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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

New Year, New Beginning: Introducing our 2019 - 20 Counselor Team

Plato said that, “The beginning is the most important part of the work.” For those of us who find our professional calling in schools, we know how crucial it is to have a good beginning, to set the tone for the year, to engage our learners just enough so that they crave the middle and the end of our experience together. We know the weight that is placed on helping a child connect to their room, teachers, and classmates who they are with for seven hours a day. As counselors, we also want them to continue the relationship we built last year, but to also create a new one based on growth and change. 

Beginnings are not easy, but in counseling, beginnings are special opportunities. We keep in mind the work that was done in the previous year, but a beginning is a chance to see a child through completely new eyes. A child’s brain develops so rapidly that the changes in emotional intelligence and social skills can occur in a short summer break. 

This year, ISDenver has the opportunity to have two counselors working in the building. We wanted to take the time to introduce, and reintroduce, ourselves, so that you all know how we can be a part in your child’s story this year. 

Annie Barocas will now be counseling our older learners, G4 - G8. She will be housed in the Middle School building. Annie holds a Masters in International Studies as well as a Masters in School Counseling. Last year at ISDenver, Annie worked closely with our middle school learners on executive functioning and transitions into middle school and high school. She will continue this during the year while also supporting our G4 and G5 learners. She has a daughter who just started our K3 program, as well as a two year old, who both love being part of the ISDenver community. Annie helped with Cross Country last year, plays soccer, and tries to get to know the kids outside of the classroom as much as possible. She is excited to be joined this year by a great addition to the student support team, Ashley Harding.

Ashley is the new K1 - G3 counselor. She is already the hit of the kinder playground! Ashley has a Master’s in Counseling and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas (Rock Chalk!). Ashley also is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She has previously worked in both public and private schools with students ranging in age from Pre-K to 8th grade. Ashley has called Colorado home for most of her life and enjoys spending time with friends and family. Ashley’s office is located in the Lower School, though she will be traveling to the ECE building frequently.

It is our goal as school counselors to help all students at ISDenver reach their potential by providing a counseling program that meets their academic, social/emotional, and developmental needs.This is accomplished by providing individual counseling, small group counseling, and classroom guidance. Some of the areas we help students with include: Anger management, Anxiety/stress, Behavior problems at school, High School awareness, exploration and planning, Communication, problem-solving and conflict resolution, Goal setting and decision-making, Grief and loss, New student orientation, Organization and study skills, and Peer relationships and effective social skills. 

We look forward to communicating through the Counselor Blog during the year. We recognize the importance of working together with our families to support learners through the beginnings but also being a constant force in their lives as they where their journey will take them. Please feel free to reach out or drop-in to introduce yourself - our doors, most likely, are open! 

  • Counselor's Corner
  • SEL

More Counselor's Blog Posts

 Starting a Conversation About Racial Inequality With Your Children

Of all the school communities, it is ours who should talk about this. The most important thing is to have the conversations - today and always. And realize that our individual perspectives are not the experience of others. Listening, and learning, is essential to moving forward. 

Talking About COVID-19 With Your Children

It is difficult to talk to adults about what is going on in the world right now, let alone have to talk to our children. Our school counselors have put together some talking points for your family to reference as we go through the next few weeks.

So Many Questions: Practicing Appreciative Inquiry With Your Child

The responses we give to our children’s questioning, even at the youngest ages, can help or hinder their abilities to be inquisitive learners in the future. The theory of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is designed to use positive psychology to ask questions and overcome challenges in order to enhance organizational structures, or in this case, family structure. 

New Year, New You: Open-Mindedness

Here at ISDenver, we are using this month to open our minds to new ideas and new people. In order to even begin the process of opening one’s mind to change, we first have to acknowledge that it is okay to have some bias, it is okay to be apprehensive, and it is okay to not understand why you think the way you do. 

Critical Thinking: What It Means and How to Foster it in Your Children

The qualities of being an IB Thinker go beyond the classroom. They are skills to use in your relationships with friends, in planning a summer vacation, or deciding how to complete weekend chores. These are the skills we challenge our learners with in all of their classes, by connecting critical thinking to having a growth mindset. So how do we foster critical thinking in our children? 


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.