Collegium Newsletter March 9, 2020

CCS Family Calendar

Mon., March 9th, Day 3

  • CMS and 500 Building: Cycle B
  • Grades 7-8: Penny Wars Begins (Sponsored by NJHS) (Ends Friday, March 13th) | AM Homerooms @ 535 Building (MS)
  • Varsity Baseball vs. Pottsgrove 3:45pm @ Pottsgrove High School
  • 500 Building: Student Council Meeting | Room 126 4:15pm - 5:15pm
  • Parent/Guardian Training On Internet Safety | Room 804 6:30pm - 8:30pm @ 150 Building

Tues., March 10th, Day 4

  • CMS and 500 Building: Cycle B
  • Grades 9-12: Detention | Designated Classroom 3:00pm - 4:30pm @ 515 Building (HS)
  • Grades 9-12: GSA Leadership Meeting | Room 329 3:00pm - 4:00pm @ 515 Building (HS)
  • National Elementary Honor Society Monthly Student Meeting | Art Room 4:00pm - 5:30pm @ 500 Building

Wed., March 11th, Day 5

  • CMS and 500 Building: Cycle B
  • Grades K-4: ROAR Review Day | Wear ROAR Shirts W/ Uniform Bottoms
  • Varsity Lacrosse vs. Sun Valley 3:45pm @ Sun Valley Athletic Stadium

Thur., March 12th, Day 6

  • CMS and 500 Building: Cycle B
  • Grades 9-12: Holocaust Youth Symposium Field Trip 7:45am - 2:00pm @ West Chester University
  • Grades 9-12: Detention | Designated Classroom 3:00pm - 4:30pm @ 515 Building (HS)
  • 486 Building: Student Council Meeting | Room 563 3:45pm - 4:45pm
  • Board of Trustees Public Work Session | Conference Room 6:00pm @ 435 Building (Admin. Offices)

Fri., March 13th, Day 1

  • CMS and 500 Building: Cycle A
  • Grades 7-12: Cougar Pride Day - Wear Your Cougar Gear With Uniform Bottoms or Jeans
  • Grades K-6: Student Council Spirit Day | Favorite Teacher/Staff Member Day
  • Grades 7-8: Penny Wars Ends (Sponsored by NJHS) (Began Monday, March 9th)
  • Grades 7-8: Junior Tri-M T-Shirt Sale Ends (Began Monday, March 2nd) @ 535 Building (MS)
  • Grades 9-12: Spring Yearbook Workshop | Art Room 3:00pm - 6:00pm @ 515 Building (HS)

Sat., March 14th

  • 486 Building: 4th Grade Skate Night 5:00pm - 7:00pm @ Chester County Sports Arena

K-6 Spirit Day: Favorite Teacher/Staff Member Day

On Friday, March 13th, CCS's Elementary Student Council is hosting its monthly Spirit Day: Favorite Teacher/Staff Member Day!

On this Spirit Day, students are invited to dress like a teacher or staff member who’s made a difference in their lives. The individual can be a Homeroom Teacher, Specials Teacher, Instructional Assistant, Administrative Assistant, Custodian—anyone who works in your child's building!

We can’t wait to see who your children dress like on Friday, March 13th. It'll be great fun trying to guess their teacher/staff member identities!

Email our Elementary Student Council Advisors using the button below if you have questions about Friday, March 13th's Spirit Day.

Photo Essay: Collegium Celebrates Read Across America

During the week of March 2nd, Collegium's Elementary buildings, staff, and students in Grades K-4 celebrated Read Across America Week by participating in different dress-down days. Each dress-down day corresponded with a particular book, with the exception of Wednesday, March 4th.

Sadly, the Read Across America celebration was not possible on Thursday, March 5th, as Collegium closed due to unexpected power outages and resulting challenges in the Oaklands Corporate Center. When Collegium reopened on Friday, March 6th, the celebration continued in full swing!

The images below highlight each theme and corresponding book.

Mon., Mar. 2nd: The Giving Tree Day | Wear Green

Tues., Mar. 3rd: The Day You Begin Day | Wear a Special/Favorite Outfit

Wed., Mar. 4th: “Hats Off to Read Across America Week” | Wear a Fun Hat or Headband to School

Thurs., Mar. 5th: Mango, Abuela, and Me Day | Wear Green, Orange, and/or Yellow

Sadly, the Read Across America celebration was not possible on Thursday, March 5th, as Collegium closed due to unexpected power outages and resulting challenges in the Oaklands Corporate Center.

Fri., Mar. 6th: If I Ran for President Day | Wear Red, White, and Blue

Elementary Student Council Food Drive Update

The Chester County Food Bank recently picked up an incredible 1,084 pounds of food donated by our K-6 students and families during our Elementary Student Council Food Drive!

Planning for the Food Drive began last fall. Student Council members were involved at every step of the way, including helping to coordinate the Drive with the Chester County Food Bank.

When CCS returned from Winter Break, Student Council members created colorful posters to promote the Food Drive and placed them around our 150, 468/486, and 500 Buildings. They also promoted the Drive in their classes and with their families and friends. When the Drive ended, Student Council members helped to organize, package, and seal the many boxes of donated food and moved them to a central location for pickup by Food Bank staff.

"All of our students worked very hard on the Food Drive. It was so interesting to watch Student Council members and other students examine the posters, learn what the Food Drive was about, and begin to understand that there are families close by who don't have enough food to eat. You could feel their pride as they brought donations to school for our collection boxes." -Mrs. Christine Davis, Elementary Student Council Advisor

Since 2016, Collegium's Food Drives have collectively contributed 7,494 pounds of food to the Chester County Food Bank! The Food Bank works with 120 Chester County agenices that serve 75,000 people struggling with food insecurity. CCS's donations surely have helped tremendously.

Thank you to our wonderful, amazing CCS Community! You helped to make our Elementary Student Council Food Drive a success in so many ways.

If you’d like to reach out to the Elementary Student Council Advisors, email them using the button below. Access the Chester County Food Bank's website at the second button provided.

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

Last Week’s CCS Town Hall Meetings

On Tuesday, March 3rd and Thursday, March 5th, I hosted CCS Town Hall meetings where I met and talked with Collegium's valued parents/guardians and employees. We discussed the Coatesville Area School District’s (CASD) recent attacks against Collegium and other PA charter schools and how Governor Wolf is supporting its offensives through reduced school funding in his proposed Pennsylvania budget.

At each meeting, I explained how Collegium receives student funding and also brought CCS Town Hall participants up-to-date on the CASD’s actions against our school. I highlighted the CASD’s historical failures to manage its fiscal and educational programs with integrity and how their collective shortfalls created the problems the CASD now faces.

Marita Barber, Collegium's CEO, speaks with CCS Town Hall meeting participants on Tuesday, March 3rd, in our 535 Building (MS) Gym.

Unfortunately, CASD leaders refuse to accept responsibility for their actions. Instead, they’re committed to blaming charter schools for their negligence. Now the CASD is refusing to pay Collegium for the students we serve from its District. Make no mistake, this is against the law, and our battle against the CASD’s illegal actions is far from over. As frustrating as the CASD’s actions are, the largest threat to Collegium and all PA charter schools is Governor Wolf's proposed budget and its $280 million reductions in payments to PA charter schools.

As I told audiences at our CCS Town Hall meetings, last fall I surveyed Collegium Kindergarten parents/guardians to discover their reasons for selecting Collegium. The survey results showed that the families were drawn to Collegium’s special area programs, Spanish language instruction, explicit social/emotional curriculum, and K-12 STEM programs.

Families attending CCS's Town Hall meetings had the chance to talk directly with Collegium CEO, Marita Barber, about the issues facing CCS and other PA charter schools.

If Governor Wolf's budget is approved, Collegium's annual losses would be close to $12 million. Financial losses of that magnitude would definitely negatively impact CCS’s ability to provide programs like those our Kindergarten families highlighted and more. Please take a look at the slide presentation (accessible at the button below) I showed at our CCS Town Hall meetings that describes the potentially detrimental effects Governor Wolf's budget cuts would have on CCS initiatives.

Marita Barber, presenting to CCS Town Hall meeting participants on Thursday, March 5th, at the Courtyard by Marriott in Coatesville.

Over the course of both evenings, I was humbled and encouraged by the patient dedication our parents/guardians and employees showed in their support of Collegium’s fight to safeguard families’ right to school choice and Collegium’s longevity. I appreciate everything CCS Community members have done so far, like sharing our social media posts about these issues and telling others about their positive experiences at Collegium. You are helping to change the momentum of this fight in favor of Collegium!

Next Steps For Our Collegium Community

Now that our CCS Town Hall meetings are over, we’re ready to move to our next steps in this effort. My hope is that our students, parents/guardians, and employees will continue to make their views about Collegium and public charter schools known on social media and through contacts with local legislators and media outlets.

Families attending CCS's Town Hall meetings had the chance to talk directly with Collegium CEO, Marita Barber, about the issues facing CCS and other PA charter schools.

I am also calling on you to exercise your power and influence as Pennsylvania citizens to tell legislators and other PA residents about your feelings on critical issues like being able to choose where your children go to school and having those options adequately funded. I’m providing resources below to help you contact your legislators and newspaper editors.

In short: Never forget how much you are at the core of Collegium Charter School. You are the reason we continue to make our mark and thrive in so many communities. Please commit yourselves to join me—however possible—to travel the long road ahead of us. I pledge to never back down in my defense of your children, our employees, and the parents/guardians of Collegium Charter School. Thank you for being a dynamic part of Collegium’s fight for charter school recognition and funding in Pennsylvania!

News From Our Athletics Department

Middle School Basketball Team Dinner

On Thursday, February 27th, parents/guardians of CCS’s Middle and High School Boys Basketball Teams came together to celebrate the end of an amazing 2019-2020 season. Parents/guardians provided dinner for the athletes, coaches, and their families, gifted the coaching staff with personalized mugs, and presented our two Team Parents with a gift card for all of their work behind the scenes this season. Watch the video below for a brief summary.

Our student-athletes put a lot of effort into being the best they could be both on and off the court all season. They deserved—and enjoyed—this special celebration!

CMS Penny Wars Fundraiser

Collegium Middle School (CMS) will hold a friendly (and competitive!) Penny Wars fundraiser this week to raise money for the Chester County Food Bank. Between Monday, March 9th and Friday, March 13th, our 7th and 8th Grade students are invited to drop as many pennies as they can into the clear collection containers in their homerooms. Each penny is worth one point. Winning homerooms will receive a free dress-down day!

Here's where the fun and competition comes in: Students can wreak havoc with competing homerooms by dropping nickels, dimes, and quarters into their collection containers to reduce their point totals. Nickels take five points away from a homeroom's Penny Wars tally, dimes are worth negative 10 points, and quarters subtract 25 points from the other homeroom’s Penny Wars score!

To keep CMS’s Penny Wars organized and friendly, students may only visit other homerooms:

  • During morning homeroom;
  • If they have coins to "contribute" to our other homeroom(s); and
  • With a written/signed pass from their own homeroom teacher.

After morning homeroom on Friday, March 13th, event organizers will add up the Penny Wars collections, taking both positive pennies and negative nickles, dimes, and quarters into account. Winning homerooms will be announced the following week, along with the date of their dress-down day prize.

In past years, our Penny Wars fundraisers have collected impressive amounts for worthy causes like the Chester County Food Bank. Please consider supporting our upcoming Penny Ways fundraiser by sharing your spare change with your 7th and 8th children!

For more information about CMS’s Penny Wars fundraiser, use the button below to email Ms. Allison Fuhr.

MOD Pizza Fundraiser To Benefit The CMS Library

Collegium Middle School’s (CMS) Library will host a fundraiser at MOD Pizza in Downingtown on Friday, March 20th. MOD Pizza will donate 20% of visitors’ meal costs to our CMS Library that evening. Just be sure to say you’re with Collegium at checkout! Watch the video below for more information.

We selected MOD Pizza for this fundraiser because of the company’s generosity as well as its delicious food! MOD is a new kind of pizza place where you can order individually sized, on-demand, artisan pizzas and salads that are ready in just a few minutes.

Proceeds of this fundraiser will go to purchase new, high-interest books for our 7th and 8th Graders. Use the “Commit to Eat!” button below for more information about this fundraiser for our CMS Library.

Why not make it dinner and a show? Collegium Center Stage Theatre will perform Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat at 7:00 PM in our 535 (MS) Gym the night of our MOD Pizza Fundraiser, March 20th. Purchase your tickets now using the button provided.

Collegium Student Spotlight: Episode 5 | Zain

In our 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 Zain's CCS experience, interests, activities, and more!

From Our Home & School Association

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/guardian, teacher, and staff volunteers! Proceeds from HSA fundraisers and activities help fund CCS education and operations. Questions? Email our HSA Officers using the button below.

Our Next HSA Meeting

CCS’s HSA will meet next on Tuesday, March 24th, at 5:00 PM in the 500 Building Gymnasium. We hope to see you there! Email HSA Officers for more information about these events.

HSA Executive Committee Nominations Open

It’s time to start the nomination process for vacancies on the HSA Executive Committee. The Nomination Committee is looking for nominations for the following positions:

  • President: The HSA President is the principal executive officer of the HSA. This individual supervises all of the HSA’s activities and attends all Executive Committee, general, and special HSA meetings.
  • Vice-President: A member of the HSA’s Executive Committee, the HSA Vice-President performs the President’s duties in his/her absence. This individual also performs additional duties assigned by the President or the Executive Committee.

Please nominate yourself for one or both positions if you’re interested and think you’d enjoy one of these roles. Or, if you know someone else who's a perfect match for the HSA President or Vice-President position, please nominate them! They'll appreciate your confidence in their abilities.

To submit a nomination, access the Google Form at the button below.

CCST Presents: Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Collegium Center Stage Theatre (CCST) has been working tirelessly on its production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.* The musical follows the main character, Joseph, and his journey as a dreamer. Joseph is Jacob’s son and one of eleven brothers, all of whom are jealous of Joseph because he’s his father’s favorite. Joseph’s father gives him a coat of many colors that symbolizes his favoritism towards Joseph and also becomes the object of his siblings’ envy.

Tickets for Joseph are on sale now! Performances will be at 7:00 PM in the 535 Building (HS) Gym on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, March 19th-21st, with a 1:00 PM matinee on Saturday, March 21st, as well. Tickets cost $12.00 and can be purchased through our ticket website accessible at the button below. Tickets will be available at the door until sold out.

Please note: Seating for these performances will be on bleachers. Specific seating is not available. Seat cushions can be purchased at every performance. To make arrangements for accessible seating, email Ms. Sara Stell using the button below.

*JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT is presented by arrangement with The Musical Company, LP, 229 West 28th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10001. Website: www.themusicalcompany.com; Phone: (212) 598-2204; Email: info@themusicalcompany.com.

NEHS 11th Annual Pajama Read-A-Thon Party

CCS’s National Elementary Honor Society (NEHS) will host its 11th Annual Pajama Read-A-Thon Party on Friday, March 20th between 6:30 PM and 9:15 PM in our 500 Building. The Party is for students in 3rd through 6th Grades.

Pajama Read-A-Thon participants enjoy a variety of reading activities, like Reader's Theater, Book Blitz, Read Alouds, Partner Reads, Joke and Trivia Rooms, and lots of D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything And Read!) time. Students love this event because it gives them a chance to spend time with their friends reading in creative ways outside of their classrooms.

If you’d like your child to participate in our NEHS Pajama Read-A-Thon this year, please return the $5.00 participation fee and a completed/signed Permission Slip by Monday, March 16, 2020. Use the button below to access the event’s Permission Slip. Space is limited, and registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis, so sign up soon!

Questions? Email Mrs. Hirst, our 500 Building School Counselor.

Class Of 2020 Graduation Information

Miss Peg O’Neill, CCS’s Graduation Coordinator, will be sharing details with the Collegium Community about Graduation for our Class of 2020. Watch for information regarding the ceremony, ticket numbers, and more.

Please direct all communications about 2020 Graduation to Miss O'Neill by email (using the button below) or by phone (610-903-1300 Ext. 7317). Thank you!

From Our MS/HS School Counseling Offices

2020-2021 Middle School Elective Options

Over the next few weeks, Collegium Middle School (CMS) students will choose their elective course options for the 2020-2021 school year. CMS elective course descriptions will be sent home with students this week and are also accessible at the button below.

Please look over the course descriptions and have a conversation with your children about their interests for the upcoming school year.

Students will make their course selections in school with the support of CMS School Counselors as follows:

  • Current 6th Graders: Tuesday, March 10th through Friday, March 13th
  • Current 7th Graders: Wednesday, March 18th and Thursday, March 19th

When making elective course selections, students will choose six (6) electives and rank their choices from 1st to 6th. Elective sections may be limited compared to the number of students requesting them. Elective course requests are not guaranteed to be fulfilled.

For questions, please email our CMS School Counselors using the buttons below.

From Our MS/HS School Counseling Offices

High School Course Selection Window Now Open

Between the dates of Monday, March 2nd and Friday, March 13th, 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 2020-2021 school year.

Students and their parents/guardians will be using the PowerSchool Student and Parent Portal to make course selections for the 2020-2021 school year. Both core and elective course selections must be made. For more detailed course information, families can reference the 2020-2021 High School Course Descriptions (accessible below) when making these selections.

Please note: The course selection process cannot be completed through the PowerSchool smartphone application. If you need assistance creating your PowerSchool Parent or Student account, please use the button below to email Collegium's PowerSchool Administrator.

Review the links below to assist with completing the course selection process.

For individual help with scheduling, please use the buttons below to email the High School Counseling Department or complete our Scheduling Help Form.

Save The Date: Annual CCS K-6 Art Show

CCS’s Elementary Art Department (Grades K-6) is excited to announce the scheduling of its annual Art Show. This popular event will return this year on Saturday, April 18th between 12:00 PM and 3:30 PM in our 500 Building’s Gym, Parking Lot, and Lobby.

This year’s CCS K-6 Art Show will boast student artwork that will amaze you. We’ll also have carnival games, a DIY photo booth, a Silent Auction, and face painting. You’ll probably get hungry from all of these activities, so the Art Show’s organizers have arranged for food trucks from Campus Chicken, Katja’s Empanadas, and Maggie Moo’s to be on-site, as well.

Come join us on Saturday, April 18th, to show your support for our young students and their art education! All proceeds from CCS's K-6 Art Show will go directly towards the purchase of additional equipment and displays for our Elementary Art Classrooms.

If you have questions, use the button provided to email Ms. Allison Thomas, one of our Elementary Art Teachers and an event organizer. Thank you!

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 Opportunities

In this section, Collegium passes along information on non-Collegium 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 Rising: Pushing Back on Gov. Wolf's Proposal

Gov. Tom Wolf announced his 2020-21 state budget plan and, as expected, blamed the failings of the educational system on our public charter schools. Governor Wolf wants to cut funding for charter school students by $280 million and limit enrollments at charters, denying thousands of families the chance for a better school. Wolf is trying to limit school choice at a time when there are 30,000 families on charter school waiting lists in Philadelphia alone.

We need you to fight back! Tell your lawmakers — by email or tweet— that you oppose the governor’s attacks on public charter schools.

Take action now by accessing the 143K Rising website using the button provided. You can also contact your local, state, and federal representatives using the button labeled "How to Contact Your Elected Officials." The 143K Rising website is now available in Spanish; we've linked that site to the button labeled "143K Rising Website En Español."

2nd Annual Teen Safe Driving ROADeo

The Chester County Highway Safety Project will host its 2nd Annual Teen Safe Driving ROADeo on Wednesday, May 6th, from 8:30 AM to 1:30 PM at the West Whiteland Township Police Department, 101 Commerce Drive, Exton, PA.

The Teen Safe Driving ROADeo is a half-day event filled with interactive stations that teach students about police traffic stops, the driving permit test, driving “blind spots,” how to drive through roadway work zones, and other fun and engaging activities, including a service station that demonstrates how to change a tire, jump a battery, and check fluids. Watch the brief video below to see some of the activities from last year’s Teen Safe Driving ROADeo.

Registration is open now for this fun and valuable event. Access the Registration Form at the button below. For more information, review the flyer accessible via the button below.

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.