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Counseling and Guidance Program

In an international setting where cultural sensitivity, transition issues and family support are of particular importance, the K-12 counseling and guidance program provides services, support and resources for students, parents, faculty/staff and administrators that facilitate the development of student's academic, personal and social skills. ASIJ offers a K-12 guidance and counseling program with two counselors in the Elementary School, two in the Middle School and four in the High School.

Elementary School

Elementary guidance and counseling at ASIJ is made up of three major components:

Classroom Guidance
A child's physical, social and emotional growth is explored as students participate in discussions, role-plays, group activities, read-alouds and games. Students build personal skills or assets with a focus on making healthy choices.

Parent Education and Support
Parents play a vital role in supporting the emotional health and well-being of their children. Counselors look forward to working with parents closely, and encourage parents to make individual appointments with a counselor for additional support.

Individual and Small Group Counseling
Students may be referred to a counselor by parents, teachers, administrators and through self-referral. Friendships and transition/adjustment issues make up a majority of the referrals at the Elementary level. Parents will be contacted if it is felt a student needs the support of regular meetings with the counselor.

Middle School

The ASIJ Middle School counselors work with students in grades 6 through 8 providing academic, social and emotional support. We work in partnership with teachers, parents and administration to support our students in having a successful and positive school experience. Early adolescence is a time of physical, emotional, intellectual and social growth, during which time young people are continually faced with challenges and decisions. The MS Counselors strive to enable our students to develop positive social and interpersonal skills, healthy relationships, respect, tolerance and self-awareness along with decision-making skills.

Counselors meet with students individually and in small groups, as well as in some classroom settings. We meet regularly with teachers and administrators regarding student concerns, and help to coordinate a team approach in supporting student success. Middle school counselors work to promote cultural sensitivity. Much of our work is in support of students who are dealing with transitional issues on many levels, whether it be normal early adolescent development, transition between school divisions, or an overseas move. A student can easily see either one of the counselors by coming to the office, or sending a note by e-mail requesting an appointment. Providing support for parents is also integral to our work. We are available to meet confidentially in person or by telephone. We maintain an open-door policy for both students and parents. Counselors also provide parent education through our work with the principals at our Parent Focus meetings.

The counselors also train students who volunteer to be Peer Helpers. They supervise and coordinate the Peer Helper activities and fund-raisers. In addition, the counselors coordinate Middle School Helpers, a cross-divisional elective for 7th and 8th grade MS students to volunteer in the ES classrooms. Our counselors participate in the Middle School Extended Campus trips. These activities provide the opportunity for getting to know our students in a more informal setting.

High School

Counseling services at ASIJ are designed to help students become aware of their abilities, aptitudes and interests through individual conferences, standardized testing and group meetings. Counselors are available during the school day to discuss problems of a personal nature, the selection of a course of study, college entrance requirements, future career plans or other matters of concern. If a student is experiencing difficulty, the guidance counselor will work with teachers, parents and the student to identify the problem and seek appropriate action. Students may be assigned to specific Resource Centers or to the learning support teacher for varying amounts of their non-class time. Parent, student and teacher conferences are held regularly, and in some cases referrals are made to outside resource personnel. Counselors, like teachers, try to keep close track of their students.

The high school counselors think of post-secondary counseling as a major part of the learning process which involves personal reflection, self-discovery and informed decision making. It is also an important time for parents as they learn to slowly let go while continuing to provide support. Students are encouraged to direct their own search in partnership with their parents and counselor.

Our ultimate goal is to help formulate a plan that addresses the needs of every student, including those who may choose a gap year or other path. We believe that the success of college placement is measured by finding the place where each student will thrive, rather than on creating a list generated only by prestige or popularity. For us, the "good university" is the place that is an appropriate fit for each of our unique students.

Numerous visits by college recruiters, college fairs, tests, parent/student information evenings and many individually scheduled counselor conferences ensure that, in their final year, Grade 12 students are kept very busy during the college counseling process. Although counselors are normally the primary source of information on appropriate colleges, numerous other resources, including college review books, individual college catalogs, college videos and college search computer software, are readily available at the School. The ASIJ Counseling Office utilizes Naviance's Family Connection during the college search and application process giving students and parents online access to their admissions progress.

 

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