Collegium Newsletter March 5, 2018

Welcome to the weekly digital Newsletter for Collegium Charter School. Just like popular social media feeds and timelines, access our Newsletter content by scrolling down to the end.

Mark Your Calendar

Monday, Mar. 5th - Day 6

  • High School Online Course Registration Begins (See Article)
  • 150 Building: Little Artists Club 3:45pm - 4:45pm @ Room 827

Tuesday, Mar. 6th - Day 1

  • 468/486 Building: Principal Coffee Chat for Parents 10:00am - 11:00am @ 486 Conference Room
  • 500 Building: Advancing Artists Club 4:00pm - 5:00pm @ Room 228
  • Intramurals: 5th and 6th Grade Basketball 4:15pm - 5:30pm @ 500 Gym
  • Rescheduled for Tuesday, March 13th: 535 Building, Open House for New High School Students and Current 8th Grade Students 6:00pm - 8:00pm (See Article)

Wednesday, Mar. 7th - Day 2

  • Grades K-6: End of 2nd Trimester
  • 150 Building: Junior Artists Club 3:45pm - 4:45pm @ Room 908
  • 468 Building: Little Artists Club 4:00pm - 5:00pm @ Room 425
  • 486 Building: Junior Artists Club 4:00pm - 5:00pm @ Room 532
  • HSA Public Meeting 4:30pm - 5:30pm @ 535 Cafeteria (See Article)

Thursday, Mar. 8th - Day 3

  • 535 Building: High School Scheduling Night 3:30pm - 7:00pm @ 535 Library and Cafeteria (See Article)
  • Intramurals: 5th and 6th Grade Basketball 4:15pm - 5:30pm @ 500 Gym
  • Board of Trustees Public Work Session 6:00pm @ 435 Conference Room
  • Board of Trustees Regular Public Meeting 7:00pm @ 435 Conference Room

Friday, Mar. 9th - Day 4

  • Early Dismissal for Students (Parent Communication/Conferences for Faculty/Staff - PM)
  • Grades 7-12: Cougar Pride Day - Wear Your Cougar Gear with Uniform Bottoms or Jeans
  • Grades K-6: Spirit Day (Sponsored by Elementary Student Council) - Career Day*
  • 150 Building Career Day 8:30am - 11:30am @ 150 Gym, Cafeteria, and Music Room

*On Friday, March 9th, students in grades K-6 may dress in outfits representing their future careers. No hand-held props are allowed, but items (like photos) can be attached to clothing.

Collegium and the National School Walkout Demonstration

A Message From Dr. Rath, CEO

Over the past week, I received a number of email messages and telephone calls regarding the National School Walkout planned for 10:00am on March 14th. This event is being organized nationally to honor victims of school shootings across the United States, and to provide impetus for a national dialogue on gun control, gun access, and the availability of mental health services.

After considering feedback from CCS Administration and our Board of Trustees, along with parent and student input, we are in agreement that Collegium will allow our students to optionally participate in the event.

On Friday, March 2nd, Dr. Rath met with two High School student leaders, our 535 Building Principal, Dr. O'Brien, and Mr. Dryburgh, 535 Building Assistant Principal.

On March 14th, we will provide building-specific areas for our students to silently walk out of class for 17 minutes that morning. Collegium staff will monitor and secure the student-designated areas and, to further enhance security, the West Whiteland Police Department will be present on campus during the walkout. Building Principals will determine student-designated areas in their buildings for the walkout. Principals will also make appropriate arrangements for students who choose not to engage in this demonstration.

If you would like your child to participate in the walkout opportunity, feel free to reach out to your Building Principal for specifics. Please note: On March 14th, it is our intent for parents/guardians to contemplate this monumental time in our country, if they so choose, and to respectfully participate off campus.

The goal of the March 2nd meeting was to discuss perimeters of CCS student participation during the March 14th School Walkout demonstration.

Thank you to the many students who have risen with one voice to seek change. I applaud their unity to peacefully champion the issue of national school safety.

Thank you for your continued support.


Antoinette Rath, Ed.D.

High School Electives Fair

Our High School held its first-ever Electives Fair last week. The idea for the Electives Fair came out of the 535 Leadership Team’s collective genius, and was led by veteran CCS teachers, Mrs. Quarino and Mr. Bogusch. During the Event, many elective subject teachers shared videos and displays they created to help inform students about the wonderful academic opportunities offered at Collegium.

All High School students attended the event during their Stretch periods, and were able to ask teachers questions and view informational resources. According to Mrs. Hanson, one of our High School History teachers, “The Electives Fair gives students the chance to put a face with each teacher’s name and understand just what the electives entail.” Helping students understand elective course expectations is a crucial component in a student's academic success. The event also featured new course offerings, such as:

  • Broadcasting: Morning News
  • Raspberry Pi and Python Coding
  • Bucket Drumming 101

Vicki Whisler, the CCS High School Counseling Administrative Assistant and Virtual High School Site Coordinator, was on hand to field inquiries about our Virtual High School electives. Through the Virtual High School, students can enroll in classes beyond what Collegium is able to offer in our brick and mortar building. There are 75 Virtual High School elective courses available this year, including Video Game Design, Forensic Science, and Russian Language and Culture. Ms. Whisler also answered questions about Collegium's Dual Enrollment programs with Delaware County Community College and Immaculata University.

To see a complete list of our electives course offerings, learn more about our Virtual High School and Dual Enrollment Programs, and find details about upcoming High School Scheduling Help Nights on March 8th and 13th, please visit the High School Counseling Office's website.

From the CCS High School Counseling Office

The CCS High School Counseling Office: Mrs. Wolfe (right), Ms. Tracey (center), and Ms. Whisler (left).

Delaware County Community College Dual Enrollment Night

Attention Sophomores, Juniors, and Parents/Guardians

Collegium Charter School will host a Dual Enrollment Night on Tuesday, March 13th in the 535 Library from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. The Dual Enrollment program is a partnership program with Delaware County Community College that allows students to take college courses for credit while still in High School. If you are interested in attending this event, please RSVP via email by Friday, March 9th.

Important High School Online Course Registration Information

Between the dates of March 5th and March 16th, parents/guardians of rising 9th through 12th grade students (current 8th-11th grade students) will be able to review core course recommendations made by teachers and make course selections for the 2018-2019 school year. Students and their parents/guardians will use the PowerSchool Parent/Student Portal to make 2018-2019 course selections. Both core and elective course selections must be made. For more detailed course information, families can reference the 2018-2019 High School Course Descriptions document below.

Please note: The course selection process cannot be completed through the PowerSchool mobile application. Please review the attachments to this article, which include directions for creating a PowerSchool Parent Portal to complete the course selection process.

Upcoming High School Events

  • Open House for New High School Students and Current 8th Grade Students*: Tuesday, March 13th at 6:00pm in the 535 Building Cafeteria
  • High School Course Scheduling Night**: Thursday, March 8th from 3:30pm to 7:00pm in the 535 Building Cafeteria
  • High School Course Scheduling Night**: Tuesday, March 13th from 6pm-7pm in the 535 Building Cafeteria

*Optional scheduling assistance will be available during this event.

**School counselors, teachers, and principals will be available to provide course scheduling assistance for Collegium's current 8th-11th Grade students and families, and to answer questions about the 2018-2019 course offerings. Attending this event is optional; schedule requests can be completed from home, if you choose.

National School Breakfast Week

Calling all hungry Collegium students! Collegium’s Food Service Department will celebrate National School Breakfast Week from March 5th through March 9th. Watch for new and exciting breakfast items next week, along with the usual favorites!

Collegium breakfasts are $2.00 ($0.30 or free for Free and Reduced-Price School Meals Program participants). Breakfast hours are:

  • Elementary: 7:40am to 8:20am
  • Middle School: 7:00am to 7:45am
  • High School: 7:00am to 8:30am

Jump-start your school day with a healthy, delicious breakfast by Collegium!

Questions? Email Mr. Ely, Collegium's Director of Food Service.

150 Building JRFH Update

During our 2018 Jump Rope for Heart (JRFH) event, students in the 150 Building raised over $22,000 for the American Heart Association! It was a really fun and educational day for our students.

"Thank You" gifts should arrive soon, and will be distributed before Spring Break. We will post the exact distribution week in an upcoming Newsletter. Our sincere thanks and appreciation for the support of each 150 Building family and staff member.

Extracting DNA From a Kiwi

Students in Ms. McCook’s 5th Grade Science class were in for a real treat this past Friday. They were able to watch a live science experiment happen right before their eyes!

One of our CCS parents, Mrs. Le, who works in the Science field, approached Ms. McCook to ask if she could conduct an experiment for the students. Mrs. Le even brought lab coats and goggles for the students to wear. The experiment: Extracting DNA from a kiwi.

Mrs. Le's offer and choice of experiment came at the perfect time for Ms. McCook’s class, as they are studying photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is a process that plants and some other organisms use to change light energy into chemical energy, which they then use as fuel. Ms. McCook’s students had learned how important a green pigment, chlorophyll, is to photosynthesis. Seeing the kiwi’s DNA extracted helped the students understand how all of the different parts of an organism or process are key to how they function.

Since this was the students’ first time seeing a science experiment, they were very excited. Ms. McCook thinks this was a great opportunity for them. "I love that my students were able to experience having a scientist come in and give them insight into what working in science is really like," said Ms. McCook. "In writing, the students are currently doing career research papers. Mrs. Le's experiment allowed students to have hands-on experience in a field many of them are investigating."

The CCS community will watch to see how many more students will want to become scientists because of Mrs. Le's kiwi DNA extraction!

Upcoming PSSA Testing

The Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) for Grades 3 to 8 begins Tuesday, April 10th, and will follow the schedule outlined below. It is important that students are well-rested, eat a healthy breakfast, and arrive to school on time for their assessments.

English/LA (Tuesday, April 10 to Thursday, April 12th)

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

Math (Tuesday, April 17th to Wednesday, April 18th)

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

Science (Tuesday, April 24th to Wednesday, April 25th)

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

Please take a moment to review the parent/guardian information linked below that outlines: Frequently Asked Questions, the policy for electronic devices, the policy related to calculator use on the assessment, and the PSSA Student Code of Conduct.

Questions? Email Mrs. Ammon if your child is in Grades 3-6. If your child is in Grades 7 or 8, please email Mrs. Ratti.

Spring Elementary Intramural Programs

Sports Update Video: Intramurals

In his newest Sports Update Video, Mr. Allen is joined by Collegium Elementary students who share details about our current Elementary Intramural Programs.

5th and 6th Grade Flag Football

Elementary students in Grades 5 and 6 are invited to participate in our Flag Football Intramural Program. We will provide a non-competitive environment that will allow each child to be physically active while having fun, learning new skills, developing team building and good sportsmanship traits, and making some new friends. To participate, please return a $25.00 registration fee and a completed Registration Form (below) by 8:30am on Wednesday, March 7th. Your check or Money Order should be made payable to "CCS."

Spring Intramural Running Club

This program is for students in Grades 2 through 4 with a passion for running, as well as for students new to running. Students enrolled in the running intramural program will learn appropriate running techniques. Coaches will motivate students to set goals, accomplish their goals, and then set new ones. In addition, there will be meaningful lessons centered on team building, developing relationships, and making new friends.

Registration and payment are due by the morning of Wednesday, March 7th. Participants will be notified via email. A lottery will be used to select participants, if necessary.

Questions About Intramurals?

​Email Mr. Handley, Intramural Program Coordinator.

Reminder: Spring Sports Physicals and Permission Slips

It's time for Spring Sports at Collegium! Please see the links to the PIAA Physical Packet and Recertification Form below and on the Athletics page of the Collegium website. Permission Slips for your specific sport should be given to that sport's designated coach. All other paperwork must be submitted to Ms. Pannabecker in the 535 Athletic Office, and is required to be turned in before students can participate in Spring Sports. The deadlines for forms return are: Friday, March 2nd (High School students) and Friday, March 16th (Middle School students).

Middle School Updates

Final Payment for 8th Grade Field Trip

The final payment of $60.00 is due on Friday, March 9th for the 8th Grade field trip to Washington D.C. Questions? Please email Mr. Ford.

Middle School Electives Overview

Attention Current 6th and 7th Grade Parents/Guardians:

In the next few weeks, your children will choose elective course options for the 2018-2019 school year. A course description information sheet will be sent home with each student prior to course selection. Please look over the course descriptions (below), and have a conversation with your child about their elective course interests for the upcoming school year.

Please note: School Counselors will make every effort to accommodate student course requests. However, requests made during the course selection window will not guarantee placement. If you have questions, contact the Middle School Counselors, Mr. Danenhower (8th Grade) or Ms. Woodson (7th Grade).

Collegium Employee Spotlight: Rebecca Ratti

This Newsletter section highlights one Collegium employee each week, and allows families and students to get to know them even better. Now, when you see featured employees on campus, you will be better able to greet them by name and strike up conversations!

Education Explained

Each week, CCS Administrators highlight common terms and philosophies in education, and explain how they impact teaching and learning at Collegium. This week's contribution comes from Ted Sterious, 515 Building Principal.

Student-Centered Instruction

Unlike long ago, when teachers simply lectured whether students liked it or not, student-centered instruction is teaching designed for the student. Teacher planning is more difficult in student-centered instruction, as the model takes students’ needs, learning styles, abilities, backgrounds, and other factors into account. Basically, it places the student at the center of learning.

Student-centered instruction is the teaching model CCS implements from Kindergarten through 12th Grade. Our teachers use flexible grouping to really differentiate their instruction for students. The groups are temporary—they can last a class period, a week, or even a month. Student-centered instruction also benefits from the fact that students learn from each other. Using this model, teachers are able to work more closely with each group to hone in on any skills where students need more help.

Student-centered instruction does not happen overnight. It is developed throughout the year. To ensure success, teachers must constantly move students according to their particular needs in each area of study. Effective classroom management is also required for student-centered instruction to work with maximum results.

Long-gone are the days of lectures and teachers being the main source of information. Students need more and expect more from their learning and teachers. CCS provides student-centered instruction to help develop students’ abilities and respond to their needs.

Here are some links that help explain more about student-centered instruction. This model is effective and useful!

486 Building Career Day

On Friday, March 16th, the 486 Building will host its 1st Annual Career Day for Grades 2 through 4. We are looking for volunteers to come and speak with our students about their careers. The event will begin at about 8:30am and end at 11:30am.

Career Day is an opportunity for students to think about what their futures could look like. At this stage in their career development, it is important for students to be exposed to and aware of all the different career opportunities available to them.

The 486 Building is excited for this 1st Annual Career Day to be a great event! With help from parents, teachers, and members of the community, students will be even more prepared for the future!

Would you like to participate? Do you want to share about your career or area of expertise? Please complete and submit the 486 Building Career Day Sign-Up Form below. Any questions, we encourage you to email Mrs. Yack for assistance.

Camp Collegium 2018 Online Registration

To register children for our Camp Collegium 2018 program, please complete the following steps:

1. Access and submit our online Camp Collegium 2018 Registration Form.

2. Submit applicable 2018 Camp Collegium fees in full (including the $60.00 non-refundable registration fee) to the attention of Ms. Horsey, 435 Creamery Way, Suite 300, Exton, PA, 19341.

3. Fees must be submitted in a sealed envelope, with the camper's first and last names indicated on the front. Fees MUST be paid in full by Friday, May 25th.

4. Registration fees must be received within 14 days after submission of a completed Registration Form. Failure to submit your registration fee within 14 days forfeits your camper’s spot in the program. Exceptions will not be considered.

5. Registered campers will receive camp confirmation via email within 5-7 business days after their families submit their registration fees.

Learn more about Camp Collegium 2018 by accessing the Summer Camps page of our website.

Questions? Please email our Director of Child Care Programs, Ms. Horsey.

Elementary Placement Requests for 2018-2019

Elementary student parents who have requests regarding their child’s placement for the 2018-2019 school year should send an email to the Administrative Assistant to the Principal in their child's current building.

The email should share your child's strengths and weaknesses, along with an idea of the teaching style and learning environment that work best for your child.

This is also the time to let Collegium know things like whether you would like siblings to be in the same building, or that it would be convenient for all children on your block to be in one building since they carpool together. Parent emails or letters must be received by Friday, March 30th.

Requests for specific teachers will not be honored, and requests received after Friday, March 30th will not be considered.

CCST Presents Hairspray!—Tickets Now Available!

Tickets for Collegium Center Stage Theatre's (CCST) 2018 spring musical—Hairspray!—are on sale now!

Performances will take place in Collegium’s 515 Auditorium between Thursday, March 15th and Saturday, March 17th. Tickets are $12.00 each.

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

Please note that this show is rated "PG" by Music Theatre International. While it is generally a family-friendly show, it does include language and topics relating to race, relationships, and body image.

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 the WWPD.

The email address and phone line are monitored by the WWPD Criminal Investigation Unit. We encourage anyone with information concerning suspected criminal activity to contact the WWPD using the email address, or by leaving a voicemail message on the WWPD phone 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 our Building Principals:

TearcherLists.com Survey Request

Collegium uses TeacherLists.com to provide families with their children’s School Supply Lists. Teacherlists.com has never required payment from Collegium or our families for this service. Teacherlists.com has always incorporated Collegium feedback into their service for related improvements. Now, they want to hear from you!

TeacherLists.com is soliciting feedback from Collegium families on how they use the online School Supply Lists and improvements they might suggest for the service. The survey is currently open, and will close at 11:59pm on Sunday, March 11th.

To complete the brief TeacherLists.com survey, access the link below.

From the CCS Home and School Association (HSA)

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!

Pawsitive Praise

A big shout-out to all the volunteers who are working so hard to make our first Outgrown & Vendor Sale come together! Thank you for your huge efforts!

Discounted Hershey Park Ticket Sale

It's time to get your chocolate on! The HSA is again selling discounted tickets for Hershey Park this year.

All ages tickets can be purchased at a discounted rate of $35.00 per ticket. This is a savings of 48% off of gate price. You may also add a meal ticket for an additional $12.00.

All orders must be submitted by Wednesday, March 21st. Print the order form and return to your child's teacher with payment. Please mark the envelope: ATTN HSA Hershey Tickets.

HSA Outgrown & Vendor Sale

Get ready CCS! The HSA's first Outgrown & Vendor Sale is coming to Collegium on Saturday, May 19th! This is your opportunity to clear out those closets and sell any outgrown kids' clothing in good condition.

We will accept children's clothes in all sizes, shoes, sporting equipment, toys, books, video games, and even CCS Uniforms (with a fee to the Scholarship Fund). Consignor registration is now open exclusively to CCS families. Please complete the online Registration Form and read the Consignor Guidelines (links are below). The deadline for return of your printed, signed Consignor Agreement, marked "ATTN: HSA Outgrown & Vendor Sale," is Friday, April 13th.

Vendor spots are available on a first-come, first-served basis. We can accept only one vendor registration per company. Registration is open exclusively to CCS families through Friday, March 16th. Beginning March 17th, we will open registration to the general public, as well.

Join us for our next planning meeting: Sunday, March 4th at 2:00pm in the 515 Conference Room. If you are not available then but want to help with the planning, let us know by completing our Contact Information form.

Share Your Ideas With The HSA!

The HSA is always looking for new ideas and for volunteers to help make them happen! We invite you to share your suggestions with us now via email. You can also complete our HSA Interest Form and/or attend monthly HSA meetings.

HSA Meetings are where families and employees suggest HSA activities, learn about upcoming fundraisers and events, and find out how they can get involved. Our HSA General Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month. We look forward to seeing you!

The next General Meeting will be Wednesday, March 7th at 4:30pm in the 535 Cafeteria. To attend, enter the 535 Building using the rear entrance (shown in photo) furthest from the rear 535 Gym entrance.

Please arrive before 4:30pm, as building access is not available after 4:45pm. Thank you!

Save the Dates

1. Hershey Park Ticket Sale: Tickets On Sale Now

2. Box Tops Classroom Contest: April 3rd - April 20th. Stay tuned for more details!

3. Chick-fil-A Spirit Night: Wednesday, April 11th from 4:30pm until 7:30pm (Downingtown and Lionville locations).

4. Teacher Appreciation Week: May 7th - May 11th

5. HSA Outgrown & Vendor Sale: Saturday, May 19th

Ongoing Fundraisers


Simply shop at AmazonSmile and choose Collegium Charter School as your charity. A percentage of your purchase will be donated back to CCS!

Ongoing Fundraisers


Download the free app, shop as you normally do, and then snap a picture of your receipt to earn money for Collegium.

HSA Social Media Chair Wanted

The HSA’s Facebook Page is an important way the HSA communicates with the Collegium Community. We need your help to develop, organize, and post photos and content. Interested? Please email the HSA Officers directly.

Elementary School Store Volunteers Needed!

The HSA needs your help to ensure that the School Stores in Buildings 150, 468, 486, and 500 are open for students every Wednesday before school and at lunchtime. Please sign up to volunteer today! Clearances are required.

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.

JDG Basketball Spring Youth Skills Clinic

On Sunday, March 11th, JDG Basketball will kick off its Spring Youth Skills Clinic, the first of seven sessions for children ages 7 through 12. Former CCS teacher and coach, Jonathan Guarente, leads a hands-on clinic that encourages student-athletes to leave their comfort zones and dare to make mistakes! The program runs for seven weeks (no session on Easter Sunday), with two separate time options: 10:00am-11:00am and 11:00am-12:00pm. The cost for all seven sessions is $120. For additional details, contact information, instructional videos, testimonials, and to register, please access the link below.

Collegium Main Number


Campus Main Office Extensions

  • 150 Building: Ext. 6811
  • 435 Building: Ext. 6002
  • 468 Building: Ext. 6401
  • 486 Building: Ext. 6501
  • 500 Building: Ext. 6106
  • 515 Building: Ext. 6336
  • 535 Building: Ext. 6602

Collegium reserves the right to edit submissions and deny material for submission if deemed to be inappropriate or of little or no interest to CCS families.

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