The primary goal of our school counselors is to promote and enhance student learning through the three broad and interrelated areas of student development: academic, personal and social.
The counselors provide a variety of services, including whole-class, small-group and individual support. During individual sessions, the counselor conducts a personal and private interaction with a student in which they work together on a program or topic of interest. A face-to-face, one-on-one meeting with the counselor provides a student maximum privacy in which to freely explore ideas, feelings, and behaviors. School counselors exhibit trust and provide helpful information, always respecting the rights, integrity, and welfare of students.
Counselors are obligated by ethical standards to report and to refer a case when a person’s safety is in jeopardy. It is a counselor’s duty to inform an individual of the conditions and limitations under which assistance may be provided.
The school counselor provides consultative services and welcomes meetings with parents, teachers and administrators to discuss and advise on any matter concerning a student’s personal and academic welfare.
I was born in Sydney, Australia, and studied and worked there for many years before joining RIS in 1992. After graduating in Education from the University of New South Wales, I became a high school teacher. After some years I retrained as a School Counselor at the University of Western Sydney, and then gained further training as a Psychologist after graduation with an MA in Psychology from the University of Sydney. Consequently, I have enjoyed many years working with children, young people, and their families as a teacher, school counsellor, and as a psychologist.
My name is Shayna Stern-Tolkmitt and I am enthusiastic to be a School Psychologist at RIS! I have come from California with my husband, who is teaching mathematics at Mahidol University Demonstration School, and our 13 and 14 year old children. I have 12 years of experience working as a School Psychologist in California schools assisting 2 to 18 year old students. I love school psychology and helping students and families! Prior to school psychology, I worked as a primary classroom teacher. I can’t think of a better place to spend my days! This is our family’s first time living abroad and so far we love Thailand and RIS!
Our two school psychologists work in collaboration with students, teachers and parents to carry out psychological and educational evaluations of students who have been referred through student study teams. The evaluation provides information regarding a student’s academic, cognitive and social-emotional development. This information then informs the development of an individual plan to support the student in any identified areas of need, and in achieving his or her full potential.
School psychologists also provide counseling and consultative services for teachers, administrators, parents and students for issues around children and young people, family and education.
The school psychologists work in collaboration with outside mental health professionals from the wider community.
I completed my Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology at Western University. Following my studies, I had the opportunity to work in a school division in Canada for 3 years supporting students with diverse backgrounds in developing communication abilities. My personal passion for travel and adventure, along with my desire to work with people from around the world led me to short-term volunteer positions in Lima, Peru and Dhaka, Bangladesh before arriving in Bangkok, where I have been working since August 2015.
The Speech-Language Therapy program serves Pre-School through 12th grade students who need specialized intervention in order to communicate effectively in school settings. A certified Speech-Language Pathologist (Speech Therapist) provides evaluation and treatment of students in the program. Students receiving services may have difficulties in one or more of the following areas: with the pronunciation of specific sounds, with understanding or expressing spoken language, and with speaking smoothly.
Another component of the speech-language therapy program involves supporting the language development of all RIS students. The speech-language therapist provides consultation and classroom-based support for teachers who see a need to develop specific communication skills in their classrooms. The speech-language therapist may provide small group or whole class language lessons to address various language skills. This model is used most frequently with our younger students as a way to stimulate early language development and assist in early identification of students with speech-language needs.
Learning Support Program
Children and young people who find it difficult to achieve success at school need support. Children and young people who struggle at school may develop negative attitudes about themselves by not feeling good enough and not as capable as their classmates or siblings. The Learning Support program assists children and young people to be confident and to build on their successes despite possessing an identified learning difficulty in key academic areas such as reading, writing and mathematics.
A full psychological and educational evaluation of academic, cognitive and social-emotional strengths and needs is carried out and discussed with parents and teachers prior to enrollment in Learning Support. Discontinuation from the program also requires assessment. The Learning Support program is based on the belief that students vary in their level of ability, achievement, motivation and interest, and that individuals learn best with programs that provide challenges in a supportive and stimulating environment.
When teachers have raised concerns about a student’s progress, students are taken into the program through a team approach that involves parents, teachers, the counselor and the psychologist. The program is focused on the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP), and each student has a Learning Support teacher to keep track of their progress.
Therefore students’ needs are met in the regular classroom with support provided in the form of Learning Support teachers and regular teachers working together. In Middle School and High School there are Study Skills classes and pull out English and Math classes as needed. At RIS, we spend time getting to know and understand how children learn best through our Student Study teams and collaboratively working with parents, teachers, students, counselors, psychologists, learning support and speech therapists to develop Individual Educational Plans and classes.
All learning support programs are designed to provide an optimal educational learning environment where students can make the progress needed to reach their potential and realize their ambitions. The Learning Support program Pre School- Grade12 is designed to help students develop skills and access the general school curriculum at RIS.