MS Counseling

Middle school counselors have a unique role within the school system. Middle school is a time of considerable transition – academic, social, and physical changes that students experience during this time. Middle school counselors help students to be successful in school by supporting their academic and social/emotional needs. This allows them to reach their full potential as learners and as individuals. By building relationships with all students, middle school counselors are able to best meet these needs.

In addition to providing academic support for students, counselors assist in promoting healthy living habits and positive interpersonal interactions with peers. This is accomplished through individual, small group, (for example, the Advisory program) and classroom work. Additionally, level transition activities assist elementary students with transition to the middle school environment and prepare eighth grade students for entry into high school.

Parents, teachers, the extended family and the community all have vital and complementary roles to play in a child’s education. Only by working hand-in-hand with all of these groups can a middle school counselor be successful at his or her job. Therefore, as the middle school counselor, I greatly look forward to working with you in helping all of our students achieve happiness and success.

Kurbel, Jennifer MS Counselor

Jennifer Kurbel,        MS Counselor

This is Ms. Kurbel’s first year as a school counselor at SIS. She earned her Master’s degree and Educational Specialist degree in School Counseling at James Madison University in 2010. Prior to coming to SIS, she worked as an elementary school counselor for eight years in Augusta County, Virginia. Before becoming an elementary school counselor, she worked at a community counseling agency, for 3 years in Virginia, and provided therapeutic day treatment services to at-risk students in school and provided in-home counseling support for at-risk families and their children. When she is not working, Ms. Kurbel enjoys traveling, hiking, running and playing sports.

Academic Support

SIS offers after-school tutoring for middle and high school students who are interested in getting some extra help in a particular subject area. Students can request a student or a teacher as the tutor. There is also significant flexibility in the days, times, and duration of sessions so that students can feel free to design a program that works best for their needs. There is an hourly fee that is paid for in 8 hour blocks and the fee varies between teacher and student tutors. For more information about requesting this service, please contact Christina Demers ( or the middle school secretary Ms. Lee (



In grades 3-8, students participate in the International School Assessment (ISA) from ACER.  This test was developed specifically for international schools by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) and covers reading, writing, and mathematical literacy.  The test is administered in October and the results are reviewed in December and January.  Unlike most schools who use standardized tests for evaluation, SIS uses the ISA to guide instruction and assist teachers in targeting specific areas where our students can improve.  For more information on this test, please visit the ACER website at

Boarding School

Students who are planning to apply for boarding schools are transferring to another school should make an appointment in the counseling office.  All transcript and recommendation requests must go through the counseling office and are sent from the counseling office directly to the applicant’s list of schools.  SIS is not able to send any materials not originating from the school staff and ensures the confidentiality of all documents coming from the school or the school staff.  In 2014 we have changed to an online request system.

Please follow this link to the Recommendation Request Form.

If your child is planning to apply to boarding school, please contact the counseling office for an appointment or email Jennifer Kurbel at