SPECIAL EVENT: Health Professional Q&A on COVID-19 Tuesday, May 5th

Posted on May 1st, 2020 by acsrochester

Join us for a PACK Connection:

Health Professional Q&A on COVID-19
Tuesday, May 5th, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Click here to join the Zoom meeting

Dial by your location: 1-929-205-6099 US (New York)
Meeting ID: https://zoom.us/j/99571137874

AC Health Professionals

AC Health Professional Panelists
Dr. Elizabeth Murray, Pediatrician
Dr. Deanna Sams, Child and Adolescent Psychologist
Kate Dunlavey, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, School Counselor 

With knowledge about COVID-19 increasing every day, our AC panel of health professionals will answer your questions and provide the latest information around how we can best protect ourselves and others. Our team of professionals will also suggest ways that we can maintain our mental and emotional health, as well as how to best speak to our children about the crisis. This event is hosted by Parents of Allendale Columbia Kids (PACK).

RSVP & Submit a Question


 Zoom Meeting Details
  • When you “arrive” to the meeting via the Zoom link, you will be greeted with a message and automatically admitted when the webinar begins.
  • If you have a question that has not been addressed, please use the Q&A feature at the bottom of the Zoom screen to send your question to the moderator. We will try to get to as many questions as possible in the time allotted.

Speaker Bios

Elizabeth Murray, D.O., M.B.A., is Board Certified in Pediatrics and Pediatric Emergency Medicine. She holds appointments in both the Departments of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine at the University of Rochester and is active within the Division of Prehospital Medicine. Prior to entering medical school, Dr. Murray completed an MBA at the University of Rochester’s Simon School of Business Administration. She went on to receive her medical degree from the University of New England. After completing a Residency in Pediatrics at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, she returned to her hometown of Rochester to complete a Fellowship in Pediatric Emergency Medicine. Dr. Murray is Associate EMS Medical Director for Monroe County and currently serves as Chair of the REMAC. She was named a Spokesperson of the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2014 and can be seen regularly on Good Day Rochester, Connections with Evan Dawson, and social media.

Deanna Sams, Ph.D., has extensive experience in the clinical treatment of children, adolescents, young adults, and families. She specializes in the treatment of anxiety, OCD, mood disorders, and disruptive behavior disorders in children and adolescents. She has extensive training and clinical experience in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and in Collaborative and Proactive Solutions approach (developed by Ross Greene, Ph.D.) in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Dr. Sams is the Co-Director of the Psychological Testing Service, and is responsible for all Child & Adolescent testing referrals and Adult Inpatient testing referrals. She is heavily involved in the training and supervision of predoctoral interns, as well as medical students and residents in psychiatry. Dr. Sams’ research evaluates the impact of psychological interventions on Inpatient Psychiatry Units. Specifically, she has examined the impact of mindfulness, narrative therapy, and Collaborative & Proactive Solutions in the child & adolescent inpatient unit at Strong Memorial Hospital.

Kate Dunlavey, LCSW, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 17 years of experience providing family, group or individual therapy for children, adolescents, and adults. She is a Tree of Hope Affiliate and has experience in supervision of staff and students of varied backgrounds. Kate also has extensive training in evidenced based trauma-informed therapies. Kate is available to meet with AC students and parents and provide referral services.

Posted in: Events & Workshops, Highlights, PACK

Parent Appreciation/PACK Annual Meeting

Posted on May 1st, 2020 by acsrochester

April 22, 2020

 

Hello Parents,

I hope you and your families are doing well. We have some important PACK business to cover in nominating officers for next year.

But first, even though AC’s Parent Appreciation Night was cancelled due to the COVID situation, we want to express our gratitude to all of you for your part in making Allendale Columbia School such an awesome place not only for our children but for the entire community. Your involvement in the school, whether it’s supporting your children’s education and social connections at home, participating and volunteering at events, decorating for the holidays, helping kids at drop off, having social get-togethers (in person before and online now), and your enthusiastic and generous support, enrich the quality of the student life and contribute to building a strong, resilient, and supportive community.

Now for the business that would normally be done on that Appreciation Night: nominating PACK officers for 2020-2021. I am happy to present our slate of candidates, all dedicated parents who have been enthusiastic volunteers and participants in the AC community (see brief bios below).

  • President – Marie Timpani
  • Vice President – Lisa Shearer
  • Special Events Coordinator – Aly Rubelmann
  • Lower School Division Liaison – Jane Wineberg
  • Middle School Division Liaison – Vanessa Lemperle
  • Upper School Division Liaison – Karen Franz Kacprzynski

According to our By-Laws, parents may also nominate themselves or another person for any of those positions. If you would like to make a nomination, please submit it, along with the endorsements from 10 other AC parents (email is fine), to me at lois@palomaki.org by the end of the day Friday, May 8th. If there are no other nominations by then, we will consider nominations closed and accept the proposed slate above as elected. If other nominations are presented, we will devise a way to allow members to vote.

We usually select Grade Liaisons later in the year. If you are interested in being a Grade Liaison for next year, please email us.

Marisa Casa has done an outstanding job as PACK Vice President! Normally, our Vice President would advance to President next year. Unfortunately for us, Marisa, Paul, Ava, and Abigail will be moving to California following the end of this school year. While we certainly wish them all the best, they will all be missed. Marisa jumped into the VP role with a strong commitment, a lot of enthusiasm, and great ideas. She is always looking to help in any way that she can, and we are so glad that she has continued this support through the school year.

Marie Timpani is nominated to serve as President of PACK for the 2020-2021 school year. Marie has been very active throughout her many years at AC, serving as Lower School and Middle School Grade and Division Liaisons for a total of 10 consecutive years, and she rallied parents to the cause of keeping AC independent.

Lisa Shearer is nominated for Vice President of PACK for the 2020-2021 school year. Lisa has been at AC for two years, with an alum now at Ithaca College and a 9th grader. She has served as 9th grade liaison and says that their move to AC has been life-changing.

The Division Liaisons strengthen our sense of community by bringing grades, parents, and children together. Some of their roles include working to ensure the successful execution of PACK and school events; they obtain volunteers for these events; and hold regular meetings with their grade liaisons to make sure there is open communication across the Division. Thank you Melissa Clark, Colleen Roof, and Dawn Williams-Fuller for your time and dedication to being our Division Liaisons for these past two years.

Jane Wineberg is nominated to serve as Lower School Division Liaison of PACK for the 2020-2021 school year. Jane has served as Lower School Grade Liaison for three years and her family has been with AC for five years.

Vanessa Lemperle is nominated to serve as Middle School Liaison of PACK for the 2020-2021 school year. Vanessa is a parent of a 6th grade student, Mathieu. Prior to AC, Vanessa served as a parent representative for eight years including Kindergarten and elementary school in France and as a teacher in India.

Karin Franz is nominated to serve as Upper School Division Liaison of PACK for the 2020-2021 school year. Karin’s 3 kids (a senior, a sophomore, and an 8th grader) came to AC starting with their middle school years. She has been a Grade Liaison for 7th and 8th grades.

Aly Rubelmann is nominated to serve as the Special Events Coordinator position for the 2020-2021 school year. Aly was 1st Grade Liaison, 2nd Grade Liaison and then 1st Grade Liaison again this year. Our Special Events Coordinator makes sure that PACK and school functions are organized, communicated and managed to run smoothly. Thank you, Tami Bilinski, for making sure that our events have been well supplied, staffed, and easy to sign up for during the past two years.

We appreciate all the efforts demonstrated by these parents in their PACK roles and as essential volunteers for AC events, and we certainly value their perspectives in offering very helpful thoughts and ideas towards PACK’s community building goals.

I would like to recognize and thank all of our current Grade Liaisons that I have had the pleasure of working with this past year.

Nursery: Casey Karafonda
Pre-Kindergarten: Rachel Kranitz and Anika Skarzynski
Kindergarten: Julie Barrett and Meridith Leubner
Grade 1: Courtney Pulire and Aly Rubelmann
Grade 2: Jessica DeWitt and Nicole Klimek
Grade 3: Mary McClelland
Grade 4: Deanna Sams and Jane Wineberg
Grade 5: Lindsay Fallen
Grade 6: Deborah Person
Grade 7: Marie Timpani
Grade 8: Karin Franz Kacprzynski
Grade 9: Lisa Shearer
Grade 10: Kristin Rorapaugh
Grade 11: Rob and Carrie Goodyear
Grade 12: Lisa Campbell and Claire Van Arsdale

These parents ensure that our families feel welcomed and connected, class and grade events are communicated and coordinated, and the necessary volunteers are organized. Thank you for your time and dedication to being our Grade Liaisons.

This past year, we worked together for an awesome Welcome Back Picnic on our campus. We enjoyed a fun Homecoming together, holiday decorating, and ice skating, and we supported so many efforts on campus and in classrooms. And our Book Fair at Barnes & Noble earned us more than double last year’s total, thanks to you. We rebranded our Coffee Connections as PACK Connections as we offered morning and evening sessions to accommodate people’s schedules. If you’re interested in joining the Connections Committee to explore topics for next year, or you have topics and presenters to suggest, we encourage you to email us.

It’s been a very tumultuous year, but we all feel excited about remaining proudly independent and wildly successful as a school and community. Our administration and faculty are doing amazing things in moving the school forward academically and financially. As a result of our school’s early investments, parents and students have benefited tremendously by the rapid and seamless transition to online learning and support of our community.

AC works best when we all join together — parents, students, faculty, and staff — to create a joyful environment in which we all thrive. Thank you, everyone, for the role you have played in making that happen. It has been an honor to serve as PACK President this year, and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work with all of the volunteers and the entire AC community!

Thank you,

Lois

Lois Palomaki
PACK President, 2019-2020 

Posted in: Highlights, PACK

Making the Most of Virtual College Visits

Posted on March 18th, 2020 by acsrochester

 

The timing couldn’t be worse. Juniors visit college campuses during the spring in anticipation of compiling their college application lists. April is the most popular month for seniors to tour campuses where they have been admitted, eventually choosing their home for the next four years. COVID-19 has turned everything on its head, creating unprecedented challenges for families and colleges alike. How can families take advantage of online opportunities to learn about college campuses?

Here are 6 tips on making the most of virtual college visits:

 

1. Check out the Office of Admission website.

Colleges are just as bummed to be missing your in-person visit as you are. This is typically when colleges roll out the red carpet for prospective students, hoping to “yield” seniors with panel-packed open houses. Be sure to check the Office of Admission website first to review their online offerings, including tours, information sessions, and webinars. It’s also a good idea to connect with the admission counselor responsible for applications from your region.

 

2. View videos on the university’s official YouTube station.

From research and campus speakers, to updates on what’s happening on campus, the university’s official YouTube station can present a treasure trove of content. It can be a great way to see how the campus engages its local community as well. 

 

3. Supplement official videos with student-produced content.

Even though you should check out the Office of Admission website and official YouTube station, realize these could present an overly-marketed view of the college. Look for videos and content produced by students and student organizations. 

 

4. Connect with faculty.

If you have some ideas about what you’d like to major in, reach out to faculty in those departments who are doing research related to your interests. They will be excited to hear from you, as it is also in their best interests to showcase their work for prospective students. When you’re eventually allowed to visit campus, these faculty can be a great resource for you.

 

5. Leverage your high school’s alumni network.

Since you’re unable to connect with students during an in-person campus visit, now is a good time to search social media to see who from your high school is currently enrolled at the colleges on your list. These acquaintances can provide first-hand insight into  the pros and cons of the college/university as well as give you ideas about the transition from high school to their particular college. 

 

6. Stay informed.

As you research campuses from the comfort of your home, frequently check colleges’ websites for updated information about campus visits. Colleges are eager to have you visit in-person and will let you know when it is safe to do so. Plus, all of the homework you’re doing in advance will make you a savvier campus visitor!


Interested in chatting with a former Associate Dean of Admission and Director of Selection about the college admissions landscape?

Please consider Emily Nevinger a resource as you compile your college lists or decide where to enroll. Emily can set up virtual appointments to discuss what is important about your college search and offer strategic, personalized advice about your best fit. Contact Emily for details.

 

Emily Nevinger

Emily Nevinger

Emily Nevinger is Allendale Columbia School's College Advising Consultant, guiding students in the greater Rochester area and beyond on the college application process, financial aid, interview preparation, essay review, and more! Emily began working at the university level in 2003 and was a senior member of the admission committees for University of Miami, Emory University, and UNC Chapel Hill. Emily holds a bachelor's degree in Public Policy from Duke University and a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration and Enrollment Management from the University of Miami and a College Access Counseling Certificate from Rice University.
Tagged with: , , , , , ,
Posted in: AC College Consulting, College Advising News, Eleventh Grade, Events & Workshops, Highlights, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School

Monthly Update from Board Chairs Ann Balderston and Richard Yates

Posted on March 9th, 2020 by acsrochester

Monthly Update from Board Chairs Ann Balderston and Richard Yates

Dear Members of the AC Community,

A number of incredible things have happened at AC since we sent our last update. After a busy holiday season, we were thrilled to find out we surpassed our December 31st, 2019 fundraising goal of $3 million dollars! The details of our fundraising successes were subsequently featured on the front page of the Rochester Business Journal’s January 3rd edition. The article outlines our widespread community support and features the anonymous $1 million gift from current AC parents and the $1.5 million commitment from Ursula Burns, a parent of an AC alumna, former Trustee, and former Xerox CEO.

As the Board of Trustees committed to remaining independent, the Board decision reflected the confidence that the AC community would come together to work towards a sustainable future.

We anticipate ending this school year in June with no draw from our endowment for the first time in 10 years. In addition, AC is projected to continue to improve its bottom line in 2020-2021, 2021-2022, and 2022-2023 with a net positive operating budget. We reached these projections by working closely with the school’s Leadership Team, thoughtfully managing expenses, carefully considering tuition increases and successful fundraising, and projecting conservative and attainable enrollment numbers. It is important to note that our annual giving goal was necessarily aggressive this year, and we have been grateful for this year’s extraordinary giving levels. While financial generosity will always be crucial, our projected budgets over the next three years reflect moving towards a ‘new normal’ with a consistent reduction in our fundraising goals.

Our recent fundraising success provides us with the confidence to know that AC can attain its fiscal year-end goals. We need our alumni, parents, and community friends to make personally meaningful gifts to AC this spring. Our total fundraising goal for the 2019-2020 school year is $4 million. Having surpassed our $3 million year-end goal by December 31st, we still need to raise $575,000 by June 30th. With the expressions of support we have received in recent months, we know that we can be successful, but we need your help. Your gift truly matters and is part of the inspiration that unfolds at AC every day.

We recently sent out contracts for re-enrollment and have begun receiving commitments for the 2020-2021 school year. Enrollment is critical to our long-term goals, and we need to enroll new students into our program.  We know that there are still people in the greater Rochester community who believe we are merging with The Harley School or that we are closed. We need each and every member of the AC community to support our enrollment effort. People need to hear about AC and be encouraged to come visit. We are counting on YOU to share your stories and experiences of AC with those you know who might be interested in a different educational opportunity for their children. Please encourage these families to call Shannon Baudo to learn more and see if AC is a good fit.

Lastly, as many of you know, our Head of School, Mick Gee will be leaving AC at the end of June. We will be hosting a celebration of all the work Mick has accomplished during his time at AC. Please save the date for Thursday, May 14th at 5:30pm at AC. An invitation will be sent in the coming weeks.

Allendale Columbia is strong and getting stronger everyday. Enrolling your children, donating dollars and time, spreading the word, and being overall cheerleaders for AC have helped position us for continued success. Not only are we graduating our 129th class this year, next year we will be celebrating our 130th. We know we can’t do this without the support of our AC community – the future of AC depends on you.

Thank you,

                                   

Ann Balderston P’04, P’07, P’10                 Richard Yates P’15

Co-Chair, Board of Trustees                           Co-Chair, Board of Trustees 

Posted in: Highlights

PACK Connections – Meet Kate Dunlavey, LCSW

Posted on February 6th, 2020 by Amelia Fitzsimmons

Join us for PACK Connections
Wednesday, February 12th
Dining Commons

8:00-8:30 a.m. Coffee and breakfast pastries
8:30 a.m. Meet & Greet with Kate Dunlavey

 

Kate Dunlavey, LCSW

This month get to know our school counselor, Kate Dunlavey!

Kate is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 17 years of experience providing family, group or individual therapy for children, adolescents, and adults. She is a Tree of Hope Affiliate and has experience in supervision of staff and students of varied backgrounds. Kate also has extensive training in evidenced based trauma-informed therapies.

Kate is on campus on Tuesdays and Thursdays and is available to provide referral services for our students.

Come meet Kate and learn more about her involvement at AC!

No need to RSVP! We look forward to seeing you next Wednesday! 

All current parents and grandparents are welcome. 

Posted in: Highlights, PACK, Uncategorized

2020 Current Events Test

Posted on January 29th, 2020 by acsrochester

How’s your knowledge of current events?

Take the 2020 Allendale Columbia School Current Events Test to see how you compare with AC Middle and Upper School students, who took the test on January 28th. You’re on your honor — even though you may be viewing the test on a connected device, you may not consult any sources other than your own memory while you take the test!

 

Click the image to view the 2020 test questions (PDF)

Click the image to download the Current Events Answer Sheet PDF (to mark your answers)

Click the image to download  the Current Events Answer Key (page 1) PDF

 

Click the image to download  the Current Events Answer Key (page 2) PDF

Current Event Test Winners 2020

Overall Winner: Ryan Mogauro – 97

Grade 12
Henry Nicosia – 94
Daniel Saedi – 92
Jaina Dinino – 89

Grade 11
Marc Chuprun – 91
Adrian Fuller – 89
Jack Wheeler – 85

Grade 10
Aiden Wun – 77
Ronan Wun – 76
Gianna de Rosa – 75

Grade 9
Thomas Duver – 88
Maya Schwartz – 76
Josh Nozik – 71

Grade 8
Ben Tucker – 66
Luca Palomaki – 61
Jake Crane – 58

Grade 7
Maya Sams-  63
Carter Previte – 56
Lizzie Bissonette – 53 / Oliver Riveros – 53

Grade 6
Sebastian Costanzo – 71
Sammy Davis – 60
Mackenzie Opira – 50

Tagged with: ,
Posted in: Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Highlights, Middle School, Ninth Grade, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School

AC Artists Honored by RIT Faculty at the “Start Here” Art Exhibition

Posted on January 24th, 2020 by acsrochester

AC upper schoolers Vivian ’20 and Sophie ’22 were honored by RIT faculty at the opening reception of the 2020 “Start Here” exhibition. Sophie’s mixed media piece was selected for the School of Art’s “Fine Art Studio Award — 3d”, and Vivian’s oil on paper portrait received the “Dean’s Award.”

The exhibition continues through February 1st in the Bevier Gallery at RIT. For more information, visit: https://www.rit.edu/artdesign/bevier-gallery 

Posted in: Eleventh Grade, Highlights, Kid Kudos, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School

Monthly Update from Board Chairs Ann Balderston and Richard Yates

Posted on December 18th, 2019 by acsrochester

Monthly Update from Board Chairs Ann Balderston and Richard Yates

 

Dear Members of the AC Community,

Over the past five months, we have thoughtfully developed a strategic three-year financial plan which will lead the way to Allendale Columbia’s long-term financial sustainability. We are writing to share high level details of the financial plan we submitted to the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) last week as part of extending our accreditation, and we expect a positive outcome from their review. The following is an overview of the work we’ve been doing and the information that was submitted to NYSAIS.

AC is projected to continue to improve its bottom line in 2020-2021, 2021-2022, and 2022-2023 with a net positive budget. We have reached these projections by working closely with the school’s Leadership Team, thoughtfully managing expenses, carefully considering tuition increases and successful fundraising, and projecting conservative enrollment numbers.

As part of our financial planning process, the AC Leadership Team and the Board took a hard look at every area of the budget to see where we could cut expenses without impacting our students or our program. As a result of this work, we were able to cut approximately $1.5 million in expenses while continuing to maintain, and in fact expand, our program offerings for students.  

In August, we launched our StandWithAC fundraising campaign and reached out to all of you asking for your help in our effort toward sustainability. We are excited to share that we have raised $2,300,000 toward our year-end target of $3,000,000, and we are confident that we will reach our $3 million goal by December 31st.

We anticipate that we will end this school year in June slightly ahead of budget with no draw from our endowment for the first time in 10 years. We have been asked how much we have in our endowment, so we want to be clear that we have $7.5 million. According to the National Association of Independent Schools, 24% of independent schools across the country are operating without an endowment. We are fortunate to not only have this financial resource but to be in a position to not have to draw from it this year.

While we are making great progress in a very short amount of time, our need for exceptional donor generosity and participation will continue this spring and into 2020-2021. Our hope is that we can continue to count on you for your dedication to the future of AC. If you have given already, please know that those gifts have allowed us to get to a place where we can confidently say that AC is on a strong path. If you have not donated, but are encouraged by the success we have achieved in five short months, please join the effort and StandWithAC!

Each and every member of the AC community is critical to our enrollment effort. People need to hear about AC and be encouraged to come visit. Given the dynamic nature of this past summer, we know that there are still people in the outside community who believe we merged or are closed. We are counting on YOU to share the AC message of our strong, dedicated community who have come together, around a common goal, to give current and future students access to an incredible education.

As past parents of former AC students ourselves, we are energized by the dedication of AC’s faculty and staff, the excitement we see in the students, the support of our alumni, and the knowledge that the work of so many is moving Allendale Columbia toward a future of continued excellence in education. We are both pleased to be part of this effort and encourage you to give your time and dollars to support AC’s long-term sustainability and make an AC education accessible to more students in our community.

We will continue to work on our long-range strategic planning and keep you informed of our progress throughout 2020. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy the holiday season, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for supporting Allendale Columbia School.

Sincerely,

                                 

Ann Balderston P’04, P’07, P’10                 Richard Yates P’15
Co-Chair, Board of Trustees                                 Co-Chair, Board of Trustees

Posted in: Highlights