Collegium Newsletter August 19, 2019

Welcome to Collegium Charter School's weekly multimedia Newsletter. Access our Newsletter content by scrolling through to the end, just like you would for popular social media feeds and timelines.

CCS Family Calendar

Image Caption: Rylie, CCS's trained therapy dog. Rylie earned her certification from the University of Pennsylvania and helps keep our campus clean and safe by chasing away any non-human visitors!

Collegium follows a six-day rotating schedule for all students. This schedule reduces schedule change effects on classes that do not meet daily.

For example, instead of your child's schedule being the same from Monday to Friday, they will have a schedule for Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, and Day 6. You can find the Days here in our weekly multimedia Newsletter and on the homepage of our website.

Mon., Aug. 19th - Day 1

  • Grades 1-6, 7, and 9, Only: Students Report to School
  • Grades K-12: Cougar Gear Online Sale Begins (Ends Friday, August 30th) | All Buildings
  • Grade 7: Orientation for Students and Families 7:30am - 3:00pm @ 535 Building (MS)
  • Kindergarten Orientation Session A (Bus Transportation Not Provided) 9:00am - 11:30am @ 150 Building
  • Kindergarten Orientation Session A (Bus Transportation Not Provided) 9:00am - 11:30am @ 468/486 Building
  • Kindergarten Orientation Session B (Bus Transportation Not Provided) 12:30pm - 3:00pm @ 150 Building
  • Kindergarten Orientation Session B (Bus Transportation Not Provided) 12:30pm - 3:00pm @ 468/486 Building

Tue., Aug. 20th - Day 2

  • Grades 1-12, Only: Students Report to School
  • Kindergarten Orientation Session A (Bus Transportation Not Provided) 9:00am - 11:30am @ 150 Building
  • Kindergarten Orientation Session A (Bus Transportation Not Provided) 9:00am - 11:30am @ 468/486 Building
  • Kindergarten Orientation Session B (Bus Transportation Not Provided) 12:30pm - 3:00pm @ 150 Building
  • Kindergarten Orientation Session B (Bus Transportation Not Provided) 12:30pm - 3:00pm @ 468/486 Building

Wed., Aug. 21st - Day 3

  • Grades K-12: Students Report to School
  • Boys and Girls V Golf vs. Jenkintown 3:00pm @ Ingleside Golf Club

Thu., Aug. 22nd - Day 4

  • Girls JV Volleyball vs. Valley Forge Baptist Academy | Gym 3:45pm @ 535 Building (MS)
  • Girls V Volleyball vs. Valley Forge Baptist | Gym 4:45pm @ 535 Building (MS)

Fri., Aug. 23rd - Day 5

  • Grades K-12: Early Dismissal for Students (Professional Development for Faculty/Staff - PM) | Grades 7-12 Dismissed at 11:30am; Grades K-6 Dismissed at 12:15pm
  • Grades 1-4: ROAR Rally Day | Wear ROAR Shirts W/ Uniform Bottoms | Cafeteria 8:15am - 12:15pm
  • Boys V Soccer vs. AIM Academy 3:45pm @ AIM Academy
  • Middle School Back-to-School Rec Night | Gym, Library, and Parking Lot 6:00pm - 8:00pm @ 535 Building (MS)

August and September K-12 Menus And Payment Information

The Food Service Department's August and September K-12 Menus and Payment Information are available using the buttons below. This information is also posted as a Resource on the Food Service page of our website.

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

A Welcome Message From Ms. Marita Barber, Collegium's CEO

On Friday, August 9th, the Collegium Community learned that the CCS Board of Trustees (the Board) selected Ms. Marita Barber as the school’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Ms. Barber previously served as Collegium’s Acting CEO and Director of Student Services.

With the help of the Chester County Intermediate Unit, the Board conducted an extensive CEO candidate search and interviewed many qualified educators. It became apparent that a natural leader was already serving Collegium as Acting CEO. Throughout the interview process, Ms. Barber’s knowledge, experience, and passion for excellence in education elevated her above all other candidates. She is now Collegium's third-ever CEO.

Welcome to Collegium Charter School’s 2019-2020 school year! There’s an added level of excitement across our campus this year as CCS’s Board of Trustees, Administration, and Employees recognize and honor Collegium’s 20th Anniversary.

In 1999, a dedicated group of West Chester residents led by three pioneers founded Collegium Charter School. Their goal was to open a school offering an educational choice for families that included strong academics as well as programs not readily available in local school districts. On September 29, 1999, Collegium opened its doors for the first time, welcoming 39 students in Kindergarten through 6th Grade. This week, CCS will welcome nearly 3,200 students spanning Kindergarten through 12th Grade. We have much to celebrate at CCS!

Building on our legacy and the strong foundation of Collegium’s first 20 years, we’re energized and driven by our new Vision Statement and Mission Statement (included below). We’re now focused on creating the next phase in Collegium’s history. While much has changed in the world we live in, CCS’s shared commitment to our students and families remains unwavering. We’re committed to heeding our call to “empower students to become productive global citizens as they embrace their authentic selves and determine their pathway to success.”

The value of our families becoming active members of our school community cannot be overlooked. I encourage you to work closely with Collegium’s Teachers and Administrators and to become involved in school activities. Our monthly public Board of Trustees meetings afford opportunities to learn more about CCS policies and how our school is governed. Back-to-School Nights and Parent-Teacher Conferences provide families with invaluable opportunities to stay informed of their children’s specific academic progress. Last school year, we began plans to reorganize our Home and School Association, with the goal of offering families building-specific membership and activities. Stay tuned for more details as the reorganization is finalized.

In closing, I sincerely express my gratitude to all of our families for choosing Collegium. We’re honored and humbled by your confidence. As co-educators of your children, we look forward to partnering with you in meaningful ways throughout our 20th Anniversary school year.

Collegium's New Vision Statement

Collegium Charter School will create a safe, supportive, and student-centered environment with a focus on rich, diverse relationships and authentic learning experiences rooted in cultural competency. Staff will be catalysts of innovation through collaborative and evidence-based practices to increase engagement and academic outcomes. Families will be valued partners in their child’s educational journey. Students will rise to the expectations set before them, will embrace success, and will develop the resilience to face future challenges.

Collegium's New Mission Statement

Collegium Charter School’s mission is to educate students to reach their fullest academic potential, while simultaneously engaging them in the exploration of college, community, and career opportunities. We strive to empower students to become productive global citizens as they embrace their authentic selves and determine their pathway to success.

The Big 515/535 Move

The “Big Move” to switch our Middle (MS) and High School (HS) buildings is complete! It took place this summer in just eight, record-setting days!

Under the guidance of building administrators Mr. Ted Sterious (Principal, MS), Mr. Paul Harkins (Assistant Principal, MS), Dr. Pat O’Brien (Principal, HS), and Mr. Graham Dryburgh (Assistant Principal, HS), a team of 85 student volunteers and 30 employees (15 from the Middle School and 15 from the High School) moved items large and small from one building to the other. They arranged tables, desks, filing cabinets, curriculum materials, and so much more, and then spent time cleaning, painting, and adding other finishing touches to their new digs.

Students and employees raved about their work together on the move. “It’s exciting and a new chapter for CCS!” shared Mr. Steve Norris, who teaches High School Social Studies. “Most importantly, we did this as a community—as staff, students, and administrators.” Many of the student volunteers will put their hours toward their Community Service graduation requirement. “It feels good to get all 40 hours in two weeks,” said Cameron K., an incoming sophomore. “You can still get more hours over the school years. The more hours, the better!”

Dr. O’Brien was thrilled with the Big Move Team's energy and enthusiasm. “The new High School home is a result of the dedicated work of all volunteer participants who maximized one another’s talents and commitment. In our new High School, we’ll have the opportunity to create a space that is student-centered and concentrates on developing creative and critical thinkers who are focused on growth. Each day, a new idea arises to make the High School a place of welcome for all who enter.”

Mr. Sterious was also amazed by the Team’s efforts. “It was powerful to see the Collegium Community come together and complete this move. Our students and staff united as one to stay the course and figure out a solution to a problem. We're looking forward to having a great year of learning and growing together.”

According to Mr. Bill Duffy, CCS Director of Operations, “This move was HUGE, but definitely worth the effort. As our Board of Trustees said last school year, the resulting changes and improvements will really benefit our Middle and High School students and employees." Those changes and improvements include:

  • New, larger STEM Labs for both buildings
  • State-of-the-art Music and Art Rooms in the Middle School (no more traveling to the 500 Building for these classes!);
  • For the first time at CCS, a Library dedicated to the Middle School
  • 21 additional High School classrooms;
  • New High School student lockers;
  • A deep clean for both buildings, new paint in many areas of both buildings, new student and staff furniture, and the installation of miles of new floor tile;
  • Countless other enhancements; but most importantly,
  • A fresh, vibrant start to a new school year for CCS’s 7th-12th Graders.

We’ll all need some time to adapt to the Big Move, but it’s already proving to be the Right Move for CCS families, students, and employees!

Summer 2019 Accomplishments

The summer is always a busy time for a school as large as CCS. In addition to our Middle and High School buildings’ Big Move, CCS teams and departments had long “to do” lists as they prepared our campus, buildings, classrooms, and curriculum for the 2019-2020 school year. Some of our summer accomplishments were:

  • Overseeing the installation of 54,675 square feet (10.36 miles) of tile and the application of 588 gallons (44.55 miles) of new paint
  • Adding and setting up 300 Chromebooks and 100 employee laptops, cleaning and servicing 500+ desktop computers, and upgrading 90 Tech Lab computers
  • Establishing 630 new student network and email accounts
  • Reporting 15,000 lines of data to state and federal offices
  • Creating or modifying over 600 PowerSchool accounts
  • Ordering 24,000 Late Passes and 6,000 Early Dismissal Passes
  • Processing 570 New Student Enrollments
  • Analyzing 6,000 individual pieces of student data
  • Writing or updating 200 pages of Math and English/Language LA assessments
  • Moving and distributing more than 7,800 Eureka Student Module Books
  • Receiving and distributing 175+ orders for curricular programs and materials
  • Screening more than 900 candidate resumes and applications
  • Managing hiring and related position changes for 80 CCS employees

Thank you, CCS summer workers and volunteers. Your efforts help make CCS the Smart Choice in Public Education!

Important Arrival and Dismissal Notices

During Arrival and Dismissal and at all times while driving on Collegium's campus, please display your building-specific vehicle placard(s). Forgot your placard(s)? Be prepared to present a photo ID to CCS staff.

To ensure the safety of our students, parents must stay in their vehicles during Arrival and Dismissal. Do not enter the school buildings during Arrival and Dismissal. Maps and videos of the Dismissal Routes are included below and on the Transportation page of our website. Review your route(s) ahead of time and know your route(s) when you arrive to our campus. Please share this information with anyone who may be driving your child.

Arrival and Dismissal will be hectic for the first two weeks or so of school, but after that things will run smoothly. Please be patient and follow CCS employees' instructions as they direct vehicles along the appropriate Arrival and Dismissal Routes.

District-Provided Transportation Notices

If you're waiting at the bus stop and are concerned because the bus has not arrived:

Please do not call Collegium. Call the bus company directly. The bus company can radio your child’s bus, determine its location, and advise you of the bus’s anticipated arrival time. Please make sure to call the correct company for your child’s bus route (the name is on your child’s bus) and that you know the bus number and the location of the bus stop.

If the length of your child’s bus ride seems excessive or, if the bus is continually running late (or early):

Please contact your home school district's Transportation Office. While CCS certainly sympathizes with these problems, we have no ability to effect change with your home school district on these issues. We do, however, track the arrival of buses to CCS, and we report repeated late arrivals and pick-ups to the home school districts and bus companies.

  • Coatesville Area School District Transportation: 610-466-2418
  • Downingtown Area School District Transportation: 610-269-8460, ext. 6120
  • West Chester Area School District Transportation: 484-266-1040, press 2
  • Great Valley School District Transportation: 610-889-2133
  • Owen J. Roberts School District Transportation: 610-469-5254
  • Tredyffrin/Eastown School District Transportation: 610-240-1680
  • Phoenixville School District Transportation: 484-927-5026
  • Unionville/Chadds Ford District Transportation: 610-347-0804

Collegium's Campus Glossary

We recognize that it can be tricky to keep up with CCS's grade levels and buildings. Below is a glossary to help you learn more about our campus.

  • Elementary: Kindergarten through 6th Grade (K-6)
  • MS: Our Middle School students, Grades 7 and 8
  • HS: Our High School students, Grades 9-12
  • 150 or 150 Building: 150 Oaklands Boulevard, home to half of our Kindergarten through 4th Grade classes (K-4)
  • 468/486 or 468/486 Building: 468 Thomas Jones Way and 486 Thomas Jones Way, home to the second half of our Kindergarten through 4th Grade classes (K-4)
  • 500 or 500 Building: 500 James Hance Court, where our students in Grades 5 and 6 have classes
  • CHS or 515 or 515 Building: 515 James Hance Court, our High School for students in Grades 9-12
  • CMS or 535 or 535 Building: 535 James Hance Court, our Middle School for students in Grades 7 and 8
  • 435 or 435 Building: 435 Creamery Way, where our Administrative Offices are located (no student classes are held in 435)

20th Anniversary Cougar Gear Online Sale For Grades K-12

Throughout the school year on designated Dress Down Days, CCS students are encouraged to wear Cougar Gear to show their school spirit. Cougar Gear includes CCS T-shirts, sweatshirts, and other clothing items printed with the CCS logo. CCS teams, clubs, events, and fundraisers often also create various Cougar Gear items during the school year.

Our 20th Anniversary Cougar graphic, shown below, is designed with white ink on royal blue and is featured on all of our 2019-2020 Cougar Gear options. The graphic includes the phrase, "Educating Students to Reach Their Fullest Academic Potential," a key message from Collegium's new Mission Statement.

Collegium's 20th Anniversary graphic

To make our Cougar Gear sale an easy online process, Collegium partnered with Bonfire, a design and technology company that helps people design and sell custom shirts. Note: The deadline for our sale is Saturday, August 31st at 11:59 PM EST. All orders submitted after 11:59 PM EST on Saturday, August 31st will not be processed.

Tracking Bonfire Orders

Classic Long Sleeve Tee Option

You can track your order status by visiting Bonfire's Track Your Order page. Just enter the order number from your confirmation email to view your shipping details. This page will keep you updated during each stage of your order's production and shipping. If you don't receive an order confirmation email, check your Spam/Junk folder, and search for “Bonfire." You can also send Bonfire a message via its Contact Us page.

Domestic Shipping

Pullover Hoodie Option

With Bonfire, domestic shipping starts at $3.99 for the first item. Each additional item ordered adds $2.50 in shipping. For larger orders of four or more products, domestic shipping costs stay flat at $11.49.

International Shipping

Premium Unisex Tee Option

Bonfire is one of the few platforms that ships worldwide. For all orders shipping to destinations outside the U.S., including U.S. territories, International shipping starts at $9.99 for the first item, and increases $4.00 for each additional product. For larger orders of four or more products, Bonfire's International shipping costs stay flat at $21.99.

Estimated Printing and Shipping Times

U.S. customers will receive their shirts between seven and 14 (7-14) business days after a campaign ends. International orders may take up to 21 business days to arrive.

Women's Slim-Fit Tee Option

Returns, Refunds, and Exchanges Courtesy of Bonfire

Youth Unisex Tee Option

Occasionally, a Bonfire order might go awry. For all refund or reprint requests, just reach out to Bonfire via its Contact Us page. Bonfire's Customer Happiness Team will be pleased to make your order right. Here are few scenarios and how to resolve them with Bonfire:

  • Misprinted, Damaged, Defective, or Incorrect Orders: If Bonfire messes up and your order arrives misprinted, damaged, defective, or is incorrect in any way, the company will gladly offer you the choice between a reprint of the product or a full refund.
  • Shirt Size Exchanges: If your shirt order does not fit as expected, or if the wrong size was ordered, Bonfire will gladly reprint your order in the correct size, free of charge.
  • All Other Returns: If you’ve simply changed your mind and would like to return your order, Bonfire is able to issue a refund for the cost of the apparel, plus shipping costs. Not included in your refund are the funds raised for Collegium (just a few dollars per shirt), which Bonfire sends to Collegium after the campaign ends.
  • Order Cancellations: If you’d like to cancel your order before the campaign’s end date, simply contact Bonfire. The company will cancel your order and issue you a full refund. After a campaign’s end date, Bonfire is not able to cancel orders because they are already being produced and shipped. Instead, please use Bonfire's Contact Us page to explore other options.

Label Your Children's Belongings!

Label your child’s backpack, lunchbox, uniform pieces, outerwear, and any other items with your child’s first and last names. If you have enough space, also include a phone number.

Attendance Reminder

If your child is absent, please let us know by calling 610-903-1300, choosing Option #1, and following the instructions for your child's building. You must also send a signed excuse note with your child on the day they return to school.

Tip Resources From the West Whiteland Police Department

Collegium is 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):

Collegium Cares: CHIP

Pennsylvania's CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program) provides high-quality health care coverage to help keep children strong.

CHIP covers uninsured kids and teens up to age 19. With more than 111,000 uninsured children in Pennsylvania, this is great news for families!

CHIP provides quality, comprehensive health insurance for routine doctor visits, prescriptions, dental needs, eye care, eyeglasses, mental health, and much more. CHIP covers uninsured children who are not eligible for Medical Assistance. For most families, CHIP is free – for others, it is low-cost.

Use the link below to access additional details and resources on the CHIP website.

Collegium's Main Number


Extensions for our Buildings' Main Offices

  • 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.

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