Lower School
Grades K3–5



Intellectual curiosity, social skill development, and emotional growth are all vital in the elementary school years. Research on learning continues to emphasize the relationship between academics and emotional intelligence, both of which are essential for healthy and productive students. During these exciting and critical years, we support our students in acquiring strategies and skills to further their emotional, social, and behavioral competencies.

The American School of Paris educates the whole child, in part by addressing each critical strand of development. Administrators, teachers, parents, and counselors work together throughout the year to communicate about each child and ensure success in the classroom, on the playground, and at home.

The Lower School Counselor teaches weekly lessons in all homeroom classes as part of our integrated counseling curriculum. The Counselor also meets with students individually and facilitates small groups meetings in a supportive environment where students can address specific issues or concerns. These small groups are designed to support students with strategies to cope with topics such as anger management, grief, and social skill development. Finally, the Counselor is a resource for Lower School parents and students via one-on-one meetings, consultation with other school personnel, and referral to other professionals in the community.



Counseling guidance lessons are taught in weekly, thirty-minute sessions by the Lower School Counselor in each homeroom class. The developmental guidance curriculum follows the International Model of the American School Counselor’s Association Curriculum. Our program covers the four domains of the International Counseling Model: personal/social identity, academic development, global citizenship, and career education.

Some of the topics covered are: 

  • Self-esteem promotion
  • Feelings identification and emotional regulation
  • Making and keeping friends
  • Effective communication
  • Developing healthy boundaries
  • Acknowledging diversity
  • Personal goal setting
  • Test-taking strategies
  • Problem solving and conflict resolution 
  • Career education
  • Cyber safety and responsibility 
  • International citizenship and global transitions

The guidance curriculum acknowledges the strengths and limitations of each stage of a child's development, and lessons build on learning from previous years. The subject of emotions, for example, is explored by our Early Childhood students as they define each feeling word and identify corresponding facial expressions; Grade 5 students may take part in a skit on resolving a conflict with a friend or parent. Classes are lively and interactive, and include hands-on exercises, role-playing, small group and class-wide discussions. All lessons adhere to student competencies established in the International Model of the American School Counselor’s Association.

For more information, please contact the Lower School Guidance Counselor, Dr. Justine du Plessis Nelson







Supporting the whole child is at the heart of our mission in the Lower School. All children deserve a happy and comfortable environment to learn.