Counseling Services

Counseling is a very critical element of providing support and a therapeutic environment for any student that is placed in an out-of-district school. Students need to be able to express themselves in a safe, nurturing and confidential environment.

Washington Academy’s counseling program was developed by a team of psychologists with combined 60 years of experience with child psychology and also school based intervention strategies.

Each student receives group counseling 1x per week mandatory and some students will also receive an additional individual session for 30-min, depending on their IEP.


The purpose of school-based counseling, in comparison to regular therapy, is to help the child understand their role as a "student" and the important of school in their current life and how it can help them achieve thieir future goals and path.

School-based counseling is a vital part of a college-and career ready program because it gives each student a solid resource to ask questions, monitor feelings and emotions, and also keep focused on academic and behavioral goals toward a college- or career ready future.

CHARACTER EDUCATION (Anti-Bullying Program)

In October, Washington Academy observes “Respect Week” to promote pro-social and anti-bully behaviors in school. In conjunction with the Counseling program, the school safety team has developed relevant activities and projects to raise awareness of social skills and positive relationship building.

Throughout the year, each classroom will engage in character education activities that educate students about historical figures in human history that have promoted positive social change, such as Ghandi, Mother Theresa and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

It is very important for students in the 21st Century to understand the power of these people’s words and actions and how their philosophies have created a better world.

Extended School Year (E.S.Y.)  Counseling Program

E.S.Y. begins at the beginning of July and runs through the 2nd week in August. It is one of the longest summer programs in the State of New Jersey because of its positive behavior change results.

One of the key reasons parents/guardians consider Washington Academy’s E.S.Y.  program is the social skills counseling.

Each week, all students regardless of the token economy system participate in a social skills activity, many times off-campus with the social workers. The purpose of the social field trip is to observe behaviors in a new environment and to identify interpersonal skills development needed for each student.

All of the information gathered and observed on these social skills trips by the social workers is then discussed in the classrooms next group counseling session to provide wrap-around services to the students.