Academic Overview

The first step in a lifelong love of learning begins in Preschool. The Early Childhood Center at ASF is designed to help the child develop the social skills necessary for group play, to learn how to navigate the classroom environment and to begin the process of independent problem solving.  Exploration, free and creative play, is intertwined within the curriculum helping our students to develop the desire to learn.  Due to the fact that the preschool years have such a broad developmental range, we strive to meet the needs of each child in our program academically as well as socially and emotionally.

Learning happens when experiences are built on what a child already knows and can do, and when a child is encouraged to stretch toward a new level of achievement. Students practice social skills that are embedded in the curriculum through direct teaching, play-based engagements and continuous assessment practices. They learn to make choices and as a result take ownership of their learning.

The ASF Early Childhood Center is an English-immersion program which follows the IB Primary Years Programme. Meaningful, integrated and in-depth lessons and engagements in math and literacy lay a strong foundation for future learning. Children participate in music, art, physical education and hands-on science classes. A kitchen program rounds out the curriculum.

Whether it is a field trip to a farm or a fire station, a science experiment about plant life, chopping and cutting vegetables for a healthy salad or finger painting their feelings, ECC students are always actively learning about the world around them, emotions, family and life. Children learn to be caring and empathetic when they become involved in community service projects and learn about sustainability when they reduce, reuse and recycle materials.



Head of ECC

Erin Trautman has been part of ASF for over 24 years. She has served in the Services for Academic Success division, the ECC Literacy Interventionist, and the LS Dean of Students.

Her educational background includes a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and Early Childhood from Ohio University, a Master’s in Reading and Learning Disabilities from DePaul University and a second Master’s Degree in International Education Administration from Endicott College.  She is also the proud mother of two ASF graduates.


Erin Trautman

Meet the ECC team

academic dean

Kristal Rice

Dean of students

Vail Hilbert


Ari Weingarten


activities specialist

Lilia Vargas