The school counseling program is designed to promote academic, future (career), personal, social and global competencies. As an integral part of a schoolwide program, school counseling builds a foundation for learning based on: positive attitudes toward peers, school, and learning; personal responsibility; Social and Emotional Learning (SEL); respect for oneself and others; knowledge and skills for personal and academic growth and development.
Research suggests that school counseling programs improve academic achievement, foster positive attitudes toward school, learning, and future work opportunities, increase acquisition and application of conflict resolution skills, enhance educational and future (career) understanding for transitions, and increase successful graduation potential for students.
How do students benefit from school counseling?
Our counselors help resolve problems that interfere with learning; counsel individuals and groups; conduct classroom guidance activities; facilitate educational activities that help students understand their communal responsibilities; provide opportunities for students to work cooperatively together; consult with school faculty, staff, and community members to assist students in their learning; advocate on students’ behalf; support students with identified learning differences; and offer crisis intervention services and conflict resolution coaching, if/when needed.
What can school counseling do for families?
A positive and friendly relationship between the learning community and families enhances the academic, future (career), and personal/social development of children. Counselors work with families to encourage academic, social, and emotional success and well-being. Our school counselors can, and often do: involve parents and guardians; offer educational classes and workshops; provide referral information about community resources; inform parents and guardians of situations, and/or behaviors that may harm their child and/or that may harm others; obtain parental consent before proceeding with on-going counseling; and protect the privacy of information shared by parents and students.
How are students referred to school counseling?
Students may be referred to the counselor by themselves, their parent and/or guardian, a faculty member, a leadership team member, and/or a friend.
Provision of Services
Families or school faculty and staff can refer students for counseling, or students can ask for counseling themselves. Our focus is to help students understand themselves and the world they live in, and make informed decisions that lead to a better quality of life. There is no extra cost for school-provided counseling services.
It is school policy to obtain written permission for counseling that extends beyond simple consultation. Services may include intake assessment, short-term individual counseling, crisis intervention, group counseling, and referrals as needed. Please see the Parent Permission for Academic and Counseling Support Form.
I understand and acknowledge that…
School counseling services are aimed at the more effective education and socialization of my child within the school community, and his/her emotional well-being.
If necessary, the counselor will make recommendations to the parents/students for further professional assessment and expert review.
These services are not intended as a substitute for psychological counseling, diagnosis, or medication, which are not the responsibility of the school.
It is my responsibility to determine whether additional or different services are necessary and whether to seek them for my child outside of the school’s learning community.
There are a variety of outcomes associated with participation in counseling. Counseling may improve my child’s ability to relate with others, provide a clearer understanding of herself/himself, along with values, goals, and an ability to deal with everyday stress.
Counseling may also lead to unanticipated feelings and/or insights, which might have an impact on my child and her/his relationships.
School counselors will keep information confidential, with the following exceptions. Counselors are required to share information with parents or others under certain circumstances:
The student is presenting a serious danger to self or another person;
There is evidence or disclosure of abuse (physical or sexual) or neglect;
Threats to school security;
Pending criminal or delinquency proceedings.
The counselor will make the child aware of these limits to confidentiality and will inform the child when sharing information with others.
Rights to File Access
Records include copies of signed forms, identifying information, dates of session, an initial treatment plan, progress, and copies of correspondence. Records are stored safely with attention to privacy. Students have a right to request access to their own file, and visit with the counselor about the contents of it. This right may be denied if it is determined that doing so is likely to endanger the life or physical safety of the said child or another person.
Students and families are entitled to ask questions and receive information about methods or techniques used by the counselor and the length of counseling. Students and families are free to seek a second opinion or end counseling at any time.
Theresa Cook (Upper Elementary Counselor, Grades 4–5) was born and raised in Washington State where her initial training in conflict management/mediation occurred as a result of growing up with seven brothers and sisters. After graduating from university, Theresa worked in the mental health field for 15 years counseling children, teenagers, adults and families. She then went back to university to earn a Teaching Certificate and started working in the field of education. She has worked in schools (as a teacher or a counselor) in Washington State, South America and, now, South Korea. She loves working with children and is committed to making a positive difference in their lives! Theresa’s education includes: a BA in Sociology, Eastern Washington State University; M.Ed. Degree in Guidance and Counseling, University of Idaho; Teacher Certification with endorsements in Elementary Education, Psychology, and Sociology, Central Washington University; and Master of Education classes from Buffalo State University of New York.
Anjee Shin (Elementary and Middle School Dorm Counselor, G4–8) joined KISJ as a counselor in 2014. She has worked as a teacher and a counselor for ten years. She worked as a teacher in Munsung Elementary school before earning a degree in Special Education/Educational Psychology. She then worked for several years as a Child Counselor at the Korean American Family Service Center in New York and Samsung Heamil Clinic Center in Gyeonggi Province. She also has experience working in a learning support class at Seocho Middle School. Anjee is a member of the Association of Cognition Learning Rehabilitation and Korean Counseling Association. She helps KISJ students to find their own study style and to overcome challenges arising from language and cultural difference when transferring to an American school. She received her master’s degree in Special Education/ Educational Psychology from a university in New Jersey, and her bachelor’s degree from the Korean University College of Education.
Andrea Martin (Middle School Counselor) was a counselor at a PreK-8 school in Portland, Oregon for eight years prior to joining KISJ in 2015. Andrea has also spent years working with youth in the American Juvenile Justice system. She has experience working with restorative justice systems as well as conflict resolution. Andrea obtained her Master’s in Counseling Psychology from Chatham University and is currently working towards a Master’s level certification in Inter-personal Neurobiology at Portland State University. She also has experience leading workshops on youth brain development.