Maitland, FL – 5-9-19 - Jewish Academy of Orlando provides a multi-faceted whole-child development program. Danielle Glover, JAO’s in-house school guidance counselor, supports the school’s whole-child development with regular classroom guidance sessions, one-on-one and small group counseling, and parent support.
“A whole-child approach to education is instrumental in raising well-adjusted children who have self-compassion, the confidence to take on new challenges, and the resilience to get back up and try again,” said school counselor, Danielle Glover. “My mission here at Jewish Academy is to support the students in their efforts as they learn and practice these skills to add to their social toolbox.”
Classroom guidance sessions are designed to be developmentally focused with topics tailored to each class’s needs, from personal space and being a good friend to preparing for middle school and setting goals. Each session utilizes a hands-on approach with role-playing of real world situations through group discussions. Various forms of media are often incorporated with each session, including engaging games and books.
After each classroom guidance session, Ms. Glover communicates the lesson to parents to facilitate reinforcement at home.
Ms. Glover also facilitates “Lunch Bunch” gatherings, informal mediation sessions that occur over lunch. These lunches allow Ms. Glover to help students navigate peer relationships and to provide conflict resolution in a non-threatening manner. Plus, because the sessions are deliberately impromptu, she is able to offer immediate intervention as problems arise. Lunch Bunch sessions also help Ms. Glover build rapport and connect with each student.
“My goal is for the students to do most of the talking. That way, I can truly tailor the sessions to their needs,” added Ms. Glover
Ms. Glover also provides one-on-one counseling to support individual students’ needs. She partners with the student, educators, parents, and administration to ensure each child’s needs are met.
“At Jewish Academy of Orlando, psychoeducation, which is the interdisciplinary approach that unites educators, counselors and administration, is key to lay a strong foundation for social and emotional growth for all students,” said head of school, Alan Rusonik. “The extreme pressure to achieve and perform is pervasive through society and social media. We use psychoeducation to both build confidence and communication skills. These are two traits to build resilience in academic and social situations. We are grateful to Jewish Family Services of Greater Orlando for supporting this effort.”
Ms. Glover is also available to educators and parents on as needed for any concerns or questions that surface.
“In this day and age of when too many children at young ages are at a higher risk of depression, anxiety, and eating disorders, their emotional well-being now, more than ever, is crucial,” said Ms. Glover. “By focusing on the whole child, our families don’t have to make the choice between strong academics and emotional intelligence. At JAO, both are a key foci to preparing our students for the world.”
In addition to Ms. Glover’s involvement, the school’s dedication to serving the Whole Child and supporting self-care include a 45-minute daily recess, daily morning break, extended lunches, and weekly yoga. These activities are designed to teach students self-care, teamwork, the benefits of brain breaks, and promotes socializing.
“At JAO, both Academic Excellence and a Whole Child focus make up the foundation of our core values,” said Rusonik. “Educating prepared, confident, and happy children is our highest mark of success. We are grateful to have Danielle Glover on our team to support this effort.”