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Student Support Services

Lower School girl working out a problem on the Smart Board
Always looking forward, always learning
Upper School student in the science lab, one student is looking through a microscope
Where students take their own path

ZIS is an inclusive school which uses a multi-level support structure (MLSS) to meet the needs of all learners.

Zurich lnternational School welcomes and celebrates diversity among our student population for the mutual benefit of all. We support an inclusive model of education that serves a managed number of students representing a full range of learning profiles including mild, moderate and intensive needs. The goal of our inclusive model is to provide high quality and challenging learning experiences purposefully meeting the needs of all learners. The whole community shares common rights and responsibilities, working collaboratively towards fulfilling the ZlS Vision and Mission, Learning Principles, and Character Standards.

ZIS Multi-Level Support Structure (MLSS)

Learning Support - multi level support diagram

English as an Additional Language

Two students reading together

One of ZIS' strengths is our tremendous cultural diversity. Over 50 nationalities are represented on our campuses and a host of different languages are spoken. This makes for a diverse, vibrant and exciting environment in which our students can grow and develop.

Our English as an Additional Language (EAL) program is designed to provide academic instruction and support for English language learning. The program’s purpose is to ensure that our students become proficient in English and achieve academic success. In the Lower School, student support teachers work alongside classroom teachers to support students’ English language development. In the Middle and Upper School campuses, separate EAL classes are offered as required. These take the place of or supplement mainstream English classes.

Parents are strongly encouraged to help their children maintain and develop their home language as this provides a strong foundation for English language learning and is fundamental to a student's emotional well-being.

New applicants to Middle and Upper School may be asked to complete a placement assessment.

ZIS Language Policy

See the Middle School and Upper School Program of Studies for more information on EAL classes.

Middle School Program of Studies

Upper School Program of Studies

Health Services

We have nurses at each campus to support students and employees, not only with any illness and well-being issues while at school but also with general health and wellness.

School nursing is a specialized and professional practice that advances the well-being and academic success of students and supports staff and faculty in areas related to health and wellness.

To promote the health and well-being of the ZIS community, there is a nurse on every campus:

  • Lower School Health Office is open Monday to Friday from 08:30 to 16:30.
  • Middle School Health Office is open Monday to Friday from 08:30 to 16:30.
  • Upper School Health Office is open Monday to Fridayfrom 08:30 to 17:30.

Students should always inform their class teacher if they need to see the nurse, unless it is an emergency situation. A student may make their own appointment or just drop in during opening times e.g. lunch time before or after school.

Local Healthcare Specialists

For information about local healthcare specialists please contact your campus nurse who will be happy to advise you on accessing healthcare in the community.

University & Careers Counseling

Whether a ZIS student is planning to go to university, a gap year, military service or pursue other options, the Upper School university and career counselors provide each student assistance in that transition.

At ZIS our philosophy is to guide students in their quest to find the pathway that best fits their abilities, interests and needs. ZIS graduates are highly regarded, and each year more than 100 university representatives from a variety of countries visit our Upper School campus to meet with ZIS students and their counselors.

University & Careers Counseling

Individualized Learning Provision (ILP)

Individualized Learning Provision (ILP) serves students who benefit from small group, individual instruction and flexible programming.

Common services provided to students in the Individualized Learning Provision (ILP) include (but are not limited to): individualized reading or math interventions, functional academics; instruction in adaptive behavior skills and social skills, and emotional supports. The ILP provides a learning environment that balances rigor and support; with inclusive classroom settings whenever possible. 

Please contact our admissions team so we can discuss your specific situation.

Student Counseling

The Lower, Middle and Upper Schools all have counseling departments, with experienced and highly trained counselors working with students to  serve and assist them with their unique needs. While addressing the academic, social, and emotional needs of students, counselors also act as a bridge between teachers and parents, working to create an environment where every student will have the tools they need to fulfill our school mission. The programs are preventative, collaborative, developmental and remedial in nature.

Counselors work with students on a range of issues, for example:

  • communication and relationship-building skills with peers, parents, and teachers
  • time management and study skills
  • stress management
  • anxiety reduction
  • self-esteem
  • management of peer pressure
  • transitions

Counselors support students who face learning and personal challenges. We may refer the parents of students requiring ongoing therapies to outside service providers.

Counselors see students individually, in small groups, in the classroom and in informal settings. The counselor offers monitoring, consultation to teachers and parents, in-class programs and group work as well as individual sessions to students who have been identified as having social or emotional needs which affect their learning and/or relationships at school.

Learning Support

Our student support teams at each campus include learning support teachers with a range of expertise who work closely with classroom teachers. 

Learning support may include in-class support, individual or small group instruction. A variety of strategies are used to best meet the learning needs of all students. 

Learning support teachers assist students in developing skills and strategies to achieve success in their mainstream classes and work closely with classroom teachers to support differentiated instruction.

Students with diagnosed learning difficulties have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) so that all adults understand how best to accommodate for their different learning needs.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy

Occupational therapy helps students to develop, improve and practice every day tasks and activities both in school and at play, enabling them to become more functional, successful and independent.

Pediatric occupational therapists evaluate referred students and, where necessary, help them to develop, improve and practice tasks and activities of daily living both in school and at play, enabling students to become more functional, successful and independent. An important part of the treatment process is close cooperation with the parents, other therapists, class and learning support teachers.

The program involves the treatment of:

  • gross motor skills
  • fine motor skills/handwriting
  • self-help skills
  • sensory processing and integration
  • visual perception skills

Speech & Language Therapy

Speech-language pathologists/therapists identify, evaluate, and treat speech, language, and communication difficulties in students of all ages to enable them to communicate to the best of their ability. Speech and language therapy is available at the Lower, Middle and Upper School campuses.

The role of a speech-language pathologist (SLP), also known as a speech and language therapist (SLT), is to identify, evaluate, and treat speech, language, and communication difficulties in individuals of all ages to enable them to communicate to the best of their ability. At ZIS, strong emphasis is placed on multi-disciplinary team liaison and close collaboration with parents, teachers, learning support, and other professionals, to maximise carry-over of communication in all of the student’s environments. The SLPs at ZIS are experienced in assessing and supporting students from multilingual backgrounds.