Elementary School

It is a pleasure to welcome you and your family to the elementary school at the American Cooperative School of Tunis. We are a diverse community enriched by more than 200 students hailing from approximately 40 different countries. Our division is focused on building a strong foundation of learning, and our skilled and talented staff provide rich learning experiences for students from preschool through Grade 5. Guided by our school mission, faculty members are committed to cultivating a love of learning by “opening doors, hearts, and minds.” Our school’s core values of respect, integrity, grit, curiosity and compassion lay the foundation for creating an ethos within the elementary school that is vibrant, supportive, and inclusive. By addressing students’ social and emotional needs, we are able to create an environment where children feel safe, comfortable, challenged, and engaged.

Core subjects in literacy, math, science, and social studies are complemented by specialized instruction in art, music, PE, and World Language. ACST students are further supported with specialized services in EAL, learning support, and counseling. Understanding the importance of exploration and passion outside of the classroom, our academic program is complemented by a rich variety of arts and sports offerings through our After School Activities program.

Lori Newman
Elementary School Principal

Educational Program

The core educational program includes daily literacy, mathematics, and inquiry. Literacy is taught through a workshop approach that allows students the time to fully engage in authentic reading and writing processes with individualized conferring from teachers. Whole-class read aloud and small-group strategy lessons ensure that students build essential skills, strategies, and habits of mind in both narrative and informational texts. Word study occurs several times per week in each classroom. Mathematics workshop utilizes a conceptual approach that incorporates whole-group mini-lessons and small-group guided practice. Students engage in daily problem-solving activities. Social studies and science units of study are alternated across the year. 

In addition to the core program, students participate in music, art, and physical education classes two times per week with a specialist. World language classes are offered several times per week.

Early Childhood

Pre-kindergarten (PK) at ACST is a play-based program with mixed classes of 3- and 4-year-olds. Each day we provide the students with opportunities to build relationships with others and develop skills through open-ended activities. Being independent and confident are some of our goals in PK. In addition to daily literacy and math, the children have special classes for art, music, PE, and library. 

Student Services

ACST is proud that our students have a wide variety of different cultural and linguistic backgrounds. For our students who are developing English language proficiency, we offer an EAL (English as an Additional Language) program in grades 1 through 5. Our learning support program is able to serve students with mild learning differences and may offer a blend of either push-in class support or pull-out small group instruction. As well, a full time counselor supports the holistic needs of students through a combination of classroom guidance lessons, individual and small group support, and teacher and parent consultation.

Student Leadership

Our student leadership group, the Activators, is made up of students from grades 4 and 5. They model ACST’s core values, bring the student voice to activities such as assemblies, and engage in leadership opportunities by sponsoring a variety of events, including spirit days.

World Language

The elementary offers French instruction at a variety of levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced (which includes instruction for native French speakers). As well, we offer German and Arabic (Modern Standard Arabic) for students who speak these as their native language.

Opening Minds

At ACST, our learning is increasingly based on inquiry, where students take an active, rather than a passive role. Instead of the traditional model of a student as an empty vessel needing to be filled with knowledge, we are moving towards putting the student in the driver’s seat as he or she leads the learning.