Dallas International School provides a full range of counseling services to support the social and emotional development of students following the American School Counselor Association standards, which are available HERE.
These services include character education lessons in the classroom, individual and group counseling, anti-bullying programs, and social skills classes. In addition, the counselor is available for parent and teacher consultations to discuss issues of concern at home or school (friendship issues, behavioral concerns, learning difficulties, etc.).
Social Emotional Learning and Character Education
Character education teaches the habits of thought and deeds that help people live and work together as families, friends, neighbors, communities and nations. Character education is a learning process that enables students in a school community to understand, care about and practice ethical core values. Our character education lessons revolve around our DIS Core Values of respect, responsibility, integrity, resilience, and empathy. The school counselor visits the TPS - CM1 classrooms each month to conduct these lessons. The character education curriculum comes from CharacterStrong, which aligns with the DIS Core Values, plus a handful of additional values that support the DIS mission statement.
Intervention and Support
The school counselor is a resource for students, teachers, and parents. Academic and behavioral support can be provided based on a student’s need. The school counselor is available to conduct classroom observations in order to assist with behavioral and academic strategies.
Individual plans are created by teacher and counselor collaboration if needed.
A psycho-educational assessment, current within three years, from a licensed professional documenting a diagnosable learning difference or disability must be on record at the school in order for a student to be considered for classroom accommodations. A medical statement alone is not sufficient for a diagnosis: it must be accompanied by a full evaluation. Accommodation plans are available for any student with an evaluation that concludes a specific diagnosis and/or individualized needs in the school setting.
If a student is receiving private therapy, parents are asked to inform the school counselor. If a student consistently misses class or is tardy due to a recurring appointment/session, formal documentation must be provided from the therapist or physician’s office.
Conflict Resolution Management Program: Kelso’s Choices
DIS has adopted Kelso's Choices conflict management skills program. This conflict-management curriculum for elementary students is based on the premise that every child is capable of becoming a peacemaker. Designed around Kelso the Frog, this program offers nine options students can choose from to resolve minor conflicts on their own. Students will be able to determine the difference between minor problems they can handle and serious problems that require an adult’s help. Kelso’s Choice for Families is also available for use at home. http://kelsoschoice.com/
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both children who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems. The behavior must be unwanted and aggressive and include:
An imbalance of power: children who bully use their power - such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity - to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
Repetition: bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.
Bullying and cyberbullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.
Cyberbullying is repeatedly sending hurtful text messages or images, posting cruel comments or personal attacks on electronic devices, including email, social networking sites, instant messaging, etc. The statutory definition of bullying applies to cyberbullying that occurs off school property or outside of a school-sponsored/related event, if the conduct interferes with the student’s educational opportunities or substantially disrupts the operations of a school, classroom, or school-related event.
Any student who believes that he or she has experienced harassment or bullying should immediately report the alleged acts to a teacher, counselor, Head of Primary, or other school employee. Students engaging in prohibited harassment or bullying will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, including but not limited to suspension or expulsion.