Allendale Columbia School Ranked As One Of Newsweek’s Top 5,000 STEM High Schools in America

Posted on December 19th, 2019 by acsrochester

Allendale Columbia School was recently ranked as one of Newsweek’s Top 5,000 STEM High Schools in America. More than 30,000 high schools in the country were analyzed over a three-year period to determine the rankings. Newsweek, with its long history of reporting on scientific breakthroughs, technological revolutions and societal challenges, partnered with STEM.or to rank America’s Best STEM High Schools.

Recent AC STEM Activities

NASA Thanks AC Sixth Grade Citizen Scientists for Their Research
AC sixth graders just completed a month-long citizen science project through NASA’s GLOBE Program, recording more than 330 cloud observations. On December 17th, the class virtually met with NASA Education Specialist Marile Colon Robles who thanked the students for their work and reiterated the importance their cloud data plays in NASA’s on-going studies. Read more

 

“Girls Who Code” Club Represent AC at Rochester Maker Faire
This past November, Allendale Columbia School was a sponsor at the Rochester Maker Faire, where our “Girls Who Code” club taught visitors how to make brush bots and paper circuits. Read more

 

AC Robotics Teams Compete at Local FIRST Robotics Competitions
Four AC robotics teams recently competed in local FIRST robotics competitions. Representing the lower school in the FIRST Lego Robotics City Shaper challenge, were the “Wolf Pack” and the “Lightning Boltz”, led by AC faculty member Donna Chaback. Teresa Parsons, with the help of AC parent John Palomaki, led our middle school team, the “AC Aces”, while the upper school team, “Team 11779”, led by Phil Schwartz and Maya Crosby, competed in the FIRST Tech Challenge. Read more

 

Second Graders Learn About Cities by Meeting with a City Planner and Building Their Own!
Second graders met with Manager of Special Projects for the City of Rochester, Erik Frisch to discuss different transportation systems and learn more about the City of Rochester as they planned and created their own city, Birchville. Read more

 

AC-RIT Collaboration Continues to Thrive and Enrich Learning Opportunities for Students
Students in Math 7, Math 8, Algebra I, and Honors Algebra II continue to participate in a series of classes with RIT. Most recently, students conducted a color absorption experiment using RIT’s light equipment, and they have also recently learned about cryptography and the use ciphers to create and crack codes. Read more

Posted in: AC in the News, Centers for Impact, Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Fifth Grade, Highlights, Invent, Lower School, LS Birches, Middle School, MS Birches, Ninth Grade, Second Grade, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Tenth Grade, The Birches, Twelfth Grade, Upper School, US Birches

NASA Thanks AC Sixth Grade Citizen Scientists for Their Research

Posted on December 19th, 2019 by Amelia Fitzsimmons

AC sixth graders just completed a month-long citizen science project through NASA’s GLOBE Program, recording more than 330 cloud observations. On December 17th, the class virtually met with NASA Education Specialist Marile Colon Robles who thanked the students for their work and reiterated the importance their cloud data plays in NASA’s on-going studies.

The data students collected throughout the fall helps scientists better understand satellite data. Students received emails from NASA comparing their data to the satellite data when observations were made within fifteen minutes of a satellite flyover. NASA contacted our school at the start of the challenge when they realized students were not able to receive feedback. Rob Doran, Director of IT, quickly fixed that, and students gained an early understanding that their observations were valued. 

Participating in this challenge took a static note from a textbook, “scientists classify clouds by their altitude and shape”, and brought it to life, allowing students to think critically about what that really means. The NASA Globe Cloud Team received over 45,000 observations, from over 17,000 locations in 93 countries on every continent. As a token of appreciation for our students’ hard work, the class got to virtually meet a member of the GLOBE Cloud Team on Tuesday, December 17th to share what we have both learned and answer any outstanding questions. 

A special shout-out to three students who spent a considerable time outside of class making additional cloud observations.  Anna Esquivias led the 6th grade class with 52 observations! Ella Douglas (22) and Meredith Jones-Cole (20 ) also came in before school and during breaks to help increase the total data Allendale Columbia contributed to this project.  A great job done by all!

Posted in: Authentic Learning, Highlights, Middle School, MS Birches, Sixth Grade, The Birches

Young Musicians Shine On Stage Throughout December

Posted on December 18th, 2019 by acsrochester

In December, a month known for holiday celebrations and excitement leading up to a well-earned break, AC student musicians did their part to spread joy with performances in two Winter Concerts, caroling at the Genesee Valley Club, performances at the AC Holiday Book Fair at Barnes & Noble and, of course, to complete the circuit, the Holiday Breakfast.

Performances featured works that ranged from pieces connected to Project-Based Learning (“My Paddle (Dip, Dip and Swing)” and “What Do You Do With a Water Waster?”) to classic American pop tunes (“Sweet Caroline,” “Rockin’ Robin” and “We Are the Champions), from major Broadway musical medleys (Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables) to film music favorites (The Lord of the Rings and The Pink Panther) to holiday pops numbers (“Let It Snow!/Winter Wonderland” and “Christmas in Killarney”). The students not only brought joy to the hearts of their listeners, they had genuine challenges to accept and an authentic way to publicly demonstrate the learning they experienced in the ensembles and music classes that are a standard part of the academic landscape at Allendale Columbia School.
Without the talent and effort of the students who have devoted themselves to the study of music, in addition to their hard work in all other areas of their lives, the fabric of our AC culture would not be as colorful or emotionally meaningful as it is today, so we would like to express our gratitude to students in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade music classes, the 4th Grade Band, 4th Grade Chorus, 5th Grade Chorus, 5th Grade Band, Middle School Chorus, Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Select Chorus, and Upper School Chorus.
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WATCH: Lower School Winter Concert Preview

Mark your calendars for upcoming concerts and musicals!

January 16 – Lower School Solo Performance Night
February 13 – Lower School Musical
March 6 – Lower School Side by Side Band Concert
March 27-28 – Middle School Musical (Music Man, Jr.)
April 28 – Middle & Upper School Spring Concert
May 1 – Lower School Side by Side Choral Concert
May 6 – Lower School Spring Concert
May 22 – Strawberry Breakfast
Posted in: Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Kindergarten, Lower School, LS Birches, Middle School, MS Birches, Ninth Grade, Second Grade, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Tenth Grade, The Birches, Third Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School, US Birches

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

Second Graders Learn About Cities by Meeting with a City Planner and Building Their Own!

Posted on December 10th, 2019 by acsrochester
Learning about cities
As part of our project-based learning in Lower School, our second graders are learning about cities and what goes into designing and building one. Project-based learning is dependent upon the collaboration of several teachers and in-depth planning. Throughout this unit, the classroom teacher, Annie King, sought the expertise of our STEM teacher, Donna Chaback and our art teacher, Shari Ellmaker. They worked on concepts of engineering and the arts as they designed blueprints of their ideal city and then worked in teams to decide where certain businesses, landforms, and organizations should be located. Once they had a plan to propose, they presented their ideas to a mock city planning board comprised of Head of School, Mr. Gee, Head of Lower School Mrs. Feiss, Head of Middle School Mrs. Duver, Director of the AC Invent Center Ms. Crosby, and Director of Food Service Mrs. Reynolds.

 

Meeting with a Rochester City Planner to learn about transportation systems
After receiving feedback from the mock city planning board, the students were ready to design their own 3-D city. Public transportation was an issue the mock planning board raised, so the second grade students began their research in this area and quickly became experts learning about a variety of traditional and cutting edge transportation systems. They were captivated to learn about Elon Musk’s Hyperloop train as well as Sea Bubbles which are being tested in Paris, France. They also met Manager of Special Projects for the City of Rochester, Erik Frisch to discuss different transportation systems and learn more about the city of Rochester as they planned and created their own city, Birchville.

 

“What about a homeless shelter?” turns into donating to RAIHN
Next, students wrote and sent emails to members of the AC community asking what is needed to make a community great. One response they got was about a homeless shelter and how shelters are an integral part of a community. Once the students learned this, a deep and meaningful class discussion took place, resulting in their decision to include a homeless shelter in Birchville. This conversation also moved them to want to take immediate action to help those affected by homelessness in the Rochester community, so they decided to sell the crock-pot applesauce they’d been making in their classroom each week. The sale generated $140 which the students then donated to RAIHN, a non-profit that assists homeless families to achieve sustainable independence by supporting them with shelter, food, personalized case management and a network of caring volunteers.

 

Community Art
The students decided early on that they wanted art to be a part of Birchville, so they took a field trip around Rochester viewing a variety of sculptures to help determine what they wanted in their own city.  Then, Art Teacher Mrs. Ellmaker helped them design a collaborative sculpture (called “Colorful Life”) which is located in the center of Birchville.
The formal “ribbon-cutting” of Birchville was held on Monday, December 9th. Click here to view the Spectrum News coverage of this event.
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Posted in: AC in the News, Authentic Learning, Highlights, Lower School, LS Birches, Second Grade, The Birches

Partners + Napier visit for Communication, Marketing, and Design

Posted on December 9th, 2019 by artwitholiveri

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.

 

Three individuals from the organization took time out of their busy days to share their passions with us. We were welcomed by Courtney Cotrupe, CEO (AC parent, class of 2033) with an introduction to the organization and some examples of work. Following that Head of Talent Doug Parton took us on a tour of the office, two magnificently and sustainably designed floors in the Metropolitan building. Then Raina Tinker, Art Director/Designer in Vine shared a bit about the design process she engages in and Creative Supervisor Matt Spaull (AC alum, class of 2001) shared an example of his work for Xerox.
Partners + Napier absolutely left their mark on my students (especially those who had no idea that a place like this exists and especially not in Rochester). They were fascinated by the breadth of work and by the math and statistics involved in the analytics of the advertising industry.
One student told me that they really enjoyed the variety of workspaces and wondered what schools of the future might look like if modeled around these floor plans. Fiona Lutz, class of 2020, a student who interned with our Marketing and Communications office at Allendale Columbia told me how much she enjoyed the trip. She had no idea that Rochester had a place like this and might eventually want to come back to the city after she attends Providence College in the Fall of 2020 to work in marketing. Finally, Ben Smoker and Jake Dockum mentioned on the way back to school that they hope to graduate and work for Partners + Napier or a company like it in the future because of the atmosphere of the office and the kind of work they do.
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Posted in: Centers for Impact, Eleventh Grade, Entrepreneurship, Highlights, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, The Birches, Twelfth Grade, Upper School, US Birches

7 Steps to Take BEFORE Submitting Your Common Application

Posted on December 9th, 2019 by acsrochester

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 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.
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Posted in: AC College Consulting, College Advising News, Eleventh Grade, Events & Workshops, Highlights, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School

Holiday Breakfast 2019

Posted on December 6th, 2019 by acsrochester

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!

 (live stream 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. RSVP for ice skating here.

 


Related Pages:

2019 Holiday Breakfast program

2019 Holiday Breakfast photos

2018 Holiday Breakfast video

2018 Holiday Breakfast program

2018 Holiday Breakfast photos

 

 

Posted in: Highlights, PACK