School counselors play a unique and vital role as members of the education team in a school. Their role has significant impact on the students, parents, teachers and support staff they work with. They help all students in the areas of academic achievement, personal/social development, and career development, ensuring that they become productive, well-adjusted members of society.
International School Suva has two qualified school counselors who are available to students and their families. Katherine Passin who works in the primary school and Fenella David who works in the middle and high school. The Primary School Counselor works two days a week (on Mondays and Wednesdays), whilst and the Middle and High School Counselor works full time. The counselors are able to assist with a variety of academic, social and emotional issues related to the school or home environment. These may be issues relating to adjusting to life changes such as moving house or country, changing schools, challenging behaviors, developmental changes and all things associated with this, including, friendships, sexuality, healthy living, managing conflictual relationships or adjusting to changing parent/child relationships.
The counselors offer confidential support to students, parents and support staff. In serious cases, information is disclosed to appropriate people should there be a concern for the safety of the person who comes for counseling or a family member. The counselors work closely with pastoral teachers and Heads of School to ensure students are well supported both academically and socially, during their time at International School Suva.
ISS SCHOOL COUNSELING PROGRAM COMPONENTS
Classroom Guidance helps students understand themselves and others.
Through classroom lessons, school counselors help students develop peer relationships, effective social skills, decision making skills and study skills, effective communications, conflict resolution, coping strategies, and explore safe and healthy choices.
Individual Student Planning helps students set goals.
This is established through close collaboration with teachers and the learning support team. Academic and career plans are set and monitored, so as to allow students to understand their own strengths and weaknesses and to prepare for the transitions.
Responsive Services assist students with particular needs, such as adjusting to a new school, coping with grief following a crisis or a loss, dealing with substance abuse or other risky behaviors. Responsive services are provided through individual and small group counseling, peer facilitation, and consultation and referrals to community professionals trained in mental health and other specialties.
(For MORE information about the school counseling program at ISS- browse the Counseling Services webpages in the Primary, Middle and High School)