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We’re Listening and Moving Forward

Dear valued  member  of  our  school  community: The  enthusiasm  on  campus  since  school’s  start  in  September  has   been  gratifying  and  exciting.  Mick  Gee’s  arrival—coupled  with  the   inception  of  innovative  new  educational  programs  and  experiences—   has  provided  dynamic  new  opportunities  for  everyone  here.  We  are   delighted  about  the  year  so  far,  and  thrilled  about  what  is  to  come!






A Message from Mick Gee

Pre-Primary and Lower School snapshot

Middle School snapshot

Upper School snapshot

In your own words


A Message  from  Mick  Gee,     Head  of  School Dear Parents, It’s  been  an  exciting  first  six  months  here  at  Allendale   Columbia  School.  I’ve  learned  a  lot  about  the  AC   community  thanks  to  input  from  all  of  you,  from  your   children,  and  from  our  alumni  around  the  world.  It  is   clear  we  have  a  phenomenal  foundation,  reputation,     and  tradition  of  excellence. The  most  exciting  thing  to  me  is  that  everyone  I’ve   interacted  with  has  been  enthusiastic  about  the  future   ahead  of  us.  You  are  expecting—as  you  should  be—that   the  faculty,  staff,  and  administrators  will  develop,  share,   refine,  and  implement  new  ideas  and  initiatives  so     that  AC  continues  to  lead  the  way  as  a  dynamic     learning  community.

“To hear  alums  speak  about     their  experiences  at  AC  is     really  affirming.”   In  this  issue  of  Listening  and  Moving  Forward,  you’ll  read     about  some  of  the  latest  news  in  each  division.  I  have   encouraged  faculty  to  innovate,  and  they  have  responded   eagerly.  Their  enthusiasm  has  inspired  our  students.  It’s  a   remarkable  time  to  be  at  AC.

Examples in this edition include: ‡/RZHU6FKRROVWXGHQWVSDUWLFLSDWLQJLQQHZ'D\ electives  as  well  as  our  FIRST  LEGO  League  team ‡0LGGOH6FKRROVWXGHQWVFROODERUDWLQJZLWKWKH Paleontological  Research  Institution’s  Mastodon     Matrix  Project ‡8SSHU6FKRROVWXGHQWVRUJDQL]LQJ TEDxAllendaleColumbiaSchool,  an  event     by  youth  for  youth  


“There is  a  definite  sense  in  the     local  community  that  AC  is     moving  forward.”   Looking  back  on  my  first  six  months  here,  I’m  particularly   proud  that  we  have  been  able  to  bring  these  and  other  new   initiatives  to  life.  School  should  be  meaningful;  it  should  be   full  of  experiences  that  are  authentic  and  applicable  outside   our  walls.  Your  children  aren’t  here  just  to  learn  the  facts   about  a  particular  subject.  They’re  here  because  every  day   at  AC  children  dig  deeper,  question  more,  discuss,  debate,   and  question  again.  As  you  may  have  heard  me  say  before,   students  shouldn’t  just  learn  about  science—they  should   become  scientists.  The  same  applies  for  all  disciplines  at  AC. Be  on  the  lookout  for  more  opportunities  for  your  child   to  participate  in  authentic  experiences—including  more   collaboration  with  external  organizations—in  the  coming   months  and  years.  I’m  having  conversations  now  with  some   of  our  region’s  major  higher  educational  institutions  and   they  are  excited  about  working  with  your  children.  They  see   AC’s  flexibility  as  a  huge  benefit—we  can  work  with  them  to   adapt  aspects  of  our  curriculum  to  expand  offerings  for  our   students.  Our  independence  is  key,  as  is  the  dedication  and   focus  of  our  faculty  and  students.

We have  a  new  committee  in  place  to  ensure  that  as  our   program  evolves,  it  is  reflective  of  our  teachers’  voices  as     well  as  mine.  In  addition  to  helping  our  students  develop   into  excellent  human  beings,  it  is  critical  to  continue   developing  our  faculty  so  they  are  inspired  and  inspiring.   This  is  one  of  the  many  ways  we  will  continue  to  create   demand  for  enrollment. In  fact,  “I  want  my  child  at  that  school”  is  a  feeling,  a  sense  of   pride,  I  hope  you  carry  with  you.  We  want  all  of  you  to  feel   that  AC  is  the  best  place  for  your  children.  Certainly  our   faculty,  staff,  and  administrators  keep  your  children  and     the  next  generation  of  students  at  the  forefront  of   everything  we  do.   I’m  also  happy  to  share  my  continued  enthusiasm  that  as   part  of  our  planning  for  next  year,  we  will  welcome  Ryan   Burke  as  our  new  Head  of  Middle  School.  Ryan  comes   to  AC  from  the  nationally  recognized  Overlake  School   where,  as  Dean  of  Students,  he  has  been  responsible  for   the  education  and  well-­being  of  300  students.  In  addition   to  his  experience  as  a  department  chair,  teacher,  learning   specialist,  and  coach,  Ryan  co-­founded  a  company  that   focuses  on  teacher  learning,  student  learning,  experiential   education,  and  the  design  thinking  process.  He  has  also   developed  partnerships  with  Microsoft,  DigiPen,  and  other   well-­known  organizations.  

“ ‘I  want  my  child  at  that  school’   is  a  feeling,  a  sense  of  pride,     I  hope  you  carry  with  you.”  

AC is  a  dynamic  educational  community,  where  students   are  known  and  challenged  to  reach  their  potential  and   coursework  is  relevant  and  collaborative.  We  are  committed   to  providing  the  best  possible  educational  experience  for  your   children.  This  communication  is  just  a  glimpse  of  what’s   happened  this  year,  and  what  is  still  to  come.  Shortly  you’ll   receive  re-­enrollment  contracts;  we  hope  you’ll  make  the   same  commitment  to  give  your  children  the  AC  experience   next  year.


Mick  Gee   Head  of  School

At Allendale Columbia: ˆ )ZIV]WXYHIRXMWORS[R and challenged. We focus on depth and breadth. ˆ 0IEVRMRKI\TIVMIRGIWEVIVIPIZERX ERHGSPPEFSVEXMZIXLI]JSWXIV independent thinking, leadership, and integrity. ˆ ;IEVIQSVIXLER EWGLSSP[IEVI EVIWTSRWMZI community.

First here,  then  anywhere.


Pre-­Primary and  Lower  School  snapshot A  highly  individualized  approach  to  instruction     has  infused  faculty  and  students  alike     with  a  new  enthusiasm  for  discovery,     collaboration,  and  leadership. Day Six inspires the Lower School community [MXLVIPIZERXMRXIVHMWGMTPMREV]I\TIVMIRGIW In  Pre-­Primary  and  Lower  School,  we’re  using  our   freedom  as  an  independent  school  to  broaden  learning   experiences  in  innovative  ways.  For  example,  our  Day   Six  program  provides  academic  choices  for  students   and  additional  opportunities  for  innovative  teaching.   With  themes  such  as  “Passion  Projects,”  “China,”  and   “Sustainability,”  faculty  members  have  designed  classes   around  topics  such  as  astronomy,  sign  language,  Terra   Cotta  Warriors,  ribbon  dance,  and  community  service. This  is  one  of  the  ways  we’ve  tapped  into  the  creativity   of  our  faculty,  as  well  as  our  students.  Teachers  get  to   go  beyond  books  and  tests  and  really  bring  subjects  to   life  for  their  students—many  of  whom  are  so  excited   to  discover  new  areas  of  interest  that  they  continue  to   explore  on  their  own  or  through  our  Guide  on  the     Side  program. Led  by  students,  Guide  on  the  Side  provides   opportunities  to  develop  leadership  skills  by  putting   students  in  charge  of  their  own  projects.  In  one  notable   example,  three  4th  and  5th  grade  students  developed   their  own  Minecraft  server  to  foster  a  safe,  engaging   gaming  environment  with  other  students.

“Day Six  has  been  an  amazing     adventure  that  has  reaped  so  many   more  benefits  than  we  ever  imagined.”   -­  John  Sullivan,  Head  of  Lower  School 4

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

78)1 TVSZMHIWGLEPPIRKI°ERHJYR Launched in  September  2012,  our  S.T.E.M.  program  has   enabled  us  to  significantly  increase  science  time  in  younger   grades,  and  even  doubled  class  time  in  the  upper  elementary   grades.  Teachers  differentiate  according  to  ability  and  interest   while  providing  instruction  on  every  facet  of  the  scientific   method  from  as  early  as  kindergarten.   S.T.E.M.  focuses  on  the  Life  Sciences  as  well  as  Technology,   Engineering,  and  Mathematics  and  provides  a  critical     foundation  for  a  lifelong  love  of  inquiry-­based  science.

2YVXYVMRKMRXVMRWMGQSXMZEXMSR At AC  you  can  expect  child  centered  teaching  and  learning.   By  bridging  the  best  of  Day  Six,  S.T.E.M.,  and  Topics  of     Exploration  (TOE),  with  other  elements  of  our  dynamic     curriculum,  Pre-­Primary  and  Lower  School  students  will     continue  to  be  inspired  to  study  topics  in  depth,  master     content,  and  determine  how  to  best  share  their  findings     in  authentic  and  relevant  ways. Looking  to  2013  and  beyond,  Pre-­Primary  and  Lower  School   students  can  expect  even  more  opportunities  for  collaboration   and  exploration.  We  offer  a  highly  successful  and  innovative   approach  to  learning—and  one  that’s  just  not  possible  in     a  public  school.  “We’re  looking  to  nurture  intrinsic     motivation,”  explains  John.  “That  doesn’t  happen  by     taking  standardized  tests.”

Middle School  snapshot New,  relevant  learning  experiences  and   personalized  resources  help  Middle   School  students  explore  their  interests,   lead,  and  excel. Student Success Center and Dean of Students LIPTMRHMZMHYEPWI\GIPMRXLIMVWYFNIGXEVIEW New  this  year,  the  Student  Success  Center  and  Dean   of  Students  position  provide  dedicated  opportunities   for  students  to  advocate  for  themselves  and  seek  out   additional  support  as  they  need  it.  Students  can  also   use  the  Center  to  extend  their  learning,  collaborate   with  peers,  build  connections  between  topics  they’re   studying,  and  explore  personal  interests,  such  as   entering  an  academic  contest. Tina  Duver  is  excited  about  the  changes.  “As  Dean  of   Students,  I  help  make  sure  our  kids  have  a  consistent   advocate  and  sounding  board  so  they  feel  safe  to  take   risks  and  have  a  great  experience  here,”  she  explains.   Plans  are  in  place  to  expand  the  Center’s  offerings  and   the  Dean  of  Students  position  to  provide  additional   support  for  student  life.

Academic competitions offer opportunities beyond the classroom Allendale Columbia  is  the  only  school  in  the  area  to   VHQGDWHDPWRWKH86'HSDUWPHQWRI(QHUJ\6FLHQFH Bowl,  where  we  consistently  finish  strong.  Middle   School  students  also  compete  in  Math  Counts  and     the  National  Geographic  Society  Geo  Bee.  New   next  year  will  be  the  opportunity  for  sixth  graders  to   participate  in  a  FIRST  LEGO  League  team.  This  new   team  will  build  on  the  success  of  this  year’s  Lower   School  team.  These  opportunities  provide  arenas  for   our  students  to  further  explore  their  interests  and     apply  their  knowledge.

Paleontological partnership engages students in problem-based learning Sixth grade  science  students  have  been  getting  hands  on     with  a  paleontological  “dig”  without  leaving  the  classroom.   This  interdisciplinary  project  is  a  result  of  a  collaboration   between  Middle  School  faculty  members  Tina  Duver  and   Jay  Theuer  and  a  new  community  partnership  with  the   Paleontological  Research  Institution  in  Ithaca,  NY.  Several   pounds  of  material  dug  up  with  the  remains  of  a  mastodon   that  died  just  as  the  last  Ice  Age  was  ending  are  being  carefully   combed  through  for  clues  to  everything  from  climate  change   to  human  involvement. The  students  have  been  reporting  their  findings  to  research   organizers  at  the  Paleontological  Research  Institution  and   have  received  direct  feedback  from  Dr.  Carlyn  Buckler  with   the  Museum  of  the  Earth  who  said,  “Wow!  You  are  all  doing  a   fantastic  job!  These  shells–and  everything  else  you  found–will  become   part  of  our  research  and  education  collection.  We  hope  to  have  the   whole  collection  online  by  next  fall,  and  to  put  your  school’s  name   on  the  lovely  things  you  found.  That  way,  scientists  researching  the   Pleistocene  can  use  your  information  to  better  understand  what  the   environment  was  like  14,000  years  ago,  and  other  Mastodon  Matrix   Project  participants  can  see  what  kinds  of  things  you  all  found.   Thank  you  so  much  for  helping  scientists  discover  more  about  the   Pleistocene  –  we  hope  you  did,  too!” “If  the  samples  are  ruined,  they  can’t  be  replaced.  That  makes   this  a  very  real  experiment,”  said  Head  of  School,  Mick  Gee.   “This  project  illustrates  the  difference  between  teaching   children  science  and  teaching  children  to  be  scientists.     They’re  not  the  same.”   First  here,  then  anywhere.


8SSHU6FKRROVQDSVKRW Independent  thinking.  Leadership.     Integrity.  Our  students  are  generating     innovative  ideas  and  shaping  our     community  and  world.  

8)(\IZIRXF]WXYHIRXWJSVWXYHIRXWGVIEXIW ELMKLP]VIPIZERXPIEVRMRKI\TIVMIRGI In  the  spirit  of  sharing  ideas  that  inspire  progress  and   FKDQJHVHYHUDO8SSHU6FKRROVWXGHQWVKDYHSODQQHG a  TEDx  event  for  February  2.  This  independently   organized  event,  licensed  by  TED,  is  built  around  the   theme  of  connections.  A  series  of  speakers,  including   students  and  community  members,  will  offer  their   insights  about  connecting  with  others  and  sharing   experiences,  often  in  unexpected  ways. “We  decided  to  focus  the  event  on  connections,     a  topic  of  interest  to  everyone,  especially  as  we     try  to  understand  new  ways  to  connect  and     collaborate  globally,�  said  event  organizer  and  AC   11th  grader  Martijn  Appelo.  “While  I  am  sure   we  will  hear  how  technology  is  essential  to  help   develop  connections,  there  may  be  some  surprising   ideas  that  will  help  inspire  new  thinking.� “The  power  of  ideas  formed  by  first-­hand     observation  and  real-­world  experience  is  what  drives   true  authentic  learning,�  said  Mick  Gee,  Head  of   School.  “This  TEDx  event  will  provide  students   with  a  unique  opportunity  to  add  their  voices  to     the  dialogue.  In  this  way,  they  produce  their  own   knowledge  instead  of  simply  absorbing  it.  They   become  innovators  and  problem  solvers,  ready  to   work  at  the  forefront  of  change.  This  is  a  testament   to  the  AC  experience.� 6

3YVVIWTSRWMZIGSQQYRMX]VIXYVRWXS'SWXE6MGE Also  in  February,  the  largest  AC  student  service  group  ever   will  travel  to  Costa  Rica  to  help  two  schools  make  needed   updates  to  their  buildings  and  grounds.  These  ninth   through  twelfth  graders  will  be  immersed  in  the  daily  life   and  culture  of  the  town  and  bring  classroom  supplies  for  the   VWXGHQWV'LDQD*OHHVRQ+HDGRI8SSHU6FKRROVDLG³WKH size  of  the  group  reflects  a  great  interest  on  the  part  of  our   students  to  participate,�  also  noting  that  many  of  this  year’s   travelers  have  been  on  the  trip  previously  and  helped  inspire   others  to  join  the  project  this  year.

International students enrich the AC community Our  expanded  international  student  program  continues   to  strengthen  our  school  community  within  and  beyond   the  classroom.  Numerous  AC  families  generously  opened   their  homes  to  share  the  Thanksgiving  weekend  with  our   international  students,  providing  a  meaningful  exchange   of  culture  and  tradition.  International  students  have  also   collaborated  with  some  of  our  youngest  students  by  leading   presentations  and  discussions  relevant  to  the  Lower  School’s   study  of  China.  In  addition,  our  FIRST  LEGO  League     team  now  has  some  new  coaching  talent  on  its  side.     Fei  Ma,  a  12th  grade  student  from  China,  has  brought     her  experience  as  an  international  robotics  competitor     to  AC  where  she  is  inspiring  our  Lower  School  team!

You should  expect   more  than     the  standard. “  At  Allendale  Columbia,   all  the  teachers   know  you  by  name;   they  know  your     personality.  You’re   not  just  another  kid     in  class.”  


“ This  is  my  first   year,  and  I’ve    

never had   this  much   fun  at  school.”  

Megan C. ’17

“ I  find  myself  well  prepared   for  the  challenging  courses   offered  in  college  compared     to  other  students  in  my  classes.”  


Yunmei Z. ’12, Cornell University ’16

“ My  son  has  been  well-­

prepared for  the  future  

with a  rich  and  colorful   academic  experience  including  

challenging course   work,  vigorous  classroom   discussions,  caring  and   committed  faculty,  and  

a diverse  group  of  fun,  bright,   and  polite  friends.”   Rachel Rose Colaprete, Parent ’11 and ’13

“ Tonight,  my  daughter  spent     a  good  half  hour  excitedly     telling  us  about  an     experience  she  had  at   school  today.  I  was  utterly   impressed  by  the  fact  that   the  faculty  allowed  the     students  to  ask  their  own     questions  and  then  instead     of  simply  giving  them  the     answer,  challenged  them     to  discover  it  on  their  own.”

“ Our  daughter  interacted  regularly     with  faculty,  developed  a  comfort     in  expressing  herself,  and  realized     an  active  dialogue  with  faculty  and     fellow  students  enhances  the     learning  experience.”   1EVMERRI7YPPMZERParent ’11

Chris Herlong, Parent ’23, ’26, and ’26

First here,  then  anywhere.


Contact us  with  questions  and  concerns… or  just  to  chat! Leadership Team:


Mick Gee Head of School 585-381-4560 x213

Mary Beth Conway PACK President 585-955-3260

.SLR7YPPMZER Head of Lower School 585-381-4560 x223

Lisa Campbell PACK Vice President 585-461-2394

Andrew Ragan Interim Head of Middle School 585-381-4560 x261

Colleen Dandrea 0S[IV7GLSSP(MZMWMSR0MEMWSR 585-924-5638

Diana J. Gleeson Head of Upper School 585-381-4560 x267

Lynn Frenett 1MHHPI7GLSSP(MZMWMSR0MEMWSR 585-352-1401

Katherine Lapa Director of Marketing and Communications 585-381-4560 x309

Wendy Howitt 9TTIV7GLSSP(MZMWMSR0MEMWSR 585-271-4967

Nate Merritt Athletic Director 585-381-4560 x264 John Reese (MVIGXSVSJ(IZIPSTQIRX 585-381-4560 x234 1SRMGE8VIZIXX 'LMIJ*MRERGMEP3J½GIV 585-381-4560 x211 Karyn B.Vella Director of Admissions 585-381-4560 x282

First here,  then  anywhere. 519 Allens Creek Road | Rochester, NY 14618 | 585.381.4560 | Now well into its second century, Allendale Columbia is a leading independent co-ed college prep school for students in nursery through grade 12. Here, learning goes far beyond books and tests. We have the freedom to dig deeper so students can question more, discuss, debate, and question again. As a result, our students develop critical thinking skills and become effective problem solvers. Our faculty members use their independence and experience to connect knowledge to real life so our students can make more sense of the world–and their place in it. It all adds up to a different school of thought: high expectations and relevant experiences that prepare students to succeed in a global community.

Listening and Moving Forward Winter 2013  

Listening and Moving Forward Winter 2013

Listening and Moving Forward Winter 2013  

Listening and Moving Forward Winter 2013