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American School of Paris - founded 1946

Early Childhood

A warm welcome to our new Lower School Director

Paola Torres

The American School of Paris is pleased to announce the appointment of our new Lower School Director, who will assume her post in July of 2024.

Paola Torres is currently the Elementary principal at the Carol Morgan School in the Dominican Republic. Prior to the Carol Morgan School, she was the Elementary Principal at the Academia Cotopaxi American International School in Quito, Ecuador.

In speaking about her education philosophy and leadership style, Paola said:

Education should allow for possibilities to become realities and aim to inspire empowered, self-directed learners through positive social interactions so that construction of knowledge and the actions of individuals are characterized by excellence. I strive to inspire an environment where members take ownership for their practice and positively influence students through authentic experiences which will result in positive contributions to our local and global communities.

Children will meet adulthood in a time of evolving technologies, and fast-growing social and environmental issues. Learning and teaching must be responsive to today’s local and global realities while also planning for the future.

I am marveled by childhood and practice a student-centered approach that respectfully accompanies all students’ learning journeys. My passion for equitable opportunities for all members of society aligns with international inclusive education. I bring this understanding to all pedagogical engagements and planning.

Paola received her M.S. in Exceptional Student Education, as well as her B.S in Elementary and Early Childhood Education from Barry University in Florida. Her Certificate of International School Leadership is from PTC in Miami. Paola also holds a Certificate in School Management & Leadership from Harvard University. She was the recipient of the National Distinguished Principal Award 2019, given by the United States Office for Overseas Schools. 

Paola is active in the world of international education, leading accreditation visits for the New England Association for Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and the IB, speaking at conferences, promoting women in leadership, and child safeguarding.

Bi-lingual in Spanish and English, Paola is originally from Ecuador. She and her husband Tony have three children: Maria Antonella, Antonio, and Alberto.
Your future colleagues and students welcome you to ASP, Paola!

A child’s first years at ASP establish the strong foundation for learning that will carry them through their lives.

The essential skills required of successful problem-solvers, engineers, innovators, artists, and change-makers are nurtured in our youngest learners. They learn to be curious, imaginative, and determined to try things for themselves. Our Early Childhood program (Grades K3–Grade 1, ages 3–6) encourages our youngest students to discover the wonders of the world and enable them to contribute as positive, confident, and caring individuals.

Our program is based on three fundamental beliefs:

1. All children are curious, capable, and competent.
2. Children thrive in a positive, loving, and supportive community.
3. Children learn better in a rich variety of dynamic teaching environments.

 Early Childhood Handbook  Our Curriculum

boy with microscope

Want to Know More?

We can't wait to share with you all of the incredible things our program has to offer.

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The school day begins at 8:30 a.m. when students arrive on campus, and finishes at 3:30 p.m.

Students can be dropped off by parents (driving or walking), or use the ASP bus service. Early Childhood students begin their day in the Outdoor Learning space, before beginning their morning activities.

During lunch, students in Grades K3 and K4 eat in their classrooms. Students in K5 and Grade 1 eat in the cafeteria, and have the choice between a hot lunch prepared by our French chefs, or a packed lunch from home. 

Students in K4 and above can participate in after-school activities from 3:30 p.m.; bus service is available at 5:15 p.m. 

 Student Transportation Explore After-School Activities

Early Childhood Learners on Playground

How Our Program is Organized  

  • K3 and K4 (ages 3–4): Whole-child curriculum, with an emphasis on inquiry, exploration, and discovery. Social-emotional learning, cognitive development, play-based and outdoor learning, science, and math are all a focus. English is the main language of instruction; students receive 25+ minutes of French, 6/8 days per 8-day cycle.
  • K5 (ages 5–6): Students begin our standard curriculum, where they investigate, discover, and play. Reading, writing, math, science, social studies, solving problems, and connecting ideas are all focus areas. Learning is integrated via play-based and outdoor learning. Students receive 30 minutes of French every day.
  • Grade 1 (ages 6–7): Students continue our standard-based curriculum, incorporating play-based and outdoor learning, with a focus on reading, writing, math, science, social studies, investigating, and discovering. Students receive 40+ minutes of French every day.

Learning beyond the classroom is an essential component of an Early Childhood education at ASP.

With the campus situated on 12 acres, our recently re-designed Outdoor Learning space provides our youngest learners ample room to build, explore, and create in different environments like our mud kitchen, our sand pit (with a pirate ship!), and a large green garden.

With a wide variety of materials and spaces on offer, our Early Childhood students have plenty of opportunities to explore. With the massive forest and Parc de Saint Cloud literally as our next door neighbor, our Early Childhood students go on monthly adventures where they use nature as their classroom. Nature is brought indoors too! Students bring their collections of sticks, rocks, and crawly creatures back to the classroom which they integrate into math, literacy, and science!

Explore our Outdoor Learning Spaces

    Ready to become an ASP family? 

    See the campus in action, speak to a member of our Admissions team, meet an Early Childhood educator, and more!

     Schedule a Visit Speak to Admissions

    Carleen Helaili

    Interim Lower School Director

    Camille Burel

    Lower School Coordinator
    +33 1 41 12 82 78

    Justine Du Plessis Nelson

    LowerSchool Guidance Counselor