Interest Form for AC’s Good Food Collective

Posted on April 10th, 2019 by cnickels

AC is currently gathering interest from our families, faculty, and staff for participation in The Good Food Collective.

The Good Food Collective delivers fresh, sustainably grown food year round and is part of Headwater Food Hub, AC’s partner for locally-sourced ingredients in our daily family-style lunches. We’ve heard from parents who want to bring some of that family-style lunch home, and now you can! We’re excited to announce that now parents, faculty, and staff can order local goodness through The Good Food Collective and pick it up at Allendale Columbia.

Are you interested?
Fill out the form below by April 22nd (Earth Day!) and we’ll keep you posted!


Posted in: Highlights, LS Birches, MS Birches, The Birches, US Birches

2019-2020 Calendar Now Available

Posted on March 22nd, 2019 by cnickels

Allendale Columbia School’s 2019-2020 calendar is now available for download. This is a handy resource for the start of school, school breaks, and the end of school for next year. Please note this does not include all events for the year and is subject to change.

Download the 2019-2020 AC Calendar here.

Posted in: LS Birches, MS Birches, The Birches, US Birches

Parent Dinner: AC Family Thanks, Business, and Appeal

Posted on March 8th, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

After a fine Parent Appreciation Dinner prepared by the AC Kitchen, Parents of Allendale Columbia Kids (PACK) took care of some annual business voting on new officers and amendments, and Head of School Mick Gee gave thanks, an update, and an earnest appeal for support.

PACK President presents the 2019-2020 President Lois Palomaki and Vice President Marisa Casa.

In PACK business, parents voted in a new President, Lois Palomaki P ’24, ’24, and Vice President, Marisa Casa P ’30, ’30, for 2019-2020 ( coincidentally both are parents of twins). Two amendments to the by-laws were approved, adding “When possible” to a clause regarding terms of the Middle School Liaison, and adjusting the number of class liaisons to two in Lower School and 12th Grade and one each in Grades 6-11. Tami Bilinski was recognized as continuing for her 2nd year as Special Events Coordinator, and Lower School Liaison Melissa Clark, Middle School Liaison Colleen Roof, and Upper School Liaison Dawn Williams-Fuller will each continue their two-year terms in 2019-2020.

Mr. Gee then took the stage for his annual update, in which he thanked parents for actively partnering with AC in each child’s education and development. “It’s because of you that the AC family is what it is – a diverse, dedicated group of parents, host parents, guardians, grandparents, faculty, staff, students, and alum who believe that what AC is doing is different, life-changing, and special,” he said, before introducing this video:

Mr. Gee then stated the fact that enrollment is down at independent schools around the country. “This nationwide trend threatens who we are and what we do here at AC, so we have taken aggressive action to address the shift in enrollment. One of the things we’ve done is gotten ourselves into something called the Strategy Lab at the National Association of Independent Schools or NAIS. NAIS saw this same trend and dove in head first to pull the problem apart and come up with new solutions. We were one of 5 schools selected to take part in that process and over the past year, Shannon Baudo and I, and our entire admissions and marketing team, began trying new things and taking risks when it comes to enrollment.”

The following video, shown at the NAIS Annual Conference last week before the keynote address, describes some of that work:

As a result of that participation, AC has made some changes in its marketing, advertising, and open houses, which in turn have contributed to increased applications, Open House attendance, and applications compared to this time last year.

Head of School Mick Gee a the 2019 Parent Appreciation Dinner.

Mr. Gee then appealed to parents to help in another area: annual giving, as summarized below and sent in an email following the event:

A huge thank you to those of you who were able to come out last night for the Parent Appreciation Dinner. It is because of all our families that AC is able to offer an education that is life-changing and unique.

For more than 125 years we’ve been offering the best academic opportunities in the most diverse, supportive, and loving environment in Rochester. As we discussed last night, however, to do it for another 125 years, we’re going to need some help.

AC needs its family right now. AC needs you right now.

Enrollment is down at independent schools nationwide. We have made significant moves this year to address that, and we are trending above where we were last year. But, even with full enrollment, tuition at AC covers just 64% of our operating expenses. The rest of our operating budget comes from donations, and our parent giving is just 27% (compared to 66% nationally).

Simply put, we aren’t getting enough donations.

If we had every parent donating — in whatever amount they could — we could go to corporations and funders and tell them, “Our parents get it. Our AC parents recognize that this is worth it. Our AC parents know that this kind of education doesn’t happen on tuition alone.”

We know what the AC family can do when it comes together. So this is us, asking you for help. We ask because we’re family. We know you will help, because you are, too.

Donate Now to Support AC!


Posted in: LS Birches, MS Birches, The Birches, Uncategorized, US Birches

PACK Coffee Connection: Technology Management for Families

Posted on March 4th, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

Puzzled on how to best manage your child’s screen time? Allendale Columbia faculty members Judy Van Alstyne ’97 and Tony Tepedino led a discussion on Technology Management for Families that offered suggestions and resources for guiding your child toward responsible use of technology. This Coffee Connection was hosted by Parents of Allendale Columbia Kids (PACK).

Essentially, the session suggested starting by establishing norms, with clear expectations that both parents and children can follow. Families should discuss digital literacy and have conversations about digital citizenship, as well as commercials and their purpose. And finally, they encouraged using technology with intention, rather than mindless flipping from one thing to another, by using, watching, and playing with your kids whenever you can, encouraging  creativity and not just consumption, and being good role models.

Download the slides to follow along and keep for reference.

Some of the recommended resources include:

Tagged with: ,
Posted in: LS Birches, MS Birches, PACK, The Birches, US Birches

Register for Spring 2019 Vocal and Instrumental Solo Festivals

Posted on February 15th, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

Students who sing or play a woodwind, brass, percussion, or string instrument will have an opportunity to perform in one of the upcoming NYSSMA solo festivals. The dates and locations are as follows:


Tagged with:
Posted in: LS Birches, MS Birches, The Birches, US Birches

Box Tops for Education Due March 1st

Posted on February 14th, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

Please keep your Box Tops for Education coming! Thanks to you, we have earned over $320 from the Box Tops for Education program. AC can earn up to $20,000 each year and we are free to use the money for anything we need. To make it easier, you can print out the collection sheet here to collect your box tops. Each completed sheet is worth $5! You can also turn in loose box tops to the Welcome Desk. Contact AC parent Kristin Rorapaugh with any questions.

Tagged with:
Posted in: LS Birches, MS Birches, PACK, The Birches, US Birches

Blood Drive with Red Cross March 1st

Posted on February 14th, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

Did you know that ONE blood donation has the power to save up to THREE lives? Join AC and the American Red Cross in the Alumni Gym for our annual blood drive on Friday, March 1st, from 12-5 p.m. in the Alumni Gym. You can even schedule a donation appointment ahead of time online.

Tagged with:
Posted in: LS Birches, MS Birches, The Birches, US Birches

AC Encore Session 4 Registration is Now Open!

Posted on February 14th, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

AC Encore logo

Registration for the 2018-2019 Encore Session 4 is now open! This session, running from Monday, February 25th, through Friday, April 12th, your child(ren) can enjoy physical education programs both before AND after school, explore what forensic scientists do, practice their instruments, paint and enjoy poetry, and time travel yet again with the Kings! Students in Grades Pre-K through 8 may register.

Register Online!

Registration will be open until February 24th, 2019. Take time over February Break to review the class descriptions online and sign up. Spaces are limited, so reserve yours today! (more…)

Tagged with:
Posted in: LS Birches, MS Birches, The Birches