American School of Paris - Lower Information Handbook

Information Handbook

Please explore the information resources in this paperless 'Handbook' and if you have any questions please contact the Lower School office.

The School Day

The regular school day starts at 8:45 a.m. and finishes at 3:30 p.m.

On arrival (which should be no sooner than 8:30 a.m.) students go directly to the playground until 8:45 a.m. Teachers collect students from the playground at 8:45. At the end of the school day, if parents pick-up their children they need to arrive by 3:30 p.m. and wait for their children in the open area in front of the cafeteria.

The school buses leave promptly at 3:40 p.m.

Regular attendance and punctuality are essential. The most effective learning time is when the student is with his or her teachers and peers. Children may not leave school during the day except in cases of urgent need. In the event that students have made alternative transportation arrangements for any reason, a note from the parent needs to go in the agenda or a call placed to the Lower School office before 3:00. If it is close to the end of the day, please be sure you speak to someone directly rather than leave a message so that you are sure we have been informed. If a student needs to leave during the day the homeroom teacher must be informed and the student signed out in the office. Medical appointments should be arranged during non-school hours whenever possible. Vacation departures and returns should be arranged well in advance, to ensure that students do not miss day’s immediately preceding or following school holidays. Extra schoolwork to cover extended vacations is no substitute for class time and is typically not provided.

There will be a conference with parents for all students who miss 10 school days. A second conference will be scheduled with the parents, Lower School Director and teacher after a student misses 17 school days.

Homework

Homework is one way teachers target a child’s individual needs. Consequently, children in the same homeroom class often have differing assignments. Homework normally can be done without adult assistance, although children may sometimes need parental help. Above all, parental interest and encouragement are essential. Students are requested to enter assignments in their agenda, which also is used for daily communication between school and home. In some cases, teachers may wish to arrange with parents a system of signatures to ensure that parents are aware of assigned work. If for any reason your child cannot finish the homework or does not understand, please leave a note in the agenda for the teacher so that the teacher knows that the child needs further explanation.

The following are suggested maximum times for homework:

  • Grades 1&2 - 20 minutes
  • Grades 3 - 30 minutes
  • Grades 4&5 - 45 minutes - 1 hour

This should include French homework.

Progress Reports

A description and appraisal of each child’s academic progress is given 3 times each year, through written reports. Student progress is reported to parents at scheduled conferences once a year. Extra conferences may be arranged by parental or teacher request.

Communication

Our goal is for parents to have the necessary information to support their child’s learning. There are times when parents may want to include the Director in the conversation, however, the teacher (homeroom or specialist) should always be your first point of reference and should be contacted first.

Should any questions arise or should you need to share a concern, please make an appointment directly with your child’s teacher.

Discipline

Discipline in the Lower School follows the ASP Code of Conduct. Emphasis is placed on children knowing and understanding classroom and overall Lower School standards of behavior based on the principals of Respect, Responsibility and Honesty.

At the beginning of each school year, classrooms also create class rules. In this way children unable to follow those standards are first counseled by a teacher.

At the 4th and 5th grade levels, detention during the lunch recess may be the result of infractions. If these teacher measures are unsuccessful, the Lower School Director may become involved to administer disciplinary warnings to the child and, in cases where the student continues an unacceptable behavior pattern, parents will be contacted and a Behavioral Contract will be initiated. The counselor may also become involved at this point.

A case study action may eventually be initiated by teachers, with all teachers of the child coming together to make suggestions to the Lower School Director as to effective disciplinary or counseling measures to be taken. The parents are counseled, usually by the Lower School Director and the Counselor, regarding the suggestions of the team and informed of the method the school feels will be most effective in dealing with the child.

After School Activities

Students from Grades 2 through 5 can participate in our After-School Activities Program for a nominal fee. These activities run from 3:40-5:00. There are late buses, which follow a skeletal bus route to take students home after the activity. The variety of activities offered depends upon student interest and facilities availability. During past years the program has included soccer, basketball, arts and crafts, tennis, cooking, modern jazz dance, hip-hop dance and video film making. For more information about the activities available to Lower School students please visit the After-School Activities page.

School Nurse

A qualified registered School Nurse is present daily in the Nurse’s Office during school hours to provide first aid. All accidents or illnesses occurring during school hours are reported to the school nurse. If the nurse recommends immediate medical treatment, she will contact the parent or the emergency contact.

For your child’s well being, it is critical that you update any change of address and telephone numbers on Powerschool.

For more information about how to do this contact IT Director Larry Love: llove@asparis.fr

The Nurse should also be notified of any pertinent information regarding medical conditions or medications your child is taking. If it is necessary for a student to be taking medicine during the day, our policy is for the parent to bring the medicine to the nurse with instructions.

Student health forms and medical records are kept on file in the Nurse’s Office.

The Nurse's Office is situated on the ground floor near the Lower School office. As soon as a child starts school it is vital that the school nurse and class teachers are notified of all health related problems such as asthma, epilepsy and allergies e.g. to foods such as peanuts, milk, chocolate, and food coloring. Please be sure to include such information on the health form upon your arrival to school. All health information you provide is held in strict confidence and only shared on a need-to-know basis.

Parents are notified of a head injury or a serious illness or injury requiring further treatment.

Please do not bring your child to school if he or she has any of the conditions:

  • Diarrhea and/ or vomiting
  • Temperature above 100.4 F or 38C
  • Excessive fatigue or tiredness
  • Skin or eye irritation
  • Excessive runny nose

Please make sure your child is well enough to return to school after an illness. If he/she returns to school too quickly, it is possible for the illness to return and/or spread to others.

If your child develops an illness at school he/she will see the school nurse. If your child needs attention, you will be contacted to take your child home.

Field Trips

Field trips are an integral component of the Lower School curriculum. Travel at ASP is used to extend the four walls of the classroom. A complement to class work, the type of trip varies depending on grade level. Listed below are some of the recent excursions taken by Lower School students.

Day Trips (examples)

  • Centre Pompidou
  • Cité des Science et Technology
  • Cluny Museum
  • Giverny, Monet’s home
  • Jardin des Plantes, Museum of Natural History
  • La Bergerie, Rambouillet
  • Louvre Museum, Paris
  • Orsay Museum, Paris
  • Palais de la Découverte
  • Insect Farm
  • Ferme de Gailly
  • Château de Breteuil
  • Musée Quai Branly
  • Anvers-sur-oise, Van Gogh
  • France Miniature
  • Fire Station St Cloud

Many of these field trips request parent volunteers to accompany the students.

Field trip permission forms will be provided for each trip.

For safety purposes, all students must have field trip permission forms signed by their parents. Failure to provide a signed form will result in the student being excluded from participating in the particular field trip.

Special Events

Events that give special emphasis to important areas of the curriculum are a significant part of the Lower School year.

Book Bowl and Sports Days are examples of annual special events. In addition, the Young Authors’ Festival, Math and Science Fairs, STEM Night and Music Festivals serve to give students experience in exploring and discovering special interests through school-wide participation and emphasis.

Food Service

All students may bring in their own lunch box and snacks. Lower School students should also bring in a couple of snacks and drinks to have during the morning and afternoon breaks.

Children in K-1 have lunch in their classroom. K-2 –Grade 5 students eat in the cafeteria.

ASP offers a daily hot lunch program to the Lower School students in grades K2-5 for a fee. Students may purchase this meal plan on a trimester basis. Lower School students are served lunch in a separate Lower School Cafeteria.

Students are expected to respect general rules of etiquette, conducting themselves with maturity and clearing their tables as they leave.

For more information about the Lower School Lunch Program see the Cafeteria page.

Lost and Found

Clearly marked Lost and Found bins have been placed in the following locations:

  • Upper School: Cube - opposite the US administration offices
  • Middle School: Building 3 - corridor close to junction with building 2
  • Lower School: Building 3 - ground floor LS foyer

Two other bins have been placed in the girls and boys shower changing rooms in Building 7 and one bin has been placed in the Field House Gym (near the doors in the main gym).

Students and parents are encouraged to search the bins as soon as they believe an item is lost. The Lost and Found bins will be cleaned out at the end of each month and clothing items will be placed on tables at reception on the last Friday of every month, from 8:30 am – 4:00 pm for students or parents to view. At the end of the view day, all unclaimed items will be stored in an archive room and will be available for viewing again the following month.

At the end of the school year, unclaimed Lost and Found clothing items will be donated to charity. Other valuable items (watches, phones, mobile devices) will be kept within division offices, for future claim.

To further improve the quality of our Lost and Found process, please ensure that your children’s personal items are always labeled with their name and that you look through the bins as soon as you notice the loss of the item.

Getting to School

ASP Bus Service

The school has contracted with a private bus company to provide safe and reliable transportation for ASP students, for an additional fee.

Further information may be found on the Student Transportation page of our website, or by contacting the Admissions Office.

Personal Insurance

It is important that your children are covered for their activities related to the school.

Your household insurance policy, in French, assurance multirisques, may cover incidents involving your child for whom you could be held personally liable (responsabilité civile). Some policies exclude liability coverage for extra-curricular activities, use of the school facility outside normal school hours, or school-sponsored sporting events.

Please double-check to make sure you have adequate insurance coverage before a problem occurs. If your policy is incomplete, your housing is provided by your employer, or if you do not have an assurance multirisques, we recommend you purchase a student liability policy.

Supplies and Materials

Each student is given textbooks and instructional materials on a loan basis and is responsible for their care. There is a supplies list for each grade level posted in the Starting School Information.

Students who lose or damage classroom textbooks are required to reimburse the school for a replacement copy. Report cards will be withheld until all accounts are settled.

Grades 1 and 2 have swimming lessons once a week and will need: a towel, a swim cap, bathing suit for the girls and fitted Speedo bathing suit for the boys (fitted longer swimming trunks are also acceptable, however no shorts are allowed in the French swimming pool).

For PE classes: Grades 1-5 students must have gym shorts, a T-shirt and a pair of non-marking gym shoes.