At Newmark Schools, we believe that counseling plays an important part in developing and reinforcing the behavioral and social skills students need to be successful. Our counselors interact directly with students on a day-to-day basis and provide the support to help students make sound behavioral decisions.
Our approach to counseling is based on three key components. The foundation component is our Social Skills Program, which consists of two curriculums. The first one is the Social Decision Making and Problem Solving Curriculum (SDM) from UMDNJ/Rutgers. The goal of the SDM program is to help students develop the social skills and decision-making skills needed to cope with everyday life. Social Thinking was developed by Michelle Garcia Winner, MA, CCC-SLP. Her program focuses on helping individuals learn perspective-taking so they may choose effective social skills, and understand how to interact in a mutual way with their environment. Both curriculums are designed to become a strategic part of the teaching process, impacting on behavior, academic learning, and the social/emotional life of the school setting. These programs provide a foundation of pro-social, critical thinking, and life skill learning for all students. The main objectives of each curriculum include self-control, social awareness, and the ability to navigate and adapt to many types of social situations.
The second component is a school-wide behavior management system wherein counselors and teachers provide constant positive feedback to students, making them aware of the ways that they should be behaving rather than the ways in which they should not be behaving. This encourages students to adopt positive behavior patterns instead of focusing on negative ones.
The third component is Adventure-Based/Team Building activities, where students are able to take decision-making and knowledge application skills that they have learned in the classroom and utilize them in group problem solving settings. These age-appropriate activities improve our students’ levels of trust, responsibility, communication, collaboration, relationship building, respect, and constructive risk-taking.
Our counselors also conduct weekly small and large group counseling sessions with students as appropriate, with a focus on:
- Development of effective social skills
- Learning coping skills to successfully manage emotions
- Expanding verbal and non-verbal communications skills
- School adjustment
- Conflict resolution
- Increasing self esteem
- Supporting and reinforcing positive behavioral choices
The Newmark Schools point-based feedback system and behavior management protocols are observed during all counseling sessions and appropriate social skills are reinforced at all times.
All counseling staff are appropriately certified and licensed according to N.J.A.C. 6A:14-3.9(a) 4.