Student Support Services
The Student Support Services Team exists to support students through their educational career at the Dresden International School. We provide counseling, special educational services, and English as a second language support to students identified as having specific needs. Our goal is to assure that all students are able to achieve their highest level of success at our school.
The counseling department aims to support all students through their education at DIS by addressing personal, social, academic, and career skills needed to achieve success while at DIS and beyond. This aim will be realized by providing a confidential and safe environment for students to receive individual and group counseling, referring students to outside resources when needed and available, advocating for students' well being, developing programs to support the healthy transition of students to and from DIS, educating students about career and college opportunities, assisting in the teaching and implementation of a school wide guidance and pastoral program, providing support and assistance to parents, and fostering a school community that is educated about the students' emotional and social needs.
Special Education Needs
DIS recognizes that students with learning differences need support in gaining the skills and knowledge necessary to access the school curriculum at an age appropriate level. Students who enter school with a diagnosis or who are referred by parents or staff members will receive a learning support plan that is developed in collaboration with parents, the student, teachers, and outside professionals. Within the limits of financial and staffing resources, DIS can offer students who have been diagnosed with specific learning disabilities, physical and sensory differences, and mild developmental disorders support in one or more of the following models: in-class support and accommodations, small group direct instruction, and pull-out intervention.
More information on Learning Support Services to find here: Learning support in MYP and DP.
English as a second Language
The ESL program exists to ensure that students arriving at the school with limited or no experience of English are supported during their acquisition of English. The aim of the program is to develop the students' knowledge of social and academic English to the level at which they are able to participate in all aspects of the life of the school, to access the curriculum and to achieve their potential. All new students arriving with linguistic backgrounds fitting the above profile are offered a program of instruction of English appropriate to their age and needs.
DIS Counseling Programming and Practices
The counseling program at the Dresden International School focuses on five areas:
- Personal Counseling
- Guidance Programs
- Academic Counseling
- University and Career Counseling
- Transitions Counseling
Personal Counseling is for students who are having difficulty coping with their personal and social lives. Personal counseling focuses on helping students gain the skills and confidence necessary to handle their difficulties.
Guidance Programs are designed to offer students guidance in the classroom setting in personal, social, health and academic topics. These programs focus on educating and building skills through group and classroom lessons.
Academic Counseling focuses on promotion of school success. Students work with counselors to increase organizational skills, peer relations and approaches to learning.
University and Career Counseling are offered to help students prepare for, choose, and apply to post-secondary education. Exploration of skills and career choices is an important part of this counseling process.
Transitions Counseling is available to support incoming families as they transition in and out of intercultural settings. Transitions programming also includes transition from the Primary Years Program into the Middle Years Program, and from the Middle Years Program into the Diploma Program.
The Role of the School Counselor
The counselor offers information, consultation, and support to the school community as well as individual and group counseling for students and families. The counselor implements a comprehensive school counseling program that promotes and enhances student learning and achievement.
The counselor is available for consultation to teachers and parents as well as assisting in accessing services in the community. The counselor also works with teachers to increase the overall well being of students in the school by educating about social, emotional and psychological health and creating transition programs for incoming and leaving students.
Parents and teachers may request a consultation with the counselor about a specific student or classroom issue. Parents may choose to contact the counselor about:
- Major changes in the family such as a move, illness, death, divorce, or family crisis
- Family difficulties or concerns
- Concern for their child's wellbeing
- To discuss a child's special needs
- To consult regarding community agencies and referrals
Personal Health Education (PHE)
The PHE course is an extension of the MYP Physical Education program. The PHE curriculum expands upon the health and social components of the Physical Education and Science curriculums and focuses on mental health, stress and anger management, drugs/alcohol, self-image, and personal responsibility.
As an integral part of the PHE team, the counselor provides instruction and assistance with these units. This visibility and interaction establishes a rapport with students and breaks down the stigma associated with going to see the counselor.
Career and College Counseling
In collaboration with MYP and DP teachers, the counselor organizes PSAT and ACT Prep Workshops in September and October, with follow-up sessions for individual tutoring and support. DIS is also an authorized test center for the ACT, holding three test sessions per school year. The DP Director of Studies and the counselor work together with MYP and DP students in college counseling, application forms and essays, and financial aid information where needed. The initial process of Career Exploration is offered to both Grades 9 and 10 through administration of the Step One Career Inventory and in grade appropriate guidance lessons. In addition, the counselor also organizes the Career Centre library (located in the counseling office), which offers a variety of additional resources around career and college counseling
As an International School, we have a mobile community. The process of changing schools and countries can be very overwhelming, and students, staff and families can encounter culture shock, language barriers and feelings of isolation. To better assist our students in this process, the Counseling Department also provides services which help students' transitions into and out of our school. This includes a new student and parent orientation, an ambassadors program in the secondary school, a parent orientation in the primary and secondary school and exit counseling available for all students. Providing time for reflection, opportunities to say goodbye, and a chance to look ahead is important in creating a positive and healthy transition. Parents are encouraged to contact the counselors for more information on transitions and culture shock, or if they feel their child is experiencing difficulty transitioning into or out of DIS. Transitions Programs also include support for students and families who stay behind and may require support in adjusting to the loss of friends and support systems as other students' families move on.
Due to the very unique nature of each stage of DIS educational programming, transitions services additionally include support and services with the changing expectations, requirements and responsibilities within school programs. Transitions programming in this area includes moving from the Primary Years Program into the Middle Years Program and from the Middle Years Program into the Diploma Program.