Collegium Newsletter October 28, 2019

Welcome to Collegium Charter School's weekly multimedia 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., Oct. 28th, Day 2

  • CMS and 500 Building: Cycle A
  • 150 Building: Grades K-4 Book Fair Begins (Ends Friday, November 8th)
  • Grade 5: Spice Market Sale Begins (Ends Friday, November 1st) @ 500 Building
  • Grades K-6: STEM T-Shirt Sale Begins (Ends Friday, November 8th)
  • Treats For Troops Drive Begins (Ends Friday, November 1st) (Sponsored by MS/HS Tri-M Music Honor Society) @ All Buildings
  • 150 Building: Grades 3-4 STEM Design Club | Room 971 3:45pm - 5:00pm
  • 150 Building Intramurals: Grades 2-4 Cougar Olympic Games | Room 826 4:00pm - 6:00pm
  • 486 Building Intramurals: Grades 2-4 Cougar Olympic Games | Cafeteria 4:00pm - 6:00pm
  • 500 Building: Student Council Meeting | Room 126 4:15pm - 5:15pm

Tues., Oct. 29th, Day 3

  • CMS and 500 Building: Cycle A
  • Grade 6: Field Trip (A) | Allison, DeCarolis, Grabowski, Maccario Classrooms 9:00am - 3:00pm @ Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum
  • 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
  • 150 Building Intramurals: Grades K-1 Cougar Olympic Games | Room 826 4:00pm - 6:00pm
  • 486 Building: Little Artists Club (Session 2) | Room 518 4:00pm - 5:00pm
  • 486 Building Intramurals: Grades K-1 Cougar Olympic Games | Cafeteria 4:00pm - 6:00pm
  • 500 Building Intramurals: Grades 5-6 Soccer | Gym 4:00pm - 6:00pm

Wed., Oct. 30th, Day 4

  • CMS and 500 Building: Cycle A
  • 150 Building Intramurals: Grades 2-4 Cougar Olympic Games | Room 826 4:00pm - 6:00pm
  • 486 Building: Junior Artists Club (Session 2) | Room 515 4:00pm - 5:00pm
  • 486 Building Intramurals: Grades 2-4 Cougar Olympic Games | Cafeteria 4:00pm - 6:00pm
  • 500 Building Intramurals: Grades 5-6 Soccer | Gym 4:00pm - 6:00pm

Thurs., Oct. 31st, Day 5

  • CMS and 500 Building: Cycle A
  • Grades K-12: Early Dismissal for Students (Professional Development for Faculty/Staff - PM) | Grades 7-12 Dismissed at 11:30am; Grades K-6 Dismissed at 12:15pm
  • Grades K-6: Story Book/Comic Character Day | Dress like a character from your favorite story book or comic. Bring the book to school! No props allowed.
  • Grades 5-12: Optional "Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF" Fundraiser 4:00pm - 8:00pm

Fri., Nov. 1st, Day 6

  • CMS and 500 Building: Cycle A
  • Grade 5: Spice Market Sale Ends (Began Monday, October 28th) @ 500 Building
  • Treats For Troops Drive Ends (Began Monday, October 28th) (Sponsored by MS/HS Tri-M Music Honor Society) @ All Buildings
  • 150 Building: 2nd Grade Field Trip 9:00am - 2:00pm @ Longwood Gardens
  • 150 Building Intramurals: Grades K-1 Cougar Olympic Games | Room 826 4:00pm - 6:00pm
  • 486 Building Intramurals: Grades K-1 Cougar Olympic Games | Cafeteria 4:00pm - 6:00pm

Sat., Nov. 2nd

  • Boys V Cross Country PIAA State Championships 10:00am @ Parkview Cross Country Course
  • Girls V Cross Country PIAA State Championships 10:00am @ Parkview Cross Country Course

K-6 Story Book/Comic Book Character Day

On Thursday, October 31st, our Elementary Student Council will host its first Spirit Day of the 2019-2020 school year: Story Book/Comic Book Character Day!

Students in Kindergarten through 6th Grade are invited to dress as a character from their favorite story or comic book that day. Participating students who have a copy at home of the story or comic book featuring their character should feel free to bring it to school on Thursday. No other costume props are allowed.

Watch for an Elementary Student Council Spirit Day each month through May of this school year! Questions? Send an email to our Elementary Student Council Advisors using the button provided.

November K-12 Menus And Payment Information

The Food Service Department's November Menus and Payment Information are available using the button below. This information is also posted as a "Resource" on the Food Service page of our website.

Questions about the Food Service Department? Email our Director of Food Services, Mr. Mike Ely.

News From Our Athletics Department

First-Ever CCS BAL Championship Trophy Win

Congratulations to Collegium’s Girls Cross Country Team for winning the Bicentennial Athletic League (BAL) Championships on Thursday, October 17th at Tyler State Park! The Team’s trophy is the first for Collegium in any sport in the BAL.

"I am so proud of our girls for winning the Bicentennial Athletic League (BAL) title! With this being our first year in the BAL, I couldn't ask for anything more. I credit this accomplishment to their continued positive work ethic and their support of one another. Coaching them has been a true privilege!" -Mr. Josiah Ramsey, CCS Girls Cross Country Coach

Leading the way for this BAL Championship win was Collegium High School Freshman, Lindsey R., who finished 3rd in 21:01. Several other team members finished in the top 35, contributing to the Team’s overall win:

  • Paige H. (Junior): 6th
  • Lily I. (Sophomore): 10th
  • Dyani C. (Sophomore): 16th
  • Hannah L. (Junior): 17th
  • Melanie L. (Freshman): 32nd
  • Jamie G. (Junior): 34th
CHS's Girls Cross Country Team members proudly display their BAL Championship trophy following their October 17th win.
"I’m very proud of our girls team for winning the BAL Championship this year, especially because it’s our first year in the league. We showed them what we’re made of, and proved what we have to offer. I’m especially excited because no one on our girls team is graduating this year, so we will all be back next year to dominate again!" -Paige H., CHS Junior, and Captain of CCS’s Girls Cross Country Team

For their win, the girls each ran a challenging 3.1-mile, outdoor, all-terrain Championship course. Many Team members train all year round. The CHS season began in August and will end with District Championships on Friday, October 25th. After that, some of the girls will compete to qualify for the PIAA Cross Country Championships (“states”) on Saturday, November 2nd.

“Please join me in congratulating these fierce student-athletes on an amazing and well-deserved Championship win!” said a delighted John Allen, Director of CCS Athletics and Extracurricular Activities. “Joining the BAL was a major move for Collegium Athletics that presented a higher level of competition for all of our student-athletes. Winning a BAL Championship in our first year with the league is just phenomenal!”

The Team’s BAL Championship trophy is being engraved. Swing by to see it on display in the 535 (MS) Building’s trophy cabinet when the engraving is finished.

Girls Volleyball Competes In PIAA District One Playoffs

Congratulations to our Collegium High School (CHS) Girls Volleyball Team for qualifying for the PIAA District 1 Playoffs last Thursday, October 24th! Our Team traveled to New Hope with their Coaches, Ms. Brigid Shehan and Mr. Andre Revnell, to challenge top-seed New Hope-Solesbury High School.

This was the first time in CCS Girls Volleyball history that our Team was eligible for this prestigious tournament! As they moved into the Playoffs, the Team ranked 3rd in the BAL and 4th in the District.

The action shot above illustrates the athleticism our CHS Girls Volleyball student-athletes possess.
“No matter what obstacles they faced, they kept moving forward and allowed each experience to make them better individually and collectively as a team.” -Ms. Brigid Shehan, CHS Girls Volleyball Team Coach

“When I think of this year's team,” shared Coach Shehan, “the word ‘perseverance’ comes to mind. We’ve worked through a lot of things this season, such as injuries and tough opponents. No matter what obstacles they faced, the Team kept moving forward and allowed each experience to make them better individually and collectively as a team. I am ecstatic to see them gain the recognition that our Volleyball Program has never before received!”

"I’ve never seen a Girls Volleyball team work harder individually and as a team than they have this season!" John Allen, CCS Director of Athletics and Extracurricular Activities

In addition to their achievements as a Team, several individual players received special recognition. CHS Seniors Rayma A. and Bintu S. were voted to the All BAL Second Team, and Senior Gloria G. was voted to the All BAL Honorable Mention Team. These designations identify Rayma, Bintu, and Gloria as top athletes in the BAL.

Mr. John Allen, CCS Director of Athletics and Extracurricular Activities, thanks the Collegium Community for its support and good wishes for our CHS Volleyball Team. “Achieving this level of play is what it’s all about for these student-athletes,” he said. “The Team has learned what it takes to compete at the District level and to succeed in their sport of choice. I’ve never seen a Girls Volleyball team work harder individually and as a team than they have this season!”

AP Spanish Students Explore Identity Through Mask-Making

Students in Collegium High School’s (CHS) AP Spanish Language and Culture course explored themes of Gender Roles and Public and Personal Identities last week through an intriguing mask-making activity.

“Mask-making was an extremely creative way for students to investigate gender and identity issues in Spanish culture and their own lives.” -Mrs. Marie Rogai, CHS Spanish Teacher
Students used fabric, templates, markers, and tissue paper to create their Luchador/a masks. ("Pro tip: It takes two people to cut out a template on fabric.” -Jose L., CHS Junior)

“In our AP Spanish Language and Culture class, students are able to use different interpersonal, interpretive, and presentation methods to explore Spanish culture and language concepts and issues,” Mrs. Rogai explained. “Mask-making was an extremely creative way for students to investigate gender and identity issues in Spanish culture and their own lives.”

“[Mask-making] allowed me to explore both sides of my personality through art.” -Hannah G., CHS Junior

In preparation, students watched "Luchadora," a documentary about Mexican women who support their families through “Lucha Libre,” or competitive wrestling. Lucha Libre dates back to the 1860s and has a long, rich history. Today, the sport is a social media and sports entertainment phenomenon.

Mrs. Rogai showed her students how to seam the two halves of their masks together using a sewing machine.

When competing, “luchadores” wear masks to create flamboyant personalities, develop storylines, and conceal their real identities. To learn more about how gender and identity concepts can be expressed through art, Mrs. Rogai’s students also studied Frida Kahlo’s painting, “Las Dos Fridas.” The painting is a dual self-portrait where the artist reflects on both her Mexican and European roots.

“I really enjoyed going back to my roots.” -Lenny B., CHS Junior

Students used fabric, templates, markers, and tissue paper to create their Luchador/a masks. One side of the mask depicted students’ “public selves,” and the other reflected their “personal selves.” Mrs. Rogai also taught students how to use a sewing machine so they could seam their mask pieces together into a complete mask.

The mask-making project totally engaged Mrs. Rogai’s students. Savannah A. (CHS Junior) commented that making her mask “...allowed me to express my artistic ability and use my Spanish.” Emma T. (CHS Junior) commented, “It’s really fun, you know?” What more could you ask of a High School Spanish project?

K-6 STEM T-Shirt Fundraiser

Be a proud supporter of CCS’s K-6 STEM programs by sporting our uniquely designed STEM T-shirt!

Our K-6 STEM T-shirt sale runs from Monday, October 28th through Friday, November 8th.

These fun T-shirts will be sold beginning Monday, October 28th through Friday, November 8th. All funds raised will support future Family STEM Nights and other K-6 STEM program activities. Students can also wear their STEM T-shirts throughout the school year on Cougar Pride Days!

Students in Ms. Capolarello's STEM class focus on learning how to design and build working catapults out of spoons and other supplies.
In Mrs. Cortlessa's STEM class, students study how to power objects with air from balloons.
The students above are learning while doing by creating K'NEX creatures in one of Mrs. Kahl's STEM classes.

The STEM T-shirts are available in Youth and Adult sizes. To order, use the Order Form provided at the button below.

Completed Order Forms should be sent to:

  • Ms. Cortlessa (150 Building)
  • Ms. Capolarello (468/486 Building)
  • Mr. Karstetter (500 Building)

STEM is so important to our future! Your support of our T-shirt fundraiser will have an impact on our Elementary students and STEM Programs. Use the buttons below to email your child’s STEM/Technology Teacher with questions. They'll be happy to hear from you!

UNICEF Club's Optional Halloween Fundraiser

Collegium High School’s (CHS) UNICEF* Club will hold our annual Halloween fundraiser again this year. This optional fundraiser provides lifesaving funds to children in need throughout the world.

To participate in the UNICEF Club fundraiser, students first pick up Halloween boxes from their buildings at the locations below. Then, when students are out trick-or-treating, attending holiday parties, or going to community events, they ask for donations to UNICEF.

Halloween UNICEF boxes can be picked up at:

  • Grades K-4: The Main Office of your child’s building
  • Grades 5-8: Your child’s Homeroom Teacher
  • Grades 9-12: Ms. Cianci in Room 336 of the 515 (HS) Building

Your child’s Halloween UNICEF box should be returned to the above locations on Friday, November 1st. The CHS UNICEF Club will then count all of the donations and send a check to UNICEF toward its global initiatives.

Email Ms. Cianci, the UNICEF Club’s Faculty Advisor, with questions about our optional UNICEF Halloween Fundraiser. Thank you in advance for your generous help!

*According to UNICEF's website, "UNICEF works in over 190 countries and territories to protect the rights of every child. UNICEF has spent 70 years working to improve the lives of children and their families.” To learn more about the UNICEF organization, access its website 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.

Forecasters predict that health care career options will continue to grow in 2020 and beyond.

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 dream of many student-athletes is to become collegiate, or even professional, athletes.

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.”

Our youth will always need qualified teachers to help them reach their career goals.

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

2020-2021 Sibling Enrollment At Collegium

General Information

According to PA Charter School Law, siblings of currently enrolled Collegium students are considered for enrollment ahead of new, non-sibling enrollees. Sibling enrollment is not guaranteed, however. CCS must first ensure that the Sibling Enrollment materials families submit are complete. Then CCS determines if space is available for each sibling.

Sibling Enrollment is only for prospective students who are siblings of currently enrolled Collegium students. Siblings of currently enrolled Collegium students include:

  • Siblings by Birth
  • Step-Siblings
  • Adopted Siblings
  • Foster Siblings

Sibling Enrollment is also for wards subject to legal guardianship or other children related by blood or marriage who live with the currently enrolled CCS student’s family in a regular parent-child relationship and who are dependent upon the current student’s parent(s) for support. A Court Order or a completed and notarized Guardianship Form is required to document guardianship status.

CCS’s 2020-2021 Sibling Enrollment process will begin on Monday, November 4, 2019, at 9:00 AM when enrollment materials will be posted on the Sibling Enrollment page of our website. The Sibling Enrollment period will end promptly at 4:00 PM on Friday, November 15, 2019. For more information, access our Sibling Enrollment webpage below.

One Collegium family representing three different grade levels and CCS buildings.

Prepare Your Documents Now

Collegium's 2020-2021 Sibling Enrollment process will be completed online*, only. During the online process, families must upload certain required information (listed below).

To "digitize"** the documents for uploading, you can scan them with a scanner or take clear photos using a smartphone or tablet. The documents are:

  • Copy of your child's Birth Certificate
  • Copy of your child's current Immunization Record
  • Two (2) Proofs of Residency for your family
  • Student ID (Food Service PIN) of your child's oldest sibling attending Collegium

If you do not have a copy of your child's Immunization Record, please obtain it from your child's health care provider and then upload it for CCS. Do not ask the health care provider to send the Immunization Record to Collegium; instead, please receive the Immunization Record yourself so that you can control when Collegium receives it.

Proofs of Residency are limited to: A deed, lease, mortgage statement, current utility bill, current credit card bill, property tax bill, vehicle registration, driver’s license, or PennDOT identification card. Proofs of Residency documents may not be expired. Two are required for the Sibling Enrollment process.

Student IDs (Food Service PINs) are five-digit numbers assigned to each Collegium student. If you need help finding your child's Student ID, please ask your child for it or contact the Main Office of your child's building.

Do you have questions about the documents required for CCS’s 2020-2021 Sibling Enrollment process? Our Enrollment Department staff is happy to assist. Use the button below to email them.

*If you don't have internet access or if you need help scanning your child's documents, we can assist you in November at our 435 Building (435 Creamery Way, Suite 300, Exton, PA 19341) between 8:30 AM and 3:30 PM on days when school is in session.

**Digitizing documents means converting them into electronic files like photos or scanned images. Families can upload photos or scanned images of Birth Certificates, Immunization Records, and Proofs of Residency. Digitized items must be clear, readable, and include all four corners of each document. Please remove documents from their envelopes before taking their pictures or scanning them. If you wish, you may keep dollar amounts confidential by covering them with marker or ink.

K-6 Lost And Found Clean-Out

The 150 Building and 500 Buildings’ Lost and Found collections are overflowing!

At the end of the school day on Friday, November 1st, the Lost and Founds in our 150 Building and 500 Building will be cleaned out. Please have your children check the Lost and Found in their building for any items that belong to them.

Parents/guardians are also invited to visit the 150 Building or 500 Building Lost and Founds to check for missing items. Just come to the Main Office between 8:30 AM and 3:00 PM and speak with your Building Receptionist.

All unclaimed Lost and Found items remaining in our 150 and 500 Buildings after Friday, November 1st will be donated to the CCS Uniform Resale Shop or a local charity.

Treats For Troops Drive For Armed Services Members

Beginning Monday, October 28th through Friday, November 1st, Collegium High School’s Tri-M Music Honor Society will host a “Treats for Troops” collection.

Treats for Troops is a Halloween candy* collection that helps bring the fun of Halloween to active and veteran military members who are hospitalized over Halloween. Students from our Tri-M Music Honor Society will sort your donations themselves and then deliver them to our local heroes in Veterans Health Administration facilities.

Please consider donating store-bought candy *(no baked or home-made goods, please) to Treats for Troops! Donation boxes will be located in the Main Offices of all CCS buildings.

We appreciate your support of our Tri-M Music Honor Society’s Treats for Troops candy collection. The students’ desire to show their gratitude to members of our U.S. military is commendable!

Use the button below to contact our Tri-M Music Honor Society Advisor, Mr. Nick Motter, with questions.

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:

  • 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 provides members with dedicated time to focus on their creative visions.

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 468/486 Building’s Little Artists and Junior Artists Clubs have already gone home with students.

Parents/guardians of young artists in the 150 and 500 Buildings will hear more about Session 2 soon.

Art Club Pride!

If you need additional details about upcoming Elementary Art Clubs, feel free to email Ms. Shortridge (468/486 Building), Ms. Galie (150 Building), or Ms. Thomas (500 Building) using the buttons provided below.

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):

Community Opportunity

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.

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program

The federal government’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps eligible families pay their energy costs in three ways:

  • Cash Grants: Assistance for heating bills ranges from $200 to $1,000
  • Crisis Grants: Up to $600 for families who have an emergency and are in danger of being without heat
  • Weatherization Grants: Help families insulate their houses and repair/replace heating systems to save money on heating

LIHEAP will accept applications for its cash, crisis, and weatherization grants beginning Friday, November 1, 2019, through Friday, April 10, 2020. To apply, please access Pennsylvania’s COMPASS website at the button below.

Families with questions about the LIHEAP grants can also call the Chester County Assistance Office using the button provided.

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.