American School of Paris
|American School of Paris|
"At the forefront of international education"
|41, Rue Pasteur, 92210 Saint-Cloud
|Head of school||Mark E. Ulfers|
|Grades||Pre-K - 13|
The American School of Paris (ASP) is a private, coeducational day school located in Saint-Cloud, a suburb of Paris, France. It was founded in 1946 shortly after the end of World War II by the combined efforts of the American Embassy and the American Express Company. It is the oldest American school in Europe. The student body represents over 60 nations with English as the primary language of instruction.
ASP was the first International School established in Europe and remains the only American School in France.
Founded in 1946 to school the children of those who arrived in Paris in the pioneering aftermath of the Second World War, ASP has remained true to its founding mission and continues today to provide a high quality education delivered in English to the children of diplomatic and corporate families. From 1959 and 1967, the ASP was located in Louveciennes, a suburb of Paris, between Saint Germain en Laye and Versailles. The Elementary School was in a series of trailer homes west of Rue de la Machine, nearby the Middle School in a French manor house, and the High School was in a famous French courtesan/king's mistress Madame Du Barry's house. History of the DuBarry Mansion (see Claude Nicolas Ledoux): When it was acquired in 1923 by the perfumer François Coty from the politician and industrial Louis Loucheur, the house was found to be subject to a grave disorder because of the sinking slope on which it was built. François Coty called upon the architect Charles Mewès (1860–1914) to displace it several meters. This radical solution saved the building from erosion of the slope, which would have entirely destroyed it within the next few years. The move was accompanied by profound transformations: the mansard roof was converted into an attic sheltering five bedrooms, while vast dependences were created in the basement to arrange a perfume laboratory, an electric generator, kitchens and a swimming pool.
In 1959, the house was bought by the American School of Paris, which then settled there. In cleaning the building some Nazi materials were found. The story was that while the Germans occupied the building in World War II, the French Resistance was active in the tunnels of the old stone quarries under the building. These quarries had provided some of the stone used to build Paris. The school wanted to expand by putting up new buildings but the underlying tunnels made the ground unstable. In 1967, the school moved to its current location in St. Cloud, a former American armed forces school campus. Many improvements have been made since.
In April 2006, a flash flood devastated a large portion of the St. Cloud school campus and ravaged several classrooms and facilities. In the wake of the flood, a new capital campaign was launched to completely renovate and upgrade these facilities, culminating with the reopening of a refurbished Lower School and a state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center.
Once the site of Paris American High School, a Department of Defense run school, ASP's campus covers a total area of 10 acres (40,000 m2) and is situated at the southern end of Saint-Cloud, a few kilometers from the center of Paris. In terms of acreage, ASP is one of the largest international schools in the Paris region.
In addition to the Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School sections, ASP's campus houses a number of student facilities in multiple buildings. Many of these have recently been partially or entirely renovated, including one of the two large gymnasiums as well as the Performing Arts Center. Other facilities available on the ASP campus for all students to use are:
- Two libraries, both with comprehensive media resources
- Four computer/IT labs
- A well-equipped physical training center
- Two gyms
- A soccer/European football field
- Two basketball courts
- A baseball/softball diamond
- Nine newly renovated science labs
- An Upper School language lab
- Extensive visual arts facilities
- An outdoor nature research area, fitted with a pond in 2009
- Two cafeterias
- A senior lounge
The Upper School offers education to over 350 students from almost 50 countries. ASP, a college preparatory school, offers the American High School Diploma, Advanced Placement and, as an IB World School, has been offering the International Baccalaureate for more than 30 years. In addition to IB and AP classes, ASP offers a variety of elective options and athletic programs.
ASP is organized into three divisions ensuring developmental and age-appropriate settings for students: Lower School (4-10 Yrs), Middle School (11-13 Yrs) and Upper School (14-18 Yrs).
42% of the student population is American, but its students come from nearly 60 countries with 8% from France. More than 95% of students are children of diplomatic or corporate families. ASP accepts students with no knowledge of English until the age of 8 and has extensive support programs for English language learning and other support services from Kindergarten through Grade 12.
In addition, its Extension Program provides English language programs for more than 2,000 local French children each year.
ASP is accredited by the Middle Schools Association and the Council of International Schools. ASP is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools, the European Council of International Schools, the Mediterranean Association of international schools, and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.
The school is registered as an Association Loi 1901 (Not-For-Profit) organization in France. It is governed by a board of trustees, made up of members of the school community and the Head of School.
ASP boasts a wide variety of extracurricular activities for students in the Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School alike. The Upper School alone offers dozens of afterschool activities, lunch clubs, and charity initiatives. Many are entirely student-run. Student groups and activities at ASP include:
- Student Council
- National Honor Society
- Model United Nations, affiliated with the Paris Model United Nations (PAMUN) conference held annually at the UNESCO building
- Habitat for Humanity
- Amnesty International
- Global Issues Network
- The Filmmakers' Society
- Romanian's Children Relief Club
- India Club
- Kenya Club
- Kids Home Club
- Helping Hands Club
- Green Team (a student service club dedicated to spreading environmental awareness in the community)
- Jazz Band
- Honor Choir
- A cappella choir (nicknamed the "Trebels")
- String Ensemble
- Drama/musical productions
- INK (literary magazine)
- ASPire (school newspaper)
- Lower School Girl Scouts
- Tutoring Club
- App Programming Club, or "Mocha Club"
In addition to numerous extracurricular activities, ASP also offers an exceptionally strong athletics program. The school campus features two large gymnasiums, a soccer field, a softball pitch, two basketball courts, and a well-equipped physical training center.
Throughout the year, Middle School and Upper School students may participate in a range of diverse sports on a Varsity or Junior Varsity level. At the end of every season, they may also have the opportunity to participate in the International Schools Sports Tournaments (ISSTs), hosted in various European cities.
The mascot for all athletic teams in ASP is the rebel; hence, the school's sports teams are referred to as the ASP Rebels. Among the sports offered at ASP are:
- Cross Country
- Track and Field
- Eva Green, actress featured in Casino Royale
- James L. Jones, the former U.S. National Security Advisor under President Obama
- Les Irrésistibles, hit pop band of the 1960s and 1970s
- Charles Martinet, voice actor of Mario, the star of Nintendo's flagship video game franchise.
- Christiaan Bailey, professional surfer/skateboarder and holder of several world records in big wave surfing.