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
Heritage Night 2018 brought together nearly 100 people to learn, eat, and celebrate the heritage of our AC community. Although Allendale Columbia is a small school, students recognized that there are still a lot of differences that can separate us. The Heritage Night dinner helps people learn things about others that they may not have known before.
One student shared the story of her grandparents’ arranged marriage in India while another talked about the difference between his life in Korea and America. A student shared his experience as a Native American, another as an African American, and a third explained what Jewish traditions are all about. Other students performed a musical number as part of the program. Faculty were also featured as speakers and shared stories of growing up in Cuba and French music. One faculty member talked about her time living and teaching abroad in Kuwait saying, “We can’t always believe what we see on the news or read in the papers. Kuwait, although in the Middle East, is not a war-torn country. I had a wonderful experience teaching there and met some amazing friends with whom I still communicate to this day.”
Finally, the entire group came together over a potluck dinner celebrating the food of many cultures. Talented cooks, including Mr. Gee, shared Shepherd’s Pie, tres leches cake, arroz con gandules, and potato latkes, among other delicious dishes. As someone once said, “Food is the ingredient that binds us together.”
The second-annual event was sponsored by the Global Engagement Club and the Social Inclusivity Club as a way to celebrate different ethnicities through performance and food.
Posted in: Eleventh Grade, Global Engagement, Highlights, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School
This week, Cloverwood Senior Living was alive with the Sound of Music. On January 9th, a select group of cast members made a trip to visit the residents and share some selections from Allendale Columbia School’s Fall Upper School musical. Cast members included Catherine Kennedy (Maria), Gabe Rosen (Captain von Trapp), Rebecca McQuilken (Mother Abbess), and almost all of the children, played by Ella Hocker, Maya and Mark Voloshin, Lilah and Thea Costanzo, and Luca Palomaki. While visiting, students performed favorite songs such as “Do Re Mi” and “Edelweiss”, and shared some special treats made by our AC Kitchen team. This trip, organized by the Development Office and the Music Team, is hopefully the first of many. We hope to organize future trips to help bring our wonderful AC Theater productions to those who cannot make it to campus.
Posted in: Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Kindergarten, Lower School, LS Birches, Middle School, MS Birches, Ninth Grade, Second Grade, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Tenth Grade, The Birches, Third Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School, US Birches
By Kristin Cocquyt, AC College Advisor
On Thursday, January 4th, over 20 Allendale Columbia alumni from the classes of 2014-2017 enjoyed an afternoon back on campus for the annual College Life Program. A joint effort between the College Advising Office and the Alumni Office, this annual tradition welcomes back recent alumni for an opportunity to reconnect with friends, faculty, and staff and to share their words of wisdom about their college experiences with Upper School students during a panel discussion.
This year’s panelists included Samantha Bilinski ’16 (RIT), Yasmine Kangbeya ’17 (Northeastern University), Ethan Kennedy ’14 (Cornell University), Nicole Salpini ’17 (Syracuse University), and Xinyuan “Tom” Yi ’16 (University of Rochester).
The top three tips from our panelists to our Upper School students: (more…)
Posted in: Alumni News, College Advising News, Eleventh Grade, Highlights, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, The Birches, Twelfth Grade, Upper School, US Birches
Show your support for TEDxAllendaleColumbiaSchool by joining us for a fundraiser to support Rochester’s only student-run TEDx organization! Go to the Chipotle at 3349 Monroe Avenue (#43) on Tuesday, January 23rd, between 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Bring in the flyer below, show it on your smartphone, or tell the cashier you’re supporting the cause to make sure that 50% of the proceeds will be donated to the TEDxAllendaleColumbia.
Posted in: Eleventh Grade, LS Birches, MS Birches, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, The Birches, Twelfth Grade, Upper School, US Birches
Allendale Columbia has deepened its global impact in Nicaragua by initiating a relationship with the 2 Wheels Bike Project. The project’s founder, Alejandro Solano, believes that every child should have the chance for an education to help them break out of the cycle of poverty. Therefore, he provides bikes to children in need to help them get to school and assist their families with daily life.
AC middle schooler Keira Donnelly led the initiative to sell hand-made Nicaraguan bracelets to students in order to support the project. Due to her efforts and the generosity of the Middle School students, AC raised and donated $100 to the project. This means that two young children in El Sauce, Nicaragua, won’t have to walk over an hour to school any more. They will be able to use their new bikes to arrive safely and quickly to school. (more…)
Posted in: Centers for Impact, Eighth Grade, Global Engagement, Highlights, Kid Kudos, Middle School, MS Birches, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, The Birches
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.
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.
Posted in: Alumni News, Highlights, Lower School, LS Birches, Middle School, MS Birches, The Birches, Uncategorized, Upper School, US Birches
Fourth graders at Allendale Columbia School spent a couple of days in Allens Creek as part of their study of ecological biodiversity, their latest Project-Based Learning (PBL) unit in the Lower School STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) program.
Working with visiting expert Maureen Dunphy Russell, a STEM/AG Educator from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County, students learned how to stir up the creek bottom and harvest the biological samples with downstream nets. They then separated the critters for identification, with crayfish attracting their enthusiasm the most. The students also found snails, mayflies, aquatic flies, scuds, minnows and an aquatic worm. “I love working outside and learning all about the nature that is around our campus,” declared student Jordyn Ahl.
“Students crave outdoor education,” STEM teacher Donna Chaback says. “While ecological biodiversity is usually an older student topic, our fourth graders have been doing a great job on it.” The creek study complemented walking studies of the AC campus’s forest, grassland, and freshwater ecosystems, during which they collected and preserved leaves and took photos of trees, plants, leaves, and signs of animal life. “So far, they have done an initial tree survey, performed soil tests, and worked in the creek,” Mrs. Chaback added. “Next, they will begin researching their findings and interviewing some key personnel.”
These hands-on studies helped reinforce the importance of biodiversity, and how each species, no matter how big or small, plays a role in the overall health and sustainability of the local and broader ecosystem.
Posted in: Centers for Impact, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Invent, Lower School, Partnerships