Collegium Newsletter October 9, 2017

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, Oct. 9th - Day 4

  • 150 Building: First Grade Field Trip to Linvilla Orchard
  • 468/486 Building: First Grade Field Trip to Elmwood Park Zoo
  • 5th Grade Spice Market Sale Begins
  • Grades 5-8 Book Fair Begins @ 500 Building
  • Fencing Club 3:30pm - 5:30pm @ 515 Gym
  • High School Volleyball vs. Academy of the New Church 4:00pm @ 535 Gym
  • 468 Building: Kindergarten STEM Club 4:15pm - 5:30pm @ Room 418
  • Middle School Cross Country 4:15pm @ Barrack Hebrew Academy

Tuesday, Oct. 10th - Day 5

  • 150 Building: Principal Coffee Chat for Parents 7:30am @ 150 Conference Room, Rm. 825
  • Fencing Club 3:30pm - 5:30pm @ 515 Gym
  • 150 Building: Grades 2-4 Art Club 3:45pm - 4:45pm @ 150 Art Room, 827
  • 150 Building: Grades K & 1 Art Club 3:45pm - 4:45pm @ 150 Art Room, 908
  • Middle School Soccer 3:45pm @ Perkiomen School
  • 468/486 Building: Grades K & 1 Art Club 4:00pm - 5:00pm @ 468 Art Room, Rm. 425
  • High School Soccer 4:00pm @ Perkiomen
  • Middle School Girls' Volleyball 3:30pm @ 535 Gym

Wednesday, Oct. 11th - Day 6

  • 535 Building: PSAT Testing for 9th-11th Grade
  • Grades K-6: ROAR T-shirt Day w/ Uniform Bottoms
  • Fencing Club 3:30pm - 5:30pm @ 515 Gym
  • High School Cross Country VS. AIM 3:45pm @ Norristown Farm Park
  • Middle School Cross Country 3:45pm @ Kimberton Waldorf School
  • 468/486 Building: Grades 2-4 Art Club 4:00pm - 5:00pm @ 486 Art Room, 532
  • Grades 5-8 Book Fair Family Night 6:00pm - 8:00pm @ 500 Building

Thursday, Oct. 12th - Day 1

  • Character Counts Dress Down Day - Fairness - Orange Shirt with Uniform Bottoms
  • High School Soccer vs. AIM Academy 3:15pm @ USTC
  • Middle School Soccer 3:15pm @ United Sports
  • High School Volleyball vs. Perkiomen 3:45pm @ 535 Gym
  • Middle School Girls' Volleyball 3:45pm @ Penn Christian Academy
  • 500 Building: Grades 5 & 6 Art Club 4:00pm - 5:00pm @ 500 Building Room 228
  • 150 Building: 3rd and 4th Grade STEM Club 4:15pm - 5:30pm @ Room 951
  • Board of Trustees Public Work Session 6:00pm @ 435 Conference Room

Friday, Oct. 13th - Day 2

  • 468/486 Building: Community Helper Day @ Gym, Cafeteria, and Parking Lot
  • Grades 7-12: Cougar Pride Day - Wear Your Cougar Gear with Uniform Bottoms or Jeans
  • Yankee Candle Fundraiser Sponsored by MS/HS Music Department Ends
  • High School Academic Team Meet 9:30am - 11:30am @ CCIU
  • High School Volleyball 3:45pm @ Community Academy of Philadelphia
  • High School Cross Country 4:00pm @ Church Farm School

Collegium Student Speaks at Luncheon

On October 3rd, the Exton Region Chamber of Commerce (ERCC) held a luncheon dedicated to some of the brightest students in the Chester County area. The ERCC strives to connect local businesses and young scholars to invest in the future of the workforce.

Ms. Tracey, HS School Counselor, with Brooklyn Green after the luncheon.

A small panel of high school students from West Chester, Downingtown, and Coatesville schools were honored at this event at the Chester County Intermediate Unit. Collegium Charter School’s very own Brooklyn Green was also in attendance for interning with United States Seating, a company that specializes in designing and engineering state of the art seats for a variety of vehicles.

Internships are often granted to college students and recent graduates - it is not every day that a high school student is awarded with one. Brooklyn is an honor student at CCS, taking both AP Computer Science Principles and Honors Physics. She is grateful to have received such an opportunity to speak at the ERCC luncheon. She said, “I was honored. I was really nervous but most of all I was really honored that they chose me out of all of those people.”

CCS student, Brooklyn Green (center), attended the luncheon with her mother, School Counselors, and Collegium CEO, Dr. Rath.

Ms. Tracy, an HS School Counselor, worked closely with Brooklyn and she had nothing but praise for the honoree. “Brooklyn Green is an exceptional student and I felt proud and privileged to watch her represent Collegium Charter School at the Business Educator Partnership Luncheon. By speaking about her experiences with job shadowing, Brooklyn was able to showcase the importance of fostering relationships between local high schools and businesses to help prepare our students for post-secondary success.”

As a Junior, Brooklyn is thinking about college and already knows that she wants to major in Chemical Engineering and become a Petroleum Engineer. Brooklyn continues to make Collegium proud and just like she was honored by ERCC, CCS is honored to have her as a student.

A Message from Beth Jones, Collegium Founder and Chief Operating Officer

Dear Collegium Families,

It’s with very mixed emotions that I’m writing to you to let you know that my final day at Collegium will be Friday, November 3rd. Until that time, I will continue to work closely with Dr. Rath and our administrative team to ensure as little disruption as possible as I close out my work. Under Dr. Rath’s consummate leadership, Collegium has a strong team of principals, teachers, and support staff - I know our families and students will be in good hands.

I’m sure families will be asking, Where is Beth going? and Why is she leaving? I do not know where I’ll land, as I do not yet have post-Collegium plans. As for why I’m leaving ... as we say on Facebook, It’s Complicated. My decision to resign comes after much thought and reflection following a recent action by our Board of Trustees. I have always made every effort to be transparent in my communications with the Collegium Community and provide details to explain situations at Collegium. However, in this communication, I think it’s best for now if we simply stick with It’s Complicated.

Nevertheless, I want families to know that I am firmly committed to Collegium’s mission and the work that Dr. Rath and Collegium’s faculty and staff are undertaking on behalf of our students. Along with Bill Winters and others, I helped found this school in 1999, my two children attended and graduated from Collegium, and I have watched with pride as the school and its reputation have grown and flourished. Thank you to every family who chose Collegium and helped our community reputation grow stronger each year.

Collegium is an extremely special place. Started by parents and community members, families come to us for a variety of reasons. We respond by providing the best possible futures for our students while preparing the students for college. We nurture them, empower them to recognize in themselves uniqueness and talent, provide them with a firm academic foundation, foster respect for diversity and for others, and help to engender responsibility, generosity, optimism, and confidence.

We all want Collegium to continue to thrive and prosper. I am very grateful to all of you for your support of Collegium, and I encourage families to be involved in guiding its future.

All my best,

Beth Jones

Book Fair Family Night

Come out and enjoy our 5th-8th Grade Book Fair with the entire family! On Wednesday, October 11th, the 500 Library will host a Book Fair Family Night from 5:00pm until 7:30pm, allowing families to shop our Book Fair together. There will even be treats and prize drawings! If you have any questions, feel free to email Mrs. Wallace. Don't forget to shop the online Book Fair, too!

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 Ms. Marita Barber, CCS Director of Student Services.

Productive Struggle

In last week’s Education Explained, Dr. Rath introduced us to the concept of growth mindset – the belief that intelligence is malleable and can develop over time. Dr. Rath pointed out that a growth mindset coupled with grit are significant factors for student success.

As parents and educators, student success is a primary focus for us, and we often view student failure as something to be avoided. In fact, teachers employ various strategies to try and spare their students from too much struggle. But what if we are wrong? What if struggle is inherently a part of learning and by removing it, we are interfering with student mastery?

Mathematics researcher, Manu Kapur, has developed the theory of Productive Struggle – the idea that attempting to perform a task and initially failing can improve learning. According to Kapur, productive struggle takes place in two phases: first, students are given a problem or task that they probably can’t solve, and they are encouraged to speculate about possible solutions. Second, after their initial attempts are not successful, students receive instruction that assists them in successfully completing the task or solving the problem.

Kapur’s studies show that students scored better in conceptual knowledge if they were taught in a productive struggle condition verses a conventional manner. Actually giving students opportunities to fail forward resulted in deeper learning. Productive struggle can prepare students for subsequent instruction by making them more aware of their own knowledge gaps and more interested in filling in those gaps.

As co-educators of your children, we encourage our students to engage in productive struggle by creating safe environments for them to be willing to take risks. Productive struggle is not about becoming frustrated; it is about letting children engage in the process of learning and learning to understand their own thought process (metacognition). We also anticipate the struggles that might occur and plan for ways to support them without removing the opportunities to develop deeper understandings.

Finally, praise the process verses the person. Instead of praising our students for their talent or smarts, we should focus our praise on the problem solving strategies they use or the specific work that they do or the persistence (grit) or effort that they put forth. By creating the conditions that allow our students and ourselves to fail forward we can maximize student learning.

To learn more about productive struggle, please access the links to related articles below.

Collegium Employee Spotlight

This Newsletter section highlights one Collegium employee each week and allows families and students to get to know them even more. Now, when you see featured employees on campus, you'll have a better chance of being able to greet them by name and strike up conversations!

News From Our High School

1. PSAT Testing

The PSATs will be administered during the school day on Wednesday, October 11, 2017. All students in 10th grade will be testing. Pre-registered 9th and 11th grade students will also be testing.

Please try your best to get a good night’s sleep and be on time for school. Please also remember to bring #2 pencils (mechanical pencils are not permitted) and a calculator. Test prep materials have been distributed to students and are also on the College Board website.

If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Wolfe or Ms. Tracey.

2. Financial Aid Night

CCS will host a Financial Aid Night for Juniors, Seniors, and their parents/guardians on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 in the 535 Library at 7:00pm.

Michael Burke, from Pennsylvania's Higher Education Assistance Agency, will present helpful information and answer family questions regarding financial aid.

Please RSVP by sending an email message to the address below.

3. High School Homecoming

This year's Homecoming Dance and Spirit Week are shaping up to be a celebration for the ages!

Incorporating two sporting events into Spirit Week, the Cougars' Varsity Volleyball team will battle it out at home in front of a raucous crowd in the 535 William D. Winters gym on October 10th at 4:00pm.

A couple days later, the Varsity Soccer team squares off against AIM Academy at USTC on October 12th at 3:00pm.

These festivities culminate in this year's Homecoming Dance on October 14th from 7:00-10:00pm in our 535 gym. Tickets will be sold for $10.00/each the week before the dance and at the door. Non-CCS guests may attend with a signed permission slip, available where tickets are sold.

All Collegium students and families are welcome to attend our volleyball and soccer matches; however, the Homecoming Dance is only for our current 9th-12th grade students and their guests.

Principals' Coffee Chats

Coffee Chats offer parents/guardians the opportunity to join our Principals for coffee and informal conversation covering the school, events, and academic programming.

In his Coffee Chat Invitation video, Collegium 150 Building Principal, Mr. Lawler, invites families to his building for his first scheduled Coffee Chat of the 2017-2018 school year. Interested in attending his first Coffee Chat? Please email Mrs. Schreiber.

Below you will see the upcoming Coffee Chats. The full list of Coffee Chat dates are available by searching the Collegium Calendar for coffee.

  • 150 Building: Tuesday, Oct. 10th 7:30am @ 150 Conference Room, Rm. 825
  • 515 Building: Friday, Oct. 27th 2:00pm - 3:00pm @ 515 Conference Room
  • 535 Building: Thursday, Nov. 2nd 8:30am @ 535 Conference Room
  • 468/486 Building: Tuesday, Nov. 7th, 10:00am - 11:00am @ 486 Conference Room
  • 500 Building: Wednesday, Nov. 15th 9:00am - 10:00am @ 500 Conference Room

Flu Clinic on Campus

In cooperation with the Chester County Health Dept. our annual campus flu clinic will be Friday, October 27th during the school day. Please note, the flu mist is not available this year. Only the injection will be offered.

If you are interested in having your child receive a flu vaccine, please complete a consent form (below) and return to your child's School Nurse by Friday, October, 20th. Forms received after October 20th will not be processed.

Questions? Email email your child's School Nurse.

8th Grade Field Trip Reminder

The 8th grade field trip will take place on May 24 and 25, 2018 in Washington, DC. and permission forms were distributed to students.

For detailed information regarding this exciting opportunity, please review the permission form. Extra permission forms are in the Main Office of the 515 Building. The first payment is due Friday, October 20th.

If you have any questions, please email Mrs. Wallace.

Giant A+ Rewards Fundraising Returns

Collegium has the opportunity to participate in and earn cash from A+ School Rewards, a great fundraising program run through your local Giant!

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

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

Collect points by using your registered BONUSCARD® each time you shop at Giant, and you will earn cash for Collegium. You can track the number of points you are earning by checking your grocery receipt. At the end of each month, your points are calculated and converted to cash rewards. These cash rewards for Collegium are updated monthly. You can track our progress when you sign in to your online account.

Collegium will receive one cash awards check at the end of the program and can use this money for any of our educational needs. Please encourage your family members and friends to support our school. This could result in more cash rewards!

Fall K-4 Book Fair Volunteers Needed

Our Fall Book Fairs in the 468/486 and 150 Buildings are approaching and we are in need of volunteers!

The Fall Book Fair for the 468/486 Building will be held during school hours in the 486 Building from Monday, October 30th through Friday, November 3rd. The Fall Book Fair for the 150 Building will be held during school hours in the 150 Building from Monday, November 6th through Friday, November 10th.

Volunteers are needed to assist students with wish lists, purchasing, and during our Family Nights on Thursday, November 2nd and Thursday, November 9th. If you are available and would like to help out, please access the links below for each building. All volunteers must have clearances on file.

If you have questions or need additional information, please email Ms. Hollinshead.

Elementary Intramural Programs

Registration is currently open for the Kindergarten Cougar F.I.T. Club program.

Cougar F.I.T. Club is a new program this year. It will incorporate a series of games and activities designed to encourage students to have fun while making new friends. The age appropriate activities will include games and challenges often found in the elementary physical education classroom.

To register, complete and return the appropriate registration form with payment by Wednesday, October 25, 2017. Registration forms are available on Collegium's Intramural webpage. Individuals will also be notified via email of their selection for the program.

Questions? Please email our Intramural Program Coordinator​, Mr. Handley.

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

Thank you to everyone who participated in our Fall Box Tops Classroom Competition. We will be announcing winners soon!

CCS Spirit Night

Don’t worry about dinner next Wednesday, October 18th. Instead, just join us at Chick-Fil-A in Downingtown or Lionville for CCS Spirit Night from 4:30pm until 7:30pm. During CCS Sprit Night at Chick-fil-A, 10% of all sales during this time will be donated to the HSA!

Save the Date

We are excited to announce that we will be holding our 1st Annual Outgrown & Vendor Sale this spring on May 19, 2018!

More details to follow! Are you interested in helping plan the event? Email us directly and use Outgrown & Vendor Sale as your subject line.

On-Going HSA Fundraisers


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


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

School Store Volunteers Needed

The HSA School Stores in 150, 468, 486, and 500 are open every Wednesday before school and at lunchtime. We need your help to ensure the store are open for our students! Sign up today - clearances are required.

HSA Help Wanted

1. Treasurer

Responsible for the budget process; receives all monies of the CCSHSA; keeps an accurate record of receipts and expenditures; pay out funds in accordance with the approved budget as authorized by the CCSHSA organization.

2. Social Media Chair

Develops content and serves as our HSA Facebook Page Administrator.

3. School Store Coordinator

Manages overall operations of the school stores. Ordering merchandise, keeping track of inventory, and refilling as needed.

If you have an interest in any of the following please email the HSA Officers directly.

Community Opportunity

This section of our Newsletter lists information from local groups and upcoming community activities Collegium families may want to explore. Our Community Opportunities section will not include information about non-CCS fundraisers or information from for-profit companies.

Girls In Science And Technology

For girls in grades 3-12 who’ve got—and want more—STEM in their lives! The Girls in Science and Technology (GIST) program is offered jointly by the American Helicopter Museum & Education Center and the Girls Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania. GIST is designed to provide girls with fun, in-depth, interactive, and hands-on learning opportunities in a variety of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math areas. In its 10th year, GIST Program classes are mentored by local female university students majoring in STEM studies who are, in turn, interns mentored by regional STEM companies.

GIST is scheduled almost every-other Saturday afternoon between November 4, 2017 and April 14, 2018. To learn more and register for GIST, use 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 inappropriate or if it is determined to be of little or no interest to CCS families.

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