Ready for Fun? Get Tickets Now for HAC Seabreeze Nite June 11th

Posted on May 30th, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

Seabreeze Nite flyer - click to open as PDFJoin us at Seabreeze Amusement Park on Tuesday, June 11th, rain or shine! The water park will be open from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. that evening, and rides will be open from 6:00 -10:00 p.m. Please note that parents must accompany their children, as supervision is not provided.

Tickets are $20.00 and can be purchased from Lisa Shearing in Admissions until Monday, June 10th, at 4:00 p.m. Children age 2 and under are free. (Tickets will NOT be available for purchase on June 11th.)


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Strawberry Breakfast 2019

Posted on May 16th, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

Spring has arrived, and with it comes preparations for Strawberry Breakfast, which will take place Friday, May 24th, at 8:30 a.m. This is a wonderful, school-wide AC tradition, and students will perform for their families and friends. Afterwards, everyone will enjoy strawberries and donuts in the Dining Commons.

As a reminder, parents must provide transportation on Friday, May 24th, as there is no bus service, and school is dismissed for the Memorial Day weekend after this event.

The following information is to help make you aware of the commitment for your son or daughter at Strawberry Breakfast and what they need to wear:

Nursery – Grade 1:

  • Students in Nursery – Grade 1 will not be performing but are encouraged to attend with family members
  • Uniforms will not be enforced; dressy spring attire is encouraged

Grades 2-5:

  • Students in Grades 2-5 will be performing
  • Dress up/concert clothes required
  • If your child will NOT be able to attend Strawberry Breakfast, please email your child’s classroom teacher or Lynn Grossman immediately so we can plan accordingly

Grades 6-8:

  • Middle School Chorus Students: Dressy spring attire (Ex.: dress, dress pants, skirt, blouse, shirt and tie)
  • Non-Chorus students in Grades 6-8 are encouraged to attend (dressy spring attire)
  • If your child is in Middle School Chorus and will NOT be able to attend Strawberry Breakfast, please email Rachael Sanguinetti immediately so we can plan accordingly

Grade 9:

  • Students in Grade 9 will not be performing but are encouraged to attend
  • Dressy spring attire is encouraged

Grade 10:

  • Sword Dancers: black dress pants, black shoes, long sleeve white dress shirt
  • May pole dancers: dressy spring attire (Ex.: dress, dress pants, skirt, blouse, shirt and tie)
  • All Grade 10: Pinning of the Seniors
  • If your child will NOT be able to attend Strawberry Breakfast, please email Diane Broberg immediately so we can plan accordingly

Grade 11:

  • Students in Grade 11 will not be performing but are encouraged to attend
  • Dressy spring attire is encouraged

Grade 12:

  • All seniors will participate in the official pinning ceremony
  • Dressy spring attire required (Ex.: dress, dress pants, skirt, blouse, shirt and tie)
  • If your child will NOT be able to attend Strawberry Breakfast, please email Diane Broberg immediately so we can plan accordingly

Select Chorus:

  • Performing “Good Cheer”
  • Dressy spring attire (Ex.: dress, dress pants, skirt, blouse, shirt and tie)

Upper School Chorus:

  • Performing “Now is the Month of Maying”
  • Dressy spring attire (Ex.: dress, dress pants, skirt, blouse, shirt and tie)

Wind Ensemble:

  • Performing a musical arrangement for the Sword Dance and May Pole Dance
  • Dressy spring attire (Ex.: dress, dress pants, skirt, blouse, shirt and tie)

There will be a rehearsal on Thursday, May 23rd, during the school day.

On May 24th, the students who are performing (outlined above) need to arrive in the Alumni Gym between 8:00 – 8:15 a.m. The program starts at 8:30 a.m. and usually concludes by 9:30 a.m., followed by treats in the Dining Commons.

Thank you for your support, and we look forward to seeing everyone on campus!

Ray Istas
Director of Athletics

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Coffee Connection May 8th: Good Food Collective

Posted on May 3rd, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

For our final Coffee Connection of the year, Ryan Pierson from The Good Food Collective will talk with our community about how The Good Food Collective works, answer any questions about our upcoming food share option, and also speak about AC’s partnership with their wholesale component, Headwater Food Hub.

Good Food Collective logoHeadwater Food Hub logo

All current parents and grandparents are welcome! Tasty treats and coffee from the kitchen will be served.

Wednesday, May 8th
Dining Commons
8:00-8:30 a.m.: Snacks and coffee
8:30-9:00 a.m.: Presentation 

No need to RSVP! We look forward to seeing Wednesday, May 8th! 

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

Parent Town Halls to Discuss Intent to Combine

Posted on May 3rd, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

The Harley and Allendale Columbia boards of trustees have signed a Letter of Intent to combine the two schools. The formal announcement is included in the attached letter. This collaboration offers many exciting opportunities, and each school is moving thoughtfully through the next steps by listening carefully to faculty, staff, alumni, student leaders, and families.

Upcoming AC Parent Town Halls: Below are two opportunities for AC parents to ask questions, listen to the discussion, and better understand the plans in place at this time and the work yet to be done.

  • Monday, May 6th, from 7-8 p.m. in the Curtis Performance Center
  • Wednesday, May 8th, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in the Curtis Performance Center

Mick Gee and members of the AC Board of Trustees will be in attendance for these town halls.

For both town halls, we invite you to submit questions online in advance. We understand public speaking isn’t everyone’s favorite thing so we’ll address the questions received online before opening up the discussion to more questions.

Please note these events are for our AC parents, only. We ask that you not share this with the media or those in our neighborhood. There will be other opportunities for communications with those groups.

These internal connections, including the online survey, town hall-style meetings, and one-on-one conversations, will be conducted during the end of this school year and through all of next year.

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Adopt the AC Garden this Summer

Posted on April 25th, 2019 by cnickels

AC’s Garden received some TLC on Earth Day thanks to faculty members Gabriel Costanzo and Andy Ragan and AC Middle School students. Check out the photo album of the Earth Day Campus Clean Up here!

Allendale Columbia 6th-graders and 8th-graders spent the sunny afternoon clearing leaves and branches from the garden, weeding and mulching the perennial beds, and painting the bench and bird house. The garden includes flowers, butterfly bushes, the AC beehive, and a fenced-in vegetable garden. Last year, the vegetable garden produced ample green beans, cucumbers, and tomatoes enjoyed on the AC salad bar. As gardening season gets into full swing, this natural treasure on AC’s campus needs community help to keep it going.

What used to be two homes on Allens Creek Road is now a growing haven for flowers, bees, and vegetables. After the homes were torn down, AC faculty took the opportunity to teach students about gardening through numerous workdays with families and faculty, Middle School “mini-courses” (2008-2013), and various May Term courses such as “What Makes Your Garden Grow?”, “Grow Your Own Food,” “The Buds and the Bees,” and “Inch by Inch, Row by Row.” The 2018 May Term class planted the entire vegetable garden. This year, another May Term class will get things started by preparing and planting the vegetable garden and then pitching opportunities to volunteer in the garden during the May Term Exhibition Night on June 6th.

Volunteers are needed to adopt the garden for one week during the summer. Last year, we had the whole summer covered! AC’s Summer LEAP students also spend time in the garden, bringing the fun and fascination of vegetable gardening to students from RCSD School No. 17. When students are not on campus, volunteers can keep the produce that is ready for picking. When school starts in September, the vegetables go to the kitchen for all to enjoy! (If you ate with us last September, you likely ate some green beans, cucumbers, and tomatoes from the AC garden!). With your support this summer, the AC garden can produce another bounty of vegetables and great memories.


Adopt the AC Garden This Summer!

Volunteers are needed all summer to help tend to the vegetable garden, harvest the food, and keep this natural treasure going!

Contact Gabe Costanzo or Andy Ragan.


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

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.

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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!


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