International School of Kenya – High School Counselor for Student Wellbeing.

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Mission: ISK inspires and nurtures passion, creativity and ambition in pursuit of a better world.
Vision: Empowering students to create solutions for tomorrow’s challenges

Reports To: High School Principal

Scope of Responsibilities:

The High School Wellbeing Counselor’s overarching responsibility is to support student wellness and learning, providing for the individual and holistic needs of each high school pupil in line with the ISK mission, vision and educational aims. The Wellbeing Counselor primarily serves the emotional and developmental needs of high school students and the role covers three main domains relating to wellbeing: personal counseling/guidance, community outreach, and program leadership.

Overall, the leadership and management responsibility entails inspiring our high school community around student wellbeing and experiential learning that leads to a positive impact on student learning. While the high school counseling team is designed to be a highly collaborative one, the other high school counselors are responsible for academic counseling, admissions and transfers, college counseling, and case manager for students on their caseload for example supporting personal and child protection issues that may arise.

Regarding personal counseling, the Wellbeing Counselor leads out small group counseling sessions, both by design and in response to emerging needs, and also oversees the transition process for new students. This counselor also works closely with the other high school guidance counselors and likely take the lead on personal counseling issues that need more significant social/emotional/behavioral support from the school.

Regarding community outreach, the position involves proactive communication with the community around wellbeing issues, including leading out teacher training and parent education sessions. The Wellbeing Counselor for example designs and delivers training sessions for staff around advisory including drug and alcohol education, staying safe in Nairobi, high school specific child protection issues, etc. All counselors have a key role to play in crises as they arise.

Regarding program leadership, the Wellbeing Counselor is responsible for the coordination and development of programs that support student social-emotional wellbeing, including advisory and experiential learning through co-curriculars (roughly structured around the IB CAS model and RoundSquare Ideals), service, intercultural trips, work experience, and other emergent experiential learning opportunities.

The Wellbeing Counselor is a key member of the high school team, providing support to the principals and working closely with various teams (e.g., Counselors, GLL’s, Student Ambassadors, Student RoundSquare Committee) and other leaders. Additionally, the Wellbeing Counselor is expected to participate in a variety of collaborative teams and committees, fulfil supervision duties as assigned, including numerous evening and weekend events (as well as off-campus, overnight trips). The position has no teaching responsibilities within the regular instructional schedule. Given the various program responsibilities including a significant amount of activity and trip coordination, the position is supported by a 100% dedicated assistant program coordinator.

Remuneration: Salary + 15%
Counselors earn the standard teacher salary plus 15%. The additional 15% remuneration recognizes the level of responsibility associated with this position, including the expectation of availability to address issues outside of regular working hours and contracted school days for teachers. This is above and beyond the expected 15 work days on campus beyond student contact days.

Leading for Wellbeing Specific Responsibilities:
  • Improve student learning by designing and leading a meaningful range of wellbeing programs, supports and activities aligned with the school’s mission, vision, and aims
  • Lead small group counseling sessions, both by design and in response to emerging needs
  • Oversee the transition process for new students
  • Engage in personal counseling and address mental health issues that need more significant social/emotional/behavioral support from the school.
  • Proactively track student wellbeing and implement appropriate interventions
  • Work with the Child Protection and other teams to educate students and staff
  • Provide crisis support services
  • Nurture, recruit, train, advise and inspire student leaders and adult mentors for programs and projects
  • Lead the high school advisory program in collaboration with faculty and principals, including embedding the grade 10 work experience program
  • Develop and coordinate the high school intercultural trips, including working with faculty to embed intercultural learning outcomes in the curriculum
  • Lead, develop, and coordinate high school service learning, including working with faculty to embed service learning outcomes in the curriculum
  • Develop and sustain a system for reporting student co-curricular engagement and learning
  • Promote a positive climate among students, staff and community, including being visible and available.
Managing for Wellbeing Specific Responsibilities:
  • Provide leadership and vision for student wellbeing, coordinating advisory, intercultural and CAS programs in line with the ISK mission, vision, aims, and graduation requirements
  • Work as a collaborative member of various school teams, including the school-wide counseling department, high school leadership team, and Teaching & Learning center
  • Proactively identify and address the personal, emotional, behavioral and social needs of students
  • Provide counseling support to students identified as having challenges that may impact on learning and the wellbeing
  • Proactively consult with parents, staff, and parents on student-related concerns
  • Oversee risk-assessment processes, in line with school procedures, to best support student safety and wellness
  • Design and deliver programs that promote student wellness and holistic development, for example advisory and work experience
  • Collaborate with staff, supervise an assistant program coordinator/administrative assistant, and meet regularly with the High School Principal for updating and planning
  • Oversee a system for providing students with feedback, as well as appropriate opportunities for them to reflect on their co-curricular involvement
  • Oversee the CAS program for IB Diploma candidates, working with the IB Coordinator
  • Communicate proactively and regularly with parents via various channels
  • Keep appropriate, up-to-date records, including varied types of feedback for students
  • Attend departmental, grade-level, HS divisional and school-wide meetings as necessary
  • Coordinate weekly service trips to local projects, and overseeing on-site service activities
  • Manage programs and oversee budgets (including stipends)
  • Track and report student involvement to ensure students are engaged in co-curricular activities, including overseeing advisors who monitor and record activities/reflections
  • Organize activities and clubs each semester, including recruiting advisors
  • Implement a process to evaluate activity appropriateness, sustainability, and safety and security in partnership with ISK’s Security Manager and Health Clinician
  • Oversee a calendar of activities and projects, ensuring appropriate supervision
  • Assume leadership responsibilities as they evolve and fulfill other duties within reason as requested by the Principal.
Required Skills and Qualifications:
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology or Counseling
  • Counselor’s certification from an accredited university/college
  • Minimum 2 years relevant counseling experience
  • Student-centred and nurturing personality
  • Commitment to collaborative planning
  • Cultural proficiency and understanding of intercultural learning
  • Proficient with educational, administrative and communication technology
  • Excellent communication skills, including English fluency and excellent writing skills
  • Flexibility and creativity
Preferred Skills and Qualifications:
  • Master’s Degree in Counseling or related field
  • Counseling experience in a multi-cultural and educational setting
  • Experience in providing counseling and guiding programs in the area of wellbeing
  • Experience in co-curricular program development
  • Experience with administering a variety of tests and analyzing/communicating results
  • Experience in data analysis and goal setting to improve professional skills
  • Basic Kiswahili
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