Guidance Programme

The Guidance Programme Mission
The Guidance Programme exists to:
▪ Meet the needs of all ISH students who are experiencing personal, social and emotional difficulties which interfere with their academic achievement, personal interactions and responsible citizenship
▪ Encourage students to become ethical, caring and responsible adults with an understanding of the impact of their behavior on not only themselves but also on others and upon the well-being of their families and the community in which they live
▪ Help students to identify their vocational interests and aptitudes and thereby assist with career guidance

The Guidance Programme Goals
The Guidance Programme aims to:
▪ Promote motivation, self-confidence, self-esteem, self-awareness, management of feelings and emotions, empathy and social skills in all students
▪ Address the individual needs of all the students in the school context
▪ Foster respect for the culture of the school and the different cultures within the school
▪ Instill moral and ethical values in students
▪ Assist students with the challenges of transitions
▪ Help students to identify their vocational interests and aptitudes and thereby assist with career guidance
▪ Develop personal responsibility

The School Counselors will provide intervention and referral services to those individual students or groups of students facing personal, emotional, social or academic difficulties.

A Guidance Programme is offered to students from all grades. In Primary School once-a-week lessons are provided in order to help students to:
▪ Think analytically, critically and creatively to develop problem solving strategies for communicating effectively with others
▪ Understand the impact of their behaviours on their own short and long-term physical, academic and emotional health
▪ Reflect on the decisions, opinions and behavior of themselves and others
▪ Understand, respect and show positive attitudes towards cultural differences

In the Secondary School, each student receives weekly advisory lessons that focus on social emotional topics, community and relationship building activities, and school service projects. The Advisory Programme’s purpose is to develop a sense of community through a program that:
▪ creates a more personalized learning environment where all students develop a strong and positive relationship with one adult
▪ endorses the enhancement of student's emotional well-being
▪ recognizes and values the development of resilient young adults who feel a sense of belonging and connectedness at ISH
▪ promotes a sense of meaning and purpose in student’s life

The Secondary School Counselor also provides both individual and comprehensive college and career counseling services to assist students in developing a postsecondary plan that aligns with their long-term goals. This includes but is not limited to supporting students through the college and university admissions process, providing students with university and employment opportunities and resources, and preparing students with the skills they need to transition to young successful citizens of the world.

In addition, all students receive individual academic advising services to develop an academic plan that prepares them to achieve their postsecondary college and career goals.

Counseling/guidance services offered to the community by request


Hello all!
I would like to welcome you back to our new academic year 2022-2023.
My name is Olga Betancourt and I am the Primary School Counselor at the International School of Havana. I am so honored to be entering my 11th year as part of the ISH family! I am committed to be encouraging, supporting and empowering our students to become their best selves.
I received my B.S from the School of Psychology at the University of Havana, Cuba. I have previously worked as a university teacher, instructing and coaching students on research methodology and supporting their socio-emotional and academic needs.
The beginning of the school year is a great time to start with a new outlook. Remind your children about their accomplishments last year, and if they did not do as well as they would prefer, talk to them and discuss how they can start fresh and do things differently this one.
I will be meeting with students via online or in person, individually and in small groups, conducting classroom lessons, collaborating and working as a team with parents and staff. In addition, I will be available for consultation by any student that feels the need to discuss personal problems or issues.
If any concern arises regarding your child’s social emotional wellbeing please contact me via email or by sharing your interest with the homeroom teachers or the school administration.
My contact information is: pscounselor@ish.co.cu
Olga Betancourt
Primary School Counselor

My name is Ailemys Rodríguez and I am the new Secondary Counsellor at the International School of Havana. I’m so excited to be part of the ISH family working with students in grades 6 through 12!.
As Socio-emotional Counsellor, my principal goal is to provide unconditional support to students, teachers and parents. I believe that kindness, tolerance, positive thinking, assertive communication and acceptance are key to fostering quality social relationships and enhancing students' psychological well-being.
Before coming to ISH, I worked as University Professor, Neuroscience Investigator, Clinical Psychologist and Neuropsychologist. I have been committed with the children and adolescents’ mental health as well as parents and stakeholders’ advising and guidance for more than 19 years.
I received my B.S in Psychology and a MD in Medical Psychology at the Universidad Central de Las Villas. Later, I obtained a MD in Neuroscience.
All my professional experiences, have been dedicated to the children and adolescent’s attention and support. Therefore, at ISH I will be more than pleased to work with all the students, teachers and families that would be in need of Socio-emotional support.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office at Calle 22 or Calle 18 Campuses or to contact me should you have any questions or concerns: sscounselor@ish.co.cu.
I feel extremely lucky to be a part of this community and look forward to supporting you all this year!
Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or concerns, sscounselor@ish.co.cu.