Collegium Newsletter September 10, 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., Sep. 10th—Day 3

  • 500 Building ROAR T-Shirt Sale Begins (Ends Friday, September 21st)
  • Boys And Girls Varsity Golf vs. Perkiomen School 3:00pm @ Butter Valley Golf Port
  • Girls Middle School Volleyball vs. Calvary Baptist School | 500 Gym 4:00pm

Tue., Sep. 11th—Day 4

  • Varsity Boys and Girls Golf v. Holy Cross Prep School & Jenkintown High School 3:00pm - 5:00pm @ Torresdale-Frankford C.C.
  • 535 Building Detention 3:00pm - 4:30pm
  • Boys Middle School Soccer vs. Perkiomen School 3:45pm @ Perkiomen School
  • 150 Building Little Artists Club (Session 1) | Room 827 4:00pm - 5:00pm
  • Boys Varsity Soccer vs. The Christian Academy 4:00pm @ The Christian Academy
  • Girls Junior Varsity Volleyball vs. Perkiomen School 4:00pm @ Perkiomen School
  • 468/486 Building Junior Artists Club (Session 1) | Building 486, Room 515 4:00pm - 5:00pm
  • Girls Varsity Volleyball vs. Perkiomen School 5:00pm @ Perkiomen School
  • Grades 5-6: Back-to-School Night 6:00pm - 8:00pm @ 500 Building

Wed., Sep. 12th—Day 5

  • Grades K-6: ROAR T-Shirt Day | All Elementary (K-6) Buildings
  • Boys Varsity Cross Country vs. All TCISL Schools 3:45pm @ Perkiomen School
  • Girls Varsity Cross Country vs. All TCISL Schools 3:45pm @ Perkiomen School
  • 150 Building Junior Artists Club (Session 1 | Room 908 4:00pm - 5:00pm
  • 468/486 Building Little Artists Club (Session 1) | 486 Building, Room 518 4:00pm - 5:00pm
  • 468/486 Building: Back-to-School Night 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Thu., Sep. 13th—Day 6

  • 535 Building Detention 3:00pm - 4:30pm
  • Boys And Girls Varsity Golf vs. Upper Dublin High School 3:30pm @ Ingleside Golf Club
  • Boys Varsity Soccer vs. Morrisville 3:30pm @ United Sports TC
  • Boys Middle School Soccer vs. Renaissance Academy 3:45pm @ United Sports Training Center
  • Girls Varsity Volleyball vs. Phoenixville High School 3:45pm @ Phoenisville ASD Gym
  • Girls Junior Varsity Volleyball vs. Phoenixville High School 4:45pm @ Phoenixville ASD Gym
  • 150 Building: Back-to-School Night 6:00pm - 8:00pm
  • Board of Trustees Work Session | 435 Building Conference Room 6:00pm

Fri., Sep. 14th—Day 1

  • 468/486 Building ROAR T-Shirt Sale Ends (Began Friday, August 31st)
  • Grades 7-12: Cougar Pride Day
  • Grades 7-8: Mesh Backpack and Mesh Tote Sales End (Began Tuesday, September 4th)Sponsored by the National Honor Society
  • Grades 9-12: Collegium College Fair | 535 Building Gym, Library, Cafeteria 9:00am - 11:00am
  • Girls Junior Varsity Volleyball vs. Nazareth Academy | 535 Building Gym 3:45pm
  • Girls Varsity Volleyball vs. Nazareth Academy | 535 Building Gym 4:45pm

Getting The Most From Connecting With Collegium

Collegium invites families to make lasting connections between your homes and our campus. Your support is essential to our students, faculty, and staff!

We realize that connecting with CCS can sometimes be tough given our size and the dizzying first few weeks of school. We’re providing the Cheat Sheet below so parents/guardians can have the right information when they need or want to work with Collegium personnel:*

Want To Feel More Connected To The Collegium Community?

Seeing a CCS theatre production or attending one of our many athletics events are great ways to immerse yourself in the Collegium Community.

There are so many events at CCS to choose from! Be sure to mark your calendars for events like Meet the Teacher Night, Back-to-School Night, Parent/Teacher Conferences, Principals’ Coffee Chats, music concerts, theatre productions, athletic events, Home & School Association meetings, and countless other activities and club events. The CCS Family Calendar is a great place to start.

Questions About Your Child’s Classes?

Don’t hesitate to contact your child’s teacher(s)! Teachers can work with you via telephone calls and email messages, and they are equally as responsive to your voicemail messages. Check the list of Collegium contacts included here to find your child’s teacher(s). Keep in mind: Teachers’ first priorities are to keep students safe and to educate them. They will respond to you as quickly as possible.

Questions About Your Child’s Building?

Collegium's Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals showing their designated building number.

A Collegium Principal or Assistant Principal is ready to help! Their contact information can be found in the linked Contact List above. We've also shared the direct email addresses of our Building Principals below. Your child’s CCS Building Principal or Assistant Principal can assist you with topics ranging from arrival/dismissal procedures to end-of-year moving up ceremonies and everything in between.

Do You Need More Information About Collegium Breakfasts and Lunches?

Each month, the CCS Food Service Department serves over 30,000 meals. Thanks to new Point-of-Sale technology, the department can now assist roughly eight students per minuteand they're able to assist you, too! If you have questions about meals, meal programs, or cafeteria procedures, email Mike Ely, our Food Service Director. Mr. Ely and and his building teams will be happy to work with you and your children.

Concerned Because Your Child's Bus Has Not Yet Arrived?**

Please do not call Collegium, but do call your bus company directly (see the numbers below). The bus company can radio your child’s bus, determine its location, and advise you of the bus’s anticipated arrival time. Your bus company’s name is on your child’s bus; it’s important to call the correct company and to have the bus number and bus stop location available when you call.

Does The Length Of Your Child’s Bus Ride Seem Excessive?

Contact your home school district’s transportation office (numbers are below) with concerns about your child's bus ride to/from our school. While CCS definitely sympathizes with these problems, we have no ability to affect change with your home school district on these issues. However, we do track bus arrival and departure at CCS, and we report repeated bus lateness to the home school districts and bus companies.

  • Coatesville Area School District Transportation: 610-466-2418
  • Downingtown Area School District Transportation: 610-269-8460, Ext. 6120
  • West Chester Area School District Transportation: 484-266-1040, Press 2
  • Great Valley School District Transportation: 610-889-2133
  • Owen J. Roberts School District Transportation: 610-469-5254
  • Tredyffrin/Eastown School District Transportation: 610-240-1680
  • Phoenixville Area School District Transportation: 484-927-5026
  • Unionville/Chadds Ford District Transportation: 610-347-0804

Support from Collegium's parents and guardians will always be invaluable to our faculty, staff, and students. In fact, CCS was founded by a dedicated group of West Chester parents and residents led by Bill Winters, Anne Rich, and Beth Jones. Just as CCS has grown since January 1999 (from 39 students to almost 3,000 today), so has the importance of family and community involvement to the success of our students and school.

*Crowdsourcing answers and suggestions can be the answer in some cases, but we find that when it comes to students, getting dependable information directly from the source is most beneficial. In the time it takes to post thoughts or questions to social media, you could be bringing your question or concern directly to Collegium’s attention through an email or phone call.

**Buses will run early and late during the first few weeks of school. Please be at your child’s bus stop early, and plan to wait for late buses in the afternoon, as they can often run 30 or 40 minutes late at the start of the school year. Why does this happen? We take extra time here on campus to be sure that students are getting on the correct buses. Bus drivers also take extra time during their bus routes to make certain that students are getting off at the correct stops. For the first few weeks of school, we advise you to add extra bus time into your family's schedule. Please also plan to be patient with buses. Everyone involved with busing your children is working to keep them safe!

Cougar Challenge 2018 Information

What's the Cougar Challenge? It's our annual walk/exercise-a-thon to raise money for Collegium's Home & School Association (HSA). The HSA provides considerable financial support to Collegium by sponsoring student-oriented projects, hosting special events for families, providing additional funds for classroom materials, and offering scholarships for uniforms and field trips.

Why walking and exercising? These activities represent the huge efforts by volunteers and Collegium founders to secure the 1,000+ community member signatures that helped Collegium first open its doors to students in January 1999.

Last year, our families raised over $30,000 through the Cougar Challenge. We want to exceed that amount this year on Friday, September 28th, the day of the event. If each CCS family is able to solicit just $100 in donations, we will far exceed that goal! The HSA will use the proceeds for the needs of CCS and its students.

If credit card purchases are preferable for your family and friends, use the link below.

Upcoming Elementary Back-To-School Nights

Collegium teachers and families during our recent MS/HS Back-To-School Nights.

Please plan to attend Back-To-School Night for your child's building. Attending is a great way for you to learn more about your child’s teacher and the education planned for this school year.

  • 500 Building: Tuesday, September 11th, 6:00pm - 8:00pm
  • 468/486 Building: Wednesday, September 12th, 6:00pm - 8:00pm
  • 150 Building: Thursday, September 13th, 6:00pm - 8:00pm

During Back-To-School Night, please report to your child's building. There, you will be greeted and given additional instructions for the evening. Please plan to stay for the entire time. Note that Back-To-School Nights are for parents/guardians only.

Earn Cash Rewards for CCS Through Giant's A+ School Rewards Program

Collegium participates in and earns cash from A+ School Rewards, a great fundraising program run through your local Giant!

To participate, visit the link below and follow the prompts to create your online Giant account. You’ll need your 11-digit BONUSCARD® number and Collegium's ID number, 23968. You do not need to re-register your card if your school selection(s) remains the same as last year's.

If you don't know your BONUSCARD® number, call Giant Customer Care at 1-888-814-4268, option #1.

You can earn cash for Collegium by using your registered BONUSCARD® every time you shop. The number of points you earn will appear on your store receipt. You can log into your Giant account to check the total cash rewards Collegium has earned so far (Giant calculates your points and converts them into cash rewards monthly). Collegium receives the total A+ School Rewards annually, and uses them for student educational needs.

Please encourage your family members and friends to support our school through Giant's A+ School Rewards program!

Collegium Employee Spotlight: Jen Little

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 better able to greet them by name and strike up conversations!

Watch the video below to learn more about Jen Little, Collegium's 435 Administration Building Receptionist and Human Resources Support.

Education Explained: The Importance of Safety and Security Drills

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 Mr. Vogelgesang, Collegium’s Safety Officer.

Feeling emotionally and physically safe at school helps students fully focus on learning. By performing safety and security drills, Collegium helps students understand that emergencies can happen, but that we can be better prepared for them by having procedures and plans in place. This is truly a case where information is power: By knowing how their building responds to emergencies and having practiced them, students have a greater sense of control over their environments and are better able to react appropriately.

We don’t just schedule a drill at Collegium. Building Administrators first educate their staffs on the unique emergency protocols in place for their buildings. In turn, teachers help students understand that emergencies sometimes do occur. They also discuss with students how their building plans to handle emergency events if they arise. This information is always delivered in an age-appropriate manner.

Drills are not announced to students or staff beforehand, which gives them the chance for a real-time practice of what they’ve learned about safety and security. The three main types of drills Collegium conducts are:

  • Fire Drills
  • Security Drills
  • Severe Weather Drills

Pennsylvania law requires schools to conduct drills on a regular basis. To meet those requirements, Collegium holds monthly fire drills in all buildings, as well as multiple security and severe weather drills each school year.

Our teachers and building administrators do a great job educating students about emergencies and the importance of emergency plans, protocols, and drills. It is also very important for parents/guardians to calmly discuss these matters at home with their children. Please have these vital conversations with them!

One other important note for parents and guardians: During an emergency, all available Collegium employees devote their energies and attention to keeping your children safe. We also work to coordinate help from all township and county resources available to us. Collegium will keep parents/guardians informed, as possible, using SchoolMessenger, our website, and/or telephone messages. Our first priority, however, will always be to ensure the safety of our students.

515 Mesh Backpack And Mesh Tote Sales

The National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) is selling mesh backpacks and tote bags for 515 Building students. These backpacks and totes can be used throughout the school day and are an excellent way to help students stay organized. All proceeds go toward NJHS activities planned for 2018-2019.

Blue mesh backpacks are $10.00 and white mesh totes (with blue accents) are only $8.00.

Order Forms were distributed in homerooms and can be returned to Mr. Kelley in the 515 Building. Sales end Friday, September 14th. Order yours today! Questions? Email Mr. Kelley.

2nd Annual Hispanic Heritage Festival

Save The Date

Our 2nd Annual Hispanic Heritage Festival is scheduled for Saturday, September 22nd from 11:00am until 3:00pm, rain or shine!

Bring your family, friends, and neighbors to enjoy music performances by CCS students and Herencia Jibara, face painting, games, dancing, food trucks, local vendors, community resources, and more!

Email Mrs. Tobin for more information. Hope to see you there!

Vendors Wanted

The 500 Building Diversity Committee is looking for vendors to participate in our 2nd Annual Hispanic Heritage Festival on Saturday, September 22nd.

This event is open to direct sales businesses (one representative per company), makers of handmade items, food vendors, and other community businesses.

If you would like more information or are interested in participating, please email Mrs. Tobin.

Registration Is Open For CCS's New Middle School Program, "The Den"

Attention CCS Middle School Families:

The Den is Collegium’s newest After-School Child Care program. It’s different, though, because it’s just for 7th and 8th Grade students. The program is designed to be an environment where all Middle School students are inspired to:

  • Be creative
  • Use their minds in innovative ways
  • Learn to be active community members and leaders
  • Adopt healthy lifestyles, and much more.

In addition, The Den participants will be free to make their own activity suggestions, and time will be available for group discussions on topics the students choose. Watch the video below to see Ms. Horsey proudly announce The Den. Then access the registration link to learn even more about the program.

Questions? Email Ms. Horsey.

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.

HSA Volunteer Opportunities

Working with the HSA in support of their numerous fundraisers and activities is a great way to connect with other Collegium families. If you're interested in any of the opportunities listed below, please email the HSA Officers using the link provided.

  • HSA Recruitment Committee: Members are needed for this Committee.
  • Box Tops for Education: We need help counting for the Fall and Spring contests.
  • Uniform Resale Shop: This involves sorting donations, folding, and hanging uniform items.
  • Elementary School Store: The School Store is a student favorite. We need volunteers on Wednesdays to cashier before school or during lunches.
  • Family Bingo (Saturday, December 1, 2018): For this event to be successful, the HSA needs volunteers for set-up and clean-up, help during the games, and soliciting donations.
  • Teacher Appreciation Week: These volunteers solicit donations, decorate, organize teacher/staff luncheons, and clean up.
  • HSA Talent Show Snack Bar: The HSA sells snacks and drinks at this event.

Grades K-6 KidStuff Coupon Book Fundraiser

KidStuff Coupon Books are full of great discounts and values families can use for area businesses. The books sell for $25 each, and they are on sale now!

The oldest child in each Kindergarten through 6th Grade family was given a KidStuff Coupon Book to bring home and review. If you don't receive a book for your family, please email the HSA Officers directly.

If you'd like to purchase the book and/or buy additional books for friends and family, return the Order Form and payment by Monday, September 17th. Simply return the Coupon Book if you don't wish to purchase it.

This year, we are excited to announce that students can earn T-shirts and sweatshirts by selling KidStuff Coupon Books. We are also happy to announce that KidStuff will include a code for its new KidStuff Coupon App for each book purchased. You won't need to carry the book around anymore!

If you have questions or need assistance with the KidStuff Coupon Book Fundraiser, please email the HSA Officers directly.

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 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.

Upcoming Girl Scouts Open House

Interested in learning more about Girl Scouts and joining a troop? Come and explore the fun of being a Girl Scout at our Girl Scouts Open House on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 at 6:30 pm in the 500 Building Cafeteria. All ages are welcome to attend. Questions regarding Girl Scout Troops at Collegium can be emailed to Erica Hudler. We look forward to seeing you!

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: Ext. 6336
  • 535 Building: 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.

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