The counselors help new families adjust to their new school environment. They offer workshops on transitions and one-on-one counseling is available to assist both students and parents with the transition process. The counselors also check in with the new students at each grade level to see how they are settling in and to give them an opportunity to talk about their experiences in a group setting with others who are also new to the school.
For those families leaving IICS, presentations are given, a letter outlining the transition process and tips on making the move as smooth as possible is sent home and students meet in groups to discuss their feelings about their impending move. Separate sessions are held for those students returning to their home country versus those moving to a country they haven’t been before.
Counselors also assist with the in-school transitions from primary campus to secondary campus (Grade 6 to Grade 7) and grade 10 to IB1.
The Ambassador Program
This year, we have started an initiative to ensure in-coming students have a smooth transition to IICS and Istanbul. Ambassadors have been identified at each grade level. They are responsible for helping new students settle into our school and serve as a non-academic connection. They are a resource that the new student can go to for assistance. Ideally, new students are contacted by one of the Ambassadors in their grade before they arrive at IICS so that they can make contact through email, Facebook, etc.
The Ambassadors are expected to regularly check-in with the new students in their grade to find out how things are going for them, and answer any questions. Basically, they help them solve problems that might arise, as well as provide social opportunities for the new students to meet their peers. Members of the Ambassador Program have been meeting periodically to develop a welcome packet full of helpful and necessary information about school and community resources which will be ready later in the year.
The Ambassadors work closely with the counselor to ensure the new students are settling in well.
• Help the new student adjust to IICS by being friendly, helpful and accepting
• Make sure the student knows where to go to lunch, and has someone with whom to eat
• Take the new students on an informal tour of the school and answer their questions
• Help them find and use their locker
• Help them access their ManageBac account and help them maneuver the site
• Introduce the new student to key people at school and make sure they know where to find them (i.e. principal, vp, counselors, Student Life Coordinator, librarian, nurse, etc.
• Explain the school rules to the new student and advise them to read the IICS Secondary Handbook which they can find on-line
• Ensure they understand their schedule (especially the 7-day cycle and what’s different about Tuesdays and Thursdays)
• Answer questions they may have about school or living in Istanbul.
• Make sure they have a way to get in touch outside of school (i.e. exchange email addresses)