Lower School Guidance

We are fortunate at CESJDS to have a staff of three professional guidance counselors available to work with our students, their parents and teachers. Through a comprehensive, developmental school counseling program we facilitate the growth of the “whole child.” In furtherance of this goal we provide:

  • Classroom guidance lessons, focused on age-appropriate subjects
  • "Safe havens" for children to speak with a counselor in confidence, individually or in groups
  • Materials and resources for teachers and parents
  • A collaborative approach to working with teachers, administrators and parents about the emotional, behavioral, intellectual and social development of children
  • Referral to outside agencies and professionals
  • Support to new students and their families as they adjust to life at CESJDS

Our Purpose

The counselor's objective is to help students emerge from their CESJDS experience as responsible, caring, and self-directed young adults who are ready to meet the challenges of today's society. The Guidance Department is an integral part of the school's total education program and our services are designed to promote self-awareness, self-exploration and self-expression in students.

Our Role

Counselors work with students individually and in groups to help them reach their greatest academic and personal potential. In addition to supporting a student's academic progress, counselors also provide information about making the most of the CESJDS experience by becoming involved in creative extracurricular activities and finding meaningful ways to meet the community service requirement. Counselors also serve as a resource for psychological and educational referrals, as well as providing students and parents with information about standardized testing and mental health and personal wellness concerns.

Students meet with counselors several times during the year, but are always welcome to set up additional appointments.

Lower School Guidance Team

Leslie Ashman

Leslie Ashman
4th and 5th Grade Guidance Counselor
B.S., Family Studies
MSW (Master of Social Work)

Devora Berkowitz

2nd & 3rd Grade Guidance Counselor

Dara Buchman

Dara Buchman
Kindergarten-1st Grade Guidance Counselor

Gayle Elster

Gayle Elster
Gurim Guidance Counselor and Guidance Support Specialist
B.S., Special Eduation