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By Emily Griffin

When a student enrolls at the International School of Indiana (ISI), they access a world-class education that will prepare them to be responsible citizens and effective leaders. To create its distinct academic environment, ISI prioritizes both the emotional and academic wellbeing of every student.

The Student Support Services (SSS) is a team of 9 faculty members, all of whom work directly with students to ensure success. During a typical school year, the SSS team is actively working with over 50 students on a weekly basis.

“Our team works with Upper School students on their academic, social, and emotional goals,” Upper School Counselor & SSS Coordinator Nicole Detrick said. “We help students accomplish these goals in various ways, often collaborating with students, teachers, and families."

Members of the Student Support Services team gathered at a restaurant prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amid the pandemic, schools and families all over the world have made adjustments so that students could safely, and effectively, continue learning and maintaining their success while learning from home via a virtual classroom.

“We anticipated that the move to e-learning at the end of last school year could present new challenges for some students,” Detrick said. “We wanted to make sure we were readily available to help our students and families succeed during these difficult times.”

Beginning in March of 2020, ISI moved to e-learning for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year. The SSS team increased its engagement to an average of 70 students per week, offering one-on-one and group experiences to benefit students.

“During this period, we were committing more than 60 hours a week of student screen time and another 20 hours a week of parent and teacher screen time in consultation,” Detrick said. “We also offered a small student support group involving 5 different grade levels. Students were able to join a Zoom call and collaborate with their peers and student support teacher on whatever they needed help with.”

Given the dramatic shift in how students were learning in the virtual environment, the SSS team looked to new strategies to help students make adjustments and maintain progress.

“We worked with students on their sleep schedules, time management, establishing realistic goals, and setting up a successful e-learning environment in their home,” Detrick explained.

The ISI SSS team is an invaluable asset to our students and families, even more so with many students beginning the 2020-2021 academic year as remote learners as well as the ongoing potential for the pandemic to force our school community into another e-learning scenario during the school year.

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