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 2021-2022.
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 10th 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

Welcome students and families!
My name is Ms. Heydi Reyes and I am the new secondary school counselor at the International School of Havana. I’m so excited to be a part of the ISH family working with students in grades 6 through 12.
I was born in El Salvador but moved to the United States at the age of 5. I was raised in the suburbs of Northern Virginia, right outside of Washington DC, USA. I received my M.Ed. in School Counseling from Old Dominion University in Virginia, USA. During my undergraduate studies, I received my B.B.A in Business Management from Radford University in Virginia, USA. I have previously worked as a high school counselor serving students in grades 9 through 12. In this role, I supported students with social-emotional, academic, and college and career planning concerns.
My passion to help students reach their fullest potential while offering compassion led me to a career as a school counselor. Building positive and trusting relationships and offering unconditional acceptance to students and families is at the core of my work as a counselor. I’m excited to meet with students individually, in small groups, and during advisory periods. I strive to build a school environment where all students feel supported, cared for, and a sense of belonging.
Please do not hesitate 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 getting to know students better this year!