August 2022 - Middle School Newsletter

Dear Middle School Parents and Guardians, 
For those of you who are new to the Allendale Columbia family, we hope this message finds you excited about the new start in September. We are thrilled that you are joining us. For returning families, we hope you have had a relaxing break, and we’ve missed you! We have been working extremely hard to prepare the school for the students’ return in September. We’ve done a deep dive into the middle school experience, and we are confident that the changes we have made will not only keep our faculty and students safe, but it will also enhance their academic experience. Some of these changes include:
Middle School students will now have dedicated physical education classes by grade, which include health and wellness curriculum. These classes will meet three times a week and our Physical Education teachers have re-imagined the P.E. curriculum to keep our students active, while also addressing timely health concerns. Students will do activities such as yoga, dance, hiking, mindfulness, and other activities to keep their minds and bodies in tune. Hygiene, hand-washing, and personal space will also be discussed in order to support the all around health of the student body.

This year we are offering French beginning in 7th grade! We are always looking for ways to enhance our Middle School program and support our mission to create global citizens. One way we accomplish this is through our rich language program. Historically, our students take Spanish in the Lower and Middle School, (through 8th grade). In 8th grade, students are provided with a choice of continuing their studies in Spanish or begin learning French. This year we are excited to offer all our Middle School students an opportunity to begin French in their 7th grade year. This class is unique in that students in both 7th and 8th grade will be in the same course, taking beginning-level French. As with any language course fluency, vocabulary acquisition, and learning about French culture will be the main goals of the class. Students will be evaluated at the end of each year and will progress onto the next level when ready. The course will be titled French 1, but it may take more than one year for students to reach a point where they have met the skill markers to move on to French 2 coursework. 
If you are interested in having your student take French in Middle School this coming year, please reach out to me via email. 

Advisors will play an even greater role this year and will spend more time with their advisory groups, with four 50-minute blocks in a new schedule. Advisors will work with our school social worker, Kate Woodard, and our Dean of Students, to build in socio-emotional support throughout the year.

We are offering some great new electives this year with our new music and art teachers, as well as some additional coursework like the Stock Market Challenge.

Our Pathfinder Trip for our Seventh Grade is back! Aaron Shepard will be sending out information soon to our seventh grade parents and guardians regarding trip details, packing lists, Canadian vaccination requirements, and other important details. 

Important Dates

August 5th: Schedules will be available on MyACS. I have been meeting with all new families to AC, as well as our new sixth graders regarding scheduling. All returning students should have received an email from Gwyneth Heuser about signing up for electives. If your child has not done this yet, please encourage them to register for their preferences. 

August 31st (9:00 a.m - 11:30 a.m): New Student Orientation - This event is for all incoming sixth grade students as well as any students who are new in seventh or eighth grade. It is for students only. Students should be dropped off at the Welcome Desk at 9:00 a.m. During this event, students will practice their schedule, meet their teachers, meet their advisor, and get their questions answered prior to the first day of school. Students should dress for the weather and wear shoes that are comfortable to walk in.

August 31st (6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.) New Parent Orientation - This event is for all sixth grade parents who are new to the Middle School division and all parents of new students at any Middle School grade level. We look forward to meeting you at this event! This gathering is not for Middle School students but for their parents to ask questions, learn about the upcoming school year, and socialize with each other. 

September 7th: First Day of School for Grades K-12 - Middle School students are welcome to enter through the Allendale Entrance beginning at 7:30 a.m., or with a Lower School sibling through the Columbia Circle entrance. The school day starts at 8:10 a.m., and general dismissal takes place at 3:00 p.m.

Helpful Resources

MyACS - MyACS is our school’s online portal. This is a one-stop-shop for all AC-related information, including student schedules, grade reports, news, calendar, and more. Be sure to bookmark this page and remember your password as you will need to reference it throughout the year! You can access MyACS by going to or clicking the shortcut link on our homepage. 

Summer Reading: Please follow this link to find out more about summer reading assignments.

Supply ListsSupply lists for grades 6-8 can be viewed here

Please let me know if you have any questions. Enjoy the warmer weather, summer activities, and family time! 
Tina Duver
Head of Middle School
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.