Upper School Key Dates and Info for the Start of the School Year

Posted on August 8th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

Dear AC Parents and Students,

I hope this message finds you excited about the start of school in September. I am happy to join the Allendale Columbia community and look forward to everyone arriving on campus soon. The Upper School team has been working extremely hard to prepare the school for the students’ return in September.

In this letter, you will find the following:

  • Key dates coming up in August and September. Some of these dates will apply to all Upper School families and some will only apply to certain grade levels; this should be clear below.
  • Key pieces of information, including a list of resources and places where you will find everything you need for a smooth start.

Key Dates

  • August 13th: JV and Varsity Sports Begin – Practice times and campus locations vary for each sport. For detailed information about athletics, please visit www.hacathletics.org or reach out to Ray Istas at ristas@allendalecolumbia.org.
  • August 28th (6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.): New Parent Orientation – This event is for all parents who are new to AC. We look forward to meeting you at this event. This gathering is not for students but for their parents to ask questions, learn about the upcoming school year, and socialize with each other.
  • September 4th (11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.): New Student Orientation – This event is for all incoming 9th grade students as well as any students who are new to the Upper School. It is for students only, and parents can drop their students off at the Welcome Desk area at 11:25 a.m. During this event, students will meet current Upper School students, meet other new students, tour the school, and learn some inside information about AC. There will be a time for them to get their questions answered prior to the first day of school. Lunch will also be provided.
  • September 5th: First Day of School for Grades K-12 – There is supervision for students starting at 7:30 a.m., and they are allowed in the Library, Dining Commons, courtyard, and lounges before school. The school day starts at 8:15 a.m., and homeroom and classes begin at 8:20 a.m. General dismissal takes place at 3:00 p.m.
  • September 7th: Class Days – The tradition of Class Days continues this year with students participating with classmates in various team building workshops and activities. This serves to build bonds between new and returning students as well as build our culture at AC and set norms for the year. Our seniors will be spending the night on Friday and returning Saturday, and grades 9-11 will be returning to campus by 3:00 p.m. for buses on Friday. More information about this day will be coming soon from Diane Broberg, Upper School Dean of Students. Because seniors will be going overnight on Friday, September 7th, to Saturday, September 8th, we are encouraging seniors to take the ACT in October if possible.
  • September 10th: Rosh Hashanah – No School
  • September 13th (6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.): Upper School Parent Night – Come out and meet your child’s teachers, learn about our program, and meet and socialize with other parents. You will receive more detailed information closer to this event, so mark your calendars.
  • September 14th (5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.): PACK Upper School Welcome Back Picnic – This event is for all Upper School families and will be held at King’s Bend Park. More details to follow. Hope to see you there!
  • September 19th: Yom Kippur- No School
  • September 21st & 22nd: Blue and White Day & Homecoming – The traditional Blue and White Day will occur the Friday before Homecoming. More details will follow as September approaches.

Key Pieces of Information

  • MyAllendaleColumbia.org: Also referred to as MyAC, this is the one stop online place for all AC-related information. It can be accessed by going to www.myallendalecolumbia.org.
  • Summer Reading: Please follow this link to find out more about summer assignments. Precalculus and AP AB Calculus also have assignments associated with their course.
  • Supply Lists:
    • We recommend that students have a note-taking pad or book for each class. Whether a student takes notes in one large notebook that contains all class information or has one for each class is up to them.
    • We will provide any specialized equipment for students including calculators (checked out and returned at the end of the year) and laptops for students in 9th – 11th grade. (Students in 12th grade are welcome to bring their own laptop to school, however a computer at school is not required for 12th graders.)
    • Books will be provided.
    • We recommend that students bring a backpack or bag as well as writing utensils (pencils and pens), paper, and anything else needed to engage in normal everyday classroom activities.
    • You can get a printable supply list on MyAC under Parent Resources.
  • The Birches: This incredible resource is where all of the school announcements are published. You can subscribe to this list so that you are emailed any time something new is published. It can be found on the MyAC Parent Dashboard or by following this link.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Until then, enjoy the warmer weather and summer activities, vacations, and family time!


Phil Schwartz 
Head of Upper School

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AC Family Movie Night August 9th

Posted on August 8th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

Please join us for AC’s Family Movie Night tomorrow, August 9th at 8:30 p.m.!  If you have any questions, please email admissions@allendalecolumbia.org or call 585.641.5344.

Invitation to AC Family Movie Night


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Blood Drive and Bake Sale Help Red Cross

Posted on April 27th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

A Red Cross blood drive hosted by Allendale Columbia’s Community Service Club helped save lives on April 25th, surpassing the goal of 21 units of blood with 28 donors and 24 units collected. Several students became blood donors for the first time.

Students in Middle School were too young to give blood, so their Student Council held a bake sale that morning for the Greater Rochester Red Cross, raising $177.75. The money is designated for Comfort Kits provided to victims requiring shelter following disasters that displace them from their homes.

Many thanks to all who participated, including Allendale alumnus Leal Smith ’63, who was assisting on the Red Cross team. Also of note, AC alumna Diana Clarkson ’99 serves as the Chair of the Greater Rochester Chapter’s Board of Directors.

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Fifth Graders Win Sportsmanship at VEX-IQ World Championships

Posted on April 27th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

Updated May 4th, 2018

On Saturday, April 28th, Allendale Columbia School fifth graders Eric Roof and Carter Previte left to go to the VEX IQ Robotic World Championship Competition, Elementary School Division, in Louisville, Kentucky. They came back on May 2nd having won one of four coveted divisional Sportsmanship Awards out of 400 teams participating! (more…)

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Students, Sorrentino Shine at Digital Rochester’s Women in Technology Breakfast

Posted on April 27th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

Women are increasingly studying technology and moving into technology careers. Local organization Digital Rochester and their Women in Technology Special Interest Group (SIG) recognized several local women at a breakfast on April 26th, including Allendale Columbia’s Director of Lower School Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Sue Sorrentino as a nominee for their 20th annual Technology Woman of the Year award.

At the event, five young women from AC also received a lot of attention. Fifth graders Victoria Timpani, Ella Herberger, and Maya Sams and talked about their all-girl VEX-IQ Robotics team Girls With Gears, while Liza ’20 and Mary ’22 Cotter showcased robots used in FIRST LEGO League and FTC Robotics competitions and discussed their technology learning and experiences. Their tables were crowded with attendees from large and small businesses in the Rochester area interested in their technological savviness.

Sue Sorrentino left a career in corporate engineering to address the urgency of building STEM fluency in early elementary age children to build and sustain interest in STEM through middle and high school. She and her team at Vista Teach Instructional Services, a company she founded and serves as Executive Director, have developed comprehensive programs in engineering education and optics for grades K-8, both in school and in after-school and summer programs, primarily at AC but also available to other schools. She has trained hundreds of robotics coaches throughout the Greater Rochester Area.

Sorrentino is in great company, as other nominees for the Technology Woman of the Year and Emerging Technology Professional Woman of the Year included women from such organizations as Rochester Regional Health, ITX, Harris Corporation, Datto, Constellation Brands, CloudCheckr, Luminate, KLDiscovery, University of Rochester, RIT, MCC, and Girl Discover It.

Digital Rochester provides events and community services to strengthen and grow the region’s technology community through education and relationship development.

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AC Jazz Ensemble and Select Chorus Team Up with Spectrum Creative Arts for “Together We ROC!”

Posted on April 27th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

by Gabe Costanzo

When music therapist Molly Phillips approached us a couple of years ago and brought up the possibility of having our students collaborate with some of the students in the music ensembles at Spectrum Creative Arts, we really didn’t know what that kind of team effort would look like. After a couple of meetings and brainstorming sessions, we found a way to merge that idea with one of our goals, which was to get our students out in front of public audiences as a way to show off their talents and give them a real and authentic performance experience.

This year, instead of having an in-house “spring concert” performance for Jazz Ensemble and Select Chorus, our ensembles are going to perform “Together We ROC!” on Saturday afternoon, May 5th, at a public venue. Lovin’ Cup Bistro & Brews, for those who have not visited the venue yet, is a music-friendly venue with great food at Park Point, on the campus of RIT. Doors open at 1:00 p.m., with a suggested $5 donation; the show runs 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Here is the listing on the Lovin’ Cup events calendar for May 5th:

Crossroads and Chrome, two inclusive ensembles from Spectrum Creative Arts, are teaming up with students in the Select Choir and Jazz Ensemble at Allendale Columbia for an awesome afternoon of music at Lovin’ Cup! Come enjoy some delicious food and great tunes!

Spectrum Creative Arts strives to provide the highest quality music, art, and theatre instruction services, along with a host of creative arts therapies, for members of the Rochester community. They pride themselves on utilizing a person-centered, strength-based approach with all of our services, and seek to inspire and empower all of their students through engagement in the arts.

On May 17th, the partnership with Spectrum Creative Arts continues as their class “Prep for Performance” performs at AC during Assembly Block at 9:25 a.m. At Spectrum Creative Arts, the class “Prep for Performance” teaches students with IDDs (intellectual and developmental disabilities) the basics of music performance. The students in this class will perform in collaboration with AC students in Jazz Ensemble and Select Chorus.


Kristin Cocquyt

Gabriel Costanzo

As an instrumental music teacher at Allendale Columbia School, Gabe teaches 4th Grade Band, 5th Grade Band, Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, and Music Theory. He held the David M. Pynchon Chair in the Visual and Performing Arts from 2008 - 2013 and is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. He earned bachelor's degrees in Music Education and Music Composition from SUNY College at Fredonia and a master's degree in Music Composition from Bowling Green State University. You can also find him on horn and vocals for the local band The Buddhahood.
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