Current Students and AC Alums Contribute to AC Summer LEAP

Posted on January 9th, 2015 by lbrown


Current students and recent graduates of Allendale Columbia School contributed to the success of this year’s Summer LEAP program. When the Stop the Violence Dance Alliance, (SVDA) a community partnership between Garth Fagan Dance and the Rochester City School District, visited the Allendale Columbia Summer LEAP Program, sixth graders Sarah Ash and Chinara Dorancy performed and assisted with the master class. Natalie Rogers-Cropper, Garth Fagan Dance School Director and Assistant Rehearsal Director, led students in a series of movements modeled by graduates of SVDA. Both Sarah and Chinara attended Garth Fagan’s Summer Movement Institute this summer.


Recent AC graduates Justin Kennedy (Class of 2011) and Omar Franceschi (Class of 2013) were also on campus working with the students. Justin assisted second grade classroom teachers Stephanie DePaul-Pragel and Melissa Bohrer, providing support and individualized attention to students in the program. Omar photographed all of the program events as well as the day-to-day activities of the students. He also helped raise awareness of the program by contributing to the weekly newsletter and Summer LEAP Facebook and Twitter pages.



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Posted in: Alumni News, Highlights

Alumni Association Board Seeks Additional Members

Posted on December 4th, 2014 by egillette

The Allendale Columbia Alumni Association seeks alumni who are interested in becoming more involved in alumni events, learning about and connecting with their former classmates, and bringing school interests forward. Meetings are held on the AC campus monthly and interested alumni can participate either via phone or in person.

For more information about the board, their goals, and initiatives, please contact the Alumni Office at: (585) 641-5226 or email us at

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Posted in: Alumni News, Highlights

1st Grade S.T.E.M. Students Successfully Program Robot Missions

Posted on September 15th, 2014 by ssorrentino

During their first full week back to school, our 1st grade S.T.E.M. students were asked to solve a variety of mission challenges. As part of this task, students needed to program their Bee-Bot Robots to successfully navigate a tournament field mat, complete with numerous obstacles and constraints.

The students’ S.T.E.M. teachers decided their first graders were up for the challenge of using an official robotics tournament mat and collaboratively choosing specific missions to complete in their teams of two. PBL tasks included strategizing, testing, re-testing, and documenting their programming.  To check out of each mission, students were required to submit their programming documentation for the S.T.E.M. teachers to specifically program and test-run on their own Bee-Bot robots.

These young engineers were definitely up for our new programming challenges and successfully completed their chosen missions!

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Posted in: First Grade, Highlights, Lower School

EV3 Robotics for Innovation – New Engineering S.T.E.M. Course

Posted on September 3rd, 2014 by ssorrentino

Our last two weeks of Summer Engineering S.T.E.M. Camps at Allendale Columbia School were truly an amazing experience for students and teachers alike!

Our real-world engineering course: EV3 Robotics for Innovation included mock Board Meetings and Think Tank Sessions. Students brought their “factory prototypes,” the LEGO Education Color Sorter Model, and the Robot Arm Model for lively discussions. As part of this experience, students shared ideas for design, function, and programming modifications and enhancements.


Students then returned to their stations to work on their proof of concept for an improved viable prototype, while maintaining our “factory constraints” of reusing parts and innovating enhanced robot designs and functionality. Students creatively re-engineered their physical models by relocating and reprogramming their sensors, improving hopper functionality, adding new moving parts and functions, and adding navigation (for some designs). Equally exciting was that all students were also able to program completely new, efficient, and well-commented coding that was far simpler, more effective, and easy to explain to the user!

We are also pleased to announce that this new Engineering S.T.E.M. course will also be offered, throughout the 2014-15 academic year at Allendale Columbia School as one of several new Middle School Elective Course offerings.

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Posted in: Highlights, Middle School

End of Summer Strategies for Middle Schoolers

Posted on August 22nd, 2014 by tduver

tina post.021For some middle school students, going back to school brings the same excitement and anticipation as the release of a new One Direction album.

There are some easy pre-school preparations that tweens can tackle on their own for heading back to school – gathering their own supplies, getting summer reading finished up, and having sports forms ready to hand in. Other school-ready concepts may not be as easy to tackle solo for middle school students. To help early adolescents head back to school in top form, here are a few recommendations:

Sleep on it:  For some students, summer becomes a time of shifting bed times, staying up late and sleeping in. Making the sleep transition back to normal school hours can be a tricky one. According to the CDC, school aged teens need between 9 and 10 hours of sleep a night. With school right around the corner, try to encourage your middle schooler to head to bed closer to the time of their normal schedule during the school year. With modified sports, homework, and a different start time than the summer months, their physical and mental demands will require more sleep.

Food for thought: For some households, the kitchen is open 24-7, and tweens find themselves in the fridge and pantry looking for snacks whenever their growing appetite demands. If you are a home that allows for free-range children, transitioning back to three meals a day may be an adjustment for kids. Having good conversations around food choices, healthy snacks, and eating in general can be a great way to get them back to big and early breakfasts, school lunches, and later dinners.

Dog days of summer: Hair brushing, deodorant, and overall physical appearance may not be on the top priority list for tweens during the summer. Getting them back in the swing of things when it comes to hygiene will ease early morning battles that might occur over showers and wardrobe. Getting into a morning or evening shower routine, laying clothes out the night before, and keeping the deodorant and toothbrush in an easily accessible place can make the mornings go much more smoothly when headed back to school.

If the shoe fits: According to Teens Health, a major growth spurt occurs at the time of puberty, which is usually between age 8 to 13 years in girls and 10 to 15 years in boys. With your luck, this probably happened over the summer, and recently purchased school shoes and clothes no longer fit your growing and stretching tween. To avoid blisters and foot pain, check your child’s shoes before they head off to walk the hallways of school. Buying new school clothes seems to be a ritual for some households, and shoes are one thing that is often neglected. If buying a new wardrobe was not in your economic summer plans, have your tween try on their clothes so they can find those that best fit for heading back to school.

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Posted in: Eighth Grade, Highlights, Middle School, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade

International Summer STEM Programs: Robotics + Chinese/American Cultural Immersion

Posted on August 21st, 2014 by ssorrentino

We enjoyed an exciting week of cultural exchange at Allendale Columbia School as young American and Chinese students worked side by side. Elementary age students built and programmed their robots while high school age students worked collaboratively to program smart robots to navigate a variety of playing fields.

While the opportunity to learn robotics and engineering concepts was a new experience for our Chinese students, they proved to be quick learners and strong programmers. It was equally exciting to witness the high level of engaged learning, motivation, and cross-cultural teamwork as students enthusiastically cheered each other on while completing the complex building and programming challenges they were presented.

This successful international summer program, with an enrollment of over 40 students, was offered through a partnership between Allendale Columbia School, the Ivy Academia Group, and the University of Rochester.

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Posted in: Highlights

Great First Week in Intro Robotics Camp, Session #2

Posted on July 9th, 2014 by ssorrentino

We had a spectacular first week of Robotics Camps at Allendale Columbia School’s Summer Program with 32 young students (entering grades 2 – 4) learning real world engineering principles and professional practices!

Students first learned the correct vocabulary, terminology, and functionality of all physical elements and electronic components. Next, students applied their learning by individually building physical models and demonstrating their knowledge of gearing down and gearing up. Students also programmed their models at different speeds, incorporating tilt and motion sensors.

Our young engineers totally rock!

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Posted in: Fourth Grade, Highlights, Lower School, Second Grade, Third Grade

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