Beyond the Classroom

Campus Life

A Spacious and Serene Campus

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  • A Distinctive Learning Environment

    Allendale Columbia School’s 33-acre campus is located on the east side of Rochester, New York in Pittsford. Surrounded by birch trees and Allens Creek, the campus provides a serene environment where our students learn, grow, and explore.

    AC has two athletic centers, two playing fields, a large courtyard, and a modern playground for students to get plenty of fresh air and exercise. In our Dining Commons students enjoy healthy and sustainable meals in a family-style setting and our auditorium, the Curtis Performance Center, offers state-of-the-art equipment with theater-style seating.

    Our spacious classrooms boarder lounge spaces for students to study, relax, and socialize. The school is a spacious 120,000 square feet, yet comfortable and cozy.  

    If you’d like to take a tour of our campus, please contact our admissions office at admissions@allendalecolumbia.org.

Our 33-Acre Campus Includes:

Safety

At Allendale Columbia, we take the utmost care to ensure every student who attends our school is cared for physically and mentally in a positive and secure school environment. The following information outlines our health and safety guidelines.
            

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  • Campus Safety

    Allendale Columbia School is open Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. For the safety of our students, a key fob is required to get into our building during the school day and after school. Security cameras and directional signage are posted throughout campus.
  • Communication

    In any emergency situation, Allendale Columbia will communicate with parents as early, with as much specific information, as possible. The school executes this task in a few key ways:

    SchoolMessenger
    SchoolMessenger is an automated communication system that is programmed to send a message via telephone to parents. If a phone call administered by the SchoolMessenger system is not picked up on the receiving line, the system will leave a message on the receiving line’s voicemail system.

    Targeted Email
    In addition to a telephone call, Allendale Columbia will also send targeted emails to parents in the event of an emergency, as long as the school retains access to the email system. We want to make sure in any emergency that we send accurate information, and we work as fast and as hard as we can to keep students safe and communicate in a timely manner.
  • Crisis Planning and Management

    We treat crisis planning and management as a paramount aspect of our program. We have a Safety Committee made up of school personnel who meet regularly to update policies and plan and prepare for ongoing crisis training as well as a changing social climate. This team is in communication with local law enforcement as well as fire and emergency services to ensure up-to-date training and preparation.

    Our planning addresses several scenarios, running the gamut from a small, contained fire to full-scale natural disaster. Our team of administrators, faculty, and staff are trained in emergency-case scenarios and prepared to deal with any emergency situation.
  • Immunizations

    All students who are new to Allendale Columbia are required to provide our Health Office with a Health Appraisal Form that has been completed by a New York State licensed primary care provider and documented with up-to-date immunizations. New York State has strict immunization requirements, and this documentation must be submitted to the Health Office by the first day of school.
  • Medicine Policy

    The School Nurse may not administer any medication (including over-the-counter medication) without a written primary care provider order and written parental consent. Permission to Administer Medication in School forms are available in the Health Office. These forms must be completed annually. Students who need medication during school-sponsored after school activities or sports and any overnight field trips must have written permission from a primary care provider and written parent consent.
  • Nut-Free Policy

    We are a nut-free school and follow a policy of not distributing any peanuts, tree nuts, or products containing nuts. We ask that food containing nuts or nut products not be brought into the school for the safety of our students with nut allergies. Birthday treats and bake sale items are also not permitted to contain these ingredients. A list of alternative snack options is available upon request from the Admissions Office or from our Food Service Manager, Laura Reynolds-Gorsuch.
            

Lunch Program

Creating a Healthy + Sustainable Culture

through AC’s award-winning Lunch Program!

            

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  • Our Philosophy

    We believe that physical health, learning, and the environment are naturally connected. Our commitment to a healthy and sustainable food program means that we limit processed foods, provide homemade meals whenever possible, and offer a variety of options for students to choose from daily.  At AC, our Food Service Team truly cares about the meals they prepare for our students and employees each day and offer fresh and nutritious foods with homemade soups; vegetarian options; a 25-item salad bar with homemade dressings; and a second cold bar with fresh meats, cheeses, fruits, and yogurts. Our meals are served family-style with a faculty member at each table, so lunch is a time when students can get to know faculty and students from other grades. Social and athletic announcements are made during lunch, along with a daily trivia challenge.
  • What's Cooking

    There’s something for everyone! We accommodate a wide variety of food allergies, vegetarian or vegan diets, or medically-related food needs. Our chocolate milk is fat free (not just low fat) and accompanied by soy milk, orange juice, fat free vitamin D milk, and water. The choice is in our students’ hands at lunch time with a daily entrée, homemade soup, fresh-baked breads, sandwich toppings, and fresh fruit.

    • More recipes made from scratch
    • A focus on using whole foods and non-processed ingredients
    • Switching many wasteful, single-serving packets of condiments to refillable containers
    • Expanding local food partnerships
    • Our soups, salad dressings, and desserts—typically a common source for processed ingredients—are all made from scratch!


     
  • Supporting a Sustainable Environment

    We’re committed to protecting our environment and natural resources.
    As a result, we:
    • Use crops harvested from the Allendale Columbia organic garden
    • Limit the use of disposable products
    • Fully support our student-run recycling and composting program
    We’re proud to be “localvores”
    We choose to partner with local businesses, suppliers, and farms that share our healthy + sustainable philosophy, including:
  • COVID-19 Food Service Adjustments

    Due to the pandemic and safety always being our number one priority, our lunch team has reconfigured the AC lunch program. We now offer seven different options for students to choose from that are made fresh and served individually packaged in environmentally friendly containers each day. The daily menu options include a hot entree,  AC special meal, fresh salad and hummus plate, vegetarian meal, bagel and Greek yogurt, or various sandwiches to choose from. Each meal is served with a fruit, vegetable, and choice of beverage. Our lunch team also offers homemade desserts at least two times each week.
            

Traditions and Celebrations

Special events play an important role at Allendale Columbia School. They allow everyone in the AC community – students, faculty, staff, and parents – to pause the busy academic year, engage in fun activities, and celebrate traditions old and new with the school community. Below are some of the AC traditions you can look forward to!
            

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  • Blue/White Day

    Blue/White day is a tradition of school-wide athletic competitions that originated at the Columbia School over 100 years ago. Students from grades 1-12 are divided into two teams (blue and white). The Physical Education Department organizes the entire day. Older students are paired with younger students (12th graders with 1st graders, 11th graders with 2nd graders, and so on) and first have a picnic lunch together, then compete in a variety of field events and contests. Children enrolled in the pre-primary program also get involved by sitting on the sidelines and cheering for the relay races, volleyball, magic carpet ride, obstacle courses, balloon pop, etc., that are designed to be enjoyed by all ages and reward a range of athletic skills. Games conclude with a series of “tug-of-war” competitions between upper grades and the faculty. This is a day for teachers and students to bond. Parents do not participate in this event.
  • End-of-the-Year Celebrations

    At Allendale Columbia School, we also have a number of traditions, including the Kindergarten Variety Show, Lower School Moving-On Day, Middle School Recognition Day, the Senior Study and Internship Assembly, the Honors Convocation, and Commencement.
  • Homecoming

    Homecoming is a great tradition that takes place every fall at Allendale Columbia. The weekend event centers on girls’ volleyball and boys’ soccer competitions and includes refreshments, family-friendly activities, raffles, and concessions.
  • Pumpkin Night

    Parents and children in nursery and pre-kindergarten carve pumpkins together (parents bring carving knife, scooping spoon, and family blanket), then listen to spooky stories and songs. Refreshments are provided and the nursery and pre-kindergarten faculty are in attendance.
  • Grandparents and Special Friends Day

    Grandparents and Special Friends Day is a Lower School favorite each fall. Each child in grades 1-5 is encouraged to invite grandparents to visit for a half-day of school. Activities include classroom visits, special presentations, and lunch in the Dining Commons. If a grandparent is unavailable, a substitute is quite acceptable—an aunt, an uncle, a good family friend, special neighbor, or Mom or Dad.
  • Kindergarten Bake Sale

    The kindergarten class, with the help of teachers and parent volunteers, holds an annual bake sale for the school community. The next week, kindergarten students visit the nearest Target store and push their shopping carts through the aisles, using the proceeds from the bake sale to make purchases of clothing and toys that will be donated to children through Hillside Children’s Center.
  • Holiday Breakfast

    The Holiday Breakfast is a special holiday program for students and their families that traditionally marks the beginning of the Holiday Recess. The program includes multicultural stories and music, followed by coffee and refreshments in the Dining Commons. All family members are invited to the event, and all students in kindergarten through grade 12 are expected to be present. Transportation must be provided by parents, as school closes for the Holiday Recess mid-morning after the breakfast.
  • Kite Day

    A school tradition since the 1950s, students in grades 1 through 5 try their hand at getting their kites aloft on the playing fields. This day is always looked forward to with great excitement and anticipation. For over 40 years, Lower School students have been taking a break from classes for the afternoon on this special day to learn the fine art of kite flying from teachers and older students. Pre-Primary children watch the older students to see which kite flies the highest, is most colorful, and has the most unusual design. To complete the memorable day, students are also treated to ice cream.
  • Strawberry Breakfast

    The Strawberry Breakfast is traditionally held on a morning in May to honor the senior class. All family members are invited, and all students from nursery through grade 12 are expected to be present. Students in Lower School are expected to stay with their parents. Transportation must be provided by parents, as school closes mid-morning after the breakfast.
            

Volunteering

Allendale Columbia School is a community that welcomes and celebrates its students, families, alumni, former families, faculty, and staff. By embracing the best that each of these groups has to offer, we are a stronger, better, and more diverse school. Just as we encourage our students to make a positive impact on campus and in our community, so, too, do we seek assistance from those who want to improve AC with their time, treasure, and talent. Below are some ways you can get involved at AC!

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  • Time & Talent

    AC values its volunteers, who serve in many capacities both inside and outside of the classroom. There are hands-on opportunities to assist faculty and staff with morning car line through Helping Hands, after-school clubs, and sporting activities.

    We also need volunteers for singular events such as Holiday Breakfast, Forum, Tedx, Homecoming, Reunion, etc. Please keep in mind that safety always comes first, so prospective volunteers may have to screened depending on their role here at AC.

    Current Parents
    Contact Shelby Riter at sriter@allendalecolumbia.org

    Alumni
    Contact Karen Higman at khigman@allendalecolumbia.org
  • Treasure

    The School needs unprecedented financial support of The Fund for Allendale Columbia School. The unrestricted annual fund is the foundation of our fundraising effort because it enables us to take care of the School’s most urgent financial needs. Please consider becoming a donor to AC, or opt to increase your gift and demonstrate your support for our educational mission.

    Donate Now
            
            

Ciarra F. '21

On the AC campus, there’s a place for everyone.
At Allendale Columbia, we prepare students for the world they will inherit. In our trusting and responsive environment, students in nursery through grade 12 grow in confidence and develop scholastic independence.