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The Premier International School in Greece 
since 1945 

Stefanos Gialamas, Ph.D.


President of Schools

Dina Pappas Cathy Makropoulos


Elementary School Principal Early Childhood/Day Care Coordinator
pappasd@acs.gr makropoulosc@acs.gr

Anny Kalfa
Elementary School Administrative Secretary
kalfaa@acs.gr

129 Aghias Paraskevis Ave. & Kazantzaki St.


152 34 Halandri
Athens, Greece

Tel.: +30 (210) 639 3200


Fax: +30 (210) 639 0051

www.acs.gr
acs@acs.gr

Mission Statement 
ACS Athens is a student‐centered international school, embracing American educational philosophy, 
principles and values. Through excellence in teaching and diverse educational experiences, ACS Athens 
challenges all students to realize their unique potential: academically, intellectually, socially and 
ethically ‐‐ to thrive as responsible global citizens. 

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CONTENTS:
The Early Childhood Program at ACS Athens ......................................................................... - 4 -
An Overview .................................................................................................................... - 4 -
The JK Program ................................................................................................................... - 4 -
The JK Program ................................................................................................................... - 5 -
Junior Kindergarten .......................................................................................................... - 5 -
Daily Program ............................................................................................................... - 5 -
Day Care ...................................................................................................................... - 5 -
Kindergarten Program .......................................................................................................... - 6 -
Kindergarten Daily Program .............................................................................................. - 6 -
Supplies Needed for JK and Kindergarten .............................................................................. - 7 -
Appropriate Clothing for JK & Kindergarten ........................................................................... - 7 -
Getting Ready for the BIG DAY: JK and Kindergarten Readiness ............................................. - 7 -
Centers ............................................................................................................................... - 8 -
Reading Center ................................................................................................................ - 8 -
The Math Center .............................................................................................................. - 8 -
Writing Center.................................................................................................................. - 9 -
The Art Center ................................................................................................................. - 9 -
Music............................................................................................................................. - 10 -
Cooking Center............................................................................................................... - 10 -
Dramatic Play Center ...................................................................................................... - 10 -
Library ........................................................................................................................... - 10 -
Specials (Art, Music, P.E., Computers & Foreign Language)............................................... - 10 -
Parent Communication ....................................................................................................... - 11 -
Assessment ....................................................................................................................... - 11 -
Field Trips ......................................................................................................................... - 11 -

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The Early Childhood Program at ACS Athens
An Overview
The American Community School’s Early Childhood Program serves children between the ages of 3
and 6. We believe in educating the “whole child” by focusing on intellectual, social, emotional,
physical and creative growth while valuing the rich diversity of culture children bring to the
classroom. Experiences and activities are planned to meet the needs of each child at his/her own
level and rate of development.

Emphasis is placed on the learning process rather than quick, correct answers. Learning is
spontaneous. Children learn from each other and teachers act as facilitators in the learning
process.

The arrangement of the classroom encourages play and exploration. Learning centers are
designed to develop language and literacy skills at a developmentally appropriate pace. Play and
hands-on activities are an integral part of the learning opportunities. Children are free to
experience, react, think, grow and change in their own unique ways. Most importantly, we want
to make the experience of school a positive one by ensuring a smooth transition from home to
school, building social skills and good work habits. A balance between child-directed and teacher-
directed activities is maintained. Most teacher-directed activities are open-ended, allowing
students to work at their own pace and, for the more able students, to extend their thinking and
achieve more.

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The JK Program
For ages 3, 4 & 5

The Junior Kindergarten Program is a half day program (9:00–1:00) with an opportunity to extend
their day in the childcare program (1:00-3:30) including lunch. English is the language of
instruction and each classroom has a teacher and an aide. It is designed to be a two year
program with enrollment starting with children who turn 3 by December 31 of the current school
year. All children must be fully toilet trained in order to attend. The primary goal of Junior
Kindergarten is to recognize and meet the developmental needs of each child and to assist him/her
in developing to his/her full potential. Teachers work with all levels of English proficiency from
non-speakers to native speakers. Progress is made on a timetable that is unique to each child. At
any given time, children in this class are at a variety of developmental levels. The classroom
teacher along with the classroom aide collaborate to create develop-mentally appropriate activities
via flexible grouping. Teachers serve as facilitators while they create a learning environment
which enables the children to make choices to enhance their learning process. Students are
supported by an assistant in the classroom. English is the language of instruction in this half day
Junior Kindergarten program with lunch and child daycare available after 1:00 p.m. until 3:30 p.m.

The classroom is designed to encourage play and exploration. Classrooms are structured with
centers for Reading, Math, Writing, Science, Art, Music, Cooking and Dramatic Play, each stocked
with stimulating hands-on materials. Children are free to experience, react, think and thus grow
and change in their own unique ways. Children visit the library once a week to check out a book.
Greek is also offered as a foreign language once a week. Most importantly, we want to make the
experience of school a positive one by ensuring a smooth transition from home to school, building
social skills and good work habits.

Junior Kindergarten
Daily Program
(subject to change depending on school-wide activities/events)

9:00 to 9:30 Free Exploration


9:30 to 10:00 Morning Routine
10:00 to 10:30 Snack
10:30 to 11:00 Outdoor Play
11:00 to 12:15 Journals & Center work (see explanation included in this book)
12:15 to 13:00 Sharing and Story Time
13:00 Regular program ends and Day Care begins.

Day Care
13:00 to 14:00 Hot lunch served inside classroom/Outdoor play follows
14:00 to 14:20 Quiet Time
14:20 to 15:00 Free Exploration
15:00 to 15:30 Preparations to go home (students are escorted to buses by an adult)

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Kindergarten Program
For ages 5-6

Kindergarten is a full day (9:00 to 3:30) serving children who turn 5 by December 31 of the
current year. The program offers Language Arts (pre-reading and writing), Math, Science, Social
Studies, Greek or Arabic, Music, Art, Computers, Library and PE. Class sizes are small, usually with
a maximum of 20 students per class with an assistant.

Activities vary throughout the day and include listening to and reading unit-related stories and
information books, discussions, writing stories, cooking, performing science experiments, making
graphs, artwork exploring many different media, dramatization, singing, music and movement.

In Kindergarten one letter of the alphabet is introduced each week.. Over the year students
develop reading and writing skills as readers and writers and learn basic math such as numeration,
comparison, sorting, patterning and measurement.

Kindergarten Daily Program


(subject to change depending on school-wide activities/events)

9:00 to 9:30 Morning Routine


9:30 to 10:45 Center Work (See detailed explanation included in this booklet)
10:45 to 11:30 Snack and outdoor playtime
11:30 to 1:00 Time, continuation of morning activities
1:00-2:00 Hot lunch served inside classroom/Outdoor play follows
2:00-3:15 Specials classes
3:15-3:25 Pack-up
3:00 to 3:25 Story time
3:25 to 3:30 Student pick up and escorting to buses

Students must always be on time as the school day begins 9:00 a.m. sharp
and parents must promptly pick up their child(ren) at 3:30 p.m.

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Supplies Needed for JK and Kindergarten
• A backpack to hold Student A4 size Take-Home Folder,
Passport, and Snack
• A small, nutritious snack to be eaten daily mid-morning.
We suggest fruit, cheese, raw vegetables, juice or a
sandwich. Please avoid sending high-sugar foods!
These foods have been found to impede learning.
• A hat for outdoor play during hot and cold weather
• Waterproof footwear for rainy days. It is important for
children to play outside unless it is actually raining.
• A change of clothes to be kept at school in case of
emergency
• Please do NOT bring any toys to school as they may get
lost or broken.

Appropriate Clothing for JK & Kindergarten


• Please dress your child for school in play clothes, as children will be working hard and
getting dirty in the process!
• Please label your child’s clothing, bags and lunch boxes!

Getting Ready for the BIG DAY: JK and Kindergarten


Readiness
Starting school is an exciting time for both child and parent as it marks the beginning of a very
important stage in a child’s life. Before your child starts school, make sure s/he can:

• Take care of his or her own toilet needs


• Get dressed by him or herself
• Express his or her needs to others

In order to ease any frustration or anxiety before school starts, we also strongly urge parents to:

• Label all your child’s things (especially jackets, coats, hats, gloves and boots).
• Be cheerful and upbeat. The thought of your child going off to school may be tugging at
your heartstrings. If you have fears and anxieties of your own, try not to show them.
• Make sure your child has a good night’s rest before each and every school day.
• Consider walking with your child on the first day to the classroom. Then, as difficult as it
may be, SAY GOODBYE and GO; don’t procrastinate or you will make it harder on your
child and yourself!

Students must always be on time as the school day begins 9:00 a.m. sharp
and parents must promptly pick up their child(ren) at 3:30 p.m.

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Centers
Center Work is a big part of the school day. Students circulate from Center to Center and perform
a variety of tasks that increase in level of difficulty or challenge throughout the school year. Some
Centers are for free exploration only and the student directs the activity. Teachers direct, facilitate
and take notes while observing students in their Centers.

Reading Center
The Reading Center is a large carpeted area where demonstration and participation in literacy
occurs during shared reading time. It is also where students practice reading during free
exploration and where, at the day’s end, the class returns as a group to share and reflect on what
they have done.

Big Books, poems, hanging word picture charts, graphics, chants and songs (all in enlarged print)
are easily accessible in this area.

At this center, students acquire literacy appreciation and pre-reading skills. Puppets and
pantomime are used for dramatization. Students learn to speak in complete sentences and
sequence stories (practicing temporal relations). By sharing, students learn to express ideas
clearly and build their self-confidence.

The Math Center


The Math Center has a table and chairs for students
and shelves for supplies. Some of the supplies
found at this center include pattern blocks,
Cuisinaire rods, Unifix cubes, Geoboards, beads for
stringing, counters and math games.

We build a strong foundation of basic mathematical


concepts through the use of manipulatives and real
life contexts in the classroom (calendar, play, math
games). Students’ natural ability to learn through
play is harnessed and literature is used to stimulate
structured play.

Students work with math manipulatives following the Math Their Way Program. The following
topics are covered: sorting, pattern, number, basic addition and subtraction, measurement,
volume, time, introduction to place value, according to their developmental level. We emphasize
understanding the basic concepts with concrete objects first and only then move on to teaching
the mathematical symbol system. Most of our early math work goes unrecorded on paper…. Don’t
expect many worksheets to come home as most learning occurs hands-on. The teacher keeps
anecdotal records of student progress in math.

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Writing Center
This center has a large table with chairs for students,
shelves for supplies and journals for the students’ work.
Some of the supplies found at this center include lined and
unlined paper, pencils, crayons, clay, and the alphabet in
upper and lower case letters. Wooden magnetic and plastic
letters and copies of the alphabet are also available.

Students are encouraged to “write” from the beginning by


drawing their stories, adding more details to elaborate
their ideas and communicate more effectively. Students
regularly experiment with letters and sounds and read or
copy some familiar sight words.

Students draw pictures and “write” (from scribble to random lettering to inventive spelling)
according to their developmental level.

The teachers work with the student to scribe his/her stories. As appropriate, children are
encouraged individually to develop their ideas, add more detail to their pictures, have a go at
writing or use the alphabet chart to relate letter sounds to symbols.

Students need to learn the letter sounds and letter symbols to ‘crack’ the reading/writing code.
Teachers provide daily opportunities for them to “have a go” at writing themselves. In this way,
they actively think through how to encode their own message in writing and with continual
practice get better at it. Copying takes the initiative away from the child and is just passive
handwriting practice.

The Art Center


The Art Center has a large table and chairs for students and a
shelf with various supplies. Some of the supplies found at this
center include: tempera paints, glue, crayons, markers, pastels,
scissors, chalk, finger paint, plasticene, clay pencils, paper,
fabric…just to mention a few. This is one of our most popular
centers and students are given the opportunity to express
themselves through a variety of materials and processes
throughout the day.

Students are encouraged to look carefully at real objects and notice patterns and shapes to help
them draw for themselves. Different media and techniques are introduced over the year.
Students are taught to care for materials themselves. At this age the process of making
something is often more important than the final product. Experimentation is encouraged.

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Music

Music allows children to creatively express themselves


and develop themselves musically. Language is learned
through rhyme and song. Gross motor skills are
developed through dance and movement. This also
gives them the opportunity to develop their listening and
memorization skills. The Kindergarten students
additionally attend music class twice a week with the
music teacher.

Cooking Center
We also have a Cooking Center! At this center, students have the opportunity to explore concepts
in Math and Science and to develop their oral language, fine motor skills (and to indulge the
senses, naturally).

Students learn about nutrition, measurement and sequencing while following a step-by-step
process and developing independence. Emergent reading skills are practiced by reading through
recipes and students practice counting and recognizing numerals.

Dramatic Play Center


An essential learning element in the Early Childhood Center is play. This center includes a
housekeeping area, dolls and dollhouse, puppets, cars and trucks, building blocks, farmhouse and
animals. This area is used for free play, cooperative learning, and dramatic play.

Play serves an important function in the cognitive, creative, language, social and physical
development of young children (Saracho, 1986). Furthermore, while engaging in some form of
play, children learn about problem solving, taking turns, responsibility and caring for materials,
negotiating roles, role playing, sharing and developing concentration.

Library
Students visit the library once a week as we know how quickly they can zoom through those
books! Under our geometric dome, the librarian reads stories based on the current unit of inquiry
taught in the classroom. Students are allowed to check out books beginning in JK. The Library is
open from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. daily and we encourage parents to come read with their
students after school in this quiet and resource-rich environment. The Library is fully automated.
Students may use computers to find their books as well.

Specials (Art, Music, P.E., Computers & Foreign Language)


ACS Athens has subject area specialists who are resources and serve Kindergarteners. Students
go to art, computers, foreign language, music and physical education (P.E.).

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Parent Communication
• ACS Athens e-mail for important notices and events
• Passport (check daily)
• Take-Home Folder (check daily)
• Newsletters from Teachers
• ACS Athens Monthly Muse
• Back-to-School Night
• Parent/Teacher and Student-Led Conferences
• Principal Coffees
• Volunteering in the classroom or on Field Trips
• Room Parents
• Events throughout the year
• ACS Athens website www.acs.gr

Assessment
• Report Cards distributed three times a year
• Parent/Teacher Conference (fall) and Student-Led Conference (spring)
• On-going Assessments Include:
o Anecdotal records
o Observations (while at work and play)
o Fine motor artifacts
o Oral responses

Field Trips
Up to two field trips are taken throughout the year to enrich the curriculum and to provide our
students with a chance to collect data for classroom use. Parent participation on these trips is
encouraged! Please check with the teacher to see which Field Trips are scheduled for this year.

To find out more about our Early Childhood Development Program,


or to schedule a visit, please call Mr. John Papadakis,
Director of Enrollment Management
at 210-639-3200, ext. 263.

For updated information on ACS Athens,


check our Website at www.acs.gr

acs@acs.gr

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129 Aghias Paraskevis St. & Kazantzaki, 152 34 Halandri,
Athens, Greece
Tel.: +30 (210) 639 3200, Fax: +30 (210) 639 0051
www.acs.gr ™ acs@acs.gr

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