Students from AC’s Communications, Marketing, and Design class visited Partners + Napier at their new location in downtown Rochester at the Metropolitan building. When we first walked into the conference room there was swag waiting for each student on the table! Mini pendants, pins, and a pencil, inviting us to Leave A Mark.
Posted in: Centers for Impact, Eleventh Grade, Entrepreneurship, Highlights, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, The Birches, Twelfth Grade, Upper School, US Birches
It’s probably best not to wait until 11:56 p.m. on deadline day to submit your Common Application, but if you speak with any Director of Admission, you’ll learn that a good portion of applications actually arrive at colleges in the 11th hour. My advice: don’t be one of the last applicants to submit your Common App, as you risk running into technical issues or, if a college notes your submission time, even portraying yourself as a Last Minute Larry.
Here are 7 key steps to take before you submit your Common App:
1. Give yourself plenty of time to accurately and authentically complete your application.
The summer before your senior year is the perfect time to begin work on your college applications, as we all know how busy things can get when the school year begins. Set aside some time during the summer to write (and re-write!) your personal statement and review any college-specific application requirements.
2. Connect with family members to make sure you’re capturing the right professional and educational information.
You’ll need to know your parents’ job titles, employers, and educational background, including degree dates. If you have older siblings, you’ll need their details, too. Colleges like knowing whether there is a legacy connection, which can sometimes be a boost in the admissions process, or whether you will be the first in your family to attend college.
3. Know which standardized test scores to self-report.
With score choice and test-optional schools, you are in the driver’s seat when it comes to reporting test scores. My advice is to use an SAT/ACT conversion chart to see if one score clearly trumps the other, in which case, the lower score can be omitted from your application. I also recommend only self-reporting AP scores of 4 and 5.
4. Have a game plan for the Activities Section.
This is one of the most important sections of the Common App, as it’s the place where you can brag about your commitment and contributions to extracurricular activities. You should carefully consider the order and descriptions of your activities. The activities in which you’ve held leadership roles should be given priority, while one-year activities should be listed towards the bottom of the list.
5. Don’t draft your Personal Statement (or any other essays) in the Common App.
You’ll go through many iterations of your essays, and believe me when I tell you how devastating it can be to lose your work when you encounter an internet issue or technical glitch in Common App. Instead, draft your essays in Word or GoogleDocs. You’ll be able to save (and share) these more easily without the risk of losing hours of work!
6. Have someone thoroughly review your application.
Before you submit your application, it’s a good idea to have your college counselor or parent review your Common App for accuracy and authenticity. They’ll be able to catch spelling and grammatical errors and even let you know whether the application reflects your personality. However, if you are applying to more selective colleges, you could benefit from having a former admissions counselor review your application (see details below).
7. Don’t wait until the last minute to submit.
This is for all of those procrastinators! Do not wait until deadline day to submit your application, as there’s a chance you’ll run into internet issues or the Common App website will be overwhelmed by user volume and crash. The safest bet is to submit your application at least one day in advance of a deadline. Plan accordingly!
Interested in having your Common Application reviewed by a former Associate Dean of Admission and Director of Selection?
As we approach application deadlines, please consider Emily Nevinger a resource and “final check” before submitting your application. During an application review, Emily will review all sections of your Common Application from the perspective of a former admissions counselor. Emily will pay close attention to your Activities, making sure you’re maximizing the order and descriptions of extracurriculars, and she will also review your Personal Statement.
Emily NevingerEmily 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.
Posted in: AC College Consulting, College Advising News, Eleventh Grade, Events & Workshops, Highlights, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School
Holiday Breakfast is one of AC’s most special traditions. We celebrate the last day of school before Holiday Break with spirited student performances, a story from the Head of School, speeches by seniors, and plenty of music, food, and merriment! It’s a wonderful time for students, faculty, staff, and families to come together, celebrate the holidays, and give thanks for our community!
(livestream will start at 9:00 a.m. EST)
PACK Ice Skating at the
Bill Gray’s Iceplex
Friday, December 20th
12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
Join PACK after Holiday Breakfast for a fun family skate from 12:00-1:30 p.m. at the Bill Gray’s Iceplex, 2700 Brighton Henrietta Town Line Road, Rochester, NY 14623. Admission will be $6 per person (if you bring your own skates) and $8 per person for admission and skate rental. PACK will also be providing pizza at the rink!
We hope to see you there!
If your children are performing at Holiday Breakfast:
- Parents of K-5 students that are in the Holiday Breakfast program should walk their children into the Alumni Gym (smaller gym) by 8:30 a.m. so that they can meet their class. You can park in the back and side lots, enter through the Gannett Lobby and, after dropping off your child, proceed to the Gannett Gym to be seated for the Holiday Breakfast program.
- Middle and Upper School Chorus are asked to meet at 8:30 a.m. in the Chorus Room.
- Brass Ensemble and Wind Ensemble are asked to meet at 8:15 a.m. where they will perform in the Gannett Gym.
- Student speakers should meet in the Gannett Gym at 8:30 a.m.
Other Holiday Breakfast Reminders:
- All are welcome! Even if your children are not performing, we welcome the entire community, families, and friends to join us for this annual tradition.
- Parents of Nursery and Pre-K students, we encourage you to come with your child to the Gannett Gym for our Holiday Breakfast program. You are also invited to enjoy some refreshments in the Dining Commons after the program. Please do not drop off children to the classroom on this day as there are no classes.
- Wheelchair-accessible seating can be arranged if needed. Please contact Amy Fioravanti before Dec. 18th to make the necessary arrangements.
- Refreshments will be served in the Dining Commons following the program.
- The Wolf Den will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. so you can do some holiday shopping.
- No classes or bus service on this day. Please plan accordingly and enter through the Gannett Lobby to reach the gym. For safety reasons, please do not park in fire lanes or along campus roads.
- Rainbow Room will be in session. Register your child ahead of time if you plan to use Rainbow Room this day.
- AC will close at 10:30 a.m. for the Holiday Break.
- Join PACK at 12:00 p.m. for ice skating and pizza at the Bill Gray’s Iceplex.
This year in Essentials of Entrepreneurship, an entrepreneurship course for Upper Schoolers, students are choosing local businesses, start-ups, incubators, entrepreneurs, and co-working spaces to visit. The students are calling and making arrangements for our visits. Many of our students have never been responsible for seeking out local organizations and people then cold-calling to begin a relationship with them and make arrangements for a meeting. It’s a great opportunity to get them thinking about and planning logistics, timing, details, and travel arrangements.
AC ninth grader Adam Rogers chose to visit RIT Venture Creations. This is an incubator space associated with RIT in Henrietta. On our visit, we explored one start-up and two successful businesses who graduated from the incubator.
Phase Innovations provides new solutions for energy conversion and storage applications. Our work is grounded in a commitment to clean water, air, and energy.
BlackBox Biometrics is the industry leader in sensor technology to instantly assess forces that can cause traumatic brain injury.
Optel provides a variety of services to companies in the medical device field including product design services from concept to initial prototypes through completed product ready for manufacture, manufacturing services in compliance with the requirements of the U.S. FDA current Good Manufacturing Practices, the European medical device standard ISO 13485, and other medical device manufacturing requirements around the world.
Amy Oliveri reflected, “Venture Creations at RIT was a fantastic visit for our entrepreneurship students. Not only did we see businesses in the incubator phase but also successful businesses who had ‘graduated’ from the program within one facility. It seems ideal to be housed with other startup businesses in order to share resources and gain insight. Perhaps the most interesting innovation we saw was from Phase who are investigating new ways to convert heat into cooling solutions. The best advice students received was from the father and son team who run Optel. They said that many people think of entrepreneurship as unstable and uncertain. Their advice – “Entrepreneurship is more certain and stable than working for someone else because you are your own boss.”
Our next visit was to the historic American Hotel in Lima. Thomas Riveros, AC ninth grader, chose this location because of a phenomenal dining experience and the businesses long-standing history.
There has been an American Hotel on this site since about 1790. The first two were made of wood, and the present day building was built in 1840. After two fires in the 1850’s, it was rebuilt in 1861 by Mr. Mosley. The hotel has been owned and operated by the Reynolds family since 1920.
Thomas shared, “I chose this location because I had eaten there before and I really enjoyed it. I loved learning about their history. If you want to be in the restaurant business, then you have to truly care about what you’re doing. If you own a restaurant for the money, you might not be as successful; you have to love what you do and truly care about it.”
Our third location was Atlas Eats. AC tenth grader Alex Wexler chose this location due to his long-standing interest in culinary arts.
At Atlas Eats, they continuously explore the tastes and traditions of foods from around the world. Their changing menus reflect their interpretation of the standards and classics from many cuisines. Atlas Eats procures the freshest ingredients possible from a host of sources in search of the unique and authentic. During the growing season, they engage local farmers and growers for produce whenever possible.
Andrew explained, “I chose this location because I am very interested in the food industry. Atlas had a unique idea to change the menu every two weeks. I thought that the most interesting part of the visit was going into the storage room to see how they stock their supplies and food. One thing I took away was the need to be very enthusiastic about your career in the restaurant business. I would definitely recommend this location to others, it was a very comfortable and nice environment, and I think that it is a must-try!”
Posted in: Eleventh Grade, Entrepreneurship, Highlights, Ninth Grade, Partnerships, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School, US Birches
Join Co-chairs of the Board, Ann Balderston and Richard Yates, and Board members representing the AC alumni community, including AC Alumni Association President Bridgette Rivers ’81, at an AC Alumni Town Hall on Tuesday, December 17th, 2019 from 7:00-8:00 p.m. EST.
Interim Head of School Appointed and Monthly Update from Board Chairs
Dear Members of the Allendale Columbia Community.
In September we launched a search for an Interim Head of School for the 2020-2021 academic year, and we were impressed with the response we received from qualified internal and external candidates. The Interim Head will serve for one year while we conduct a more traditional search for a long-term Head of School who will lead the school into the future and begin serving on July 1st, 2021. As Co-Chairs of the Allendale Columbia School Board of Trustees, we are pleased to announce that the Interim Head of School for the 2020-2021 academic year will be AC’s current Director of Enrollment Management and Financial Aid, Shannon Baudo.
Shannon was chosen unanimously from a competitive field of more than 20 other qualified candidates. This decision was reached based on the Board’s strong conviction that AC needs a leader who demonstrates expertise in bringing the school community together and playing to its strengths. That leader is Shannon. We are fortunate to have an Interim Head in place who has worked collaboratively on an exceptional Leadership Team, and has benefitted from exposure to both the academic and operational parts of AC. Her multifaceted skill set will only enhance our momentum moving the school forward.
Shannon is a graduate of Hamilton College and has 18 years of progressively responsible experience working in prestigious independent schools, including Canterbury School and The Gunnery in Connecticut. She has been at AC since 2015 where she has served as a key member of the Leadership Team and is responsible for increasing Net Tuition Revenue per student by 17.5% over a four-year period while bringing down the discount rate from 38% to 32.3% in 2019. During a three-year period of Shannon’s tenure, overall enrollment increased by 6%, despite the declining demographics of school-aged children in Rochester. Shannon also serves as a liaison between the Parent Association (PACK) and the school’s leadership team, and she has created a parent referral program based on the research of the “Jobs to be Done” Theory. Shannon has also significantly improved AC’s visibility worldwide by developing new partnerships with international agencies.
In consultation with the Head of School, the AC Board has decided to name Shannon Assistant Head of School, effective immediately, as she works together with Mick Gee through June 30th, 2020. Shannon will remain an integral part of the Admissions Office through the spring, and plans are being made to augment the current admissions team with additional expertise.
Please join us in congratulating Shannon Baudo.
In addition to this exciting news, we want to provide a brief update on our progress in moving AC forward:
On November 1st, 170 guests celebrated AC at our Friday Night Fiesta. During the event, we announced that we received one of the largest donations in the school’s history: a gift of $1 million from current parents who wish to remain anonymous. In addition to their transformational gift, we were able to raise $29,300 the night of the event.
The response to our StandWithAC campaign has been inspiring and impressive. We have four times as many donors as we did at this time last year, and our overall giving participation has increased. In a few short months, we have raised an impressive $1,679,594, but we aren’t finished yet, and we still need your help! It is our hope that you will consider making AC your primary philanthropic priority to help us reach our $3 million goal by December 31st. Please keep an eye out for our progress report and Winter Appeal that will arrive in the mail and/or email later this week.
As we shared in October, we are examining a variety of multi-year financial models that reflect a sustainable future for AC. We will send a separate email with greater detail about our financial plan and fundraising efforts in December, as promised in previous communications.
Our first Open House was on October 24th, and we welcomed some wonderful potential AC families to campus to learn about our program.
Our admissions team has been focused on community outreach and partnerships as part of our recruitment efforts. This past month, they attended the Rochester Children’s Book Festival, welcomed teachers from the Rochester Museum and Science Center’s Preschool to campus, visited some of our feeder schools, and met with local realtors to teach them about AC’s programs so they are well-informed of our offerings when working with their clients. The admissions team is currently gearing up for Preschool Fairs at three public libraries, and AC will also have a presence as a sponsor at the Maker Faire showcasing our exemplary STEM program.
Word of mouth is how many families become interested in AC. Please talk about the school with your friends, and encourage anyone who might be interested in learning more about other educational opportunities in Rochester to contact our enrollment office.
We appreciate all of you who have asked how you can help and have extended your support to AC. We encourage you to StandWithAC, and consider making a donation at allendalecolumbia.org/give.
It’s hard to believe we’re already nearing the later part of November. As Thanksgiving approaches, we reflect on how thankful and fortunate we are to have the support of so many in the AC community. We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends, and we truly appreciate all of you who are helping Allendale Columbia thrive.
Ann Balderston P’04, P’07, P’10 Richard Yates P’15
Co-Chair, Board of Trustees Co-Chair, Board of Trustees
From October 17th to October 26th, 10 students from The Harkness Institute, located in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, were hosted by students at the International House and eight AC families. Their time in Rochester consisted of fun, tourist activities, like the Maid of the Mist in Niagara Falls, a tour of the University of Rochester, and a bike tour of downtown Rochester. The students also spent time in Lower, Middle, and Upper School Spanish classes, giving AC language students the opportunity to converse in Spanish with native speakers. Harkness students enjoyed being able to act as “assistant teachers” in the Lower School Spanish classes and spending time with their host families learning about traditional American activities, meals, and family traditions. (more…)
Posted in: Authentic Learning, Global Engagement, Highlights, Partnerships, The Birches, US Birches
Allendale Columbia’s seventh grade class traveled to Camp Pathfinder, a camp for boys owned and operated by AC alumnus Mike Sladden ’76, located in Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada. For more than twenty years, AC seventh graders have made the trek into the Canadian wilderness for this annual outdoor education experience. During their stay, the students learn a variety of outdoor skills, become more self–reliant, and gain a greater appreciation and respect for nature.
Posted in: Authentic Learning, Highlights, Middle School, MS Birches, Seventh Grade, The Birches