ISY Elementary Blog


Mike Simpson, Elementary School Principal

September 3, 2021

Last year we completed a six year self-study as part of our accreditation as a leading international school. One major goal that we have set ourselves is:

All students will develop the self-efficacy and agency necessary to drive their own learning, control their own lives and positively influence the lives of others.

Self-efficacy is the belief we have in our own abilities, specifically our ability to meet the challenges ahead of us and complete a task successfully. 

Last week, I wrote about how important it is for us to believe that our students can thrive when times are tough. If we show a student that we believe that they can achieve, it makes sense that they are much more likely to believe this too. But our belief in our students is not enough – we must provide them with opportunities to achieve and to support them so they experience success. 

It is a combination of belief and experience that develops the self-efficacy that we want all ISY students to develop. So we will keep challenging our students and provide them with as much support as we can for every student to experience what it feels like to succeed. That support will come every day from a student’s teachers but we know that sometimes a student will need some extra support. 

In this week’s blog, Ms. Patty has outlined some ways that we can provide extra support to students and families to make sure that every student experiences success. Please feel free to reach out to our teachers, Ms. Patty, or me as we work together to make this a successful year for every student.


Counselor Support and Online Learning

Just like the classroom teachers, Ms. Patty, our Pre-K to Grade 6 counselor is working hard to replicate the support given to students when learning happens on campus.  She is also developing creative ways to meet the social and emotional needs of the school community virtually.  So what does this look like?

  1. Life Skills:  Weekly social-emotional & guidance classes are taught featuring lessons on resilience, growth mindset, emotion regulation, empathy and compassion.  
  2.  Support: Ms. Patty is available for individual sessions with parents and students at any time upon their request.  She can offer support for social-emotional concerns or provide guidance for developing coping strategies and building resiliency.
  3.  Outreach: If a student falls behind academically, a teacher is worried about someone, a student is not engaging in course work or other challenges arise, Ms. Patty will contact students and/or parents through email and hangouts to offer to chat or talk over video.  Exploring thoughts and feelings around challenges we face can often help with emotional management and, as a result, empower us to effectively manage the challenge.  
  4. Counselor’s Check-In:  Regular surveys assessing social-emotional wellness are given to students in grades 2-5.  The counselor reviews the responses, identifies concerns and reaches out to students and families.
  5. Community Connection: Providing opportunities for students to connect and build community through virtual recess, online meetings, birthday greetings, and social connections.

If you have any questions, concerns or would like to know more about the programs discussed above, please contact Ms. Patty at

Patty Amundson-Geisel

Pre-K to Grade 6 Counselor

Elementary School Assembly

On Wednesday, we had an Elementary School assembly. We will have an assembly every two weeks so we can get together as a school. It is fun for us all to be together. We will share stories, student work, and play some games.

This week Mr. Simpson read the Dr. Seuss classic, ‘Oh, The Places You’ll Go!’ It is a great book with a great self-efficacy message:

“You have brains in your head and feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself in any direction you choose!”

Some students shared what they have been doing in Like Skills and Ms. Patty then led us in a really fun drawing and communication game. See the pictures above!

Previous Elementary School Posts