Alto International Preschool

“Play is the highest form of research.” – Albert Einstein

What We Offer
The Alto preschool program is based on the following research-based principles:
  • A whole-child approach. At Alto, we take a holistic approach to helping children grow and thrive. We aim to help children lay the foundations of strong, flexible, and meaningful lives.
  • In-depth inquiry. Children develop new understandings and competencies through hands-on experiences and invitations to discuss and reflect. Four units of inquiry — such as machines, ecosystems, or music—are each several weeks long and often feature special projects and events.
  • Extended play. In play, children deepen interpersonal relationships, make connections between ideas, and “try on” new roles and experiences. Longer free play periods give children time to explore and master activities, adding complexity and variation as they go. Such self-regulated activity boosts children’s engagement and attention spans.
  • Communication skills for global citizens. Children from all language backgrounds gain confidence and communication skills with German-immersive instruction. Guided by core values, Alto preschoolers practice inclusion and conflict resolution.
  • Daily and yearly rhythms. Children’s days begin and end with the ritual of circle time’s music and activities. Play times are designed to allow students to move freely between indoor and outdoor play. Weekly activities (like library days and extracurriculars) and seasonal events (like November’s St. Martin’s Day lantern parade) give children a sense of rootedness and community.
What We Do
A thoughtful daily curriculum organized around units of inquiry promotes integrated and holistic learning and growth through hands-on activities including arts and crafts, construction, play-acting, experiments, math, cooking, and pet care activities.

The preschool program at Alto provides

  • Small, developmentally appropriate classes that are mixed-age, play-based, and led by 2 or 3 highly qualified German speaking teachers
  • A balance between structured inquiry-based learning and self-directed activities
  • Daily lessons in responsibility and leadership through activities like feeding the preschool animals or leading clean-up after playtime
  • Creative, hands-on activities including construction, cooking, and experiments
  • Attention to development of social skills, fine and gross motor skills as well as emotional, and cognitive, and social skills
  • Music, arts, crafts, drama, and movement
  • Developmentally appropriate science, math, and pre-literacy activities
  • Extracurricular arts, culture, science, and sports options
  • Regular time in the school library as well as family access to German-language books, audiobooks, and other resources
  • Field trips relating to the current unit, such as outings to see performances, visit the post office, farms or the fire station

Information for new families

Preschool runs from 8:30 a.m. until 1:45 p.m., and children can stay after in German-immersive, play-based care until as late as 6:00 p.m. Families can choose from 2-day, 3-day, or 5-day options. Children who are potty-trained can begin at Alto at 2 years, 9 months.

Tracks Offered

German Track English Track