Why choose Pre-Kindergarten at AOSR?
- Your child’s journey as a potential AOSR graduate begins now. Our Pre-K program is closely aligned with AOSR’s profile of a graduate, focusing on achievement of academic, personal and interpersonal competencies.
- You will be choosing an innovative program, inspired by the world renowned Reggio Emilia Approach.
- Your child will flourish in an environment where they can engage in a collaborative process of experimentation and investigation, enriching their knowledge through active exploration and inquiry.
- Students’ individual ideas and opinions are valued and respected, thereby allowing your child to face new learning challenges with confidence.
- Our highly experienced Pre-K staff will work closely with you to support all aspects of your child’s development during these important first years of school.
- Video Archive
- Apply Now!
- A Progressive Approach
- Program Overview
- Practical Information
- Families and Community
- Meet Our Pre-K Team
If you would like to enroll your child for the 2018-2019 academic year, admissions are now open. Please check out our Admissions Information page for more information about how to apply. We look forward to hearing from you soon!
A Progressive Approach
Our method of planning and implementing curriculum throughout the year is largely inspired by the well-known Reggio Emilia approach. We focus on creating a stimulating and welcoming educational environment that nourishes children’s curiosity, motivation to learn and interest in social interaction.
We believe in the capabilities of each child and work daily to allow children to reveal their potential. This involves listening to children, reflecting on their interests and allowing the curriculum to emerge as they explore a topic. While teachers set general goals for the class, the children’s ideas are considered as a key aspect of how activities and projects proceed.
If you would like to learn more about the Reggio Emilia approach, please visit www.reggiochildren.it.
Full day Pre-Kindergarten Program for 3 and 4 year-olds:
- Lunch included
- Bus service available
- Large, bright and colorful classrooms
- Child size cots available for rest time
- Appropriate size bathroom facilities
- Field trips and special events enrich the curriculum
Class Schedule 2017-2018
Families and Community
Parent involvement is a welcome and important element of our program. We are happy to invite parents into the classroom for special events, holidays, birthday snacks, cooking activities or to share unique skills and talents. We consider our relationship with families as a partnership and look forward to working together to fully support each child throughout their Pre-K years.
Meet the Elementary School Principal
Ms. Heidi Hanssen
Ms. Heidi Hanssen has been in the field of education for the last seventeen years and served as an elementary school principal for the last twelve years. Ms. Hanssen earned a B.A. degree in Psychology and Education, from St. Olaf College in Minnesota, and began her career teaching middle school in the mountains of Colorado in 1999. In 2003, she earned a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and a principal license through Adams State College in Colorado.
As an elementary school principal, Ms. Hanssen enjoys building relationships with students, colleagues and families. Greeting students each morning, as they arrive at school with their big smiles, is one of the best parts of her day. Developing intervention and enrichment systems to support all students’ academic growth, has been a great source of professional pride. Ms. Hanssen supports the AOSR community in meeting the mission of preparing learners to meet challenges with courage and integrity.
With a love for travel and adventure, Ms. Hanssen and her partner Andy enjoy spending their free time in the outdoors skiing, biking and exploring. Ms. Hanssen is thrilled to be a member of the American Overseas School of Rome community and to reside in Rome
Meet the Pre-K Coordinator
Ms. Amy Magazzu
Originally from Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Amy Magazzu has been living in Italy since 2001.
She received her B.S. from Syracuse University and her M.A. from Tufts University, both in Child Development. Ms. Magazzu also holds an M.Ed. in Special Education from Framingham State University.
She originally came to Italy for a study abroad program in Florence and subsequently spent a semester at the Università di Bologna during her graduate studies. In the United States, Ms. Magazzu worked as a child development specialist in Early Intervention programs for the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts and for the southern New Jersey branch of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. After moving to Italy, Ms. Magazzu worked as a research assistant with the San Raffaele Tosinvest group on a project designed to integrate services for children with disabilities.
In 2004, Ms. Magazzu joined the faculty of AOSR, first as an assistant resource teacher and then as a pre-kindergarten teacher. She has held the position of pre-kindergarten coordinator since 2007 and is passionate about continually improving our child-centered program and classroom facilities to encompass the ideals of the Reggio Emilia approach.
Meet the Faculty
MEd Framingham State College
Diploma di Pianoforte, Conservatorio Roma
Conservatory of Rome
"My name is Ombretta, and I am the mother of Simone. We enrolled our child at AOSR when he was 4 years old. We tried two other English schools before, but the quality found at AOSR was by far superior. The teachers are attentive and collaborative, and the school is immersed in a fantastic setting, guaranteeing more than enough space for sports and outdoor activities. The format offered is excellent, and the teaching programs are well designed. Our experience at AOSR is one I would recommend to anyone."
-Ombretta, mother of Simone
"My son Tal attended the Pre-K class at ASOR for a year and we had a great experience. It was a safe but free environment where Tal was able to experiment and learn through play. I felt that he and all the other children were given individual attention from the teachers. The ratio of teachers to children – especially at such a young age – was a dream come true. Our interactions with the teachers and staff were always positive and friendly.
Tal always looked forward to going to school and was excited to share the things he learned each day. The school was a wonderful balance of structure to make the kids, and parents, feel comfortable, yet enough free for him to explore and challenge himself. I never worried that he would be bored or lonely at school. I knew that he was being taken care of.
The day was filled with a mixture of arts and crafts, play time, music, and learning. The variety of activities and ways that the teachers created to help the children learn astounded me. It was clear that the teachers were well-trained and compassionate. The teacher even went out of her way to learn a few words in each of the languages of the students, which was a huge help to Tal during his first few days.
We loved the fact that he was at the same school as his two older siblings. He got to see them during breaks and celebrations, and it was easy for us as a family to be a part of all of their educational experiences without a headache or hassle.
Although we left Italy after three years, we have nothing but good things to say to our family and friends. When we come back to visit, Tal felt like he never left. I even still keep in touch with some of the teachers. If we had stayed in Italy, there is no doubt in my mind that we would have remained a part of the ASOR community."
-Michal, Mother of Tal
"I had two children participate in AOSR's Pre-K program and they both loved their time there. I appreciated how the teachers always made them feel at home and loved while they were at school. I liked how they were encouraged to learn through many different avenues. They learned through observation, music, hands on experience, teacher instruction and play. I also liked that each year was different, depending on the children in the class and their interests. Some things that my kids enjoyed the most were; music, mindfulness, gardening, field trips, hands on crafting and playing with friends."
-Jennifer, mother of Charlie & JR
"My name is Antonella Scarano, and I am the mother of Anita, who is now 10 years old. Anita started at AOSR when she was 3 years old, and was initially enrolled in the Pre-K program. It was her first experience at school, and my daughter was very happy attending Pre-K at AOSR. The group of children was unified and fun, the teachers were fantastic and focused. Anita learned English through playing and singing. I saw Anita become bit by bit stronger and more secure of herself with the presence of the teachers who stimulated and helped her try new activities like drawing and painting. If I could go back in time, I would still choose AOSR which has made Anita the cheerful and sunny girl she is now. "
-Antonella, mother of Anita
"I am the mother of Lorenzo and Alessandro. My children are 12 and 15, and both have been studying at AOSR since they were 3 years old. The experience of the Pre-K3 and Pre-K4 programs have been wonderful for the whole family. We understand how delicate and difficult the first year of school can be for kids. At AOSR, I never experienced that anxious sensation to leave my children of 3 years old for many hours with a new teacher. The structure offered a wide variety of dynamic activities, recreational activities, as well as spacious indoor and outdoor facilities. Above all, the aspect that really drew me in was the calm atmosphere, the affection, attention, and personalized support the school provides. There are always multiple teachers for the groups of children, and the children are each nurtured to their own specific needs. One of the elements that really convinced me to enroll my children at AOSR, and something I did not find at any of the other schools we visited, is the harmony and tranquillity that you will find in the Pre-K classroom. I never understand how they can be so calm and patient, and I have never heard a teacher raise their voice. Even 10 years later, whenever I stop by the Pre-K classroom, I notice the same patience, affection, and calmness in which the teachers always cared for my own children. I honestly don’t know what I could suggest to improve this school!"
-Teresa, mother of Lorenzo & Alessandro
"The moment in which we must choose a Pre-K program for our children, we find ourselves facing many doubts and fears: everything that is transmitted to our children will be fundamental to their growth. Fortunately, as parents we are very satisfied that we ultimately made the right decision. In fact, from the first open house day, our decision was already made and confirmed.
We have found ourselves with a very competent and professional teaching staff, in an educational space with special initiatives to always keep the wellness and development of our children at the core of the program. The teachers always create an environment for our children which feels as safe as home, where they can laugh, hug, and be reassured everyday. You also can’t forget about the warm and excited welcome they receive every morning from their teachers.
The constant reminder to treat other children with respect, to work in groups, and the encouragement of their creativity and imagination lets them be free to express themselves. They gain the independence and self confidence which undoubtedly helps enhance their potential: this is the heart of the Pre-K program at AOSR.
After 4 years at AOSR, we are extremely pleased because Valentina and Gianluca still return home everyday with a huge smile and with kind and loving words about their time spent at school with their teachers."
-Cristina, mom of Valentina & Gianluca
"Both of my children Angelo and Sofia went to Pre-K for two years at AOSR. The environment is warm and welcoming, as are the teachers that work with children, dedicating to them a lot of attention and care.
Children get to play and learn with and from other children from all over the world and begin hearing and speaking English from the beginning.
I liked that my children were in a school where they were free to explore under the attentive eyes of the teachers. Children are free to learn and play without any religious or social conditioning. My children were exposed to different stimuli and they always went to school happy and never wanted to leave at the end of the school day."
-Cristina, mother of Angelo & Sofia
"I would like to express the gratitude of myself and my husband to the entire Pre-K team at AOSR for how attentive they have been with my daughter. Gae began school at AOSR when she was almost 3 years old. She has been guided towards growth both educationally and emotionally. Our daughter has always been ecstatic to go to school, so much that if she behaves badly, the only thing we can do is tell her she cannot go to school the next day! It has always felt for her like a prize to go to school. It is easy to imagine the peaceful feeling a parent must feel, leaving their child at school to go to work, knowing that their daughter is so happy there. The path towards learning English has been linear and without trauma, like it is the easiest thing in the world!
Our daughter has never had any problems with any fellow students, nor with any of the English mother tongue teachers. Miss Amy has always taken care of the organizational aspects and all of the activity planning, while Ms. Mencarelli, Miss Fiore, and Miss Ranieri have been simply fantastic. Not to mention Mr. Reale who has made our child passionate about music so much that today, at the age of 10, she still takes piano lessons.
As parents we could not have wished for more for her education and schooling. I believe Pre-K was fundamental in the first school experience of a small child for the development in subsequent schooling. Our daughter still goes to school every single day with a smile on her face. It is a pleasure for me to describe the observations I have made. It is my intent to settle any doubts about our school for parents who have to make a decision about which school to choose for their child."
-Francesca, mother of Gae
"All three of our children attended Pre-Kindergarten when we arrived at AOSR. My two daughters Alessandra and Carlotta came together, and then my son Daniel enrolled.
I really loved the freedom in the classes that my children have experienced. They were taught the sense of responsibility and sharing from the beginning. The activity that my children enjoyed particularly, was having the older fourth grade children read books to them once a week.
Through their experiences in preschool they learned to respect how everyone is different and how we all come from different places in the world and still can be friends.
My children developed their creativity through different activities, and when it was time to go to Kindergarten they were ready.
I also liked very much that the parents are involved often in their children’s school life. My children and l still talk about the fun memories that they created in Pre-K with their teachers and friends. I am so happy that my children had the opportunity to go through preschool at AOSR."
-Alessandro & Giovanna, parents of Alessandra, Carlotta, and Daniel
“I am the mother of four children that are all at the moment attending AOSR. Out of four, three of my children attended Pre-K. Adriana is presently enrolled in the Pre-K4 group.
All of my children would come back after the day at school and gladly share what they did and how they spent their day together with their friends and teachers. I was always amazed by how the school day was organized in Pre-K, how many different and creative activities were organized by the teachers, and with what ease my children followed the program even though they had little English language at the beginning. The level of preparation by the teachers I find to be excellent, since they manage to guide the children through the class without having to ever use loud voices and without having to repeat things.
My children have enjoyed their time at school and without tears since day 1. For a parent to see how happily their children go to school at that age is a blessing. I could tell my children enjoyed their day at school because when they would come back home they would continue to sing songs and do the activities that they had learned from school at home. They would ask to paint and create different sculptures using paper and recycled materials.”
-Svetlana, mother of Adriana, Elizaveta, and Fedor
"In 2012 I chose AOSR Pre-K for my daughter Francesca because of the comprehensive educational program offered, including music, art and gymnastics.
Given that Francesca has Down Syndrome, I was especially attracted by the specialist speech and occupational therapy programs offered by the school.
The classroom environment has been consistently nurturing and encouraging and the teaching staff have involved Francesca fully in the life of the class.
Francesca loves being at school and has made wonderful friends. I am thrilled with the way she is learning and developing."
-Vittoria, mother of Francesca