The pandemic continues to make uncertainty a certainty in our 2020-2021 school year planning. Depending on where Chester County is in August, our Return To School Governance Committee and its subcommittees (Facilities, Instruction, Postsecondary, School Operations, Technology, and Wellness) are continuing to analyze options for CCS’s opening in the Yellow Phase and in the Green Phase.
Stay Informed Over Summer Break
CCS Families: Please keep checking your inboxes for important information we’ll email to our families over Summer Break. We’ll also post the information to CCS’s website using this webpage and the News & Notes section of our homepage.
Our Strategic Approach to 2020-2021
Without a vaccine available, eliminating the COVID-19 transmission risk within a school is impossible. Instead, an attainable goal is to keep transmission risk as low as possible to safely resume school operations.
Using guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Pennsylvania’s Department of Health, we are considering four possible reopening scenarios:
- Total Reopening: All students and staff would return to CCS’s campus (except those families who opt for Remote Learning due to safety/health concerns).
- Scaffolded Reopening: In this scenario, students in some grades would engage in in-person learning, while other grades would continue to engage in Remote Learning.
- Blended Reopening: This scenario balances in-person learning and remote learning for all students and includes an alternating schedule.
- Total Remote Learning: All students would continue to engage in Remote Learning.
As we wait to receive additional information in areas like Transportation and which reopening options our transporting districts will adopt, CCS is reviewing our procedures and strategies to keep all students and staff safe. We’re focusing now on three key areas:
- Cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting, and ventilation
- Social distancing and other safety protocols
- Monitoring student and staff health
We recognize how stressful uncertainty can be. We want to solidify a reopening plan as quickly as possible and communicate it to our community by Wednesday, July 1st. That way, we will be able to work through the details together.
New 2020-2021 Technology Initiatives
In July, CCS’s Director of Technology, Mr. Gregg Stanley, will contact CCS families regarding two important technology initiatives:
- Our New 7th-12th Grade 1:1 Technology Initiative, where all of our Middle School and High School students will receive dedicated CCS technology hardware.
- CCS’s K-12 Learning Management System (LMS) Rollout, which involves the use of new software designed to help us better create, distribute, and manage online educational content for our teachers and students.
Transportation for the 2020-2021 School Year
If Collegium’s campus is open at the start of the 2020-2021 school year, we want to help you prepare and be aware of transportation procedures and requirements. Please review the Transportation page of our website for more information.
Mental/Emotional Health and Crisis Resources
Feeling anxious, stressed, and sad right now is completely normal; however, being prepared and informed can help alleviate stress and worry. Collegium is sharing the mental/emotional health resources below for your use if emergency or non-emergency situations arise.
A mental/emotional health crisis often includes thoughts of self-harm, suicide, or hurting others and typically requires an immediate response. If you, your child(ren), or other family members are having these thoughts or believe you’re facing a mental/emotional health crisis, please contact Valley Creek Crisis Center (610-280-3270) for assistance.
While we’re all using technology and digital communications to stay connected, you or your children may become concerned about another child’s mental/emotional health or general wellbeing.
If your concerns arise outside of CCS’s school hours, you can share the information using Pennsylvania’s Safe2Say Something (S2SS) reporting system. S2SS allows parents and students to anonymously report crisis information in three ways:
- the S2SS mobile phone app (iOS App Store or Google Play),
- the S2SS website, or
- its 24/7 Crisis Center Hotline (1-844-723-2729).
Your anonymous reports will be analyzed, triaged, communicated directly to 911 Dispatch (when necessary), and shared with appropriate CCS personnel.
If your concerns arise during school hours, please contact a CCS School Counselor to discuss them.
Please feel free to email your children’s Principals to discuss non-emergency concerns. They are happy to assist you.
- 150 Building: Mrs. Kristin Camburn (email@example.com)
- 468/486 Building: Mrs. Mallory DeCarolis (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- 500 Building: Mr. Shaun Murphy (email@example.com)
- 535 (MS) Building: Mr. Ted Sterious (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- 515 (HS) Building: Dr. Pat O’Brien (email@example.com)
Chester County’s Department of Mental Health now offers a Warm Line, as well, for anyone who just wants or needs to talk with someone who understands how they’re feeling during this time. The Warm Line’s trained professionals are available 24/7 at 1-866-846-2722.
Most of us have never encountered a situation quite as life-changing as what we’re going through now. We are very fortunate, though, to have many helpful resources available. Please continue to be sensitive to your own needs as well as the needs of others and reach out for help as needed. You are not alone!
K-12 Learning Resources Now Available
Using the links below, CCS families are encouraged to access each building’s webpage for helpful resources, academic exercises, and learning-based activities. Our shared resources are engaging and manageable for all CCS families, regardless of the varying levels of technology and printing capabilities in your homes.
515 Building (CHS) | 535 Building (CMS) | 500 Building | 468/486 Building | 150 Building
Chester County Resources for Food Assistance
The following area school districts have indicated they are providing assistance with food needs. Please visit their website to confirm that they are continuing to serve the community.
- Coatesville Area School District (Meal Distribution)
- Octorara School District (Grab and Go Meals)
- West Chester Area School District (Food Assistance)
In addition, to support from a local food cupboard, you may also be eligible for SNAP (Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program). Those who are SNAP eligible receive an EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) ACCESS Card to make food purchases. The Hunger Coalition helps thousands of residents apply for SNAP through their SNAP Hotline. Residents of Bucks, Chester and Philadelphia counties can apply for SNAP benefits through their SNAP Hotline by calling 215-430-0556. Monday-Thursday from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM and on Friday from 9:00 AM until 4:00 PM.
Other Community Resources
If you are in need of other social services, call or visit online 2-1-1, a regional social services hotline, to find human and social service resources in your neighborhood. Dial 2-1-1 or 1-866-964-7922 seven days a week from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm to be connected to a 2-1-1 SEPA Information and Referral Specialist. Calls are free and confidential. Interpreter services are available in over 140 languages.
Chester County Food Bank
The Chester County Food Bank relies on over 120 member agencies—ranging from pantries and shelters to faith-based organizations and schools—to get food into the hands of those in Chester County struggling with hunger and food insecurity. Here is a list of Food Assistance locations in Chester County. If you are unsure of the cupboard closest to you, call the Food Bank at 610-873-6000 for help to identify a hunger relief agency that serves your part of town.
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person just like the flu or a cold:
- Through the air by coughing or sneezing
- Close personal contact, like touching or shaking hands
- Touching an object or surface with the viruses on it
- Occasionally, through fecal contamination
We are working closely with our local and state health and educational agencies, and are following their recommendations. At this point, their recommendations include:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- If you’ve traveled recently, check the CDC “Information for Travel” page to see if the area you visited is listed at (http://bit.ly/TravelCOVID-19). If it is an area with widespread sustained (ongoing) transmission (Level 3), call the Health Department at 610-344-6225, as you may be required to self-quarantine.