New AC Mission Statement

Posted on October 19th, 2018 by cnickels

Last year, as AC began the regularly scheduled re-accreditation process through New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS), it became evident that our mission was no longer representative of the impactful work we do everyday and why we exist as a school. Since AC’s last mission statement was launched, our programming and curriculum has expanded and evolved to meet a new set of needs in our ever-changing world. While we continue to take pride in our academic preparation for college, we also focus on helping students develop the skills and experiences needed to make a positive and lasting impact in a technology-driven, global society.

Signage on campus celebrates the new AC mission

“The mission guides us internally as we evolve and change to meet the needs of the students and families who walk through our doors,” said long-time AC faculty member Tony Tepedino and re-accreditation co-leader. “If [the mission] doesn’t align, then we are not able to provide a clear and unified vision and program for the families who place their trust in us as an institution.”

“We haven’t lost the original mission of the school,” said Head of School Mick Gee.

“In fact, it is because of our dedication to a student-centered education and AC’s core values that we have continued to adapt and evolve as an institution to meet the changing needs of the world and the way we prepare our students for life outside these walls. The lessons our students learn here at AC extend beyond the walls of our classrooms, and it is our responsibility to prepare them for the world they will inherit.

 

 

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Posted in: Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Kindergarten, Lower School, LS Birches, Middle School, MS Birches, Ninth Grade, Nursery, Pre-Primary School, PreKindergarten, Second Grade, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Tenth Grade, The Birches, Third Grade, Twelfth Grade, Uncategorized, Upper School, US Birches

Fearless Friday: Mediterranean Flavored Roasted Garbanzo Beans

Posted on October 5th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

If you’re looking for a healthy, protein-rich vegan entree, side dish, or tasty snack, you’ll want to try today’s Fearless Friday treat, Mediterranean Flavored Roasted Garbanzo Beans. Super Chef Yessie Roman fixed up the bean dish for noted vegetable-resistant Food Service Director Laura Reynolds-Gorsuch to try along with four student volunteers and Evan Dumee, our new Physical Education teacher, at Lower School Lunch. It received a thumbs-up from all six taste-testers!


Recipe: Mediterranean Flavored Roasted Garbanzo Beans

Ingredients

  • 2 15.5-ounce cans of garbanzo beans
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 Tbs sea salt or kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs garam masala
  • 1 Tbs onion powder
  • 1 Tbs garlic powder
  • 1/2 Tbs curry powder
  • 1/2 Tbs turmeric
  • 1 Tbs paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground peppercorns
  • 1 Tbs cumin

Preparation

  • Rinse beans and let dry.
  • Mix all ingredients and spread onto a sheet pan.
  • Roast in oven middle rack at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or 5 minutes more if you want it more dry.
  • Remove from oven and let cool.
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Posted in: Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Kindergarten, Lower School, Second Grade, Third Grade

Expand the Menu to Enrich Your Child’s Reading

Posted on September 21st, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

By Shari Ellmaker and Arielle Gillman

Young readers often get stuck in a particular book genre, especially if they’ve become fond of a series. To expand their palates, Allendale Columbia School’s third grade teachers held a “Book Tasting”, something you can also try at home.

To prepare, we spent some time learning all about a few different genres of texts: biography, fantasy, nonfiction, graphic novel, realistic fiction, and poetry. We also practiced “interviewing” a book to see whether it is a good match for the reader by reading level, interest, etc.

Next, our “Book Taste Testers” entered our classroom restaurant. Their servers, Ms. Gillman and Mrs. Ellmaker, took their requests for an appetizer, an entree, and dessert, and delivered them one at a time. Students sampled the texts and wrote a brief review of each course. By the end of the meal, everyone was full from great books!

Why is reading different genres important for young readers?

Young children love to hear stories read to them over and over again. Many parents encourage their young ones to listen to a different story, but to no avail. Your little one is “feeling like a reader” when they hear predictable text each night. You may notice them “reading” along with you and finishing sentences. They love books with patterns, sound words, and repetitive phrases.

As the children get older, they are more open to different genres. Parents should take this opportunity to explore a new genre. Why?

Students are learning that a genre is a form of text that follows a particular format and structure. Using the word “genre” provides a way for the students to organize and talk about their observations of texts. When a student can identify a genre, they can recognize what they are reading and quickly adjust their reading style. So for example, if they read an article about how to make something, they can read the text at a slower pace in order to follow specific directions. Students will learn information quickly and efficiently when using headings, for example, while reading informational texts.

So, the more children are exposed to different genres, the quicker they will be able to take information and synthesize it for understanding and application. Parents should model reading a variety of genres and spend time reading with and to their children.

How and why should a child “interview” a book?

A reader interviews a book by asking a lot of questions:

  • Does the title sound interesting?
  • Do I know anything about the author?
  • Does the blurb on the back of the book sound interesting?
  • Is the book a genre I like to read? (Hint: some books have words like “Mystery”, “Memoir”, or “Fiction” in the corner of the back cover.)
  • Did the book win any awards?
  • Is the book too hard? Try the beginning and read a page from the middle to decide. Use the “Five Finger Rule” to decide if the book is too hard. Read a random page, put a finger up for each unknown word you encounter. If you reach four or five fingers before the page is finished, it may be too hard. Three may be right and one or two would be too easy.

Setting up a Book Tasting at home is a fun way to get your child interested in different genres and extend your child’s reading range. Have your child help you set up a restaurant-like environment in your kitchen or dining room. Find your favorite apron, table setting, flowers, and notepad to “take the guest’s order.” Use books from your child’s collection and sort them by genre. Begin by serving the child choices from the menu of genres. You can then try swapping roles so the child is the server asking you for different genres you’d like to read. Take some time to interview the book and talk together about your review. By the end of the experience, both you and your young reader will have an appetite for books of all different genres!

Resources:

Reading Rockets. The Importance of Reading Widely (2010). Retrieved from http://www.readingrockets.org/article/importance-reading-widely.

Kissner, Emily. Using Genre to Help Students Learn from What They Read. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/ascd-express/vol5/511-kissner.aspx.

Inquiry By Design, Inc. Setting Up the Literacy Studio (2013).

 

Kristin Cocquyt

Sharon Ellmaker

Shari has been an educator for over 26 years, and teaching at Allendale Columbia for 19. She has taught second, third, and fourth grade with experience in public school, suburban, inner-city, independent, and college-level settings. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education from Bluffton University.
Kristin Cocquyt

Arielle Gillman

Arielle has been involved in the field of education, either through volunteering, as a college student, or as a teacher, since she was 14 years old. She has taught students in multiple grades in Penfield, Fairport, Webster, and Newark and has also worked at the Mary Cariola Children's Center and The Community Place of Greater Rochester. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Childhood Education from SUNY Fredonia and her Master of Science Degree in Literacy Education from SUNY Geneseo.
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Posted in: Highlights, Lower School, Third Grade

Strawberry Breakfast Delights an Appreciative Crowd

Posted on May 25th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

A long-standing tradition at Allendale Columbia School, Strawberry Breakfast always draws an appreciative crowd as we kick off the Memorial Day weekend. In fact, the audience has grown to the extent that it’s held in the Gannett Gym for greater accessibility, and it’s streamed live on the internet.

The expected traditional pieces, such as the Maypole Dance, Sword Dance, and the “Inch by Inch” song by second graders still enthralled. See the entire agenda below, and click here for more photos.

Former AC parent Mitzie Collins again joined our ensemble for the Maypole Dance. Mitzie created the recordings that have been used for the dances at Strawberry Breakfast for over 30 years. She has a long-standing career in music performance and research, teaching music history and hammered dulcimer at the Eastman Community Music School.

Strawberry Breakfast concluded with…strawberries and donuts!

Agenda

Greeting
Head of School Mick Gee

Welcome
Sophomores Fiona Lutz and Roxy Reisch

 “Good Cheer”
Upper School Select Chorus

Processional Chain
Featuring AC Fourth Graders

Crowning and Pinning of Seniors
AC Sophomores

“Now is the Month of Maying”
Upper School Chorus

Bulaklakan
AC Fifth Graders

Circle Dance
AC Third Graders

Simple Gifts
Middle School Chorus

The Sword Dance
Sophomore Students
Music performed by Upper School Band and Mitzie Collins

“Garden Song (Inch by Inch)”
AC Second Graders

The Maypole Dance
Sophomores Students
Music performed by Upper School Band and Mitzie Collins

When You Believe
All Strawberry Breakfast Performers

Closing Remarks
Sophomores Fiona Lutz and Roxy Reisch

Senior Recessional Chain
Featuring AC Fourth Graders

 

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Posted in: Alumni News, Fifth Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Lower School, Middle School, Second Grade, Tenth Grade, Third Grade, Upper School

Sound of Music Receives Recognitions at Stars of Tomorrow

Posted on May 11th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

Allendale Columbia’s production of The Sound of Music received a number of recognitions at Rochester Broadway Theatre League’s (RBTL) Stars of Tomorrow ceremony on May 10th, 2018. Catherine Kennedy ’18, who played Maria, was one of four to win Outstanding Leading Actress nods in AC’s Division C, and she received her second nomination in a row to compete for a trip to the Stars of Tomorrow “Jimmy Awards” competition in New York City.

You can help elect Catherine as a Fan Favorite at Stars of Tomorrow NYC Bound by sending the text SOT06 (that’s letter S, letter O, letter T, number 0, number 6) to 75327. The contest allows one vote per phone number per day, so please set a reminder to vote every day! Go to http://www.rochesterfirst.com/stars-of-tomorrow-2018 for details. 

Before the evening got underway, the Children’s Ensemble from The Sound of Music learned from the program that they received a Future Stars recognition for Outstanding Performance by Elementary and Middle School students in a High School Musical. Also given a “Tip of the Hat” in the program was Assistant Stage Manager Connor Surkau-Parkinson ’18.

Allendale Columbia received a recognition for Outstanding Singing Ensemble. Senior Rebecca McQuilken was one of the Outstanding Supporting Actresses recognized for her role as Mother Abbess, despite having been in a wheelchair after undergoing knee surgery shortly before the performances.

Kennedy next competes on Thursday, May 24th, at RBTL in Stars for Tomorrow NYC Bound. In the first round that evening, she sings a segment of one of her songs from The Sound of Music. If she makes it to the second round, she sings a song she selects from a list provided by the judges. She might then advance to the final round, as she did last year, to perform once again. The judges select just one male actor and one female actress to advance to the competition in New York. Tickets will be available soon; return to this page or http://www.rbtl.org/stars-of-tomorrow-nyc-bound/ for details when they are made available.

(Revised May 13th, 2018)

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Posted in: Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Kindergarten, Lower School, Middle School, Ninth Grade, Second Grade, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Tenth Grade, Third Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School

Creativity Abounds at Evening of the Arts

Posted on March 27th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

Creativity knows no bounds, as Allendale Columbia School students demonstrated at the biennial Evening of the Arts event on Friday, March 23rd. The exhibition featured over a hundred works of art from students in grades N – 12 displayed throughout the school. This year’s theme was “Art Around the World”.

Honors and Portfolio Seminar Art students plied their craft in the Bruce B. Bates Design and Innovation Lab, previewing their work for the upcoming spring thesis exhibition in April. Senior Madison DeCory appreciated the opportunity to help stimulate artistic creativity in younger students, as she mentioned in an interview with News 8 Rochester: “What we want to do tonight is showcase what we’ve been doing, showcase our talents, and get other students interested in the artwork that we’re doing.”

“It’s a variety of work all the way from photography — we have a black and white darkroom which is incredible for our students to have that experience — to printmaking, painting, drawing, design, digital work, and hands on work,” said Amy Oliveri, AC art teacher and Director of the AC Center for Entrepreneurship. A group of 5th graders even demonstrated their “crankie” from the Lower School musical, “I’m Not Sleepy…Yet!”.

Students working in the Global Engagement Diploma program also participated in a bit of social entrepreneurism, selling handmade baskets from a women’s collective and shade-grown coffee to benefit the program’s partners in El Sauce, Nicaragua.

News 8 Rochester summarized the event on their evening news show.

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Posted in: AC in the News, Alumni News, Centers for Impact, Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Entrepreneurship, Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Global Engagement, Highlights, Invent, Kindergarten, Lower School, Middle School, Ninth Grade, Nursery, Partnerships, Pre-Primary School, PreKindergarten, Second Grade, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Tenth Grade, Third Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School

Wax Museum Portrays African American Historical Figures

Posted on March 16th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

by Arielle Gillman and Shari Ellmaker

On Tuesday, March 13th, AC 3rd grade students commemorated African American historical figures with a Wax Museum exhibit.

Click here for more photos and videos from the Wax Museum.

To give a bit of background, we started this project in early February with a discussion about African Americans and their contributions. We gave the students a wide spread of nonfiction books and biographies to explore and read. From there, they chose one person to research further. We supported their learning with whole group instruction on nonfiction text features so they could dig deeper and navigate through headings, bolded text, glossaries, and other research-based features. Students used appropriate-level articles and books to find details pertaining to their person and compiled them on a rough draft.

From there, they conferenced with teachers and peers to collaborate on editing and expanding. Once each student had a wealth of knowledge about their figure, they typed up a final report on Google Docs (check out our “Wax Museum of African American History” bulletin board in the third grade staircase to see their reports).

To prepare for the presentation part of the project, we demonstrated what a “living wax museum” was like, showing them plenty of examples on Youtube and modeling how to freeze like a wax figure before someone comes up to “press play.” At home, students completed displays to go along with their learning and also prepared a thoughtful costume to represent their person.

We are continually impressed with our class’s abilities. They really took the expectations of the project and made them their own. The students really dug deep to find personal details and displayed empathy while learning about African American History. They asked thoughtful questions, made connections, and showed us their growing academic skills throughout the whole project.

Kristin Cocquyt

Sharon Ellmaker

Shari has been an educator for over 26 years, and teaching at Allendale Columbia for 19. She has taught second, third, and fourth grade with experience in public school, suburban, inner-city, independent, and college-level settings. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education from Bluffton University.
Kristin Cocquyt

Arielle Gillman

Arielle has been involved in the field of education, either through volunteering, as a college student, or as a teacher, since she was 14 years old. She has taught students in multiple grades in Penfield, Fairport, Webster, and Newark and has also worked at the Mary Cariola Children's Center and The Community Place of Greater Rochester. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Childhood Education from SUNY Fredonia and her Master of Science Degree in Literacy Education from SUNY Geneseo.
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Posted in: Lower School, Third Grade

Fearless Friday: Pea Hummus with Mint

Posted on March 9th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

Super Chef’s Fearless Friday treat at Lower School lunch today is Pea Hummus with Mint, using peas from Kern Farm through our partner, Headwater Food Hub. The students all liked it, but Chef Laura wasn’t so crazy about the peas, although she did remark on the mint and cayenne pepper flavors that came through.

On Fearless Fridays, four Lower School student volunteers join AC Lunch Lady in Chief Laura Reynolds-Gorsuch, who doesn’t often like vegetables, to try a new vegetable dish created by Super Chef Yessie Roman and give their reviews. The dish is then available to everyone, and you’d be surprised at how many adventurous students try and enjoy these healthy and delicious veggie treats. Make them at home!

Photo: Pea Hummus with MintRecipe: Pea Hummus with Mint

Ingredients

3 cups fresh or frozen peas (thaw frozen peas; cook fresh peas until they’re cooked, but still firm)
2 cloves garlic – blanched
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
8 mint leaves
1 Tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (use ¼ teaspoon if you prefer less spicy hummus)
½ teaspoon ground sea salt

Instructions

Thaw frozen peas or cook fresh peas (make sure they are not mushy)
Peel and blanch garlic cloves in boiling water for 2 minutes
Put peas, garlic, lemon juice, mint leaves, olive oil, cayenne pepper, and sea salt in food processor and blend until it is thick and creamy

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Posted in: Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Kindergarten, Lower School, Second Grade, Third Grade