Collegium Newsletter March 11, 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., Mar. 11th - Day 3

  • Grades 7-8: Penny Wars Begin (Sponsored by the National Junior Honor Society) (Ends Friday, March 15th) @ 515 Building (See Article)
  • 150 Building: K-1st Grade Cougar Olympic Games Intramural Program | Room 826 4:00pm - 5:30pm
  • 468/486 Building: K-1st Grade Cougar Olympic Games Intramural Program | 486 Cafeteria 4:00pm - 5:30pm
  • Open House: Collegium ESports Club/Team Open House 4:00pm - 8:00pm @ Level13 eSports Gaming Center (See Article)
  • Grades 5-6: Student Council Meeting | Room 126 4:25pm - 5:25pm @ 500 Building

Tue., Mar. 12th - Day 4

  • Grades 9-12: Detention 3:00pm - 4:30pm @ 535 Building
  • 150 Building: 2nd-4th Grade Cougar Olympic Games Intramural Program | Room 826 4:00pm - 5:30pm
  • 150 Building: Little Artists Club (Session 3) | Room 827 4:00pm - 5:00pm
  • 468/486 Building: 2nd-4th Grade Cougar Olympic Games Intramural Program | 486 Cafeteria 4:00pm - 5:30pm
  • 486 Building: Junior Artists Club (Session 3) | Room 515 4:00pm - 5:00pm
  • Grades 5-6: National Elementary Honor Society Student Meeting | Room 228 4:00pm - 5:30pm @ 500 Building
  • 468/486 Building: Zoup! Fundraiser Benefiting the 468/486 ROAR Program 5:00pm - 8:00pm @ Zoup! (Exton) (See Article)

Wed., Mar. 13th - Day 5

  • Grades K-6: ROAR T-Shirt Day (With Uniform Bottoms)
  • 150 Building: Junior Artists Club (Session 3) | Room 908 4:00pm - 5:00pm
  • 150 Building: K-1st Grade Cougar Olympic Games Intramural Program | Room 826 4:00pm - 5:30pm
  • 468/486 Building: K-1st Grade Cougar Olympic Games Intramural Program | 486 Cafeteria 4:00pm - 5:30pm
  • Grades 5-6: STEM Design Challenge Teams | Library and Room 202 4:30pm - 6:00pm @ 500 Building

Thu., Mar. 14th - Day 6

  • Grades 9-12: The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia's Holocaust Youth Symposium Field Trip 8:00am - 2:00pm @ West Chester University
  • Grades 9-12: Detention 3:00pm - 4:30pm @ 535 Building
  • Grades 8-11: 2019-2020 Course Scheduling Help Night | Library 3:30pm - 7:00pm @ 535 Building (See Article)
  • 150 Building: 2nd-4th Grade Cougar Olympic Games Intramural Program | Room 826 4:00pm - 5:30pm
  • 468/486 Building: 2nd-4th Grade Cougar Olympic Games Intramural Program | 486 Cafeteria 4:00pm - 5:30pm
  • CougarTek Club Meeting | Room 352 4:30pm - 5:30pm @ 515 Building
  • CougarTek Team Meeting 4:30pm - 6:30pm @ Level13 eSports Gaming Center
  • Board of Trustees Work Session | Conference Room 6:00pm @ 435 Administrative Offices
  • Grades 9-12: Dual Enrollment Night 6:00pm - 8:00pm @ 535 Building
  • CCST: Les Misérables Performance | Gym & Cafeteria 7:00pm - 10:00pm @ 535 Building

Fri., Mar. 15th - Day 1

  • 2nd Grade: Philadoptables Fundraiser Ends (Began Monday, March 4th) @ 468/486 and 150 Buildings
  • Grades 7-8: Penny Wars End (Sponsored by the National Junior Honor Society) (Began Monday, March 11th) @ 515 Building (See Article)
  • Grades K-12: Cougar Pride Day - Wear Your Cougar Gear With Uniform Bottoms or Jeans
  • 8th Grade: Field Trip 9:00am - 1:00pm @ People's Light
  • CCS Morning News After-School Meeting 3:30pm - 4:30pm @ 535 Building
  • Middle School Rec Night | Gym, Cafeteria, and Classrooms 6:00pm - 8:00pm @ 515 Building
  • CCST: Les Misérables Performance | Gym & Cafeteria 7:00pm - 10:00pm @ 535 Building

Sat., Mar. 16th

  • 535 Detention | 535 Library 8:00am - 11:00am @ 535 Building
  • CCST: Les Misérables Performance | Gym & Cafeteria 1:00pm - 4:00pm @ 535 Building
  • 486 Building: 4th Grade Skate Night Fundraiser 5:00pm - 7:00pm @ Chester County Sports Arena
  • CCST: Les Misérables Performance | Gym & Cafeteria 7:00pm - 10:00pm @ 535 Building

Sun., Mar. 17th

  • HSA Resale Shop Spring Open House 9:00am - 12:00pm @ 500 Building

CCS 11th Grader Selected For 2019 Youth Leadership Institute

CCS is extremely proud of Karl R., an 11th Grader recently selected to attend the Hispanic Scholarship Fund's 2019 Youth Leadership Institute (YLI). YLI is a competitive national program held over four days at top U.S. universities. The program is designed to help talented Latino High School Juniors learn the tools and skills they need to successfully navigate the college planning process and much more. Karl will attend YLI this summer at the University of Southern California (USC), along with 400 other students from 43 states.

In addition to helping students understand how to select and apply to colleges and universities, YLI teaches participants how to “have full access to scholarship and financial aid opportunities, and set a course for academic and career success.” YLI provides college and career workshops, gives attendees the opportunity to live on a college campus, and promotes rich interaction with college students, YLI staff, professional mentors, and other students selected for the program.

Karl was hand-selected to participate in the Youth Leadership Institute program because of his excellent grade point average and PSAT scores.
"Karl exemplifies what it means to be an outstanding scholar at CCS. I am proud of his work ethic, consistent desire to challenge himself, and dedication to personal growth. I am honored to have known him for many years and to have had many opportunities to celebrate his growth." -Dr. O'Brien, High School Principal

Karl’s family is thrilled about Karl’s acceptance by YLI. His mother, Mrs. Durand-Romberger, explained, “We are very proud of Karl and excited about this opportunity which will help him be better prepared for college and beyond. Alongside other high-achieving students of Hispanic descent, Karl will have a chance to develop tools for him to succeed in life and hopefully inspire other CCS students to follow in his footsteps."

Karl also could not contain his excitement about attending the YLI program this summer. He shared, “I’m extremely excited about this; this is just such an amazing opportunity, not only to represent myself but also CCS in this program. I can’t wait, honestly.”

Karl, we know you will absorb all that you can from this fantastic experience! Have fun on the West Coast this summer!

Lunch Bunch With Officer Joe

Educators often hold “Lunch Bunches” with students they want to reward for good behavior, give a shout-out to for recent accomplishments, or provide extra attention or supports the students may need. Lunch Bunches are often held by teachers, guidance counselors, or administrators.

Enter Officer Joe Vogelgesang (“Officer Joe”), CCS’s Campus Safety Supervisor. Officer Joe recently held a Lunch Bunch with several students to celebrate their good behavior on the bus. “I often talk with students about their behavior and how it impacts safety,” said Officer Joe. “I am proud of how this particular group of students behaved on their bus. The bus driver was so impressed that she contacted Collegium to tell us about the students’ good choices on the bus.”

“You can often see Officer Joe around the building talking with students in the halls or sitting with them at lunch. His continual presence and relatability help our students feel safe in their buildings and on campus. We’re so fortunate!” -Mrs. Jeri Lyn Pearson, Administrative Assistant to the 500 Building Principal

“One of the most important aspects of school and campus safety is helping our students to feel safe and confident,” said Officer Joe. “By involving them in the process, students have more information about how their behavior and attitudes impact school, campus, and bus safety, and why that’s so important. The bottom line is that students can then better focus on their schoolwork and the fun school has to offer them!”

Thank you, Officer Joe!

CCS ESports Open House And CougarTek Team

Attention CCS Families

Collegium Families are invited to attend an ESports Open House on Monday, March 11th from 4:00pm to 8:00pm at Level13 eSports Gaming Center in West Chester (Level13). Gaming will be available to CCS Families at a discounted rate of $9.00/hour.

ESports is a rapidly growing form of competitive video gaming that offers participants the chance to have fun and learn new skills. Most significantly, ESports moves players out of their individual home play to more open, social, community environments and platforms.

Learn more about Level13 by accessing the links below.

Attention CCS Middle School Students And Families

Mr. Harvey Scribner, a Middle School Technology Teacher, has organized "CougarTek," a new ESports Club/Team for Collegium’s 7th and 8th Graders. “CougarTek will initially be available in our Middle School,” said Mr. Scribner, who will be CougarTek’s Faculty Advisor and Coach. “We hope to open membership to interested students in Grades 9-12 very soon.”

Students attending the first CougarTek after-school information session.

In addition to learning how to be well-rounded team players, Mr. Scribner plans for CougarTek members to learn to maintain, refurbish, repair, and reuse/recycle computer equipment—all valuable skills for the future.

Students attending the first CougarTek after-school information session.

Everyone is welcome to attend the Open House at Level13 on Monday evening, March 11th. Mr. Scribner will be at the event with CougarTek Permission Slips for 7th and 8th Graders and ESports information for all families. Come out to enjoy discounted gaming time and learn more about ESports!

Find out more about CougarTek by accessing the website linked below. Questions? Email Mr. Scribner.

Elementary Lost & Found Clean-Out

On Friday, March 15th, all Lost & Found items in the 150, 500, and 468/486 Buildings will be donated to the CCS Uniform Resale Shop or a local charity.

Please remind your children to check for their belongings before Friday!

High School Pops Concert

On Wednesday, March 27th, our High School Music Ensembles will present an evening of fun and familiar music. This fundraiser concert will feature our High School Concert Band, Jazz Band, Choir, and Orchestra students as they perform a variety of music, including songs made famous by Elvis Presley, Elton John, Lady Gaga, and more! The program will also feature music from movies and shows like The Greatest Showman and Wicked.

This concert will begin at 7:00pm in the 500 Building Gym. Tickets cost $10.00 and can be purchased online ahead of time, or at the door the night of the event. Tickets at the door can be paid in cash, or by check made payable to "CCS."

After the concert, sweet treats will be available from Rita's Fundraising Truck in the 500 Building's parking. Rita's sales will be cash, only.

All proceeds from this concert will benefit our High School Music Department. Rita's will also donate a portion of the Fundraising Truck's sales to the Department!

Questions? Email Ms. Stell.

NJHS Sponsors 515 Penny Wars

Penny Wars will begin on Monday, March 11th in the 515 Building. This friendly competition and fundraiser is sponsored by the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS).

Students in Grades 7 and 8 will compete against each other for the ultimate prize, which will be kept secret until the class that collects the most pennies is announced. The Penny Wars contest ends on Friday, March 15th. Watch the action-packed video below to learn the official rules of the game.

All proceeds of this fundraiser will go to the Children's Miracle Network. Questions? Email Mrs. Wallace.

Final Payment Due For 8th Grade Field Trip

The final payment deadline for May's 8th Grade Field Trip to Washington, D.C. has been extended to Friday, March 22nd. Please send your payment of $65.00 (cash or check) to the 515 Building in a clearly marked envelope, with your student's first and last names written on the front. Questions? Email Mrs. Wallace.

Zoup! Fundraiser, Tuesday, March 12th

Please come enjoy your dinner at Zoup! on Tuesday, March 12th, between 5:00pm and 8:00pm. Zoup! is located in the Festival at Exton Shopping Center, right next store to the Oaklands Corporate Center.

During this fundraiser, up to 25% of your meal cost will go to support Collegium's 468/486 ROAR Program! Rumor has it that Carl the Cougar will also make a special appearance that evening.

Be sure to present the Zoup! flyer linked below when you pay for your meal. See you at Zoup! for some delicious soup, salads, or sandwiches!

Collegium Employee Spotlight: Steven Garsils

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 Steven Garsils, 468 Building Kindergarten Teacher.

Education Explained: The Power of PowerSchool

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 our PowerSchool Administrator, Joanne Christman.

PowerSchool is a powerful tool that brings teachers, students, parents, guardians, and administrators together through an easy-to-use, web-based data system. PowerSchool allows us to manage student information so that we can create student class schedules, take attendance, store grades, produce transcripts and report cards, and perform many other functions.

CCS's PowerSchool Student & Parent portal is the "doorway" into the system that gives both students and parents/guardians access to real-time information at any time and any place where there's an Internet connection.

Here are the PowerSchool features available to you now:

  • Daily Attendance
  • Student Progress
  • Grades and Assignment Details
  • Teacher Comments
  • Class Schedules
  • Class Registrations (Middle School/High School)
  • Digital Report Cards
  • School Health Records
  • Food Service Account Balances
  • Online Student Enrollments

What new PowerSchool features are coming soon?

  • Information Updates
  • Student Data Validations
  • SchoolMessenger Communication Preferences
  • And more!

Watch for news about our PowerSchool student and parent/guardian resources in future Newsletters. For PowerSchool Support, please contact us using the email address linked below. A member of our Technology Department will be happy to assist you!

Free And Reduced Price School Meals: Families Can Still Apply

Did you know that you can apply for free or reduced price meals for your children at any time during the school year? These benefits are available to qualifying CCS families through federal programs like the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program.

Please don’t hesitate to apply now, especially if your family's financial situation has changed. You can apply online using the SchoolCafe.com link below. (Be sure to enter "COLLEGIUM" as the School District.) You can complete a paper Application instead if you’re not comfortable with computers. English and Spanish versions of the paper form are accessible at the links below.

If you have questions or need help completing your family's Application, email our Food Service Assistant, Mrs. Francine McGrath.

CCST Presents: Les Misérables School Edition

Tickets On Sale Now!

Tickets for Collegium Center Stage Theatre's (CCST) 2019 spring musical, Les Misérables School Edition*, are on sale now!

Performances will take place in Collegium’s 535 Gymnasium between Thursday, March 14th and Saturday, March 16th. Tickets are $12.00 each.

We encourage you to purchase your tickets ahead of time, since this incredibly popular show will likely sell out. Visit the website below to purchase your tickets.

Questions? Email Ms. Stell.

*Please note that this show is rated "PG-13" by Music Theatre International and contains adult themes. It is not recommended for younger audiences.

Elementary Student Placement Requests For 2019-2020 School Year

Elementary students whose parents/guardians have requests regarding their child’s 2019-2020 school year placement should send an email to the Administrative Assistant to the Principal in their child's current building by Friday, March 29th.

The email should share your child's strengths and areas for improvement, along with ideas about the teaching styles and learning environments that work best for your child.

This is also the time to let Collegium know things like whether you would like siblings to be in the same building, or that it would be convenient for all children on your block to be in one building since they carpool together. Requests for specific teachers will not be honored, and requests received after Friday, March 29th will not be considered.

Questions? Please use the appropriate link below.

Spring PSSA Testing

The Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) for Grades 3-8 begins Wednesday, April 24th and will follow the schedule outlined below. It is important that students are well-rested, eat a healthy breakfast, and arrive to school on time for their assessments.

English/Language Arts

Wed., April 24th to Fri., April 26th

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


Mon., April 29th to Tues., April 30th for Grades 3, 4, 7, and 8

Tues., April 30th to Wed., May 1st for Grades 5 and 6

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


Wed., May 1st and Thurs., May 2nd

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

Please take a moment to also review the PSSA parent/guardian information linked below outlining frequently asked questions, the policy related to electronic devices, the policy concerning calculator use on the assessment, and the PSSA Student Code of Conduct.

Email Mrs. Jenni Burton with questions about 3rd and 4th Graders taking the PSSAs.

Email Mrs. Amber Ammon with questions about 5th-8th Graders taking the PSSAs.

From Our MS/HS Counseling Departments

1. High School Course Selection Window Now Open

Until Friday, March 15th, parents/guardians of rising 9th through 12th Grade students (this year’s 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th Grade students) will be able to review core course recommendations made by teachers and make online course selections for the 2019-2020 school year. Students and their parents/guardians will be using the PowerSchool Student and Parent Portal (linked below) to make course selections for the 2019-2020 school year. Both core and elective course selections must be made. For more detailed course information, families can reference the 2019-2020 High School Course Descriptions (linked below) when making these selections.

Please note: The course selection process cannot be completed through the PowerSchool smartphone application. Directions for creating a PowerSchool Parent account are linked below. Students can obtain their PowerSchool account access credentials by contacting the Counseling Department. Please review the links below to complete this process.

If you need help with your course selections, complete the Scheduling Help Form below, and a member of the Counseling Department will contact you.

2. Middle School 2019-2020 Elective Course Options

CCS Middle School students are choosing elective course options for the 2019-2020 school year. Course description information sheets were sent home with each Middle School student and are also available via the links below. Please look over the course descriptions and have a conversation with your children about their interests for the upcoming school year.

Counselors will make every effort to accommodate student course requests; however, requests made during the course selection window will not guarantee placement. If you have questions, please email your child’s Middle School Counselor.

3. High School Course Scheduling Help Night

  • Course Scheduling Help Night | Thursday, March 14th from 3:30pm-7:00pm | 535 Building Library (3/14) | School counselors, teachers, and principals will be available to speak with families of Collegium's current 8th through 11th Grade students about 2019-2020 course offerings and to provide scheduling assistance. Attending this event is optional as schedule requests can be completed from home.

Questions? Email the High School Counseling Office.

Need Help with scheduling? Submit a Scheduling Help Form!

4. Dual Enrollment Interest Event

The CCS High School Counseling Department will host a Dual Enrollment Night on Thursday, March 14, 2019 between 6:00pm and 8:00pm in the 535 Building.

Dual Enrollment Representatives will be on site beginning at 6:00pm to discuss course opportunities at Immaculata University and Delaware County Community College. Dual Enrollment programs allow students to take college courses for credit while in High School. This event is open to all High School students and their families.

If you're interested in attending this event, please RSVP using the Google Form linked below.

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 run 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.

CCS HSA Events & Updates

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.

Uniform Resale Shop Spring Open House

We’re excited to announce that the Uniform Resale Shop will have an Open House on Sunday, March 17th, from 9:00am to 12:00pm. The Resale Shop is located in our 500 Building and sells gently used uniforms donated by CCS families.

Purchases can be made by cash or check, only. Please email Mrs. Anna McFadden, our HSA President, to volunteer your help at the Uniform Resale Shop's Spring Open House. Thank you!

Spring Box Tops For Education Contest

Our Spring Box Tops Contest is going on now! Keep sending those Box Tops to school with your children. They love participating in the contest to see which class collects the most. The last day for Box Top collection is Monday, March 18th.

Teacher Appreciation Week

Teacher Appreciation Week, Monday, May 6th through Friday, May 10th, is a great opportunity for CCS families to come together in a show of support for our school’s hardworking teachers and staff. The HSA organizes the week’s activities and will reach out soon for volunteers and donation sign-ups.

School Store Volunteers Needed!

Volunteers are needed to open the School Stores in our 150, 468, 486, and 500 Buildings before school and during lunch. The School Stores are a real treat for CCS’s students, and volunteering is very rewarding! Please sign up for a few hours (or more!) using the SignUpGenius link below. We appreciate your support! Note that clearances are required for School Store volunteers.

Volunteering for the Uniform Resale Shop

Volunteers are needed to spend some time each week organizing our Uniform Resale Shop. The Resale Shop is a great fundraiser for CCS and is also a valuable resource for our families. Volunteers help keep donations organized and available for sale. Please use the SignUpGenius link below to donate time to the Resale Shop! Thank you.

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):

Community Opportunities

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

1. Girls Exploring Tomorrow's Technology Event

Girls Exploring Tomorrow’s Technology (GETT) is an annual spring event where girls in Grades 5-10 and their parents learn about career opportunities across Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) related industries. The event is scheduled from 12:00pm to 5:00pm on Saturday, March 23rd at Phoenixville Area Middle School. It will be filled with exciting, enlightening, and experiential activities led by successful women in STEM fields. GETT is free for students, and $10.00 for parents/guardians who would like to attend. To register for the event, click the link below.

2. Philadelphia Area Team Tennis Association

The Philadelphia Area Team Tennis Association, a non-profit organization that provides youth tennis programming in our area, will hold spring programs on Saturdays (in Downingtown and West Chester) and Sundays (in Exton) beginning with the weekend of April 27th-28th. The program runs for 7 weeks, costs $87.00, and is open to all children aged 5-14. Players will receive a t-shirt, instruction, an award, and be able to play and practice what they learn. For more details, access the link below.

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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