Guidance Counselor - Upper or Lower School

Golda Och Academy | West Orange, NJ, United States

Posted Date 5/06/2022

Golda Och Academy, recognized as one of the top Jewish day schools in the country, is a vibrant learning community that focuses on the individual intellectual, social, and spiritual needs of each child. We cultivate in students a lifelong love of learning within the context of Jewish knowledge and heritage. Our school is located on two campuses — one for the Lower School and one for the Upper School — located about two miles apart in West Orange, serving approximately 450 students from more than 60 communities across New Jersey.

Golda Och Academy is looking to expand their Guidance Team!  We are currently accepting applications for a Guidance Counselor at the both the Upper and Lower School campuses for the 2022-2023 school year.


Qualified candidates should be energetic and outgoing professionals who support diagnosis, assessment, intervention, prevention, health promotion, program development, and staff training. Guidance Counselors serve as a student advocate who works cooperatively with parents/guardians, faculty/staff, and external organizations, as needed, to promote the healthy development of children and families in our community. The Guidance Counselor enriches the community through a strong cross-curricular approach to create a sense of belonging that empowers students to engage daily.

Lower School Role Essential Functions

  • Abides by the policies and guidelines contained in the GOA Employee Handbook

  • Responds to any crisis, including separation and loss

  • Keeps abreast of breaking events that may affect the community and provides resources for staff, parents, and students

  • Collaborates with the admissions team to screen prospective applicants and review neuropsychological testing

  • Trains faculty to implement classroom-based prevention and support programming related to mental health and students’ social, emotional, and behavioral needs (e.g., anti-bullying and self-regulation)

  • Educate students about self awareness and self esteem.  Teach problem solving and conflict resolution skills.

  • Support student growth and development inside and outside of the classroom (ie. on the playground, at recess, and during lunch/less structured times of the day)

  • Provides short-term individual and small group counseling pertaining to school-based behavioral, emotional, social, self-regulation, and mental health issues

  • Maintains documentation, logs, and appropriate communication in accordance with professional standards pertaining to licensed school counselors

  • Consults with parents/guardians, teachers, support staff, administrators, medical professionals, and community mental health personnel

  • Maintains relationships with qualified therapists and/or community agencies and provides referrals to families as appropriate

  • Works collaboratively to develop and implement a school-wide health and wellness curriculum and resources to support understanding of early childhood and elementary development

  • Provides guidance and professional development opportunities to faculty and staff on topics such as behavior management, recognizing mental health challenges in the classroom, building classroom community, growing resilience in children, and effects of COVID-19 in our Preschool through Grade 5 learners

  • Provides robust parent/guardian education on a range of relevant topics

  • Attends all appropriate school meetings and events

  • Develops, designs, and implements behavioral-based support plans

  • Implements classroom-based prevention programming related to mental health and students’ social, emotional, and behavioral needs (e.g., anti-bullying, self-regulation)

Upper School Role Essential Functions

Work to support students:

  • One-on-one counseling
    • Impromptu, “drop-in”
    • Pre-set, regular meetings
  • Crisis management
  • Monitor students progress to make sure they are on track
  • Oversees implementation of any plans for students on academic probation
  • Helping students manage their emotions through difficult situations
  • Processing issues with students that might be related to teachers, classes or friends
  • Placing students in sections for their schedules in conjunction with the department chair
  • Managing students when absent and upon their return to school
  • Facilitating student groups based on the social-emotional needs of the students

Work to support families:

  • Providing regular updates via phone or email for any at-risk students
  • Helping families manage their emotions as it relates to student progress in school
  • Maintain communication with families/caregivers
  • Facilitating student/teacher/parent meetings
  • Meeting with families during Parent/Teacher conferences

Collaboration with teachers:

  • Give suggestions and advice for how to best work with individual students
  • Offer coaching around:
    • Communication
      • Parents/student
    • Promote SEL in the classroom
    • Help writing responsive emails to students and families
    • Arranging groups/partners for projects
    • Classroom management needs

Communication Responsibilities:

  • Formal group emails to families and students:
    • Welcomes
    • Updates
    • Reminders, especially about upcoming activities and exams
    • Special program updates
      • Trips
      • Activities
      • Rhythm-of-the-year updates

Communications with students and families:

  • Poor grade notifications

Liaison with therapists and tutors:

  • Specific services

Other Duties

  • Chaperoning trips and prepping the student groups to go on trips
  • Planning student and parent orientations


Job Requirements

  • Previous school counseling experience preferred

  • Master’s Degree in Counseling or Social Work

  • Minimum two (2) years post-licensure experience preferred

  • Experience working with students, parents, teachers, and families

  • Well-versed in reading and writing learning plans

  • Experienced in creating and implementing social-emotional learning skills programs for students, faculty/staff, and parents

  • Strong organization/time management and interpersonal skills

  • Ability to work both collaboratively and independently

  • Must be able to develop high levels of trust and rapport with students, parents/guardians, and colleagues

  • Knowledgeable about the development stages of early childhood and elementary aged students as well as positive identity formation frameworks (for Lower School Role)

Supervisory Responsibility

This position has no supervisory responsibility.

GOA is committed to ensuring healthy and safe working and learning environments, and maintaining our educational commitment to GOA students and families - with minimal disruption to instruction. With this in mind, GOA requires vaccination against COVID-19 for all employees. Candidates who would like to apply for a reasonable accommodation from this policy based on a qualifying disability or sincerely held religious belief should reach out directly to the Director of Human Resources for more

Golda Och Academy is a an inclusive community and makes all employment decisions without regard for an individual’s race, creed, color, religion, national origin, nationality, sex, pregnancy, affectional or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, veteran status, physical or mental disability (including AIDS and HIV related illness), genetic information, refusal to provide genetic information, refusal to submit to genetic testing, ancestry, familial status, marital status, domestic partnership status, civil union status, atypical cellular or blood trait, military service, application for military service, or any other basis protected by applicable law.


The School conducts pre-employment screening for all positions which includes a criminal background check, verification of work history, academic credentials, licenses, and certifications. Employment is contingent upon successful completion of the background check.


Eligible employees receive a competitive benefit package that includes health insurance coverage, paid leave and retirement plan options and many other valuable programs information.

Full Time
Counselor | Social Worker
Organization Type
Education & Schools
Retirement Plans | Dental | FSA | Kosher Food Option Available | Leave Early for Shabbat | Life Insurance | Medical Insurance | Paid Holidays | Paid Vacation | Parental Leave | Sick Days | Vision
Job Location

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