Secondary Counseling

Parent Resources

Elementary School Counseling

Welcome to the world of Elementary Counseling at the International Community School of Addis Ababa (ICS). As I begin another exciting year as your Elementary Counselor, I want to share with you some of my roles and responsibilities working with the ICS students, parents and teaching staff. Throughout this academic year, I will be working with our elementary teachers, teaching assistants and their students with classroom guidance lessons as well as with individual and group counseling. In my work at ICS, I can be seen as a friend, a listener, a helper and a problem solver.

At the beginning of the school year, I take time to work with new ICS students and parents as they get familiar to life at ICS and also within the city of Addis Ababa. Coming to a different place always poses some challenges and I want to make sure that our new students feel comfortable within their classrooms and outside on the playground. Before the first day of school, some elementary student ambassadors will help classroom teachers give tours of the campus. There is a buddy system and also “Getting to Know our New ICS Friends” luncheons to help ease the transition for students who are coming to ICS for the first time. For parents, our counseling team hosts a Transitions Meeting at the beginning of the academic year to assist them with their needs. It is so important that we all get off to a wonderful start here at ICS. Please note that there are resources such as picture story books and parenting books for loan inside my office.

Throughout the year, you will see me traveling from class to class with a bag of items such as hoola hoops, sponge balls, bean bags, cones and maybe even some rubber chickens. In our many team building activities with these materials, I help students learn to make good decisions and also to develop skills in getting along with others. The team building games are a major component of our Elementary Character Days that take place toward the end of the year. The Character Days also give students an opportunity to consider how they follow the ICS Way – Making a Difference by taking care of ourselves, taking care of others and taking care of this place and IB Learner Profile traits as they write their thoughts on reflection sheets. With select groups of grades 4 and 5 students, I will work to help develop and also foster leadership skills in our Monday after school Elementary Leadership Council (ELC). The ELC students also work hard throughout the school year with the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) to help with the annual Fall Festival and Spring Carnival. They play a strong role as ambassadors to our visiting author each year as well. The ELC students will also have the responsibility this school year helping to organize our elementary assemblies and develop a peer mediation program.

With our ICS teachers, I assist them to understand and meet their student needs at our various professional learning community (PLC) grade team meetings. I provide classroom guidance in such areas as self esteem, decision making, career choices, conflict resolution and character development. Second Step, a violence prevention curriculum is now in place within our early childhood to grade 8 classes. I will provide Second Step in-service workshops for our new teachers and teaching assistants in September. This curriculum will be tied closely with our ICS Way, IB Learner Profile and character development program.

These are a few of the services that I offer to the ICS teachers, teaching assistants, parents and students. My job at ICS is to help all of the elementary children have a positive school experience. If you need to contact me then please feel free to call me at my office (Room 41A) 011-371-1544 ext. 274 or email me at derek.ferreira(at) Again, I am very excited to be working as Elementary Counselor at ICS.

Derek Ferreira
Elementary Counselor

Secondary School Counseling

Jennifer Park: Grade 9 and 10 Counselor

Hi. My name is Jennifer Park, and I am the counselor for grades 9 and 10. Having grown up abroad, attending international schools from elementary school through high school, I consider myself a Third Culture Kid; you can read my faculty bio here. I am particulary sensitive to the challenges and benefits of moving from country to country without necessarily having a home base. As a counselor, I am here to facilitate healthy adjustment to the many changes that students encounter. I regularly counsel students who are having emotional, social, or academic difficulties. I also act as a resource to both parents and teachers on adolescent development. Please feel free to meet with me. My email is jennifer.park(at) You can find me in Room 69b across from the MPR and small amphitheatre. My extension is 272. 

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