As Shanghai SMIC Private School counselors, we are passionate advocates who exemplify compassion, empathy, and support for all students. We promote students’ academic, social-emotional, and future planning growth through services that ranges from class lessons to individual counseling. The focus of the counseling program aligns with the Expected School-Wide Learning Results (ESLRs), where students are prepared to be Healthy Individuals, Motivated Learners, Persons of Character, and Global Citizens.
SMIC counselors are members of the International School Counselor Association (ISCA), a professional organization, which provides leadership and advocacy for the profession of school counseling in International Schools, and the International Association for College Admissions Counseling (IACAC), the world’s premiere organization for professionals engaged in international college counseling and admissions. Personal counseling support is provided based on individual student need in partnership with students, families, faculty, and the Academic Office. For individual one-on-one counseling, we ensure the mental, emotional, physical safety, and well-being for all students. Students can speak to counselors about topics or situations in a confidential, non-judgmental manner to ensure the best interest of all our students.
SMIC fully embraces its responsibilities inherent in child protection and safeguarding the needs and welfare of our students. Furthermore, our school recognizes that the welfare of our students is paramount and that all children regardless of age, gender, ability, culture, race, language, or sexual identity have equal rights to protection.
We will endeavor to protect students from abuse or risk of abuse. Abuse can fall under the following four headings: neglect, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and physical abuse. All members of staff are expected to be vigilant and report concerns immediately to the Child Protection Office (a designated member of the Counseling Office). Students are encouraged to report to staff any type of bullying or abuse they may be aware of. Students and parents should also be aware that confidentiality cannot be guaranteed if it compromises the student’s or their family’s safety. We value the safety and protection of each and every one of our students unconditionally.
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (ES) HIGHLIGHTS
The start of each quarter is celebrated through the whole grade level Character Counts Assembly, where students are given the opportunity to delve into the ESLR focus of the quarter with the counselor. Weekly character classes for students’ social-emotional learning are developed through a collaboration between the ES counselor and each grade-level character class coordinator. Small group counseling and individual counseling with solution-focused techniques occur throughout the school year based on students’ needs. Popular topics addressed in counseling sessions are: building resiliency, healthy friendships, stress management, conflict resolution, goal setting, and many more. In collaboration with our middle school, we launched our Big Brother Big Sister Program, a school-based mentoring program focusing on supporting the development of emotionally and academically healthy ES students by addressing their need for positive MS mentor student contact.
MIDDLE SCHOOL (MS) HIGHLIGHTS
With our innovative Advisory Program, we empower the students to express their views on a variety of life skills topics such as: goal setting, communication, stress management, friendship skills, conflict resolution, self-care, decision making and problem-solving skills, diversity, digital citizenship, and more. In Advisory, we also encourage continuous positive rapport building with students and their teachers or advisors.
Students who are struggling academically with a final grade of either two Ds or one F in a core subject (ELA, math, social studies, science, foreign language or yuwen) are automatically enrolled in the Academic Recovery Program. If any student received these grades from the previous quarter, they will be required to attend the program for the current quarter. The overarching goals of the program include:
- To encourage students to complete their homework or project assignments in school during their study halls in a smaller supportive environment without distractions
- To promote positive study habits to assist students with academic success
- To support students in passing their classes, rather than have failing grades
- To inspire and foster intrinsic motivation to be more conscientious in their studies
Students enrolled in this program will attend during their study hall period in the Counseling Office conference room (for groups of 6 or less) and for larger groups go to an assigned classroom, with MS counselor supervision. Students will work on any homework assignments or projects, as the counselor monitors their progress and ensures they remain focused and concentrate. The counselor will also conduct one-on-one individual counseling to review students’ previous quarter grades and set goals on how to improve their current quarter grades. If students pass their class, recognition will be accorded to students via for “Certificate of Enhanced Merit,” in addition to them no longer being on academic probation.
HIGH SCHOOL (HS) HIGHLIGHTS
College counseling services are provided on a walk-in or appointment basis, allowing students to receive highly individualized, tailored post-graduation planning and preparation advice. Other guidance also includes: resume writing and marketability, test coordination for ACT/SAT, researching college and program options, applying to colleges/universities, writing college essays, asking for letters of recommendation, interviews, independent living, and employability skills.
Students in grades 9-12 are enrolled in Life Skills courses with topics related to acclimating and acculturating to life as a college student abroad, as well as deeper discussions about the topics above. College representatives are routinely scheduled to meet with students virtually during Life Skills class time.