Collegium Newsletter February 26, 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.

2018-2019 School Year Calendar

During their Thursday, February 15th Public Meeting, the Collegium Board of Trustees approved our 2018-2019 School Year Calendar. The calendar is accessible below and posted on the Calendars page of our website.

Mark Your Calendar

Monday, Feb. 26th - Day 1

  • Benchmark 2 Window Begins
  • Grades K-4: Read Across America Spirit Week (Crazy Hair Day*) (See Article)
  • CCS Varsity Academic Team (Semifinals) 9:00am @ Chester County Intermediate Unit
  • 150 Building: Little Artists Club 3:45pm - 4:45pm @ Room 827

Tuesday, Feb. 27th - Day 2

  • Grades K-4: Read Across America Spirit Week (Crazy Socks Day*) (See Article)
  • 500 Building: Advancing Artists Club 4:00pm - 5:00pm @ Room 228
  • Intramurals: 5th and 6th Grade Basketball 4:15pm - 5:30pm @ 500 Gym

Wednesday, Feb. 28th - Day 3

  • 500 Building: Special Edition ROAR T-Shirt Sale Ends
  • Grades K-4: Read Across America Spirit Week (Crazy Hat Day*) (See Article)
  • 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

Thursday, Mar. 1st - Day 4

  • Grades K-4: Read Across America Spirit Week (Mustache Day*) (See Article)
  • 535 Building: Principal Coffee Chat with Parents 8:30am @ 535 Conference Room
  • CCS Junior Varsity Academic Team (Semifinals) 11:00am @ Chester County Intermediate Unit
  • 150 Elementary Student Council Meeting 3:45pm - 4:45pm @ Room 902
  • Intramurals: 5th and 6th Grade Basketball 4:15pm - 5:30pm @ 500 Gym

Friday, Mar. 2nd - Day 5

  • Grades K-4: Read Across America Spirit Week (College/Destination Shirt Day**)
  • NEHS Annual Pajama Party Read-a-Thon 6:30pm - 9:15pm @ 500 Gym, Library, Cafeteria, Music Room, Art Room,and Classrooms

Saturday, Mar. 3rd

  • 150 Building: 4th Grade Skate Night 3:00pm - 5:00pm @ Chester County Sports Arena

*Except for Friday, March 2nd, the CCS student uniform must be worn when participating in Read Across America Spirit Week. Please see article.

**On Friday, March 2nd, students may wear college shirts or shirts from a specific place they have visited (Disney World, Hershey Park, camp shirt, etc.) with uniform bottoms.

Drug Prevention Project and Competition

Students in Ms. Winters’ and Mr. Schultz’s 6th Grade Health classes recently participated in a goals-planning and art competition with a focus on drug prevention.

Both teachers challenged their students to develop a list of goals they see in their futures. Students then considered how drug use would slow, or even prevent, their ability to achieve those ambitions. The “key” to the project was for students to acknowledge how remaining drug-free is key to their future success.

Left: The winning design. Top-Right: A sample of the student designs. Bottom-Right: 500 Building staff members and Administrators evaluating the student designs.

At the end of the unit, students created artwork to illustrate their thoughts. Each work had a key symbol at its center, around which the students explained their future plans and how drug use would interfere with them. Members of the 500 Building Administration Team judged the completed designs on overall creativity and how well students communicated their future goals and understanding of the negative impact drug use would have on them. MacKenzie Anderson won the competition and received a small prize for her efforts.

"I am really impressed with how focused my students were in determining their future goals,” said Ms. Winters. “They even evaluated their long-term goals, and quickly developed short-term goals in an effort to effectively plan for success. All of my students acknowledged the dangers of drugs and their negative effects on their health and overall goals. I hope they remember this activity and know that Collegium will always cheer for them to accomplish their goals now and into the future.”

Keystone Technology Innovator Nomination

Last fall, Mr. Scribner, a Collegium Middle School Technology Teacher, earned the opportunity to present at the Keystone Technology Conference held at Shippensburg University. He returned to Collegium filled with new ideas on how to bring technology to life for his 7th and 8th Grade students.

When Mr. Scribner’s Building Principal heard about his presentation and the Keystone Technology Innovators (KTI) program, he nominated Mr. Scribner for membership to the statewide program. KTI recognizes Pennsylvania teachers who best exemplify outstanding technology teaching and integration skills. KTI members are distinguished by their new ideas, best practices, and original ways of combining technology and instruction to spark students’ inventiveness and imagination. Mr. Scribner’s philosophy: “I am always looking for opportunities to collaborate with other educators to bring the newest technology to the classroom.”

The KTI nomination is quite an honor for Mr. Scribner. The program encompasses over 200 school districts, non-public schools, and technology institutions. Principals can nominate only one teacher, and the nomination earns Mr. Scribner the chance to become one of 100 "Keystone Technology STARS." Membership in KTI also brings tremendous benefits and resources for Mr. Scribner and Collegium. “Mr. Scribner does a lot of innovative things in his technology classes. This will only add to his repertoire of resources to help develop and grow our students,” according to Principal Sterious.

Congratulations on your KTI membership, Mr. Scribner! We are excited to see what new activities and projects you bring to your Collegium technology students!

Middle School Electives Overview

Attention Current 6th and 7th Grade Parents/Guardians

In the next few weeks, your children will be choosing 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, please contact the Middle School Counselors, Mr. Danenhower (8th Grade) or Ms. Woodson (7th Grade).

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:

From the CCS High School Counseling Office

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

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 through 11th Grade students) can review teachers' core course recommendations and make course selections for the 2018-2019 school year. Students and their parents/guardians will use the PowerSchool Parent Portal to select courses. Both core and elective course selections can be made.

Please note: The course selection process cannot be completed through the PowerSchool smartphone application. In addition to course selection, the PowerSchool Parent Portal provides easy access to class grades, attendance, and student schedule information. Parents who do not already have a PowerSchool Parent Portal account will need to create one to access 2018-2019 school year course requests. (See the directions below for creating a PowerSchool Parent Portal account.)

Course Scheduling Nights

Our course scheduling nights will be held in the 535 Building on Thursday, March 8th from 3:30pm-7:00pm, and on Tuesday, March 13th from 6:00pm-7:00pm. School counselors and principals will be available to provide scheduling assistance and speak with current 8th through 11th Grade students' families about 2018-2019 course offerings.

High School Open House

In addition to our Course Scheduling Nights, we will hold a High School Open House for New High School Students and Current 8th Grade Students on Tuesday, March 6th in the 535 Building. The High School faculty and staff hope to see all of our current 8th Grade students and their parents/guardians at this Open House!


Read Across America Spirit Week

All CCS Elementary buildings will celebrate Read Across America Week beginning Monday, February 26th through Friday, March 2nd!

Collegium's Read Across America Spirit Week is always fun for everyone. For this year's celebration, staff and students are invited to wear different items each day that relate to a particular Dr. Seuss book, as follows:

  • Monday, February 26th: Crazy Hair Day (as in Horton Hears a Who)
  • Tuesday, February 27th: Wacky Socks Day (see Fox in Socks and background image)
  • Wednesday, February 28th: Crazy Hat Day (The Cat in the Hat, an all-time favorite)
  • Thursday, March 1st: Mustache Day (The Lorax)
  • Friday, March 2nd: College/Destination Shirt Day (Oh, The Places You’ll Go!). Please wear a college T-shirt or a shirt from a favorite place you have visited.

Except for Friday, March 2nd, the CCS student uniform must be worn when participating in Read Across America Spirit Week.

On Friday, March 2nd, students may wear college shirts or shirts from a specific place they have visited (Disney World, Hershey Park, camp shirt, etc.) with uniform bottoms.

Questions? Email Mrs. Baker.

Elementary Student Council Food Drive Success

The Elementary Student Council members and advisors wish to extend a big THANK YOU to all of the families and staff members who donated to our recent Food Drive in support of the Chester County Food Bank.

Together, Collegium’s 500, 468/486, and 150 Buildings collected 1,342 pounds of food! This is an amazing accomplishment that will positively influence our local communities. Thank you again to all who participated. We look forward to collecting even more food for our community next year.

Spring Sports Physicals and Permission Slips

Time for Spring Sports at Collegium! Please see 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. All paperwork must 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).

Spring 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.

Spring K-1 Club

The Spring K-1 Club Intramural Program is scheduled to begin in March. During the program, we will teach basic skills and play games to practice what is taught. We will emphasize team building and good sportsmanship qualities—all while encouraging students to make new friends! To register, please complete and return a building-specific Registration Form.

Registration and payment are due by the morning of Wednesday, February 28th. Participants will be notified via email. A lottery will be used to select participants, if necessary.

Questions about our Intramurals Programs?

​Email Mr. Handley, Intramural Program Coordinator.

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 Paul Harkins, 515 Building Assistant Principal.

Motivating Students During the Winter

We all know that the winter months can be difficult for both students and educators. The weather is cold, the days are still short, and everyone seems to be sick or getting sick. Outside of the chance of a Snow Day, there may not be a lot to look forward to on the calendar, either. No wonder student motivation takes a dip after Winter Break!

Collegium works hard during this time to keep students engaged and energized about their studies. The first thing we do is stay motivated and interested in school ourselves. Students are skilled at perceiving adults’ moods; if they think that their parents or teachers are not putting effort towards school, they are likely to follow suit. The challenge to bring your best every day is real, but we owe it to our students to set the tone by continuing to be the best that we can be. (Our days will be better, too!)

Another technique is to set short-term goals that have tangible rewards when accomplished. Since life generally slows down at this time of year, goals and rewards can put something on the calendar to encourage and engage students. For instance, when I was a teacher, we would plan for a class-wide Quizzo game the Friday after everyone finished an assigned project. Quizzo is an interactive event that students definitely enjoy. With the promise of some fun at the end of the project, students were re-energized and found new purpose in their schoolwork.

Changing up routines can also help keep students involved. Sometimes we get stuck in patterns at home and at school. Doing the same thing day after day becomes boring after a while, and certainly does not stimulate interest in schoolwork. Consider ways to switch up your daily schedule to keep it fresh and exciting. Students will respond to changes, as long as they are well planned and presented in a positive way.

To overcome the natural tendency to get a bit sluggish during the winter, folks in education use strategies and activities specifically intended to invigorate students about school and keep them focused on learning. The strategies discussed above are just a start. For more ideas on how to increase student motivation during the trying winter months, see the articles I have linked below. And remember: Spring is right around the corner!

Collegium Employee Spotlight: Amanda Shortridge

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!

Career Day at the 486 Building

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.

Special Edition 500 Building ROAR T-Shirt Sale

Until Wednesday, February 28th, 500 Building students, families, and employees are encouraged to show their support for our student-created Special Edition ROAR T-shirt by purchasing one or more shirts, or by donating to the 500 Building’s ROAR Fund!

The back of the shirt depicts a scene where little cougars are building the CCS Community together. The artist, a CCS 5th Grader, envisioned our school as having multiple pieces, like a puzzle, and that, although we all learn and work differently, we are able to successfully create together. He was inspired by the idea of building one’s own education beyond just bricks-and-mortar.

For more information and to place your order, please access the Special Edition ROAR T-Shirt Letter and Order Form below. Questions? Email Ms. Thomas.

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.

Help Wanted: Part-Time Nurse

This is a school year position with a start date of as soon as possible. The schedule is Monday through Friday, for 4 hours per day—hours are flexible, but must cover the lunch hour (12:00-1:00pm). Options include 11:00am-3:00pm, 10:00am-2:00pm, etc.

Interested? Please complete and return a Collegium Application, and/or email your resume and Nursing License via PDF email attachment to our Human Resources Department.

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.

NEHS Pajama Read-a-Thon Party

Permission Slip Deadline Extended to Wednesday, February 28th

On Friday, March 2nd, from 6:30pm until 9:15pm, our National Elementary Honor Society (NEHS) will host its 9th annual Pajama Read-a-Thon Party for students in Grades 3-6.

Reading activities will include Reader's Theater, Book Blitz, Read Alouds, Partner Reads, and lots of D.E.A.R. time. Reading activities will include Reader's Theater, Book Blitz, Read Alouds, Partner Reads, and lots of D.E.A.R. time. Permission Slips are available below and are now due, along with the participation fee, by Wednesday, February 28th. First-come, first-served, as there are limited spaces available.

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.

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.

Community Discussion Regarding School Safety

On Tuesday, February 27th, local parents/guardians, students, and community members are invited to join an open discussion addressing school safety and mental health topics in the West Chester East High School Auditorium (450 Ellis Lane, West Chester, PA 19380) from 7:00pm until 9:00pm. The discussion is being promoted by CCS parent, Lisa Neamon. Questions? Please email Lisa.

Important: The telephone number previously referenced was listed in error. Please disregard.

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.

Philadelphia Area Team Tennis Association

Beginning Saturday, April 21st and Sunday, April 22nd, the Philadelphia Area Team Tennis Association will hold spring programs on Saturdays in Downingtown and West Chester, and on Sundays in Exton. The program runs for seven weeks and is open to all children ages 5 through 14. The cost is $85 per child. Players in the program receive instruction, playing time, a T-shirt, and an award! For more details, please 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

We send a big "Thank You" to all of the volunteers who help keep the HSA running. From the School Store parent volunteers to the committee chairpeople who spend countless hours planning events and fundraiserswe could not accomplish what we do for CCS without your dedication!

Our CCS 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: Discount ticket sales will begin in March.

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.

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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