Collegium Newsletter February 3, 2020

CCS Family Calendar

Mon., Feb. 3rd, Day 4

  • CMS and 500 Building: Cycle B
  • Grades K-12: Mobile Dentist at CCS @ 150 Building
  • Camp Collegium 2020: Online Registration Begins 9:00am
  • Boys 8th Grade Basketball vs. Boyertown Area Junior High-West 3:45pm - 4:45pm @ Boyertown Junior High-West Gym
  • Girls MS V Basketball vs. Boyertown Area Junior High-West | Gym 3:45pm - 4:45pm @ 535 Building (MS)
  • Boys 7th Grade Basketball vs. Boyertown Area Junior High-West 4:45pm - 5:45pm @ Boyertown Junior High-West Gym
  • Girls MS JV Basketball vs. Boyertown Area Junior High-West | Gym 4:45pm - 5:45pm @ 535 Building (MS)

Tues., Feb. 4th, Day 5

  • CMS and 500 Building: Cycle B
  • Grades K-4: World Cancer Awareness Day | Wear PINK Shirt W/ Uniform Bottoms
  • Mobile Dentist @ 150 Building
  • Grades 9-12: Detention | Designated Classroom 3:00pm - 4:30pm @ 515 Building (HS)
  • 150 Building: Grades 3-4 Robotics Team Meeting | Innovation Lab Room 971 3:45pm - 5:00pm
  • Boys JV Basketball vs. Church Farm School | Gym 5:30pm - 6:30pm @ 535 Building (MS)
  • Boys V Basketball vs. Church Farm School | Gym 7:00pm - 8:30pm @ 535 Building (MS)

Wed., Feb. 5th, Day 6

  • CMS and 500 Building: Cycle B
  • Grades 5-6: Book Fair Begins (Ends Thurs., Feb. 13th) | Library @ 500 Building
  • Girls V Basketball vs. Calvary Christian Academy 6:00pm - 7:30pm @ 535 Building (MS)

Thur., Feb. 6th, Day 1

  • CMS and 500 Building: Cycle A
  • 150 Building: Kids Heart Challenge and Wear RED Day | Gym and Cafeteria 8:30am - 3:00pm
  • Grades 9-12: Detention | Designated Classroom 3:00pm - 4:30pm @ 515 Building (HS)
  • 486 Building: Student Council Meeting | Room 563 3:45pm - 4:45pm
  • 150 Building: Student Council Meeting | Room 908 4:00pm - 5:00pm
  • Grades 10-11 and Families: College Planning Night | Library, Cafeteria, and Classrooms 6:00pm - 8:00pm @ 515 Building (HS)

Fri., Feb. 7th, Day 2

  • CMS and 500 Building: Cycle A
  • Grade 12 and All Employees: College T-Shirt Day
  • 500 Building: Kids Heart Challenge and Wear RED Day | Gym
  • 150 Building: Kids Heart Challenge and Wear RED Day | Gym and Cafeteria 8:30am - 3:00pm
  • Grades 7-8: Junior Tri-M Nursing Homes Performance Field Trip 9:00am - 2:15pm
  • Girls MS V Basketball vs. Upper Merion MS | Gym 3:45pm - 4:45pm @ 535 Building (MS)
  • Girls MS JV Basketball vs. Upper Merion MS | Gym 4:45pm - 5:45pm @ 535 Building (MS)
  • Grades 5-6: Book Fair Family Night 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM | Library @ 500 Building
  • Boys JV Basketball vs. New Hope-Solebury 5:30pm - 6:30pm @ New Hope-Solebury High School Gym
  • Boys V Basketball vs. New Hope-Solebury 7:00pm - 8:30pm @ New Hope-Solesbury High School Gym

Sat., Feb. 8th

  • ACT Testing 6:00am - 5:00pm @ 515 Building (HS)

February K-12 Menus And Payment Information

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

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

CCS Celebrates National School Choice Week

Last week, Collegium celebrated National School Choice Week (NSCW). Taking place every January, NSCW “shines a spotlight on effective education options for children.”

During NSCW, which began in 2011, schools of all kinds—private, homeschool, and charters, to name a few—plan thousands of events to bring awareness to the different K-12 options available for families. NSCW acknowledges all K-12 education options and since its founding, more than 131,000 NSCW celebratory events have been planned throughout the nation and worldwide.

At Collegium, students had the opportunity to tell why they love their school on special placards from NSCW. One student, Keyona, wrote, “I love my school because my teachers are preparing me for college.” Another student, Lee, said that he’s made a lot of friends and that CCS has good teachers. Sophia told us, “The teachers are understanding and kind.…” She went on to say, “They also push me to be the best version of myself!”

When CEO, Ms. Marita Barber, was asked about her thoughts on NSCW, she shared, “I believe that NSCW gives all of us an opportunity to first off recognize the importance of our parents having the right to choose the BEST educational experience for their children. As the primary educator, it's paramount for our parents to be able to select the school and learning environment that best aligns with the goals and aspirations that they hold for their children. As we commemorate our 20th year of being the 'Smart Choice in Public Education,' NSCW provides a special time to both celebrate all that has been accomplished during our first 20 years and to challenge ourselves to continue to provide an innovative learning environment that is committed to empowering our students with the skills and knowledge that they need to be successful beyond the walls and classrooms of Collegium.”

In the months leading up to National School Choice Week, the organization encouraged Collegium to post on social media using the hashtags #NSCW, #SchoolChoice, and #NationalSchoolChoice. Students and parents alike love Instagram and Facebook so we made sure to post pictures through our accounts so that our families could see their children celebrating.

Although National School Choice Week 2020 has come to a close, Collegium looks forward to celebrating again next school year. For more information about National School Choice Week, access the link below.

468/486 K-4 Winter Formal Exclusive

The 468/486 Building hosted its first K-4 Winter Formal on Friday, January 24, 2020. Nearly 300 students, families, and staff attended to socialize, chaperone, and dance the night away! Everyone agreed that the Winter Wonderland Celebration far exceeded expectations!

“The winter dance was EPIC! We had so much fun. I loved dancing, eating the brownies, and taking pictures.” -CCS Student at the 468/486 Building K-4 Winter Formal

Students dressed in their best formal wear and spent the evening under disco lights dancing and singing along with the DJ’s picks. A photo booth and props were absolute hits with the students, who also enjoyed delicious pizza, snacks, and beverages. Several celebrity guests were in attendance, including Ms. Jen Wiegand (468 Building Principal) and Mrs. Mallory DeCarolis (486 Building Principal), but the students were most excited by the appearance of CCS’s Mascot, Carl the Cougar!

“Our first K-4 Winter Formal was a BLAST!” said Ms. Wiegand. “The event’s organizers did an amazing job. Thanks also to everyone who patiently waited in the Parent Pickup Line while we helped 300+ students move safely to their cars!”

K-4 Winter Formal organizers were thrilled with how much students enjoyed the dance. “What a fun night for everyone!” exclaimed Winter Formal Committee Members, Ms. Cindy McCorry and Ms. Marzah Lackey. “We had an amazing time planning and decorating for this Winter Wonderland. It was such a success, and the students had the best night ever!”

Committee members and building administrators received many positive, grateful emails from families of children who attended the K-4 Winter Formal. “What wonderful memories you helped make for these kiddos!” shared one family, and another said, “Thank you to all who put effort into the dance! Both my boys had a blast and came home sooo happy! They talked about it all day.”

“👏👏👏 to faculty & staff. What a great opportunity for the kids to have fun outside the classroom! Well done!!” -Comments from one CCS family following the 468/486 Building K-4 Winter Formal

According to committee members, the “star behind the K-4 Winter Formal” was CCS Kindergarten Teacher, Ms. Lara Stauffer. Ms. Stauffer didn’t hesitate to give credit to everyone who helped make the dance so successful, including staff, parent/guardian chaperones, CCS’s Operations Department, custodians, and more. “It was truly amazing! We couldn't have done it without you!”

CCS Students Attend PMEA Band Fest

On Saturday, January 25th, a talented group of 5th and 6th Grade Band members represented CCS at the PMEA District 12 5/6 ChesCo Band Fest. The students—Trevor C., Caleb F., Brynna M., Aurora R., Dylan S., and Ryan W.—spent the day at Octorara High School rehearsing music with other students from surrounding schools.

“I really loved our guest conductor, and how he taught us that mistakes can happen during live performances. If you make a mistake, you can fix it.” -Brynna M, CCS 6th Grader (Tenor Saxophone)

Our participating students individually prepared music in anticipation of the Band Fest. The event culminated with an entertaining and fun evening concert performed by the students in front of family and friends. “Band Fest provides a unique opportunity for students to experience creating music," said Ms. Tabakelis, CCS’s Elementary Band Director. “It was a joy to see each student grow as musicians as the day progressed.“

“Having a chance to play with other schools was a fun experience. Playing the harder music was very eye-opening.” -Trevor C., CCS 5th Grader, Trumpet

Congratulations to our participating band members! Throughout the Band Fest, they showed the high standards of talent, skill, and enthusiasm for which CCS’s music programs are known. Hopefully, this will be the first of many festivals they will enjoy in their musical journeys.

Successful CCS Science/STEM Fairs

Collegium's STEM/Science Fairs held on Wednesday, January 22nd, were a great success. The events’ organizers thank everyone who helped to make both Fairs—we held one for Kindergarteners and one for students in Grades 1-12 —positive and encouraging events for our students, and a great experience overall.

Participating students were honored at a STEM/Science Fair Awards Ceremony on Friday, January 24th. Each was presented with a medal and enjoyed applause, smiles, and congratulations from their peers, families, and building administrators. It was a proud celebration for everyone!

Sever students presenting their STEM/Science Fair projects to event judges.

CCS’s STEM/Science Fairs help to encourage students’ interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). The need for talented STEM workers increases globally every day. Given the innovation, confidence, and enthusiasm our Fair participants showed, we’re confident that many will become future STEM experts in the U.S. and beyond!

A Message From Marita K. Barber, Collegium's CEO

2020-2021 School Year Calendar

CCS’s 2020-2021 School Year Calendar was approved by our Board of Trustees at their Public Board Meeting on January 16, 2020! The Calendar is available via the buttons below and is posted on the Calendar page of our website.

Our approved calendar is the result of multiple drafts and weeks of review and revision as we worked to create a calendar that:

  • Adheres to our charter, which mandates a longer instructional year (195 instructional days);
  • Maintains our current school year structure, which allows us enough time in the summer to accomplish our necessary operational and administrative tasks;
  • Provides sufficient time for professional development to support staff growth and training;
  • Ensures that adequate time is available for Parent/Teacher Conferences so that families and staff may collaborate effectively; and,
  • Honors the tradition of our extended Winter Break.

I am aware that the approved calendar includes an increase in the number of half-days for students. Please be assured that this decision was not made lightly or without regard for the potential impact it could have on you, our parents and guardians. A key benefit of this increase is the reinstatement of Spring Parent/Teacher Conferences, a critical opportunity for you to engage in meaningful conversations about your child’s progress. The additional days are to provide vital time for our staff to engage in data analysis and collaborative planning.

To help families offset challenges that the half-days may present, Ms. LaNae Horsey and her After-School Care staff will offer a new Half-Day Only option. Additional details will be shared once the Half-Day Only option is finalized.

In closing, I thank you for taking the time to read this important communication and for your ongoing support!

Special Education Parent Advisory Committee Forming

Mrs. Maureen Wilkins, CCS Director of Student Services, is seeking parents/guardians of students who receive Special Education services to participate in a Special Education Parent Advisory Committee forming at our school. The role of this Committee will be to provide feedback on Special Education programs and assist in planning parent/guardian training and networking opportunities.

Your involvement in this Committee and the information you share will be valuable to CCS in the future development of our Special Education programs. It will also help our endeavor to provide effective parent/guardian training and opportunities for support for CCS parents/guardians of students who receive Special Education services.

If you’re interested in participating in this initiative, please reach out by email to Mrs. Wilkins using the button provided.

CMS Valentine's Day Dance

Collegium Middle School’s (CMS) Student Council invites CMS students to a Valentine’s Day Dance on Friday, February 14th from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at CMS.

Snacks and drinks will be provided for all students at the Dance. We’ve hired a DJ for dancing and organized various fun activities for students to enjoy.

The fee to attend the CMS Valentine’s Day Dance is $5.00 per student, which covers all snacks and drinks. Students who wish to attend the dance must return their payment AND the Permission Form to their Homeroom Teachers by Tuesday, February 11th. Late forms cannot be considered.

REMINDER: Permission Forms and payment must be turned in to Homeroom Teachers by Tuesday, February 11th.

Please reach out by email to Mr. Bryan Ford, Ms. Kate Enns, or Mr. Joseph Michetti if you have questions. Use the buttons below to conveniently send your emails.

National School Breakfast and Lunch Program Application

Has your financial situation recently changed? If it has, please feel free to apply (or reapply) for the National School Lunch Program using the button below.

Feel free to call our Food Service Department at 610-903-1300, Ext. 6154 for help with the application process or if you have questions.

Reminder: Revised Transportation Code of Conduct

At the November 21, 2019, Public Meeting of our Board of Trustees, a revised Transportation Code of Conduct was unanimously approved by our Board and is available below for your reference and use.

The revised Transportation Code of Conduct will go into effect on Monday, February 3, 2020, and will be incorporated into our current Student Code of Conduct.

Take time to review the Transportation Code of Conduct with your children, and reach out to your building administrators for clarification regarding any questions or concerns you may have. They are happy to answer your questions.

Thank you for taking the time to read this important communication and for the invaluable role you play in upholding our school policies. Your ongoing support is valued and appreciated.

Donations Needed For CCST Raffles

This year, CCST will present several performances of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat between Thursday, March 19th and Saturday, March 21st. At each performance, CCST’s Parent Fundraising Committee will offer gift basket raffles to help raise funds to defer production costs.

The Committee is asking for help to secure donations to fill the gift baskets. The more appealing the baskets, the higher raffle ticket sales will be!

Popular gift basket donations include:

  • Products or services you or someone you know provide;
  • Tickets to local theater productions or sporting events; and
  • Gift cards to local restaurants, businesses, or vendors.

Donations of any kind will be greatly appreciated, and all donors will be gratefully acknowledged in our production’s Playbill!

To help you approach businesses and vendors, feel free to use the donation letter we've prepared (see the button below). It contains information about CCST’s Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat production, how and what companies can donate, and tax information they’ll need to account for their donations.

CCST and the CCST Parent Fundraising Committee thank you for your support, help, and generosity. Using the buttons below, you can email Committee members Christy Mitchell or Susie Varner with questions or to arrange for donation pickups.

500 Building Reminder: Kids Heart Challenge

On Friday, February 7th, the 500 Building will hold its annual Kids Heart Challenge event.* Don't forget to turn in your donations to your child's Homeroom Teacher by Friday, February 7th. Kids Heart Challenge supports the American Heart Association. Thank you for your participation!

*Note that our 500 Building students may wear RED on Friday for the Kids Heart Challenge event!

If you have questions, please email Ms. Winters using the button below.

It’s Book Fair Time For Grades 5 And 6

‘Tis once again the season for our 500 Building’s Scholastic Book Fair! The upcoming Fair will run from Wednesday, February 5th through Thursday, February 13th.

Book Fairs are fun and interesting for students, who will preview and purchase Book Fair materials with their classes. When they experience the hustle and bustle of our Book Fairs, students get excited about reading and exploring new subjects. It’s like being in a busy book store, but this one is just for kids!

We’ve carefully selected a wide range of affordable books and materials for this Book Fair that cover topics and characters students in Grades 5-8 want to read about. Even better, 50% of your Book Fair purchases will benefit CCS and our libraries!

For Parents/Guardians

  • You can access our Online Book Fair now at the button below to browse Book Fair selections in advance.
  • We’re using eWallet through Scholastic again this year. This feature allows you to pre-load money to your child’s account for their use during the Book Fair at school. eWallet is available now.
  • All Book Fair details can be found on our Book Fair web page (accessible at the button below).
  • We’re holding an extra-special Book Fair Family Night on Friday, February 7th between 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM. Families can enjoy the Book Fair together that evening and also view artwork by our 5th and 6th Grade classes on display in our 2nd Floor Lobby.

This Book Fair is designed for students in Grades 5-8. We’ll announce the details of our K-4th Grade Book Fair in the near future.

Book Fair Volunteers

Of course, our fantastic volunteers help make our Book Fairs successful! Volunteers keep the Fair organized, assist students as they explore reading options (while helping them stay on budget), and other important tasks. Our Book Fair Volunteers also receive loads of thanks and appreciation from everyone in the 500 Building AND 10% off at the Book Fair!

Please use the Volunteer Signup button below to sign up for one or more times when you can help. Volunteers must have current clearances approved by CCS’s Human Resources Department in advance of volunteering. Access CCS's Volunteering page at the button provided to learn more about the required clearances.

Obtaining Approval For Planned Absences

Will your child be absent from school because your family is taking a trip, visiting relatives, or scheduling college visits? Students may be excused from school for up to five (5) days for planned absences provided approval for the absences is obtained at least two weeks in advance from your building Principal.

To request approval, please submit a completed Request for Approval of Planned Absence Form to your building Principal at least ten (10) days prior to the first date of absence. Requests received after the absence has occurred will not be considered. The Request for Approval of Planned Absence Form is accessible at the button below.

If you have questions regarding this form or the submission process, use the button provided to email CCS’s Attendance Office. Questions regarding decisions should be directed to your building Principal.

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.

143K: Save Charter Schools in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools (PCPCS) has formed "143K Rising" organization as a way for lawmakers in Harrisburg to hear directly from charter school families. PCPCS is "...guided and supported by a diverse group of educational organizations, business groups, and public policy agencies that understand charter schools are the best option for many children to receive a public education that meets their needs."

Join the 143K Rising community of parents, grandparents, and charter supporters who are committed to saving public charter schools in Pennsylvania. With a few simple clicks, you can make your voice heard and join a movement that can’t be ignored.

As a member, you'll receive email updates from the 143K Rising movement on the latest efforts to protect public education options. You'll also have the opportunity to contact your state lawmakers and let them know that you support public charter schools.

Collegium's Main Number


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 (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.