Collegium Newsletter October 1, 2018

Welcome to Collegium Charter School's weekly digital Newsletter. Access our Newsletter content by scrolling through to the end, just like you would for popular social media feeds and timelines.

CCS Family Calendar

Mon., Oct. 1st - Day 5

  • Boys Middle School Soccer vs. Perkiomen School 3:45pm @ United Sports TC
  • Girls Junior Varsity Volleyball vs. Perkiomen School | Gym 3:45pm @ 535 Building
  • Girls Varsity Volleyball vs. Perkiomen | Gym 4:45pm @ 535 Building

Tue., Oct. 2nd - Day 6

  • Boys Varsity Soccer vs. AIM Academy 3:45pm @ AIM Academy
  • 150 Building: Little Artists Club (Session 1) | Room 827 4:00pm - 5:00pm
  • Girls Middle School Volleyball vs. Chester Charter School For the Arts | Gym 4:00pm @ 500 Building
  • 468/486 Building: Junior Artists Club (Session 1) | 486 Building, Room 515 4:00pm - 5:00pm

Wed., Oct. 3rd - Day 1

  • 500 Building: Principals' Coffee Chat | Conference Room 9:00am - 10:00am
  • Boys and Girls Varsity Golf vs. Sun Valley High School and Northley High School 3:00pm @ Rock Manor Golf Club
  • Boys Middle School Cross Country vs. Kimberton Waldorf School 3:45pm @ Kimberton Waldorf School Upper Field
  • Boys Middle School Soccer vs. Renaissance Academy 3:45pm @ Friendship Field
  • Girls Middle School Cross Country vs. Kimberton Waldorf School 3:45pm @ Kimberton Waldorf School Upper Field
  • 150 Building: Junior Artists Club (Session 1) | Room 908 4:00pm - 5:00pm
  • 468/486 Building: Lego STEM/Coding Club | 486 Building Music and Art Rooms 4:00pm - 5:00pm
  • 468/486 Building: Little Artists Club (Session 1) | 486 Building Room 518 4:00pm - 5:00pm
  • Girls Middle School Volleyball vs. Faith Christian Academy 4:30pm @ Faith Christian Academy
  • HSA Meeting | Cafeteria 4:30pm @ 535 Building
  • Girls Varsity Volleyball vs. Faith Christian Academy 5:30pm @ Faith Christian Academy

Thu., Oct. 4th - Day 2

  • Boys and Girls Varsity Golf vs. The Woodlynde School 3:00pm @ The Club at Shannondell
  • 535 Building: Detention 3:20pm - 4:20pm
  • Girls Middle School Volleyball vs. Agnes Irwin School 3:30pm @ Agnes Irwin School
  • 150 Building: Student Council Meeting | Room 902 3:45pm - 4:45pm
  • Boys Varsity Cross Country vs. AIM Academy 3:45pm @ Norristown Farm Park
  • Boys Varsity Soccer vs. Phelps School 3:45pm @ Phelps School
  • Girls Varsity Cross Country vs. AIM Academy 3:45pm @ Norristown Farm Park

Fri., Oct. 5th - Day 3

  • Grade 12 and All CCS Employees: College T-Shirt Day
  • 468 Building: 1st Grade Field Trip 9:00am - 3:00pm @ Elmwood Park Zoo
  • Girls Middle School Volleyball vs. Calvary Baptist School 4:45pm @ Calvary Baptist School
  • 150 Building: Rec Night 6:00pm - 8:00pm
  • Girls Varsity Volleyball vs. Calvary Baptist School 6:00pm @ Calvary Baptist School

Hispanic Heritage Festival Recap

"It’s always great to see diversity at CCS, and it’s even better when we celebrate it.”

Thank you to everyone who came out and enjoyed our 2nd Annual Hispanic Heritage Festival last weekend! The previous night's rain and wet field didn't stop Festival goers from enjoying the day's beautiful fall weather and fun activities.

Collegium families and community members at the Festival celebrated Hispanic Heritage month while listening to wonderful live music by our CCS High School Jazz Band and a local band, Herencia Jibara; eating delicious authentic food from Dos Gringos and Katja’s Empanadas; dancing Zumba led by an instructor; browsing local craft and business booths; and participating in raffles, face painting, and other entertaining activities.

One enthusiastic visitor shared, “The Hispanic Heritage Festival was amazing. It’s always great to see diversity at CCS, and it’s even better when we celebrate it.”

Another Hispanic Heritage Festival guest said, “I just LOVED the music. With all its color and fun, the Festival really helped me enjoy the fall weather and support Hispanic culture and Collegium! I will definitely plan on attending the Festival next year.”

Email Mrs. Tobin with questions, comments, and your ideas for next year’s Hispanic Heritage Festival.

Cougar Challenge Update

Building-Level Activities

Our recent Cougar Challenge was a great way to turn a cloudy day into a fun and meaningful celebration! The Cougar Challenge commemorates our founders’ persistence as they collected signatures 19 years ago to help Collegium open its doors. Students and employees in our 150, 468/486, 515, and 535 Buildings had a terrific time walking, playing games, and participating in various activity stations.

The wet weather prevented our 500 Building from holding its Cougar Challenge celebration. 500 Building families will be notified soon of the rescheduled event date.

We’re still calculating the financial contributions to this year’s Cougar Challenge, but we are so thankful for everyone’s support of this significant Collegium event and fundraiser.

Last-Minute Donations

Didn’t make your Cougar Challenge donation yet? There’s still time! Until Friday, October 5th, you can use the Sponsor Donation Form in our Cougar Challenge Information Packet (see below) to send cash or checks to your child’s Main Office. You can also donate online through the Credit Card Donation link provided.

The Cougar Challenge is Collegium’s largest annual fundraiser. Your donations help our Home & School Association continue to sponsor many CCS activities and events that make our school such a wonderful place for learning!

Upcoming PSAT Testing

The PSATs will be administered during the school day on Wednesday, October 10, 2018.

Students who will be testing should get a good night’s sleep and be on time for school. All 10th Grade students will be testing, as will 9th Grade students in Pre-AP Algebra I and Pre-AP World Literature. Pre-registered 11th Grade students will also be testing.

Testing students should bring No. 2 pencils and a calculator with them on test day. Please do not bring mechanical pencils. Homeroom teachers will give testing students their testing room assignments. Test prep materials will be distributed to students before the test and may also be found on the CollegeBoard website.

Questions? Email Mrs. White (students with last names A-K) or Mrs. Wolfe (students with last names L-Z).

Free & Reduced Price Meal Program Reapplication Deadline

The deadline to reapply for the 2018-2019 Free & Reduced Price School Meals Program is Wednesday, October 3, 2018. If your family (1) participated in the Free & Reduced Price School Meals Program last year, (2) and you have not yet reapplied for this school year, and (3) you received an email or letter from the CCS Food Service Department, you must reapply by the October 3rd deadline or your family's application will expire. If your application expires, full payment will be required for your child's school meals.

Families who did not participate in the Free & Reduced Price School Meals Program last school year but would like to apply may do so at any time during the 2018-2019 school year.

Visit SchoolCafe.com to reapply or for new applications. Select Collegium as the school district and Chester as the county.

Email Mrs. Francine McGrath in our Food Service Department with questions. Thank you.

Donations Wanted

Secret Student STEAM Activity Items

At the end of October, the 500 Building will begin its STEAM activity. While we would love to share what we'll be doing, we want to keep the activity a secret from our students. For it to be successful and to keep costs low, we need help from our CCS families and employees to gather supplies. Your support in donating and collecting the following items will be greatly appreciated!

To enlarge, turn mobile devices horizontally and select image.

Donations can be sent to Mrs. Eileen Kahl, 500 Building. Thank you! We look forward to sharing our fun project with you!

Questions? Email Mrs. Kahl.

ID/Key Lanyards

Our Operations Department can use donations of lanyards for IDs and keys. The Department frequently distributes lanyards to employees and vendors, and its supply is running very low!

If you can donate ID/key lanyards, please send them to Mrs. Shannon Leach, 435 Building. Email Mrs. Leach if you have questions.

Collegium Employee Spotlight: Robyn Crabb

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 will be able to greet them by name and strike up conversations!

Watch this video to learn more about Robyn Crabb, 468 Building First Grade Teacher.

Education Explained: Guided Reading A to Z

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 Mrs. Jennifer Burton, K-4 Curriculum Supervisor.

Learning to read is not easy! Teaching children to read can also be challenging, as teachers and families can attest. To help make the process as effective as possible, Collegium has adopted a popular and understandable Guided Reading approach called Fountas and Pinnel (F&P). We use the F&P Guided Reading method for both classroom and independent reading learning.

The Guided Reading levels used in the F&P approach range from A to Z, with Level A being the lowest level and level Z being the highest. CCS assesses students’ reading abilities each year based on their word knowledge, comprehension, and fluency. Each student is then assigned a corresponding Guided Reading Level, which teachers use as a guide to form small groups of reading learners in their classrooms. The small groups allow teachers to work more closely with students and to better address their reading learning skills and needs. Teachers can also more easily introduce the next level of books to the small groups, which helps to advance their learning.

F&P has a website that lists thousands of popular books with preassigned Guided Reading levels (see the link below). Teachers and parents can easily search books by Guided Reading level, genre, theme, age, interest level, or series. Collegium teachers have all been trained in book leveling using F&P Guided Reading techniques, and they clearly mark the alphabetic reading levels in the books in their classroom libraries. This makes it easy for children to find books they can read, enjoy, and understand. Families can label books at home, too, using the F&P's Leveled Books Website.

Your child's teacher can share all sorts of information with you about your child's reading level, including reading behaviors to look for, reading behaviors you can recognize as your child's reading level advances, and interventions you can use to help your child progress through reading levels. By practicing at home, students’ reading can greatly improve, as will their enjoyment of reading!

On-Campus Flu Clinic

In cooperation with the Chester County Health Department, CCS will hold its annual campus Flu Clinic on Friday, October 12th, from 8:45am to 12:00pm in the 150 Building. Pre-registration is required.

The Flu Clinic is open to students in Grades K-12, as well as to CCS employees. To register, please visit the SchoolCares link below. Use Collegium's Enrollment Code, PA08190, and then complete a form for each child you wish to register. Please note: The flu mist is not available this year. Only the injection will be offered.

The deadline for CCS Flu Clinic registration is Tuesday, October 9th. Registrations received after October 9th will not be processed. Registered students will be escorted to the 150 Building by CCS employees.

Questions or don't have computer access? Please email your child's School Nurse.

Upcoming CCS Annual Science/STEM Fairs

Upcoming Open House

The Science/STEM Fair committee will hold an Open House on Wednesday, October 24th from 6:00pm until 7:00pm in the 515 Auditorium. We would love for more students to participate in this year’s events, which include a 1st-12th Grade STEM Fair in mid-January and a Kindergarten Science/STEM Fair a few weeks later.

"The Science/STEM Fairs are a great way for students to explore topics they love and relate them to what they are learning in school," said Mrs. Kassaundra High, a CCS 3rd Grade Teacher and Science/STEM Fair Committee Member. "Their ideas could someday change our world. We want to strongly encourage their creativity and confidence in that direction!"

Please stop by our Open House if you're thinking of participating in this year's Science/STEM Fairs! We can answer your questions and help if you need ideas. If your child already knows that they'd like to sign up, please visit the link below.

Committee Members and Volunteers Needed

For the Science/STEM Fairs to run smoothly, we need both parent/guardian and CCS faculty and staff volunteers at the event. If you'd like to help plan this year's Science/STEM Fairs, we always welcome new committee members!

The committee consists of families and CCS employees. It meets about every three weeks on Wednesdays at 5:00pm in the 435 Building's Conference Room. Upcoming meetings are scheduled on:

  • Wed., October 17th
  • Wed., November 14th
  • Wed., December 5th
  • Wed., January 9th

The committee works together on both the 1st-12th Grade STEM Fair and the Kindergarten Science/STEM Fair events.

For questions and additional information, email Mrs. High. We hope to see you at our next meeting!

500 Building Career Day Scheduled

On Monday, November 19th, Collegium will host a Career Day for our 5th and 6th Grade students from 9:00am to 11:00am. We need parents/guardians and community members to come to Collegium that day to speak with students about their careers and to answer questions they may have. This is a wonderful opportunity to help expose students to the many possibilities their futures hold. Volunteers will make three or four 20-minute presentations on Career Day, including the Q&A session after each.

This 500 Building student is dressed like a Health and PE teacher!

Questions or interested in participating? Please email Mrs. Hirst no later than Monday, November 12th. Your support and encouragement of our students are greatly appreciated!

Fall Elementary Intramural Program Registration

Collegium’s Elementary Intramural Programs offer a variety of opportunities for Kindergarten through 6th Graders 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 fall include activities like running, soccer, and Cougar Fit Club.

Elementary Intramural Programs are scheduled after school. The number of sessions varies depending upon the program. To register, parents/guardians must complete a program-specific Registration Form and submit it, along with the required fee, by the due date for that program. Links to Registration Forms will be included in the weekly Newsletter and posted on the CCS Intramurals webpage prior to the start of each program.

Questions? Please email our Intramural Program Coordinator, Mr. Revnell.

8th Grade Field Trip: Washington, D.C.

The 8th Grade Field Trip to Washington, D.C. is scheduled for Thursday, May 23rd through Friday, May 24th. During the trip, students will visit national monuments and some of the Smithsonian Museums. We will stay at the National 4-H Conference in Chevy Chase, Maryland. The hotel has an on-site recreational area, fully equipped with internet access and entertainment options.

Permission Slips were distributed on Tuesday, September 11th. Extra forms are included below and are also available in the 515 Building's Main Office. The first deposit of $65.00 (cash, only) is due by Friday, October 5th along with the signed Permission Slip.

If you have questions or concerns with the cost of the trip, email Mrs. Wallace.

Grades 5-8 Scholastic Book Fair

It's Book Fair Time Again

This year’s 5th-8th Grade Book Fair is scheduled in the 500 Building from Monday, October 8th through Monday, October 15th. Students will visit the Book Fair with their classes to preview and buy Book Fair items. Book Fair Family Night is scheduled for Wednesday, October 10th from 5:00pm until 7:00pm in our 500 Building.

During Book Fair Family Night, we will raffle a prize basket full of books and other goodies. Every $1.00 you donate to "All for Books" will earn you a chance to win.

Book Fairs are tremendous motivators for student reading. They provide the hustling, bustling atmosphere of an active bookstore, while generating students’ interests with a wide range of books on topics and characters that appeal to them.

Families will find the prices affordable, and will enjoy checking out selections in advance through our Online Book Fair (open from Wednesday, October 3rd until Tuesday, October 16th). Families can again use E-Wallet through Scholastic to preload money into their children’s accounts, which students can then use during the Book Fair at school. E-Wallet will be available on Monday, October 8th at the start of the Book Fair.

Watch this video to hear 500 Building Principal, Mr. Shaun Murphy, share about our Book Fair going "AFK."

All of the Book Fair details can be found on our Book Fair webpage (linked below). We appreciate your support! Proceeds from CCS Book Fairs help our Libraries purchase new books and literacy programs for your children.

Book Fair Volunteers Needed

Of course, our fantastic volunteers help make our Book Fairs successful! Volunteers keep the Book Fair organized, assist students as they explore reading options, help them stay on budget, and assist with other important Book Fair tasks.

Please sign up for one or more times when you can help. Volunteers must have current clearances that have been approved by CCS’s Human Resources Department in advance of volunteering. For information on clearances, visit the Volunteering page on the CCS website.

Home & School Association (HSA) Updates

Serving in a capacity similar to a Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) or Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO), our HSA owes its success to the efforts of our many parent, teacher, and staff volunteers! Proceeds from HSA fundraisers and activities help fund CCS education and operations.

Upcoming HSA Monthly Meeting

The next HSA General Meeting will be Wednesday, October 3rd at 4:30pm in the 535 Cafeteria.

Please enter the 535 Building using the rear entrance furthest from the rear 535 Gym entrance. Building access is not available after 4:45pm.

HSA Building Representatives Wanted

The HSA is looking to appoint parent/guardian representatives to communicate HSA news and fundraisers to their children's buildings. If you are interested in finding out more, please email the HSA Officers directly.

Tip Resources From The West Whiteland Police Department

Collegium is committed to maintaining a strong and trusting partnership with the West Whiteland Police Department (WWPD). Together, we encourage all Collegium students, staff, and parents/guardians to contact the WWPD with any information they feel should be investigated.

The WWPD has a dedicated email address and phone number for the public to use to provide information quickly and directly to them.

The email address and phone line above are monitored by the WWPD Criminal Investigation Unit. We encourage anyone with information about suspected criminal activity to contact the WWPD using the email address, or by leaving a voicemail message on the WWPD Tip Line. Everyone utilizing the phone number or email address can remain anonymous, if they wish.

If your concerns are specific to the Collegium campus, we ask that you also contact your Building Principal(s):

Important Collegium Telephone Numbers

Collegium's Main Number


Building Main Office Extensions

  • 150 Building: Ext. 6811
  • 435 Building: Ext. 6002
  • 468 Building: Ext. 6401
  • 486 Building: Ext. 6501
  • 500 Building: Ext. 6106
  • 515 Building: Ext. 6336
  • 535 Building: Ext. 6602

Collegium reserves the right to edit submissions and to deny material for submission if it is deemed to be inappropriate or of little or no interest to CCS families.

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