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International School of Denver

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Inclusion is an ongoing process that aims to increase access and engagement in learning for all students by identifying and removing barriers. This can only be successfully achieved in a culture of collaboration, mutual respect, support and problem solving.
-International Baccalaureate Organization, 2010

Counselor's Blog

Recognizing Emotions, Self-Care, and Mental Health

“Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and
less scary.”
- Fred Rogers

This week we conclude Mental Health Awareness Month by using our spirit/wellness week to talk about self-care. This school year, as well as the previous, there has been an emphasis on the importance of teaching both children and adults how to put their mental health and safety at the forefront of everyday life. Here at ISDenver, we continue to stress this to students, faculty, and staff. 

While school counseling has gotten more complex over the last two years, we are fortunate that the resources have expanded with it. We would like to take this time to update families on what your counseling team has been doing with your students this year and our plans to continue to grow our social emotional counseling next year!

This year, our youngest students focused on decision making and recognizing their emotions. We used two research backed programs called Kelso’s Choice and Second Step. Both programs were shared with our staff so that they could incorporate the lessons into their everyday interactions with students. In our lower and upper primaries both Second Step and Common Sense were used to help students understand perspective taking and learn about navigating the online world. For our Middle School we continue to teach our curriculum through our unique advisory program where we focus on diversity and inclusion, empathy, decision making, and the profile traits of an IB learner. 

Recently we launched a new program that we are very excited about, called Aperture. This validated tool lets us look at each student individually to assess their social emotional skills. By measuring eight traits, taken from CASEL standards, we can tailor lessons to fit the needs of either the student, the class, or the grade level. The best part about this program is it links up with Second Step, a program we are extremely familiar with from using it this school year. We are excited to see the data that this program shares with us so we can continue to create a stronger, custom SEL program for ISDenver. 

More Counselor's Blog Posts

Recognizing Emotions, Self-Care, and Mental Health

This week we conclude Mental Health Awareness Month by using our spirit/wellness week to talk about self-care, with an emphasis on the importance of teaching both children and adults how to put their mental health and safety at the forefront of everyday life. Here at ISDenver, we continue to stress this to students, faculty, and staff. 

Television, Social Media, and Fiction vs. Reality

It is quite clear from conversation both at our school and in the larger community of educators that television, social media, and cell phones are a growing concern. Children are being bombarded by ideas, topics, and messages that negatively influence their decision making; as parents, we may not even be aware that this is going on. Read on for strategies and tips on navigating this ever changing environment.

Transitions and Your Children

At this time of year, all of our students are preparing to transition, some as they begin summer break, and others as they prepare to leave ISDenver to go to a brand new school. As human beings, we know that this change is inevitable. So how can we aid our children with these transitions and offer guidance? Our G4-G8 Counselor Annie Barocas offers some ideas and strategies here.

Discussing Asian and Asian-American Discrimination with Your Children

While at times it feels we have come so far, we are again reminded that there is much work to do as we watch the Asian community face a wave of new hate crimes and targeted, violent, and lethal attacks. Our G4-G8 school counselor Annie Barocas share some ideas and resources for talking to your children about recent hate crimes and discrimination against not only the Asian American community, but others as well.


Parents: log in to the Portal to visit the counselor's corner website, full of resources for all families as your children navigate their social-emotional growth.