The International School Nido de Aguilas


Guidance & Counseling

“Nobody can learn for you. Nobody can grow for you. Nobody can seek for you. Nobody can do for you what you must do for yourself. Existence doesn’t allow representatives.”
-Jorge Bucay

The Middle School Guidance and Counseling program promotes the intellectual, academic, emotional, and social growth of all students so that they may succeed in their education. Counselors help students cope with the diverse changes and challenges they meet on a daily basis and to prepare them to be self-advocates and problem-solvers as they navigate their relationships with peers and adults.

We are committed to creating a learning environment where students are encouraged to understand themselves, to develop healthy peer relationships, to accept personal responsibility for their own behavior, to make effective decisions and to develop sound values and high ideals.

The Middle School has one full-time counselor and one full-time counselor/psychologist who provide the following services:

  • Assist students in developing a better understanding of themselves, recognizing their individual strengths and weaknesses, and helping them make realistic choices, decisions, and plans
  • Provide counseling to students with personal concerns
  • Serve as consultants for teachers and administrators in matters relating to the student's school-related needs
  • Provide guidance to students with academic or other school-related needs
  • Provide orientation for new students and organize cultural transitions groups
  • Facilitate the transition of Elementary School students to Middle School and of Middle School students to High School
  • Contribute to the planning of the Advisory and House programs
  • Administer entrance examinations
  • Offer parents guidance and support

Any student voluntarily seeking assistance with a personal problem from the school counselor is guaranteed confidentiality unless the counselor determines that there is a physical or emotional danger to the student, another student, or the student body, at which point the counselor will advise the Principal of this possibility.

Student Support Team

For individual cases, we use a Student Support Team (SST) model. The Student Support Team (SST) is comprised of a combination of teachers, school counselors and psychologists, school administrators, the learning support specialists in the Student Resource Center, the student's Advisor, and any outside specialists who offer insight and expertise into a student’s learning experience. Students are referred to the SST through self-referral, at the request of parents or guardians, teachers, staff, and administration, and outside specialists, or at the discretion of the counselors.

The SST, with input from the student’s teachers, parents, and the student himself or herself, will create an Action Plan, comprised of strategies and interventions to make the student's middle school experience more fulfilling and successful. In order to create an appropriate plan, the SST may recommend consultation with outside specialists, and the Guidance and Counseling staff can recommend excellent bilingual and multilingual mental health professionals and other medical specialists in the greater Santiago area.

Curriculum and Programming

Our Guidance and Counseling Services have a special focus on the many transitions our students go through when they enter Middle School. We help the students and their families manage the emotional, psychological, and physical changes that children experience during adolescence. Our Counselors facilitate communication among students, parents, teachers, and administrators, and favor solution-focused approaches. In instances of relational conflict among students, we facilitate Small Group Guidance so students can begin to develop the skills necessary for resolving these social problems themselves.

Counselors plan and deliver proactive guidance lessons as part of our Social Emotional Learning curriculum, helping our MS students with challenges such as responsibility with social media, peer pressure, substance abuse, academic and social stress, physical and hormonal changes, self-esteem, and personal safety.

Advisory and House Programs

The Advisory Program in the Middle School is designed to help each student develop a sense of community and belonging. The advisory groups remain small (10-12 students per advisory), and students meet in this "home base" every morning for the entire school year. It is a space where they connect with their peers and teacher, contribute to the dynamic of the group, develop a healthy self-image, and seek guidance regarding their social, emotional, and academic needs and goals. Nido advisors are facilitators of team building, role models for character education, mentors for academic plans, and caretakers for the year. The MS Advisory program is designed to ensure that at least one adult at Nido has the global perspective of each student.

The House Program is designed to meet the following goals:

  • to offer students a more intimate community in which to grow
  • to involve students in real-world problem-solving activities
  • to afford students an opportunity for authentic leadership
  • to facilitate meaningful service to the School and wider community

Through the House Program, MS students are divided by Advisory Groups into several multi-grade level teams that meet in large or small groups to work on problems, challenges, and/or service projects. In the course of this work, students form tighter bonds with other MS classmates, develop problem-solving and teamwork skills, and become more aware of their community. Ultimately, the program aims to produce a more harmonious school culture where students are more fully connected to one another and are more fully aware of the positive contributions they can make in the world.

Freedom from Chemical Dependency

FCD (Freedom from Chemical Dependency) is a nonprofit provider of school-based substance abuse prevention services. FCD has worked worldwide to provide students and the adults who care for them with the knowledge, understanding, and skills they need to make intelligent, healthy choices about alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use. Nido brings in FCD educators every year to work with our Grade 6 and Grade 8 students.

Guidance and Counseling Team

Margo Chamberlain

Middle School Counselor


Paula Spencer

Middle School Counselor


Diana Van Iersel

MS Counseling Secretary

Powered by Finalsite