Collegium Newsletter November 4, 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., Nov. 4th, Day 1

  • CMS and 500 Building: Cycle B
  • Gertrude Hawk Chocolates Online Fundraiser Begins (Benefits MS/HS Music Dept.) (Ends Friday, November 15th)
  • Sibling Enrollment 2020-2021 Begins 9:00am (Ends Friday, November 15th at 4:00 PM)
  • CCST: Spring Musical Vocal Auditions | Cafeteria & Room 323 3:15pm - 7:00pm @ 515 Building (HS)
  • 150 Building: Grades 3-4 STEM Design Club | Room 971 3:45pm - 5:00pm

Tues., Nov. 5th

  • Grades K-12: No School for Students (Professional Development Day for Faculty/Staff)

Wed., Nov. 6th, Day 2

  • CMS and 500 Building: Cycle B
  • 150 Building: Grade 1 Field Trip (A) | Minchak, Perry, and Rooney Classrooms @ Lancaster Science Factory
  • CMS "What's So Cool About Manufacturing?" Field Trip 8:30am - 1:30pm @ USSC Group
  • 486 Building: Junior Artists Club (Session 2) | Room 515 4:00pm - 5:00pm
  • 500 Building Intramurals: Grades 5-6 Basketball | Gym 4:00pm - 6:00pm
  • 500 Building: Advancing Artists Club (Session 2) | Room 207 4:20pm - 5:20pm

Thurs., Nov. 7th, Day 3

  • CMS and 500 Building: Cycle B
  • 150 Building: Grade 4 Field Trip (A) | Morrison, Sayler, and Sherman Classrooms @ The Philadelphia Zoo
  • Grade 6: Field Trip (B) | Charney, Jackson, Martin, and Mummert 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)
  • Grades 7-12: Spring Musical Dance Auditions & Callbacks | Cafeteria & Room 323 3:15pm - 7:00pm @ 515 Building (HS)
  • CougarTek Esports Team Meeting | Technology Lab (Room 705) 3:30pm - 5:30pm @ 535 Building (MS)
  • 150 Building: Junior Artists Club (Session 1) | Room 908 4:00pm - 5:00pm
  • 150 Building: Student Council Meeting | Room 932 4:00pm - 5:00pm
  • CougarTek Esports Team Meeting 4:30pm - 6:30pm @ Level13 eSports Gaming Center
  • 150 Building: K-4 Book Fair Family Night | Library 5:00pm - 7:00pm

Fri., Nov. 8th, Day 4

  • CMS and 500 Building: Cycle B
  • 150 Building: Grade 1 Field Trip (B) | Bannan, Cordova, Ely, and Erskine Classrooms @ Lancaster Science Factory
  • 150 Building: Grade 4 Grade Field Trip (B) | Haldeman, Richmond, and Ryan Classrooms @ The Philadelphia Zoo
  • 150 Building: Grades K-4 Book Fair Ends (Began Monday, October 28th)
  • Grades 7-12: Cougar Pride Day - Wear Your Cougar Gear With Uniform Bottoms or Jeans
  • Grades K-6: End of 1st Trimester
  • Grades K-6: STEM T-Shirt Sale Ends (Began Monday, October 28th)
  • Blood Drive (Sponsored by the National Honor Society) | Gym 6:00am - 6:00pm @ 515 Building (HS)
  • Groundbreaking Ceremony | CCS Performing Arts Center 11:00am @ 515 (HS) Building
  • 500 Building Intramurals: 5th and 6th Grade Basketball | Gym 4:00pm - 6:00pm @ 500 Building

Sat., Nov. 9th

  • Grades 1-6: Basketball Clinic | Gym 10:00am - 12:00pm @ 535 Building (MS)

AP Spanish Students Use Team Building To Explore Literature

Students in Mrs. Rogai’s AP Spanish Literature and Culture course recently studied two “conquest literature” texts, Hernán Cortés' "Segunda Carta de Relación" and the late historian Miguel León-Portilla's "Visión de los Vencidos."* The texts are among the 39 works students read for the course. They range from medieval to contemporary short stories, novels, plays, essays, and poetry written by Spanish, Latin American, and U.S. Hispanic authors.

“After reading these two texts, my students worked as a team to analyze and discuss themes of power, betrayal, and interpersonal relations,” explained Mrs. Rogai, Collegium High School (CHS) Spanish Teacher. The team-building activities were designed to meet other course goals, as well, such as advancing students’ skills in reading, analysis, critical thinking, and Spanish.

Jenga with a twist! AP Spanish Literature students worked together to choose which game pieces should, or should not, be removed.

To demonstrate the importance of listening and trust within teams, Mrs. Rogai asked her class to play Jenga, but with a twist: Instead of choosing their own pieces to remove, team members had to agree which pieces should or shouldn't be taken. Next, the students worked together to build structures that represented well-protected and well-designed cities.

“It was very interesting to watch because we learned the important value of teamwork.” -Rose G., CHS Senior

The students experienced the different aspects of team building as they learned to work together: Forming, norming, storming, performing, and adjourning. Senior Shayna M. felt that the activity was “so interactive,” and Senior Lizeth H. commented, “It was a great bonding experience.” When asked for her feedback, Senior Daniela A. chuckled, “Haha, Shayna lost!”

Team members had a lot of fun working together to design well-protected cities.
“Don’t let this fool you, we’re always doing work.” -CHS Senior Evelyn C., on the fun team members had in AP Spanish Literature and Culture

“The Jenga activity really pushed the students to communicate with one another,” said Mrs. Rogai. “They also really enjoyed working together.” We hope the students enjoy working through the rest of their reading list as much as they did the conquest literature!

*Hernán Cortés was the Spanish conquistador who led the expedition responsible for the fall of the Aztec Empire. Miguel León-Portilla was one of the most reputable and commonly cited authorities on Aztec culture and literature in the pre-Columbian and colonial eras. Señor León-passed away earlier this month.

Nominate CCS Teachers For Citadel's 2020 Heart Of Learning Award

For 19 years, Citadel has honored and recognized Chester County’s most extraordinary teachers based on nominations from students, parents/guardians, and community members.

If there are CCS Teachers you feel go above and beyond inside and outside of the classroom, please nominate them for this prestigious award! Citadel’s Heart of Learning Award Nomination Form is available at the button below. Nominations will be accepted through Tuesday, December 31, 2019.

Citadel receives and reviews thousands of nominations each year from which 15 finalists, and then three overall Heart of Learning Award winners, are selected. All 15 finalists are honored at Citadel’s annual Heart of Learning Award Banquet and receive cash prizes to use in their classrooms. Citadel presents the three overall winners with its Heart of Learning Award and $1,500 to use in each of their classrooms.

Ms. Sullivan's Kindergarten Class celebrating her 2018-2019 nomination as a Citadel Heart of Learning Award finalist.

Citadel also tracks the total number of nominations received by school and awards cash prizes to the three schools with the most nominations.

Watch the video below, "2019 Citadel #HeartofLearning Award: You Are A Superhero,” to learn about last year's Heart of Learning Award finalists. Our own Caitlin Sullivan is featured several times in the video, along with her students. Ms. Sullivan taught Kindergarten in our 150 Building before becoming a Math Specialist this year.

CCS Cross Country Athletes Qualify For PIAA Championships

Congrats to our Cross Country athletes, CCS Freshman Lyndsey R., Sophomore Maasai H., and Junior Jacob I., for qualifying for the 2019 PIAA Cross Country Championships in Hershey, PA.

Massai H., CHS Sophomore
“I am extremely blessed and thankful that all of my hard work paid off for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.” -Massai H., CHS Sophomore

To qualify, these athletes defeated some of the area’s best runners on Friday, October 25th in the PIAA District One Championships at Lehigh University. Jacob ran 17:16 and Maasai ran 18:10 in the boys’ race, while Lyndsey ran 20:07 in the girls’ competition.

Jacob I., CHS Junior
“I'm happy to have qualified for a second year. This year, along with happiness, I feel hungry for a win and driven for more success.” -Jacob I., CHS Junior
Lindsey R., CCS Freshman
“Qualifying for states was the most exciting accomplishment throughout all my years of cross country. It really helped me understand that anybody can do anything they set their mind to, and I’m excited for what next year brings!” -Lindsey R., CCS Freshman

Please applaud these student-athletes as they continue their work towards becoming the best competitors they can be. “I’m so pleased to see our student-athletes excel. Their drive and persistence to improve athletically to the point that they’re competing on a state level are amazing!” said Dr. Pat O’Brien, Principal of Collegium High School. “At the same time, the students balance their academics and other activities extremely well. They are wonderful representatives for our school, and are making history for us!”

150 Building STOMP! Out Bullying Event

The 150 Building recently held an event to STOMP! out bullying! The event kicked off the building’s "Second Step" bullying prevention program.

To prepare for the STOMP! kickoff, 150 Building K-4 students worked in their homerooms to identify words they felt hurt others or encouraged bullying behaviors. Next, teachers drew squares in the parking lot with chalk and wrote the students’ words in them.

"I liked writing a mean word and then stomping it out so I don't feel sad anymore. It was fun with music." -Charlee J., CCS 1st Grader
CHS's band performed for 150 Building Kindergarteners and 1st Graders at their STOMP! event.

Event organizers arranged for a sound system to be set up and made up a schedule of grade-level groups to STOMP! throughout the day. Finally, they carefully selected songs for the kickoff event that all included “STOMP” in the lyrics.

Next comes the fun part! As each group gathered, they talked about bullying and the words they’d identified. Then, they had great fun STOMPING out those words together to increase awareness about bullying prevention. The ability to STOMP! on the words helped students release their feelings about bullying and control the power in the words they associated with it.

"Bullying is really bad. It hurts, so I liked stomping it out. The music was pretty fun, especially the one from the running statue in the city [The Rocky Theme].” -Aveeral B., CCS Kindergartner

Our 150 Building Kindergarten and 1st Grade students enjoyed a fun surprise when Mr. Nick Motter, our High School Band Director, arrived with his band members to perform. The band dropped a steady beat as the students moved, grooved, and STOMPED out their bullying words.

"As CCS celebrates its 20th Anniversary, and given that we educate students in Kindergarten through 12th Grade, it was wonderful to involve our youngest and oldest students in an activity as important as stomping out bullying!” -Ms. Caitlin Sullivan, 150 Building STOMP! Kickoff Event Organizer

For our 150 Building 4th Grade students, the STOMP! kickoff included a more in-depth conversation about bullying, its impact, and ways students can improve the language they used with others. Then the 4th Graders STOMPED on their words and shook the entire 150 Building!

"It was fun to see all my friends and dancing to music from the older kids. The music was fun, and then I got to stomp out mean words.” -Amari W., CCS Kindergartener

Each group ended its kickoff event by loudly and proudly chanting the “I Matter” cheer together:

I Matter. You Matter

We are on the same team

Words can hurt

More than they seem

Say no to bullying

With a scream!


This STOMP! event was a terrific way to kick off the 150 Building’s bullying prevention program. It helped empower students to make changes and take action to prevent bullying. More Second Step events are scheduled for later this school year.

Ask your children to share what they thought of the STOMP! event, what they learned, and how good it felt to STOMP! out bullying words!

November 2019 Skills & Drills Basketball Clinic

Collegium is happy to offer our Skills & Drills Basketball Clinic for students in Grades 1-6. The Clinic is scheduled for Saturday, November 9th in the William D. Winters Gymnasium (535 (MS) Building Gym). The cost is $10.00/child. Payments and Permission Slips (linked below) can be submitted at the door on Saturday, November 9th, but advance registration is preferred.

The first Skills & Drills Basketball Clinic session will be for students in Grades 1-3 from 10:00 AM until 11:00 AM. The session for our 4th-6th Grade students will be from 11:00 AM until 12:00 PM.

At the Clinic, students will learn from Collegium’s Boys and Girls Varsity Basketball Coaches and student-athletes as they teach the fundamentals of basketball and share their love of the game!

If you have questions about Collegium’s November 2019 Skills & Drills Basketball Clinic, email Coach Jones.

Picture Retake Days For Grades K-11

Picture Retake Days are scheduled for any family who does not like their child’s portrait:

  • Grades 7-11: Mon., Nov. 11th (Picture Retake Day)
  • Grades K-6: Mon., Nov. 18th (Picture Retake Day)

On each Picture Retake Day, students who have already received their photo packages must bring them to school to return.

All questions about picture orders and portraits can be answered directly by Barksdale Customer Service Representatives. Don't hesitate to call them at 1-800-220-7667.

Todas las preguntas relacionadas con el Día de Fotografías, deben ser dirigidas al Departamento de Atención al Cliente de Barksdale School Portraits: 1-800-220-7667.

Collegium Student Spotlight

Episode 2 | Dior

In our newest video series, “Collegium Student Spotlight," we feature students selected by their Principals and Teachers from among CCS’s 3,100-plus Kindergarten through 12th Graders. Watch the video below to learn about Dior's CCS experience, interests, activities, and more!

CMS Building Students Of The Month

Background Image Caption: Mr. Dave Slusser (Left), 8th Grade Health and PE Teacher, and Mrs. Jamie Batty (Right), 7th Grade Health and PE Teacher.

Each month, one department at Collegium Middle School recognizes students who have demonstrated PRIDE in the school. These students have stood out as examples for their peers. They truly exemplify what it means to show PRIDE in yourself, others, and CCS.

This month, the Health/PE Department had the honor of recognizing ten students who consistently displayed PRIDE during October.

7th Graders Recognized for PRIDE

  • Claire C.
  • Ava D.
  • Sakshi M.
  • Alice N.
  • Alex S.
  • Dyujay W.

8th Graders Recognized for PRIDE

  • Aryanna C.
  • Dave G.
  • Andrea L.-M.
  • Jordan T.

Part-Time Food Service Assistant Needed

Do you have a passion for food, working with children, and want to make a difference? Then our Part-Time Food Assistant Position may be the perfect position for you! We offer a fun and collaborative work culture and the chance to work with a diverse student population.

Responsibilities of this position include preparing and serving lunch for CCS students, as well as clean-up and sanitation of food service areas. Our Food Service Assistants typically work five-hour shifts each school day (approximately 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM).

If you or someone you know is interested in pursuing this position, please use the button below to access CCS’s Employment Page for information on how to apply!

CHS Barnes & Noble Fundraiser

Here's an opportunity to grab some coffee, pick up great reads for you and your children, kick off your holiday shopping, and support the Collegium High School (CHS) Library, all at the same time!

Visit CHS’s semi-annual Barnes & Noble Book Fair between Tuesday, November 19th and Sunday, November 24th at Main Street at Exton. Barnes & Noble will donate a percentage of your Book Fair purchases to the CHS Library, where the proceeds will help grow the Library’s collections of non-fiction books, graphic fiction and non-fiction, and high-interest adventure and sports fiction.

Even better, join us for our in-store Book Fair kickoff event at the Exton Barnes & Noble on Tuesday, November 19th. The event will be a fun way to ring in the holiday season for CCS families. Our CHS Chamber Choir (3:45 PM) and Jazz Band (4:30 PM) be also be performing live for shoppers.

When you make purchases at Barnes & Noble during our Book Fair, please be sure to tell your cashier that you’re there for Collegium, or show the cashier a Book Fair voucher (available at the button below). That way, the CHS Library will be sure to receive a percentage of your purchases!

For families who prefer to shop online, our Book Fair will be available through Barnes & Noble’s website between Tuesday, November 19th and Friday, November 29th, giving you another five days to shop! Use the button below to access the website. During checkout, be sure to enter the CHS Book Fair Event ID Number—12565354—in the designated field at the bottom of the payment page.

Thank you in advance for your support of our CHS Library. We currently have about 4.5 books per student; the American Library Association recommendation is 10-16 books per student. Your Barnes & Noble Book Fair purchases will go far to grow this vital CCS resource for students in Grades 9-12!

Questions? Please use the “Email CHS Library” button below to email Ms. Vicki Whisler, our CHS Library Media Specialist.

Final Week For 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 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!

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.

Volunteers Needed To Speak At 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.

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 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.