Student Support Services

Section Title

Saigon South International School recognizes the diverse needs of children and adolescents. SSIS employs counselors and learning support specialists in all school divisions.

The Student Support Services department is able to provide the following services to enhance student achievement and adjustment.

Counseling Services:

The elementary school psychologist supports the academic, social and emotional needs of elementary students at SSIS. The psychologist offers classroom lessons and support services for students and families as they manage issues of studying and living in an international environment. The goal is to promote personal well-being, healthy relationships and the successful balance of academic, extracurricular and community involvement for SSIS students.

Middle and high school guidance and counseling services support students in the development of their unique learning styles and personal growth. Classroom and parent programs are designed to help students and families in adjusting to overseas life. In middle school there is an advisory program that guides the students in their academic, personal, emotional and career awareness growth. In the high school, an organized and systematic approach to academic counseling supports students in the development of a four-year plan to attain entry to the desired post-academic program. Individual and family presentations help with preparation of excellent college admissions applications and career planning.

Learning Support Services:

There is a learning support specialist in all divisions. They consult with teachers, parents, and other school personnel in order to maximize student achievement. Short-term enrichment support may be available to students referred to the Student Services Team (SST). Extended support may be available for students who are identified as having mild learning needs.

Students admitted to SSIS should be able to function successfully within the regular classroom program while receiving minimal assistance from Support Services personnel and within the parameters of the support SSIS is able to provide.

English as an Additional Language (EAL):

The EAL Support Services at SSIS are available to non-native English speakers with limited experience in an English-medium school. Students receive support through referral at the time of admission or by the classroom teacher. The students are supported in their development of both social and academic language skills, utilizing the curriculum of the respective grade level. The EAL specialist works closely with the classroom teacher, and together they assess and monitor students’ English language acquisition. Students learn language in a safe and nurturing environment in which language is easily accessible. Students receive support in small group pull-out instruction and/or in class support in which the EAL specialist co-teaches lessons or provides in-class small group guidance and one-on-one support when necessary.

Students may be considered for exit from EAL Support Services when they consistently demonstrate grade level language proficiency. The EAL specialists and classroom teachers carefully review recent assessments, test scores and evaluate classroom performance to make a recommendation for exit from support services.

In the elementary school, students receive support in small group pull-out instruction and/or in class support in which the EAL specialist co-teaches lessons or provides in-class small group guidance and one-on-one support when necessary.

The middle school and high school EAL program uses a sheltered immersion model of instruction, which provides support while simultaneously immersing the student in the mainstream population. Depending upon their English proficiency level, middle and high school EAL students may be enrolled in specially designed EAL classes where the focus is on improving skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

EAL courses are available through grade 10. Due to the rigor of instruction at the high school level, all prospective 9th and 10th grade students must be in the high intermediate range of English language proficiency. Students applying for grade 11 must be proficient in English.

Community Referrals:

At times, depending on individual students needs, SSIS will assist with external referrals. There are a variety of specialists in the community, which provide further options for our students.


Parents of students with identified speech/language or learning needs are advised to share assessment reports with Admissions during the application process. Parents who suspect that their children may have unidentified special needs should arrange for comprehensive physical, academic, speech/language and/or psychological evaluations of their children prior to making an application.