Throughout the year, counselors are available to meet with students and parents to discuss and help with academic issues. In each of the grade levels, nine through twelve (and during second semester of grade eight), counselors meet with students to discuss the various issues that are pertinent to their individual academic concerns. While yearly schedules are tailored to meet the academic requirements of the school, the diverse abilities, talents, and interests of each student are considered and schedules are designed to meet individual needs.
During the ninth grade, students are introduced to the expectations and demands of the high school, including transcripts, graduation requirements and the IB Program. In each of the grade level registration meetings in February and March, counselors address the issues of course selection and program planning throughout the high school years.
The counselors at ISB all have extensive training and experience in helping students who are struggling with social/emotional issues. We work in confidence with students in identifying strategies to deal with a variety of issues affecting their personal lives and interactions with fellow students. Our high school psychologist, Mr. Dave Anderson, is a person with whom we work closely (and in a confidential manner) in helping students learn how to cope with the complicated issues of young adulthood. Encourage your son or daughter to see his or her counselor if they need someone to talk to in a supportive, trusting setting. Our newly implemented Advisory class during “Panther Period” is designed to address the social and emotional health of our students.
All ISB high school students will have an individual account through Naviance, a web-based program for students’ recording personal profile information, resume creation and many other features. Students in 10th grade do a “VIA Character Strengths” Survey and John Holland’s “Self-Directed Search”. The idea is for students to learn more about what they are good at and what they like to do, in order to reflect on what particular courses might suit them for future studies and career. This aids in planning their courses for 11th and 12th grade.
Although several of our counseling programs throughout high school lead toward college planning and placement, the junior year is the formal start to the college search and application process.
In January of the junior year, the counselors present an introduction to the process for the juniors and their parents. At this meeting, the process is explained in general and then parents are asked to set an appointment (the Junior Conference) with their child’s counselor during the month of February. During the Junior Conference, the counselor, student and parent go over the college search process including Junior and Senior year timelines, college selection criteria, the application, the college essay, and financial aid and scholarships.
While counselors are available at any time to answer questions regarding the college process – for any grade level student – the junior year is the critical time to begin the process because vital academic information is available (first semester junior year grades, PSAT scores, past academic performance, preferred extra-curricular activities, etc.).
Throughout the year, students have opportunities to meet with college representatives from around the world who visit ISB individually or as part of large group tours. These visits are advertised in the student daily bulletin, on the school website, on Naviance, and in the monthly Counseling and IB Newsletters.
Freshmen Seminar is a program designed for incoming ninth grade students to help them adjust to the high school environment. In essence, freshman seminar is an extended orientation with lots of life skills included in the course. All of the seminar classes are fixed in the student’s daily rotation and discussions include topics such as: time management skills, what it means to be a member of the ISB community, communication, cooperation with peers, service to the greater Bangkok community, freedom from chemical dependency, academic planning, college guidance and counseling, and IB and AP Programs. These classes are conducted for the first 10 weeks of the freshmen year after which time the students are allowed to have a planning period for study or library use.
International School Bangkok is a testing site for the following: PSAT, SAT, and ACT. The test dates for the school year are indicated on the school calendar. In October, the PSAT is administered to eleventh grade students during the school day. (This is an optional test. For those who plan to university systems that do not require standardized tests like the SAT, students are welcome to skip the test.) In addition, information regarding registration for the TOEFL exam is available in the Counseling Center. For students who have pursued IB and/or AP courses, these exams are administered in May. Registration for IB exams takes place in September while registration for AP exams occurs in late January.
The Counseling Center has a fully resourced library of preparatory books for the various tests that are offered. Students are welcome to check out these materials for home study.
Transition programs are specifically designed for four groups of people: those students entering grade nine from the middle school; new students in all grades; students leaving ISB prior to their senior year; and graduating seniors. For each of these groups, we offer general counseling services as well as a special program dealing with the specific type of transition. At the beginning of each school year, and prior to the first day of classes, students and parents are invited to join the counseling staff in an orientation day. Orientation programs for new students as well as the incoming freshmen class are held concurrently. The senior transition program takes place over five sessions during second semester concluding with an alumni panel. For students in grades nine through eleven leaving ISB, a luncheon is held to discuss transition issues and provide closure activities.