Reporting to the Upper School Principal, the Upper School Counselor works closely with the respective administrative team to support the social and emotional well-being of students, parents and faculty. The Upper School Counselor, in coordination with Upper School administration, will work to create a safe and welcoming environment for all students and to be a resource for short-term psycho-emotional counseling, support and education for the WIS community. Utilizing leadership, advocacy and collaboration, the Upper School Counselor promotes student success, provides preventive services and delivers a comprehensive school counseling program for all students.
Duties and Responsibilities
Create and establish an atmosphere of trust and build rapport with students by being visible and connecting with students in numerous and varied situations.
Provide individual and/or small group counseling as needed.
Participate in meetings to discuss a student’s educational needs and recommend interventions and solutions with the administration, the Student Support Team and faculty.
Assist students in crisis counseling on a short-term basis and make appropriate referrals as necessary.
Communicate with parents in a timely fashion regarding the well-being of the student.
Teach a human growth and development course which focuses on establishing a core of social and emotional competencies.
Execute distance education when directed and needed to include alternative teaching and learning delivery methods: develop online courses reflecting best practices, provide student support to include alternative assignments and assessments, collaborate with colleagues, supervisors, and students online to build a connected and positive learning environment.
Coordinate with faculty on lessons concerning student personal and emotional development; work with faculty on managing and fostering students’ social-emotional development.
Present to faculty, parents and/or students on strategies and interventions related to social and emotional growth and development.
Communicate with administrative and staff colleagues in other divisions to ensure a continuity of student support services.
Maintain proper and confidential student records.
Maintain an extensive list of professional services to share with the division community as well as to facilitate appropriate referrals.
Serve as an ongoing liaison between the School and outside professionals and services.
Promote a positive climate among students, staff and community.
At least 5 or more years of relevant counseling and teaching experience. Experience working in an IB school preferred.
Passion for WIS’s mission
Strong communication skills, a sense of humor, humility, and empathy
Commitment to diversity and inclusion
Previous experience at an international school and/or cultural fluency derived from international experience is a plus
About Washington International School
Founded in 1966, Washington International School is a private, non-profit, Preschool-12 school profoundly committed to its mission: to be an exemplary learning community—enriched by differences, informed through inquiry, global in reach. Serving its full community of 900 plus students on two campuses, the school is multinational, multicultural, and multilingual.
The school’s challenging international program draws on classroom-based research on pedagogical practices and curriculum design from renowned organizations such as the International Baccalaureate (IB) and Project Zero, based in the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. From Preschool through Grade 5 students follow the inquiry-based IB Primary Years Program; in Grades 6-10 they continue with a multidisciplinary and inquiry-based approach designed to enhance understanding and develop the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the prestigious IB Diploma Program (DP). All students in Grades 11 and 12 are enrolled in the DP, which prepares them to take exams to receive the International Baccalaureate Diploma in addition to a WIS diploma. IB Diploma results are well above the worldwide pass rate, and WIS gra...duates attend highly selective colleges and universities in both the United States (about two-thirds in a typical year) and abroad.
Commitment to the intensive study of a second language is a core principle, with Pre-School, Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten classes taught entirely in French or Spanish. All instruction in Grades 1-5 is “dual language” in English and either French or Spanish. Chinese is an option beginning in Grade 6. Typically, one half to three-quarters of WIS graduates earn the Bilingual IB Diploma, demonstrating fluency in two languages.
The entire school community – alumni, parents, students, teachers, administrators and staff – are ardent advocates for international education. WIS has played a prominent role in setting a standard for a global perspective that many schools now emulate.
The school culture is highly egalitarian, with a strong emphasis on collaboration and understanding differing points of view. There is no typical WIS family: some households consist only of U.S. passport holders, others are all non-U.S. passport holders and many are a mix of nationalities. In addition to this global diversity, WIS also strives to achieve economic diversity: 14% of the students receive financial assistance.