AC’s Virtual Holiday Breakfast 2020

Posted on December 22nd, 2020 by Amelia Fitzsimmons

Grab a cup of coffee, relax in your favorite chair and relive happy memories from holidays past as you watch the recording of this year’s AC Holiday Breakfast!

0:00 – Wind Ensemble
0:30 – Welcome (Shannon Baudo)
2:33 – Lifer Speech (Cynara Nelson)
3:33 – Kindergarten Intro (Linden Oliveri)
4:32 – Kindergarten “Up on the Housetop”
6:54 – Lifer Speech (Victoria Edwards)
8:26 – Lower School Intro (Leighanna DeWitt)
8:58 – Lower School “3 Rounds for Peace”
11:53 – Lifer Speech (Alicia Strader)
12:53 – Lifer Speech (Gregory Castellano)
13:25 – Middle School Intro (Calla Schwartz)
14:02 – Middle School Chorus “Winter Wonderland”
16:36 – Lifer Speech (Brynn Peters)
18:41 – Storytime with Mrs. Baudo “The Wish Tree”
23:21 – Lifer Speech (McKenna Shearing)
24:23 – Wind Ensemble Intro (Zoe Crego)
24:47 – Wind Ensemble “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen”
27:54 – Lifer Speech (Marlin Bassett)
29:57 – Upper School Chorus Intro (Mary Cotter)
30:20 – Upper School Chorus “Sleigh Ride”
33:19 – Lifer Speech (Amaja Elliot)
34:12- Lifer Speech (Jack Wheeler)
34:27 – Dona Nobis Pacem
37:28 – Closing Remarks (Shannon Baudo)
38:46 – Credits

Please join us by spreading cheer and making a gift to AC today.

Posted in: Alumni News, Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Events & Workshops, Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Kindergarten, Lower School, Middle School, Ninth Grade, PACK, Second Grade, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Tenth Grade, Third Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School

AC’s Virtual Heritage Dinner 2020

Posted on December 17th, 2020 by acsrochester

One of AC’s most beloved traditions is Heritage Dinner, an event typically hosted on campus potluck-style, to celebrate and share the unique cultural backgrounds of our AC families. With this year’s global pandemic and the health and safety of our community at the forefront of our minds, we knew changes would need to be made in order to safely host the event this year. Pulling this off virtually would be a challenge, yes; but it would not be impossible.

Embracing AC’s core values to the fullest — “the importance of connections”, “mastering strategies for learning”, “minds that are curious and creative”, and “developing a resilient spirit that dares to take risks” — we decided to use this real world challenge as a learning opportunity for our students. 

Enter AC Production and Design students Ella Prokupets, Mansa Brown-Tonge, Carly Freeman, Jocelyn Wynn, independent study student Chloe Fowler, and global diploma student Brynn Peters. Together, with the guidance of faculty advisor Amy Oliveri, these six students began to analyze the keystone components of the event and the logistics necessary to host it virtually. 

Among the goals and objectives identified by the group were:

  • The desire to make the event as inclusive as possible
  • The desire to provide various levels of engagement to promote the widest accessibility
  • The ability to virtually bring people together to enjoy culturally diverse food 
  • The ability to incorporate local and international partners 

To implement these goals, the students set to work connecting with our partners in Senegal, Dubai, Mexico, China, and locally, they reached out to Headwater Food Hub to coordinate the sale of Meal Boxes to our community. These boxes, they hoped, would provide a sense of community with everyone prepping and enjoying the same meal. Driven by the desire to support and shop local during this challenging time, the students also arranged to have extra Meal Boxes donated to our School #17 Summer LEAP families. Additionally, the students curated a list of ethnically diverse restaurants to encourage participants to support local small businesses and try new cuisines from around the world. During this time, they also began building their own website, creating social media content and messaging to help promote the event, and gathering family-favorite recipes and music from our AC community.

When the day of the event finally came, we had just shy of 100 people in attendance! Through a combination of pre recorded presentations and live discussions, we were successfully (and safely!) able to come together, yet again, to break bread and broaden our understanding of the world and those in our community. This event is always such a wonderful reminder of the richness and diversity of our AC community.

We are proud to be Rochester’s most diverse school, and we are committed to continuing to build a community that fosters diversity, equity, and inclusion for all people.

 

00:00 – Welcome
02:01 – Intro & Land Acknowledgement
05:20 – History of Heritage Dinner
08:06 – Student Speaker #1 (Lizzie)
13:14 – Student Speaker #2 (Ziqi)
15:58 – Student Speaker #3 (Victoria)
20:03 – Faculty Speaker (Mr. Camara)
36:25 – Breakout Rooms
50:17 – Closing Remarks
50:33 – Solidarity Circle Intro
51:41 – Solidarity Circle Video
53:31 – Closing Remarks

*This year’s Heritage Dinner program was organized and produced by students in the Production & Design Class. Thank you to Mansa Brown-Tonge for hosting the evening’s event and Ms. Oliveri for her oversight and guidance.

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Posted in: Centers for Impact, Diversity Equity and Inclusion, Entrepreneurship, Events & Workshops, Global Engagement, Highlights, Lower School, Middle School, Upper School

Record a Video of Dona Nobis Pacem for Holiday Breakfast

Posted on December 7th, 2020 by acsrochester

Each year, we typically conclude our Holiday Breakfast with a group sing of Dona Nobis Pacem, and while we cannot physically be together this year, we are hoping that we can include some of our families in a special rendition of this song! If you would like to participate, please submit a video recording of you and/or your family. You can access the instructions and materials you’ll need for creating the recording below.

Download the accompaniment guide track here

Download the sheet music here

Submit your video here

The deadline for video submissions is Friday, December 11th!

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Posted in: Alumni News, Art, Events & Workshops, Highlights, Lower School, Middle School, Pre-Primary School, Upper School

AC Celebrates Grandparents and Special Friends Day Virtually with Friends from Around the World

Posted on November 30th, 2020 by acsrochester

Each November at Allendale Columbia, we open our doors for one of the most treasured and anticipated events of the year, Grandparents and Special Friends Day. Typical preparations for the day include classroom activities, colorful artwork in the hallways, songs rehearsed, and a fabulous lunch prepared and served to our guests. Although this year’s celebration looked a little different, the love and excitement between students and their guests was ever more apparent. By way of Zoom guests, who typically might not have been able to attend, were welcomed from the other side of the world. We had cousins from India, grandparents from Egypt, London, and Germany, and aunts and uncles from Canada. We even had attendees on the west coast who were ready to go at 6 a.m. PST! Our AC mascot, Wolfie, and Mrs. Feiss kicked off the event with a wonderful story, which uniquely incorporated each classroom from Kindergarten through Fifth Grade. Kindergarten shared two songs, “Mi Familia” and “We Shall Overcome”, while First Grade presented a Thanksgiving Day skit entitled, “Run Turkey Run”. The Second Grade class performed a poem called, “Ice Cream Stores”, which spoke about all the ways they see variety in the community. Third Grade presented a poem that highlighted their special guests, while Fourth Grade shared what and whom they were grateful for. Finally the Fifth Grade class read a poem of thanks which also gave us insight into their school year so far. But perhaps my favorite part of the celebration was when each class was highlighted on the screen and guests temporarily (and simultaneously) unmuted themselves to give their special AC student a warm shout out. As students heard their relatives’ voices they jumped up and down with excitement! We wrapped up the event by showing a special slideshow full of pictures and warm sentiments, while students enjoyed some delicious pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Thank you to everyone who participated. We are so grateful to have you as part of our AC family.

Click the links below to relive the fun!

Classroom Greetings

Student Slideshow

Farewells

Julie Barrett

Julie Barrett

As AC’s Welcome Desk Associate, Julie collaborates with several AC departments and ensures that everyone who visits or calls campus feels welcome. Prior to joining AC, she worked for Mattiacio Orthodontics, Rochester Wedding Magazine, and Cardiac Life. She received her Associate’s Degree in Sports Tourism and Marketing from Finger Lakes Community College and is in the process of earning a Certificate in Business and Entrepreneurial Studies from Monroe Community College.
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Posted in: Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Kindergarten, Lower School, Second Grade, Third Grade

National Hug A Musician Day!

Posted on November 13th, 2020 by acsrochester

This year has brought about a unique set of challenges for educators, including how to safely continue our music education program. We know singing and playing instruments is incredibly important for students at AC, and instead of saying “no” to music education, as many other schools have done this year, we’ve worked hard to ensure we can continue to make music, while keeping all of our students safe.

It’s amazing to watch our students adapt to these new changes. As part of our adjustment to safely continue music education at AC, all of our musicians wear masks, do not sharing music, sit 12 feet apart, and all of the chairs wiped down after they leave. We have also made our classes even smaller, which highlights the individual more. This means students who, in previous years, may have been shy and played or sang quietly alongside their neighbors are now learning to be more confident. Similarly, without that immediate feedback from other musicians right next to them, students are becoming aware of how much they’ve relied on that in the past and have already noticed a difference in how they’re learning. Everyone is becoming more of a leader in the group, and as a result, our sound is improving by leaps and bounds. Yes, it was an adjustment and it was challenging, but we’ve kept our core value of “fostering resilience” in mind and worked our way through it to come out stronger.
In the midst of this pandemic, there is nothing quite like hearing voices singing. I’ll never forget hearing the 4th graders, who are in chorus for the first time, singing during their first rehearsal in the CPC. It was magical. They overcame all of the obstacles we threw at them and continued to make music. That is what it’s all about.  — Rachael Sanguinetti, Music Teacher
This year, technology also plays a more important role in music education as a medium to both learn and perform. Because we will not be able to host live audiences this year, we are working on recording our groups in order to present our body of work to the community. We are only in the beginning stages of this process, but we are excited by the new dimension this adds to the musical experience for most of our students, who have never formally produced a sound recording. We hope this new process will benefit students by opening their minds to new possibilities in terms of ways they can apply their musical skills.
In Lower School music, in addition to developing music-specific skills, we are also focusing on social emotional learning (SEL) goals: taking turns, opportunities for leadership, creativity, and collaboration through musical activities. For our youngest students, we’ve focused on creative movement in response to music, taking risks to share rhythm patterns or creative ways to keep the beat. For older elementary students, we are working on rhythm stick activities to develop rhythmic skills, as well as coordination, timing, and collaboration. In a time when we can’t physically touch, this work has been really meaningful and engaging for our students.

 

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Posted in: Art, Highlights, Lower School, Middle School, Upper School

National Go to An Art Museum Day!

Posted on November 9th, 2020 by acsrochester

In honor of “National Go to An Art Museum Day” today, check out some of the art created by our Lower, Middle, and Upper School students so far this year!

Lower School Art

Lower School Artists have been hard at work in their classrooms this fall! Our hard work is on display in the Lower School hallways. We have explored the Elements of Art through Color, Line, Texture, Shape, and Value. Each class, Nursery through Fifth Grade, has been excited to explore new ways of creating their art. Nursery and Pre-K classes recently painted with marbles and forks. They also used their “teeny tiny” finger muscles to put a 3D pumpkin together by making loops. The Kindergarten classes experienced the magic of leaf rubbings and then painted the leaves with beautiful watercolors. First Graders have practiced multi-step directions as they painted paper with bright tempera paint and then used the painted paper to create pumpkins of all shapes and sizes. The Second Graders cut black cat silhouettes using symmetry as a strategy. There are black bats hanging out upside down in the Lower School, creatively made by the Third Graders. Fourth and Fifth Graders used yarn to wrap mummies and spiderwebs and these became the finishing touches to a beautiful display in Lower School. 

During each art class, the Lower School Artists have the opportunity to learn new techniques and also have time to develop foundational skills for strengthening fine motor muscles, applying problem solving skills, and enjoying the benefits that Art can contribute to their social and emotional well-being. I am so proud of the students I teach. I regularly hear laughter and see the joy on their faces as they create art. Spreading happiness and joy to all who walk the halls each day this year is an added bonus of bringing art to the classrooms. Keep an eye on social media for more wonderful work from my Lower School Artists this year!

Sharon Ellmaker

Sharon Ellmaker

Shari has been an educator for more than 30 years. During the academic school year, she teaches Lower School art and in the summer, she is a valued member of our AC Summer LEAP faculty. Shari brings with her experience teaching second, third, and fourth grade, in both the public school system and independent schools. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education from Bluffton University.

 

Middle School Art

I’ve been so impressed by my Middle School Photojournalism students. These seventh and eighth graders started off the semester learning how to compose photographs. One difference in this class is it is “self-paced.” This means that students work through assignments at their own pace. They are allowed to continue to work on a unit for as long as they need. Some of the units students can progress through are Composition, Motion, and Portraiture. As the quarter began, they learned how to operate a DSLR camera. Learners shoot photos manually by adjusting their shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. They also manually focus their lens. While a DSLR can do a lot of this work for you, it’s vital to learn how to do it yourself so you can have far greater control over the image. 

As a result of COVID and new health and safety precautions, students bring home the cameras for longer periods of time. They have the cameras every other week for up to 6 days. This gives them ample time to plan, shoot, and reshoot their ideas and experiences. I have seen a noticeable difference in the quality of their work as they have more time to experiment with photography. On our “off weeks” when we don’t have the cameras, students learn how to use Adobe Photoshop to edit their images and use effects. They also spend time curating their photos into albums, getting feedback from their peers, and creating digital portfolios of their work. All of these skills and techniques are industry standards.

Amy Oliveri

Amy Oliveri

Amy has been a part of the Allendale Columbia Art Department since the fall of 2010 and serves as Director of the AC Center for Entrepreneurship. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Illustration and a Concentration in ASL as well as a Master of Science Degree for Teachers in Art Education from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

 

Upper School

I’ve loved working with my students in the Upper School Drawing and Printmaking class this semester. Members of the class include in-person students and several Upper Schoolers who join the class remotely, including three international students in China.

One of the first concepts we study in drawing is “line,” and for this ink landscape drawing project the class chose locations, then worked from direct observation to identify and draw the lines that they saw. Being able to sit outside and work was a terrific opportunity that allowed us to enjoy the immersive experience of drawing while observing social distancing.

Students at AC created these images on our beautiful campus while simultaneously, the three students in China drew a local church, a city boulevard, and a residential building in their own neighborhoods. 

Students recorded reflections about their experiences at the end of the project. Here are some things they said:

“The thing I liked most about this project was going outside to find a good view in the city…since I knew I had a mission of discovering beauty in my city, I walked slowly and paid attention to my surroundings.”

“The thing I liked most about this project was that I think I really enjoy the process of drawing, because when I have a picture in front of me, I just concentrate on my drawing, and I feel pretty relaxed.”  

“What did I like most about this project? I think it was really nice to be able to just sit outside, at the end of the day, and just draw.”

“The thing I liked most about this project was that we got to go outside when the weather was nice, and we got to choose what we wanted to draw and got to focus on one specific place.”

Lori Wun

Lori Wun

Lori has 18 years of experience as an educator and has been an art teacher at AC for 14 of those years. She has taught grades 9-12, elementary, and middle school students, as well as university undergraduates. Lori is a practicing artist with bachelor's degrees in fine arts and art history from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the College of William and Mary, where she focused on drawing, painting, and modern art history. She earned a Master of Fine Arts Degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art where she concentrated on photography and video.
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Posted in: Art, Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Kindergarten, Lower School, Middle School, Ninth Grade, Nursery, Pre-Primary School, PreKindergarten, Second Grade, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Tenth Grade, Third Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School

A Culture of Kindness

Posted on October 9th, 2020 by acsrochester

Today marks the first month that Allendale Columbia has been back in the swing of things, buzzing with in-person learning, five days a week. Within this first month I have seen an abundance of smiling faces, great enthusiasm, joyfulness to be among friends again, and maybe above all else, a willingness to help each other out and to just simply be kind. The beauty of my position here at Allendale Columbia is that I get to pitch in and help out in several different areas of the school, changing directions at any given moment. I am able to witness inspiring interactions between students and teachers, teachers and colleagues, parents and their children, or students and their peers. And no matter who is helping who, I always find myself feeling that happy twinge in my heart.

This year, we have 98 new students on campus, and needless to say, some of our most apprehensive students, particularly on the first day of school, were the littlest ones. One nursery student in particular, was understandably very nervous to walk into school without Mom or Dad. Without hesitation, his two older sisters, a first and a third grader, carefully helped him out of the car and comforted him all the way to the primary doors. The very next day, and each day that has followed, he now happily walks into school as long as he’s holding both of his sisters’ hands. This was adorable to see the first time, and yet even after the fourth week of school, it still makes my heart melt. Other youngsters have struggled with putting their masks on their tiny little ears before hopping out of the car, yet I have seen the gentle touch of my colleague and phenomenal Lower School music teacher, Lynn Grossman, easily take care of that and offer warm reassurance. 

As I wandered the halls these past few weeks, I have heard many positive and encouraging words echoing from the classrooms, such as “Great job, Hannah!”, “Can I help you with that?”, or “I’m proud of the way you are all working today!” I see colleagues offering to assist with hand delivering lunches to classrooms, students helping new classmates find their way, and yesterday, the first grade classes handed out random notes of kindness throughout the school to help spark a smile from those who were lucky enough to find one.

Perhaps my favorite demonstration of kindness so far this year was when a ninth grader forgot her musical instrument. Her Dad had already pulled out of campus so she had to call him to come back to the school. After he sat in the morning car line for a second time that morning, she apologized profusely. Her Dad enthusiastically responded, “Don’t be sorry, just be you!”  

With all that’s currently going on in the world, I am so grateful that I have Allendale Columbia School as a place to come each day. Having a great sense of community is what we are proudly known for, but the kindness we lend to one another on a daily basis is the key ingredient of what makes this school so very special. 

Julie Barrett

Julie Barrett

As AC’s Welcome Desk Associate, Julie collaborates with several AC departments and ensures that everyone who visits or calls campus feels welcome. Prior to joining AC, she worked for Mattiacio Orthodontics, Rochester Wedding Magazine, and Cardiac Life. She received her Associate’s Degree in Sports Tourism and Marketing from Finger Lakes Community College and is in the process of earning a Certificate in Business and Entrepreneurial Studies from Monroe Community College.
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Posted in: Highlights, Lower School, Middle School, Pre-Primary School, Upper School

Lower School Students “Dare to Take Risks” at Fifth Annual Solo Performance Night

Posted on January 24th, 2020 by Amelia Fitzsimmons
For the fifth straight year, Lower School students showed us the meaning of “a resilient spirit that dares to take risks”, performing as soloists in the perennial Lower School Solo Performance Night.

 

While our full-ensemble and full-grade level concerts offer students regular opportunities to perform as a large group, there is nothing like the intimate setting of Solo Performance Night for an individual to develop confidence and connect directly with an audience through the voice or instrument on which they perform. Many students in our community are aspiring young musicians. They take lessons outside of school or through our own Encore program, and this night gives them the opportunity to celebrate their musical accomplishments with the AC community.

 

Congratulations to the young musicians who performed! Also, congratulations to the families who continuously support these students by providing love, encouragement, lessons, and instruments. Your children are on a promising path, thanks to you!

 

View the full photo gallery
Posted in: Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Kindergarten, Lower School, LS Birches, Second Grade, The Birches, Third Grade