About the Lower School

Children are naturally curious about their surroundings. They have an interest in exploring and investigating to see how things work and why things happen. Children have an innate sense of wonder and a natural desire for inquiry. Our approach in the Lower School builds upon children's natural inclinations to create rich learning experiences.


Welcome to the Lower School at the American International School of Zagreb, where children begin their journey toward becoming joyful, lifelong learners. Since our founding in 1966, the AISZ community has worked together to educate children in an environment that challenges and inspires.

I am so excited to be a member of the AISZ community at such a crucial juncture in the school’s history as we explore the possibilities of what education can be and create a concept school for the future. In developing the AISZ Learning Ecosystem, we’ve framed our work within the three main pillars of the Common Ground Collaborative: conceptual learning, competency learning, and character learning. By incorporating inquiry-based methodologies and an integrated approach, our commitment to innovative education comes to life.

In the Lower School, our talented faculty and staff are passionate about creating authentic learning experiences that are child-centered and personalized. We believe that children learn best when they feel challenged, encouraged and nurtured. Guided by what research tells us are best practices, we prepare students through a rigorous, inquiry-based academic program from Pre-Kindergarten for three-year-olds through Grade 5.

At the foundation of our program are the core academic disciplines of literacy, numeracy, science and social studies. In addition to these areas, we believe that art, counseling, music, and physical education are vital to educating the whole child. We also embrace the well-known benefits of language learning by providing instruction in Croatian and a family’s choice of French or German.

As an educator and as a parent, I believe in the power of inculcating in our children a sense of responsibility for the world around us and for each other; it is their leadership and stewardship that will shape the future.  Now more than ever we have a responsibility to educate and develop the global citizens of tomorrow. With our community’s international outlook and rich, cultural diversity, we are well-positioned to prepare our children for this role. I look forward to partnering with you on this journey.

tamara black family

Lower School Supply List

Dear Parents of Lower School students,

For those returning students the list below will be familiar. For all students new to AISZ Lower School, this list contains the school supplies requested by the homeroom teachers. Most all of these items will be available for purchase in local stores. Please contact any Lower School classroom teacher if you are having problems locating these items.

Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten and Grade 1 Students    

  • Box of tissues
  • Inside shoes/slippers
  • Supplies will be discussed with children and parents during the first week of school in August.

Grade 2 to Grade 5 Students

  • Pencil sharpener with shavings holder
  • Standard Pencils (3) and Pens (one of each: blue, red, black)
  • Eraser
  • Glue stick
  • Folders (5 different colors)
  • Colored Pencils
  • Box of tissues
  • Inside shoes/slippers

It would be helpful if students could come to school with the above supplies within the first 2-3 days of school, but we understand that this may be difficult, especially for those families that move to Zagreb very close to the start of the year. It should also be noted that within the first few days, specialist teachers might have additional requests for supplies. They will, of course, give appropriate time for students to purchase them.

Pre-K and Kindergarten Curriculum

At AISZ, we offer full-day programs of Pre-Kindergarten for three and four-year-olds and Kindergarten for five-year-olds. The program is inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to early learning, and the curriculum capitalizes on children's natural curiosity and their desire to make sense of their environment.

Grades 1-5 Curriculum

At the foundation of our program are the core academic disciplines of literacy, numeracy, science and social studies. In addition to these areas, we believe that art, counseling, music, and physical education are vital to educating the whole child. We also embrace the well-known benefits of language learning by providing instruction in Croatian and a family's choice of French or German.

Counseling and Guidance

Counseling at AISZ takes a three-pronged approach in that not only is emotional support available to students but also to the care takers of children, the parents and the teachers. The philosophy behind the counseling of students at AISZ is that the emotional needs of children go hand in hand with the academic needs.

Enrollment requirements

The following enrollment requirements are adhered to:

  • Pre-Kindergarten students must be three or four years of age by September 1. Priority will be given to students who are four years old.
  • Kindergarten students must be five years of age by September 1.

Students moving from a Southern Hemisphere school will continue at AISZ in the same grade. For example, if a student finishes Grade 4 in Argentina in December, that student will complete the school year in Grade 4 at AISZ from January to June.

English as an Additional Language

In the Lower School all children whose mother tongue is not English are tested upon entry to AISZ. The language assessments help to determine the appropriate placement in the EAL program and classroom. On-going assessments are used to determine the language support needed to help children access grade level content, as well as when their English language proficiency is adequate for exiting the EAL program.

How to apply

Contact Admission Officer and make an appointment

To begin the application process families should contact the Admissions Officer. Where possible, the applicant and his or her family should make an appointment for an interview and tour of the school campus. Such a visit is most informative and often helps to reduce anxiety and answer questions about the family’s transfer to a new location.

Complete the Application forms

Complete the application forms and submit school records for the last two years. An official English translation of the records is required before acceptance. These documents should be returned to AISZ as soon as possible to facilitate a decision by the school administration and ensure that ample notification of this decision is given to you.

Assessment of applicant's level of English and/or Math

If there are questions about, for example, the applicant’s level of English or differences in the educational systems, the student and parents will be invited to come in for an interview and assessment (language, math, etc.). When possible, a student applying to middle or high school will be invited to be a visitor for one or two days in order for the school to gather data through observation.

Students who are non-native English speakers, or do not come from a school where the language of instruction is English will be given an ESL and/or placement test to assess their level of English and/or mathematics. At the elementary school levels, these tests do not affect the admission decision. All high school students will be given an English and a Math placement test, and the results of these assessments may affect the admission decision.

Payment of non-refundable Admission Fee

Students eligible for admission according to the above standards will receive an acceptance letter and must pay a non-refundable Admission Fee before their names will be placed on the class list.

Financial Assistance

The American International School of Zagreb (AISZ) offers a tuition reduction program to families in need of financial assistance (FA). Families in grades 1-12 are eligible to apply for tuition reduction.

Virtual Learning Plan

As of March 13th AISZ is implementing its Virtual Learning Plan as a preventative measure against Covid-19.

This will be in place until further notice.