Practicing What I Teach: Challenges and Rewards in Ecuador

Posted on March 1st, 2019 by Allendale Columbia School

What do a school psychologist from New York, a boy named Ken from the Dominican Republic, a girl named Jazmin, and a boy named Jared all have in common? During the summer of 2018, they all found themselves at Fundación Niños de María in Quito, Ecuador.

Fundación Niños de María is a private Catholic school in Ecuador. Students who attend come from public schools where they used to experience academic failure and where the ratio was often one teacher to 45 students. Niños provided a safe and often year-round educational experience for some of Quito’s most vulnerable students. For a student like Ken, whose family had recently relocated from the Dominican Republic, much about Niños, and Ecuador in general, was new. Jazmin had gone unnoticed at her last school and was quite shy, and Jared’s teacher shared that, while domestic violence was a part of his home life, he was usually upbeat and talkative.


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Posted in: Global Engagement, Highlights

It’s About Mental Health, Charlie Brown!

Posted on November 16th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

Stressing over homework. Feeling inadequate. Teased by peers. Anxious about a special someone.

Poor Charlie Brown.

Anxiousness, uncertainty, and sadness are just a few emotions that all of us have or will experience at one time or another. In You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, based on characters in Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts comics and on stage this weekend at Allendale Columbia School, we see the characters express those feelings and more. (more…)

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Posted in: Eleventh Grade, Highlights, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School

Reminders from the Health Office

Posted on September 14th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

by Faye Shea, School Nurse

By now, all new students should have submitted an immunization record and a health appraisal form, which is documentation of a current physical exam. If you have not done so, please follow up up with this as soon as possible, as New York State has strict immunization and physical exam requirements for school entrance.

All Kindergarten students must have received the required Kindergarten immunizations, sixth grade students the T-dap immunization, seventh and twelfth grade students the meningococcal vaccine, with documentation of these immunizations submitted (your child’s physician usually has his/her own version of an immunization record).

Returning students in Pre-K, Kindergarten, and Grades 1, 3, 5, 7, and 11 must submit a health appraisal form by the end of September that has been completed within 12 months of the start of the school year.

And finally, if your child has a food or other significant allergy, don’t forget to submit your child’s Emergency Care Plan to the Health Office.

If you have any questions regarding these requirements, please contact Faye Shea, our school nurse (


Faye Shea

Faye Shea

Faye is a registered nurse and has worked at Allendale Columbia for over 15 years. Faye is a graduate of the State University of New York College at Binghamton where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree and is certified in orthopaedics.
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Posted in: LS Birches, MS Birches, The Birches, US Birches

AC is a Nut-Aware School

Posted on September 14th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

Allendale Columbia is a Nut-Aware school. This means that, while we cannot guarantee to parents, students, and visitors that the premises will be free from nut products, the School’s policy is to prohibit parents, students, employees, and visitors to campus from bringing nut products into classrooms or other areas on campus where students consume food. The School will make reasonable efforts to ensure that all parents, students, employees and visitors are aware of this policy.

AC Nut-Aware PolicyThe School asks that parents assist in providing all students with a safe learning environment. Parents should:

  • Refrain from using nuts (including peanuts or peanut shells, as well as pine nuts and other nut products) in projects that may be brought into the classroom by their child;
  • Refrain from including nuts (which includes peanut butter) in their child’s lunches and/or snacks;
  • Encourage their child to wash their hands prior to arriving at school, as well as before and after snacks and/or lunch; and
  • Refrain from bringing any treats which contain nuts (including peanut butter) to school for birthdays and/or celebrations. Please be sure to discuss any plans to bring food to school with your classroom teacher prior to doing so. 

For students who use the school’s dining services: the school’s Food Service Department does not purchase foods containing nuts or labeled as “may contain traces of nuts” as part of the AC lunch/snack program, nor does the Food Services Department use products that contain nuts or labeled “may contain nuts” in events catered by the AC Food Service Team.

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Posted in: LS Birches, MS Birches, The Birches, US Birches

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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Posted in: Centers for Impact, Eighth Grade, Eleventh Grade, Highlights, Middle School, MS Birches, Ninth Grade, Partnerships, Seventh Grade, Sixth Grade, Tenth Grade, The Birches, Twelfth Grade, Upper School, US Birches

Save a Life at Blood Drive April 25th

Posted on April 16th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

You can be a life saver! Please consider supporting the Allendale Columbia School Community Service Club’s upcoming Blood Drive on Wednesday, April 25th, from 12:00 noon – 5:00 p.m. in the AC Alumni Gym, 519 Allens Creek Road in Rochester.

CLICK HERE to schedule an appointment using the sponsor keyword allendalecolumbia, or call the Red Cross at 1-800-Red-Cross. In only about an hour, donors can give a pint of whole blood or “Power Red”. A Power Red donation collects the red cells but returns most of the plasma and platelets to the donor. These donors must meet specific eligibility requirements and have type A Neg, B Neg, or O blood.

Those who donate will receive a free Red Cross t-shirt (while supplies last). Middle School students will also support the Red Cross with a bake sale at 10:30 a.m. in the Dining Commons.


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Posted in: Alumni News, Eleventh Grade, Highlights, LS Birches, Middle School, MS Birches, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, The Birches, Twelfth Grade, Upper School, US Birches

AC Senior’s Medical Neural Network Research Wins Regional and State Science Fair Awards

Posted on March 23rd, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

by Rui “Tony” Zhou 

I participated in the Terra Rochester-Finger Lakes Regional Science & Engineering Fair last Sunday and the New York State Science and Engineering Fair at New York Hall of Science last Monday. It was an extremely rewarding experience not just because I won many awards.

My project involves creating a Deep Convolutional Neural Network that detects and analyzes lung nodules in CT scans, that is, using the lasted Artificial Intelligence techniques for Computer-Aided Diagnosis. I started this project last summer, at a lab in Tsinghua University, the top-ranked university in China. Then I continued with this project though AC’s Science Writing and Research Class. Currently, I’m still adjusting and optimizing the neural network structure in an effort to create a system that can better assist doctors and radiologists. The fundamental motivation for me in doing this research lies in its hope to fight against regionalized healthcare because this is a system that is applicable to most CT scanners throughout the world. We hope to bring more accurate diagnosis, and, thus, reduce the misdiagnosis rates while increase the earliness of lung cancer diagnosis.

Despite the excitement of doing two science fairs in 48 hours, it was an eye-opening experience to meet and talk with other young researchers, and I was kindled by their passions and how they are striving to improve the world we live in though their own efforts.


Rui Zhou

Rui Zhou

Rui, or Tony, as he is known around school, is a senior from Jiangsu, China, who has enjoyed the numerous STEM opportunities at AC. While he's waiting for his college decisions, he's sure he will be majoring in computer science next year.
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Posted in: Centers for Impact, Eleventh Grade, Entrepreneurship, Global Engagement, Highlights, Invent, Ninth Grade, Tenth Grade, Twelfth Grade, Upper School

Jump Rope for Heart

Posted on February 16th, 2018 by Allendale Columbia School

February is Jump Rope for Heart month dedicated to victims affected by heart disease. The American Heart Association (AHA) runs a program that AC has participated in for the past several years called Jump Rope for Heart. Our students participate by raising money for a great foundation while also jumping their way through the month for exercise and fun!

I’ve received some questions about the process of Jump Rope for Heart and when money students raise is due as well as when fundraising prizes from the American Heart Association are distributed so I wanted to share the details of this process.

If your child is fundraising using the packet he/she received, he/she should hold onto the money raised until the end of the event. If your student has registered online or has handed in the $5 cut out, he/she will be given one of the instant prizes provided by the American Heart Association on Friday in PE class. At the end of the event, the American Heart Association then orders all other prizes based on the amount the student has raised and the prize level earned.

Packets will be collected on Tuesday, February 27th, and Wednesday, February 28th, during PE class. If you have any questions, please email me. Thank you for your donations, and Happy Jump Rope for Heart month!

Kate Sullivan

Kate Sullivan

Kate holds teaching certifications in both Physical Education and Health Education, having earned an Associate's Degree in Physical Education Studies from Monroe Community College and a Bachelor's Degree in Physical Education and Health Education from the SUNY College at Brockport. She student taught in the Spencerport School District, where she worked with students in kindergarten through 8th grade, and brings experience serving as a lead counselor at Creative Themes Day Camp. At AC, Kate teaches Physical Education to Lower and Middle School students as well as a few sections of Health to Upper School students.
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