Student Support

Outside of classes, we provide a variety of support services for students. This includes helping them effectively plan their academic schedule, providing counselling and learning support, navigating university applications and providing computer services.

Learning Resource Support

Learning resource support helps students conquer obstacles to their academic success. For some students, this help is in the form of workshops and coaching to improve study skills, note-taking and time management. Other students may require more specific support due to learning differences.

Individual Education Plans (IEPs)

Whether students are gifted or they struggle with specific learning challenges, our learning resource support program helps all learners reach their full potential.

Individual Education Plans are usually developed when students have undergone a psycho-educational assessment, and are based on recommendations from the psychologist. Learning resource specialists offer many different kinds of support, which includes accommodations for testing, assistance with note-taking, providing access to assistive technology, and regularly scheduled meetings to discuss issues and review progress.

Learning Resources at the Senior School

Senior School has a dedicated staff of learning resource specialists to provide our students with the tools and skills they need to reach their potential. These are just some of the ways our learning resource specialists help our students:

  • work with subject teachers to address a student's learning obstacles;
  • help plan student transitions;
  • develop and implement programs for students with low-incidence disabilities;
  • apply assistive technology; and
  • understand and work with students with social and emotional difficulties.

Levels of support vary by need. Some students benefit from help with organization, time management, study skills, and specific-subject support, while others require special support or enrichment.

At the Senior School, our learning resource specialists also offer note-taking services, thanks to a group of student volunteers who share their class notes with peers.

Many factors can affect students’ well-being and their ability to keep up with their academic responsibilities. Our counsellors offer students the support and resources necessary for them to achieve academic, personal, and social well-being.

The Senior School and boarding community each have their own dedicated counsellors. Our main objective is to ensure our students have every opportunity to be successful in school. Counselling is confidential unless we believe the student is at risk. Our counsellors will also work with parents, but as students get older and more independent, they become our primary focus.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the procedure for a student or parent interested in counselling?

Students can visit their counsellor anytime. Parents are also welcome to make an appointment with a counsellor to discuss their children. Teachers, support staff, medical staff, the chaplain or administrators may also refer students to the counselling office.

Can students attend counselling sessions within their timetable?

For students in Senior School, appointment times for counselling do not conflict with classes and responsibilities unless there is an urgent need for the student. For example, the counsellor will see students in their spares, during lunch break, after school, or, if necessary, during non-academic class time.

How often can students receive counselling?

Frequency of appointments depends on the need of the student, as well as their obligations and time commitments. A student with a high need may pop in to see a counsellor almost daily until they are feeling better and some students will see a counsellor once a week throughout the year. Others may pop in to see a counsellor once or twice and then not need a visit again in their whole time at SMUS.

Is counselling ever mandatory?

At the Senior School, counselling is not usually mandatory. However, if a student's mental health or decision-making interferes with their school performance (academic, personal, or social), an administrator may ask the student to see either the school counsellor or a registered clinical counsellor or psychologist off campus. The main objective is for the students to get the support needed to enable them to meet with success at school (for example, help building self-confidence or making good decisions). Recommendations are made with that in mind.

We feel it's important to make sure each student that joins our school is made to feel welcome and receives the right information and support as they adjust to a new school or a new phase of their SMUS education.

Students who are new to Senior School have a dedicated orientation assembly on the first day of classes, and there is an information evening in September where new Senior School parents have the opportunity to find out more about life and learning at the secondary level.

The WEB and Link Orientation Programs

WEB (Where Everybody Belongs) and Link Crew are Middle and Senior School transition programs built on the belief that students are the best people to help other students succeed in a new environment.

Both programs recruit older students to act as role models, motivators, leaders and teachers who guide their new schoolmates to discover what it takes to be successful in their new school. WEB leaders and Link Crew kick off with the school year with a fun and energetic orientation day that makes students excited and proud to be attending their new school and allows them to begin developing relationships and strategies that will contribute to their success.

Academic and social follow-up activities continue throughout the year, providing student with a structure that helps them make real and lasting connections with one another.