A warm welcome to our new Lower School Director
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!
The Lower School is a caring, nurturing learning environment where students are academically challenged while also learning to be creative, inquisitive, and caring individuals.
With small class sizes, and passionate, experienced faculty, our Lower School (Grades 2–5, ages 7–10) provides an enriching, collaborative environment and individualized attention for our students. We are committed to fostering a spirit of creativity and inquiry in our students, to driving the acquisition of essential skills, and to developing our students' powers of self-expression.
Beyond encouraging academic excellence, our educators work to develop strong, positive, and lasting relationships with each of our students. We strive to help students achieve their personal best and flourish during their time with us.
The ASP philosophy of learning and curriculum development strikes the elusive balance between academic rigor, social-emotional well-being, and student agency.
We follow an American curriculum based on common core standards and our reporting is standards based. Our teachers empower students to lead out their own educational experience through deep inquiry, appropriate challenge, and relationship building.
Our Lower School students in Grade 3 and up take Measures of Academic Progress testing to measure what they know and their growth over time. Our students' scores consistently exceed worldwide grade level norms. Reflecting the strength of an ASP education, as well as the transportability for students moving on to schools elsewhere.
A typical day in the Lower School balances learning and fun, English and French, and outdoor exploration.
The school day begins at 8:30 a.m. as students arrive on campus. Parents can either drop off their children, or park and walk them into campus. We have a comprehensive bus program serving western Paris and the neighboring suburbs.
Students have a small homeroom class, they take French every day, and throughout the week they have specialist classes such as art, library, science, discovery lab, music, and more.
At lunchtime, your child can enjoy a hot, healthy lunch in our Lower School cafeteria, or enjoy their own packed lunch from home.
The school day ends at 3:30 p.m., and from 3:40 p.m., we offer over a dozen after-school activities. Students can play a sport, learn an instrument, or explore their creativity!
Educational and Language Support
As part of our holistic approach, we offer support services for all students. Our English as an Additional Language program is available beginning in Grade 1, after testing, to ensure that all students are supported in their transition to English-language instruction.
Our Learning Support program is available to students with diverse learning needs. Our highly-trained Learning Support teachers provide dynamic support in both the homeroom and in our dedicated Learning Support spaces.
We take full advantage of our 10+ acre campus to enhance everyday learning.
Students can be found sketching our gardens in French class, planting vegetables in Science, and racing across the field during P.E.
Students visit the neighboring Parc de Saint-Cloud for nature walks and outdoor learning, and enjoy field trips to the Musée d'Orsay, Monet's gardens at Giverny, local markets and farms, and many other important cultural landmarks.