Music and Stories Bring Tradition to Life at Holiday Breakfast

Posted on December 21st, 2017 by Allendale Columbia School

Bountiful music and touching stories brought one of Allendale Columbia’s oldest and dearest traditions, Holiday Breakfast, to life on Friday, December 15th, kicking off the winter break.

The AC Brass Ensemble greeted family members with holiday songs, the Kindergarten children thrilled all with their traditional number, choruses sang, and joyful tunes from students across the school joined together for a rousing finale.

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In between, students spoke of heritage, history, and the future, and the “Lifers” (students who have attended AC since Kindergarten — and some since Nursery!) regaled the crowd with humorous and heart-felt tales of their experiences at AC. Head of School Mick Gee continued the tradition of reading a story. This year, he told the tale of “The Penguin and the Pinecone”, complete with prop penguins, a giant pinecone, and scarf-wrapped trees, reminding us all of the importance of nurturing friendship and kindness.

Please enjoy the gallery below of some highlights from the event, and have a very merry holiday break!

Want 300 more photos? Click here to open the Holiday Breakfast Google Photos Gallery.

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Posted in: Alumni News, Highlights, Lower School, LS Birches, Middle School, MS Birches, The Birches, Uncategorized, Upper School, US Birches

Constructing Simple Machines in Second Grade S.T.E.M. Class

Posted on November 9th, 2015 by ssorrentino


Our second grade S.T.E.M. students have been working on constructing simple machines including: levers, pulley systems, wedges, inclined planes, and wheel & axle systems. Throughout their hands-on and problem solving activities, our students continue to explore and apply the concepts of effort, force, friction, load, motion, and distance. In addition, they’re learning about construct and investigate the differences between first, second, and third class levers. Students are also learning about the important function of the fulcrum as the pivot point for the effort and load. They also discovered first and second class levers let you move heavy loads with little effort while third class levers take more effort but can move loads a long distance.


Most exciting of all, the second graders are making relevant connections with identifying the many real world applications for each of the simple machine systems they are currently studying. For instance, when constructing their first class lever, students easily connected a see-saw, and when constructing a pulley system, they shared their personal connections with using pulley systems for rock climbing, pulling window blinds open or closed, etc. As a result, our students are able to understand that simple machines ultimately make work easier!


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Test Gallery

Posted on June 5th, 2015 by P&D

This is a test of our gallery functionality. Enjoy the test images…

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AC in the News – September 2014!

Posted on September 2nd, 2014 by klapa

The Allendale Columbia School campus has been full of activity this summer! AC has been featured in a number of news outlets, providing an opportunity to showcase our position as a cure for the Common Core in front of a wide range of audiences! Highlights are included below; we hope you enjoy reading about some of the great things happening at AC! *Please note that the clips below will display best on desktop or laptop computers as opposed to mobile devices.


Six Things High School Teachers Wish Parents Knew
August 4th, 2014

AC Head of Upper School Diana Gleeson advises parents that they need to help children advocate for themselves in this article that brings together advice from school personnel across the country. Diana is one of six educators featured from more than 3,000 submissions for this article on, a site that gets 45 million visitors each month. Click here to read the full article.

Rochester Elementary Students Spend Morning With Horses
July 31st, 2014

WROC Channel 8 came to see as students from AC’s Summer LEAP Program spent a morning with horses at the Equicenter. Through Summer LEAP, first and second grade students from Rochester City School No. 17 were able to spend the summer taking classes at AC. This field trip gave students the chance to learn about empathy by bonding with therapy horses. Click here to see the coverage!

RCSD Students Bond with Horses
July 31st, 2014

13 WHAM’s Don Alhart reported on the field trip students enrolled in AC’s Summer LEAP Program took to visit therapy horses. As AC faculty member Amy Rudich states in her interview, the students learned how to listen to others without judging through this experience. Click here to view the television coverage!

Chinese Cultural Exchange Program at Allendale Columbia
July 31st, 2014

Writer Mary Chao discusses her experience hosting a student as part of AC’s international summer program in this Democrat and Chronicle article. Mary reflects on the trend for many international families to send their children to school in the United States, with the goal of attending American colleges. Click here to read the full article.

Makey Makey in the Classroom
July 31st, 2014

The Brighton-Pittsford Post recently published a photo showing AC students with faculty member Tony Tepedino building an electronic video game controller as part of a May Term project. Click here to see!

Allendale Columbia / RCSD Partnership
July 28th, 2014

To help combat the problem of summer learning loss, AC hosted 30 first and second grade students from RCSD School No. 17 as part of its Summer LEAP Program. Listen to an interview in which Mick Gee, Head of School, and Amy Oliveri, AC faculty member and Summer LEAP Assistant Director, discuss this fantastic program on WXXI by clicking here.

Allendale Columbia Students Place Second in the Nation at Conference
July 24th, 2014

The Brighton-Pittsford Post published an article and photos to share the news that a team of AC students placed second in the national Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics, and Science (TEAMS) Competition in Washington, D.C. Click here to see the full announcement.

AC Students Earn Second Place at TEAMS Competition
July 18th, 2014

Click here to see a photo and article that appeared in the Democrat and Chronicle’s Our Towns East section showing that a team of AC students earned second place in the national Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics, and Science competition.

Enrollment on the Rise at Area’s Private Schools
July 11th, 2014

AC’s Assistant Head for External Affairs and Director of Admissions, Karyn Vella, provides comments on AC’s increasing enrollment in this article about admissions trends at local schools. Karyn says, “Most of what’s happened around the country is that you’ve seen enrollment be flat, and so Allendale Columbia has been really happy with the increased enrollment.” Click here to see the full article.

AC’s Class of 2014 Heads to College
July 10th, 2014

Members of AC’s Class of 2014 pose in shirts from the colleges and universities they’ll be attending in the fall in this Brighton-Pittsford Post photo. Click here to see!

We’re doing so many exciting and interesting things here at AC and look forward to sharing more media coverage with you in the future!

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Intermediate Robotics Campers Extend Engineering Learning!

Posted on July 7th, 2014 by ssorrentino

During our first week of Robotics Camps at Allendale Columbia School’s Summer Program, we had a very full class of returning campers (entering grades 3 – 5) who further developed their engineering skills building and programming sophisticated models including:

  • a Venus flytrap programmed to activate a motion sensor,
  • mechanical cranes, and
  • other machines programmed with multiple motors and sensors for operating complex pulley and gear systems

Our future engineers-in-training had an action packed week as they  further developed and applied their S.T.E.M. learning!

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Posted in: Fifth Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Lower School, Third Grade, Uncategorized

Field-Testing Emerging Technologies at RIT and Tangible Play

Posted on May 27th, 2014 by ssorrentino

Over the last several months, our 4th grade STEM students have enjoyed several opportunities to field-test emerging technologies. Tangible Play (affiliated with Stanford University’s StartX and First Floor Labs Programs) is creating a new market in the game industry with it’s artificial intelligence technology with merging physical and virtual worlds in an educational platform.

RIT’s MAGIC affiliate, the FOSS@MAGIC Initiative (Free and Open Source Software and Free Culture), grew out the Department of Interactive Games and Media’s course in educational game development and is a unique multi-disciplinary collaboration spanning colleges, curricula, and research throughout the campus. The RIT students presented their final course projects for our STEM students to field-test. These projects include real-world interactive ecosystems which are already targeted to be integrated into aquatic museums along with other exciting and innovative technologies under development. Most exciting of all, this learning opportunity has provided an authentic experience for our young students as well as the college students – with both groups of students fully engaged and appreciative of learning from one another!

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