Holiday Breakfast is one of AC’s most special traditions. We celebrate the last day of school before Holiday Break with spirited student performances, a story from the Head of School, speeches by seniors, and plenty of music, food, and merriment! It’s a wonderful time for students, faculty, staff, and family to come together, celebrate the holidays, and give thanks for our community! Join us in person or watch the live stream here on December 21st. The Brass Ensemble will perform prelude music starting at 8:40 a.m. and the official program begins at 9:00 a.m.
Watch the livestream here (will be live on December 21st at 8:40 a.m.)
PACK Ice Skating at
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Memorial Park
Friday, December 21st
12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
We will follow up Holiday Breakfast with a fun family skate at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park at 353 Court Street, 14607. AC’s skating will run from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. and admission at the door is $5 for adults and $2 for kids under 17. We recommend that you bring your own skates, but rentals will be available for $3. PACK will provide pizza at the rink!
Warm up after ice skating by joining us at SPoT Coffee for hot cocoa and cookies. PACK will be hosting the AC community in the SPoT balcony from 1:45 – 3:00 p.m. We hope to see you there!
If your children are performing at Holiday Breakfast:
- Parents of K-5 students that are in the Holiday Breakfast program should walk their children into the Alumni Gym (smaller gym) by 8:30 a.m. so that they can meet their class. You can park in the back and side lots, enter through the Gannett Lobby and, after dropping off your child, proceed to the Gannett Gym to be seated for the Holiday Breakfast program.
- Middle and Upper School Chorus are asked to meet at 8:30 a.m. in the Chorus Room.
- Brass Ensemble and Wind Ensemble are asked to meet at 8:15 a.m. where they will perform in the Gannett Gym.
- Student speakers should meet in the Gannett Gym at 8:30 a.m.
Other Holiday Breakfast Reminders:
- All are welcome! Even if your children are not performing, we welcome the entire community, families, and friends to join us for this annual tradition.
- Parents of Nursery and Pre-K students, we encourage you to come with your child to the Gannett Gym for our Holiday Breakfast program. You are also invited to enjoy some refreshments in the Dining Commons after the program. Please do not drop off children to the classroom on this day as there are no classes.
- Wheelchair-accessible seating can be arranged if needed. Please contact Amy Fioravanti before Dec. 18th to make the necessary arrangements.
- Refreshments will be served in the Dining Commons following the program.
- The Wolf Den will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. so you can do some holiday shopping.
- No classes or bus service on this day. Please plan accordingly and enter through the Gannett Lobby to reach the gym. For safety reasons, please do not park in fire lanes or along campus roads.
- Rainbow Room will be in session. Register your child ahead of time if you plan to use Rainbow Room this day.
- AC will close at 10:30 a.m. for the Holiday Break.
- Join PACK at 12:00 p.m. for ice skating and pizza at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park (353 Court Street, 14607).
Support Allendale Columbia School by Shopping at Barnes & Noble in Pittsford on December 13th!
Enjoy caroling, guest story readers, student musical performances, arts and crafts, and more! Just mention “Allendale Columbia” at the register and a portion of your purchase will be donated to support our students!
Thursday, December 13th
Barnes & Noble in Pittsford Plaza
3349 Monroe Ave.
Student performances, arts and crafts from 3:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Parents of Allendale Columbia Kids (PACK) invites parents, guardians, and grandparents to help make the AC Book Fair a success by volunteering! Shifts are 30-60 minutes long and include set up, staffing the welcome table, and helping with the craft table.
Sign up to be a volunteer here. (sign in to MyAC required)
The AC community will be onsite at Barnes & Noble spreading holiday cheer. Plan to be there to hear musical performances or a story from Mick!
- 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.: Brass Ensemble and Chorus perform
- 5:00 – 5:30 p.m.: Solo Performances
- 6:00 p.m.: A Story with Mr. Gee, Penguin and Pinecone
- 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.: Brass Ensemble and Chorus perform
Gift Wrapping (Complimentary!)
Now you can buy your gifts AND get them wrapped! Parents and AC staff will be there to wrap your gifts and tag them with AC cheer. Gift wrapping is free but donations to the Allendale Columbia Book Fair are always appreciated!
You can also order a delicious Cheesecake Factory dessert through the B&N Cafe and a portion of the purchase will be donated to AC. The Winter 2018 menu includes Hershey’s® Cheesecake, Red Velvet Cheesecake, Plain Cheesecake, Cinnabon® Cheesecake, and Carrot Cake. (Hungry, yet?!) Order now through Dec. 18th by downloading the order form.
- Pay by cash or check made out to Barnes & Noble.
- Drop off your order form and payment at the AC Welcome Desk anytime before Dec. 13th or bring orders directly to the Barnes & Noble where you’d like to pick up your cheesecake. Orders submitted directly to Barnes & Noble must be brought in between Dec. 13th-18th to count toward the AC Book Fair.
- Pay by credit card in the store by simply bringing your completed order form to the B&N Cafe.
- Pick up your cheesecake at the store where you ordered any time Barnes & Noble is open. They stay open until 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve!
- Cheesecakes are frozen so allow a day or two in between your pick up date and your enjoy date.
- AC Book Fair pricing is only good for cheesecake orders placed and paid for by December 18th, 2018.
Can’t attend in person?
Visit BN.com Dec. 13th – 18th and enter our Bookfair ID 12392049 on the payment page at checkout.
Posted in: LS Birches, MS Birches, The Birches, US Birches
AC’s kindergarten students are preparing to hold their annual bake sale. This year’s bake sale will raise money to buy items for children participating in the Hillside Special Santa program.
If you’d like to help, please consider donating nut-free baked goods or pre-packaged food items by 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, December 5th (items should be brought to the Dining Commons). All the money raised is through the sale of the donated food items, so it is very important that we have a lot of items to sell. Other items that make great donations to the bake sale include candy canes and juice boxes, as well as whole cakes and pies that can be raffled off.
Remember your cash! The bake sale is a cash-only event so please remember to bring cash or send your child to school with cash for the sale.
If you have any questions, please reach out to Michelle Feiss, our Lower School Head at email@example.com.
About the Hillside Special Santa Program
Hillside Special Santa is the holiday giving program for Hillside Family of Agencies. This program benefits youth and families who receive residential, community-based, day treatment and/or customized services throughout New York State and the Greater Washington, D.C. area, who find themselves in need of assistance during the holiday season. Thanks to the generosity of wonderful donors, community partners and volunteers, the Hillside Special Santa program is able to collaborate with staff and families to provide 3 gifts to each of the youth receiving services, as well as any other children residing in that home.
Students at Allendale Columbia School have a strong team of Student Support Services professionals ready and willing to work with students from Nursery to Grade 12. The team members discussed their various roles at the Parents of Allendale Columbia Kids (PACK) Coffee Connection on November 14th.
Starmeshia Jones, School Psychologist and Director of Support Services
As the School Psychologist and Director of Support Services, I have the privilege of working with students from Nursery through Upper School. I partner with families, teachers, school administrators, and other professionals to foster a safe, healthy, and supportive learning environment. I consult and collaborate with teachers, meet with parents, and provide short-term or crisis counseling to students. Additionally, as needed, I conduct classroom observations and emotional and behavioral screenings. I am a member of the Student Success Team (SST) in Lower School and similar support teams in Middle and Upper School. Working closely with both the Lower School Reading Advocate and Middle/Upper School Learning Advocate and the Pittsford Central School District, I strive to be a resource for information related to special education. I promote problem-solving, anger-management, and conflict resolution, and I reinforce positive coping skills and resilience. I make referrals to, help coordinate services with, and serve as a liaison for individual community-based providers.
Carrie Shone, Speech-Language Therapist
As the Speech-Language Therapist, I provide observations, screenings, and services to children in grades Nursery through 5. I’m also available for consultation in Middle and Upper Schools (Grades 6-12). As a member of the Student Success Team (SST), I support our students in a variety of ways. Screenings are carried out for Kindergarten students, new students, and students referred to the SST. Services may be provided individually or in small groups. The areas I address include articulation, language, auditory processing, dysfluency, voice, pragmatics, and social communication. The student’s teacher and I determine together the best times for services to be provided, and changes are made as needed. Services are provided in the classroom, the Speech room, or a combination of the two. The least restrictive environment is taken into account as plans are made.
Kristen McKenzie, Math Learning Advocate, Lower School
As the Math Advocate for Lower School, my job is to support teachers and students with math related learning. I also serve as a member of the Student Support Team in the Lower School and of the school’s Academic Leadership Team. My first priority is to ensure that teachers have the support that they need in order to provide the best math education for each and every student in the classroom. I meet with grade-level teams regularly to discuss plans for the daily differentiated learning opportunities that are being provided to students in the classroom. In addition, we discuss student needs at all levels. If a child’s individual needs are not being met with daily classroom math instruction, the teachers communicate with the Student Success Team. SST members discuss an action plan that could include my direct support for a student in and/or out of the classroom. If additional support is recommended for enrichment opportunities or reinforcement of concepts, parents are contacted and a schedule is determined with the classroom teachers. Finally, I help evaluate the Lower School’s mathematics curriculum and Exit Learning Objectives (ELOs) to ensure that we are providing a well-aligned vertical curriculum that will provide students with the necessary tools for their future.
Amanda Gianniny, Reading Advocate, Lower School
I support teachers and students with reading and writing instruction and serve on the Student Support Team and the school’s Academic Leadership Team. First and foremost, I work to ensure that teachers have the support and resources they need to provide differentiated instruction in the classroom. I regularly discuss plans and student needs with grade-level teams at all levels. If a child’s individual needs are not being met with daily classroom literacy instruction, the teachers communicate with the Student Success Team, who then discuss an action plan, which may include my supporting a student directly, in or out of the classroom. Parents are contacted and a schedule is determined with the classroom teachers if this type of additional support for reinforcement or enrichment are recommended. I am also involved in evaluating the Lower School’s reading and writing curriculum and Exit Learning Objectives to make sure that our vertical curriculum is well-aligned vertical curriculum and provides students with the necessary tools for their future. Additionally, I serve as the Special Education Case Manager for the Lower School. If a child receives special education services or is being evaluated for possible services, I work with Pittsford, our home district, to make sure those services and provided.
Seth Hopkins, Learning Advocate, Middle and Upper Schools
As the Learning Advocate at the Middle and Upper Schools, my job is to support each AC student in accessing as much of the program and as many of the learning opportunities as is possible and appropriate for that student. I do this by helping to design, create, and manage systematic supports, but I also individual and individualized supports. In addition to working with and for students directly, I also collaborate with AC teachers, parents, and staff in their efforts to support our kids. I work regularly with students at the group and individual level and have worked hard to make myself, and the advocate position, an important member of the entire AC community. I do this because every student, regardless of the level of academic maturity, effort, talent, or acumen, will struggle at some point during their time at AC, and we want them to know that help is only a far as the nearest adult.
In addition to the AC staff listed above, every faculty member and administrator at Allendale Columbia is prepared to advocate for each child’s learning and knows when to suggest additional resources. AC receives additional services as needed from the Pittsford School District.
Posted in: LS Birches, MS Birches, PACK, The Birches, US Birches
Each year, members of the Alumni Office travel around the country to reconnect and reminisce with AC alumni. This year’s first stop was Boston!
On Tuesday evening,Head of School Mick Gee, Karen Higman, and Kayla Himelein enjoyed catching up with alumni and friends at the Union Club of Boston. Among the distinguished guests was former Head of Upper School, John Harrison. Alumni and friends reconnected with former classmates and shared stories of their time at AC over drinks and hors d’oeuvres. Regardless of background or graduation year, many of their stories revolved around the shared experiences they had with beloved faculty and the personalized care and attention they received as students at AC.
Mick Gee and Kieran Draper P’19, Current Trustee, also spoke to the group about the progress of the school as we come out of the Impact Initiative Campaign and the establishment of AC’s new Centers for Impact. Thanks to the support of AC alumni, parents, students, faculty, and staff, AC exceeded its $4 million campaign goal and is now able to provide students with enhanced access to innovative and authentic learning opportunities.
Save the Date
Thursday, December 20th
Annual Alumni Holiday Reception (Rochester, NY)
We hope to see YOU at an upcoming alumni reception or event soon!
After navigating the tricky feat of holding a reception in Boston during a Red Sox playoff game, Mick Gee, Karen Higman, and Kayla Himelein packed their bags and headed to New York City. Along the way, they had a lovely visit with former Headmistress Miss Joan Twaddle at her home in Rhode Island.
Then it was on to New York to enjoy the company of a lively crowd of alumni and parents.
Among the guests present was beloved former faculty member Lorraine Van Meter-Cline who, with celebrity-like magnetism, had alums of all ages flocking to her. Over the course of the night, the drinks flowed freely, as did the stories, and rumor has it, a number of attendees continued the party for several hours after the reception, where AC stories continued to be shared along with many laughs.
Also present at the reception was former staff member Karyn Vella, who was recognized by Mick Gee, Head of School, for her monumental work on the Impact Initiative Campaign. Thanks to the support of AC alumni, parents, students, faculty, and staff, AC exceeded its $4 million campaign goal and is now able to provide students with enhanced access to innovative and authentic learning opportunities.
“The energy of the New York City reception was just incredible,” recalled Karen Higman, Director of Advancement at AC. “It was refreshing to see so many recent (within the past five years or so) AC alumni gathered together. And to personally witness the connection they still have with one another… and with Lorraine! It truly shows just how strong those bonds are between AC students and faculty alike.”
We, of course, must also give a special thanks to Mr. Stephen B. Ashley, our gracious host, without whom none of this would have been possible.
We look forward to seeing YOU at an upcoming alumni reception or event soon!
Save the Date
Thursday, December 20th
Annual Alumni Holiday Reception (Rochester, NY)
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.
“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.
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
Allendale Columbia’s Upper School presents You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Revised).
This show is a fresh approach to the beloved 1967 comic strip by Charles Schultz. Sally Brown joins Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Schroeder, and Snoopy in this charming revue of vignettes and songs. Two new songs, “Beethoven Day” and “My New Philosophy”, have been added to the twelve numbers from the original version, which include “My Blanket and Me”, “The Baseball Game”, “Little Known Facts”, “Suppertime”, and “Happiness”.
Show Dates & Times:
Friday, November 16th, 7 p.m.
Saturday, November 17th, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Sunday, November 18th, 2 p.m.
At each performance, we will be collecting handmade quilts and blankets to be donated to Project Linus, an organization whose mission is to “Provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer ‘blanketeers’.”
Thank you in advance for your generosity to this important cause.
Posted in: Eleventh Grade, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, The Birches, Twelfth Grade, Upper School, US Birches