll share the Consignor Agreement in the January 7th edition of the Newsletter. Consignor sign-up will first be available to Collegium families, after which the HSA will open consignor spots to the public.

Watch for our Early Bird Special sign-up in January 7th’s Newsletter, as well. Tickets for the Early Bird Special are $5.00 and allow non-consignors to access the Outgrown & Vendor Sale from 7:00am to 8:00am, one hour before it opens to the public.

Mark your family calendars for the Sale on Saturday, March 2nd! Email Sarah Hanna of the HSA with questions.

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.

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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