Category: Academics

As the ISG District Counseling and Guidance curriculum states, we believe our core mission is to promote student learning and empower self-directed life long learners. In order to achieve this, we further believe that we need to create and maintain a safe and supportive environment. Education is not the responsibility of the school alone, but rather the best education takes place in an environment in which the responsibility for learning is shared in partnership with parents, teachers and the students themselves.

ISG Counselors believe that:

  • Our core mission is to promote student learning to empower self-directed life-long learners;
  • The creation and maintenance of a safe and supportive environment is critical to student success;
  • Education is the shared responsibility of the entire school community;
  • Student learning is promoted through the provision of clear, attainable, and measurable outcomes that guide the instructional program.


More Information about our Counseling Department

International Schools Group is strongly committed to the role and function of school counselors in each of its schools. The ISG Counselor’s Handbook states that:

“The counselors of International Schools Group endeavor to provide comprehensive, proactive guidance and counseling programs for students, parents, faculty and staff of the ISG District. Counselors are viewed as resources and consultants to enhance the overall educational experience for all stakeholders.”

Counselors work closely with teachers and administration to foster a learning environment for all students. In addition, counselors provide resources to students, parents and staff regarding special interests or learning needs. Counselors respond to academic, social and personal needs of students on a daily basis. The counselor’s role is differentiated according to students’ developmental levels and needs in elementary, middle, and high school. Additionally counselors in international schools assist students with transition to a new school, a new country, and the unique challenges of being “third culture kids.” ISG counselors follow the standards set forth in the District Guidance Curriculum.

As counselors our primary responsibility is to maximize student success. The Student Success Team or SST process works to ensure that students are achieving academically, personally and socially. The SST meets regularly to review students who are referred and who may need additional support personally and academically.

Another facet of student success is the Enrollment Process at ISG Jubail. New applicants to the school are carefully evaluated academically using the MAP Survey Tests in Reading, Math, and Language. Students also submit a writing sample. The counselors review student records, and interview each new student. This process helps us ascertain whether new applicants will be successful with our curriculum before acceptance.

The school guidance curriculum consists of structured lessons to help students reach desired competence and appropriate knowledge and skills for their grade level. In addition counselors help students set personal goals, explore careers, and develop personal excellence. Our Graduate Profile helps to foster students who are thinking, communicating, understanding and striving for excellence. The counselors’ role in this continuum of growth for students is key.

The Measures of Academic Progress or MAP assessment is a newly added counselor responsibility. Students in grades Kindergarten through grade 10 take three MAP tests: Reading, Math, and Language Usage in the Fall and Spring. These results are shared with teachers, parents and students. Students work with their teachers to set reasonable goals for progress from fall to spring and from year to year in each of these areas assessed. (for further information, please see Student Assessment & Testing).

Counselors provide responsive services in order to meet students’ needs. These services often include:

  • Individual or small group counseling
  • Psycho-educational evaluation
  • Academic support
  • Referral to outside agencies for further support or assessment
  • Consultation with teachers, parents and administration.

It is essential that the nature of the student-counselor relationship be confidential in order to foster a climate of trust and mutual respect.

Lastly, counselors at ISG Jubail provide support to a variety of programs and to school management in their role as advocates of student success. Such things as scheduling, placement, data collection, credits toward graduation, course requirements, ongoing assessment, character building activities, and school assemblies would fall under this umbrella.

Research has shown:

  • There is a strong correlation between emotions and learning. Students who can manage their emotions effectively are better learners.
  • Positive social interactions have been found to be a better predictor of academic achievement than standardized test scores alone.
  • Students who receive instruction in social emotional skills perform better both academically and socially.
  • Social emotional learning has been found to raise test scores and grades, improve enthusiasm for learning, foster resilience in children, and reduce behavior problems.

We are fortunate at ISG Jubail to have three counselors to better meet the needs of our students. While we each focus on specific grade levels, all of our work is collaborative and much of it overlaps with students, families and teachers.

Elementary School Counseling

The Lower School Counseling Department covers grades five and below. Students in these grades will receive counseling services in the form of Classroom Guidance, Small Group Sessions, and Individual Sessions. The purpose of the Lower School Counseling Program is to ensure successful academic and personal-social growth for all students.

Meet the Counselor - Dr. Sarah-Kate Hawkins

Dr. Sarah-Kate Hawkins began her counseling career as Clinical Coordinator for Kindred Homes, a community-based intensive treatment program, for seriously emotional children and adolescents, in Virginia, USA. She joins ISG Jubail after having spent time in China, Thailand, Egypt, India, Kuwait, and Nepal. In these countries, she used her own experiences as a Third Culture Kid (TCK) to help children achieve their social and academic development needs while giving support to the families. Sarah-Kate, also known as Skate, brings her understanding of how behavioral competencies, such as feelings, sharing, and making friends, are the foundation of students’ readiness for college and life. With her years of leadership within mental health organizations and schools, as well as a Peace Corps Volunteer, she looks forward to bringing to the ISG Jubail students, parents, and teachers her excitement to inspire and knowledge to succeed. Her door is always open; please feel free to drop in or call for an appointment.

Middle School Counseling

Meet the Counselor - Monica Lopez Villareal

Mrs. Lopez has joined ISG Jubail counseling team in the 2016-2017 school year. As the counselor for grades 6-9, she provides guidance and counseling services focusing on assisting students to achieve their best potential. Mrs. Lopez provides support for the personal, social, emotional and intellectual development of each student. Mrs. Lopez may work directly with the student or with the student's teachers, support personal and family, assisting in planning support programs that can help students achieve positive outcomes.

Mrs. Lopez has a Bachelor in Psychology, a Graduate diploma in Behavioral-Cognitive Psychology and a dual diploma in Community Service and Mental Health. Mrs. Lopez is registered with the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council, she has 8 years of experience in the field and her most recent work experience took place in Australia, where she worked as MS/HS School Counselor and Guidance Officer for the Department of Education in Queensland, focusing on creating holistic intervention plans for disadvantaged young people at risk of premature disengagement or already disengaged from education due to social, emotional, behavioral, learning or mental health issues.

High School & College Counseling

Meet the Counselor - Sarah Brooks

Mrs. Sarah Brooks joined the ISG Jubail counseling team in the 2015-2016 school year. Mrs. Brooks is the Counselor for Grades 10-12 and College Counselor. Mrs. Brooks has many duties including, individual, group and classroom lessons for all students. She is also in charge of the advisory program, admissions, SAT testing and learning support for MS/HS. Mrs. Brooks primary focus is to support students in being successful in life taking into account academics, career, social/emotional skills and behavioral strategies. Mrs. Brooks comes to Jubail with a wealth of experience and knowledge and loves the adventure of living in Saudi Arabia. She is from Washington State and has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a Master’s in Counseling Psychology, and hold a Professional Certificate in School Counseling from Washington State. She also currently holds her Mental Health Associate License from the State of Washington. She is married to Mr. Brooks who is a Math teacher at ISG Jubail in the high school and they have two small boys who attend the school.