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 and staff that facilitate the development of student’s academic, personal and social skills.
Four counselors support students at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. All counselors provide responsive services, individual planning, and systems support to their respective age groups.
Elementary School Counseling
In the Elementary School, the counseling program is made up of three major components: Classroom guidance, parent education and support, and individual and group counseling. In the regularly-scheduled classroom guidance lessons, 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 interpersonal skills with a focus on making healthy, safe, and respectful choices. Empathy building, problem-solving, and emotional management are among the many topics covered in the guidance lessons.
There are two counselors at the elementary level. One counselor is responsible for students in KP through grade 3, and the other has students in grades 4 and 5. The latter counselor also serves students in grade 6, which is the first year of middle school. This allows the counselor to follow the 5th graders to middle school, thus easing the transition. The counselor works with the 5th and 6th grade teachers to provide a transition information evening as well as shadow days for the incoming 6th graders.
Parents, of course, 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. Appointments can be made through our counseling secretaries. In addition, the elementary counselors facilitate a Love and Logic parenting class each school year.
Students may be referred to a counselor by parents, teachers, and/or administrators and through self-referral. Friendships, social skills, anxiety, and transition/adjustment issues are all examples of topics that the counselors can help students with. New students can look forward to having lunch with their counselor and also having a “buddy” assigned to help them feel comfortable during the initial days of school.
Middle School Counseling
At the middle school level, counselors work with students providing academic, social, and emotional support. 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 middle school counselors strive to enable their students to develop positive social and interpersonal skills, healthy relationships, 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. They meet regularly with teachers and administrators regarding student concerns, and help to coordinate a team approach in supporting student success. Middle school counselors promote cultural sensitivity, and also support students who are dealing with transitional issues on many levels. These include normal adolescent development, the transition between middle and high school, and overseas transitions. The middle school counselor serves students in grades 7, 8 & 9, thus being able to loop up to the high school with the 8th graders. Transition information nights are also coordinated through the middle school counselor.
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, and encourage our parents to make an appointment with the counseling secretaries should you desire an appointment.
High School Counseling
Counseling services at the high school 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 student college entrance requirements, future career plans or other matters of concern. If a student is experiencing difficulty, the counselor will work with teachers, parents and the student to identify the problem and seek appropriate action. Parent, student, teacher conferences are held when necessary, and in some cases, referrals are made to outside resources. Again, parents are welcome to make an appointment to see a counselor through the high school counseling secretary.
Counselors, like teachers, try to keep close track of their students. The post-secondary counseling is 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.
Numerous visits by college recruiters, college fairs, test, 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. The MKIS Counseling office utilizes Naviance during the college search and application process, giving students and parents online access to their admission progress.
Please know that the counselors at MKIS are a welcoming, friendly team who look forward to serving you throughout the school year.