Student Support

Aidan's Student Support team is here to counsel, tutor, and create strategies to handle challenges for our students and their families.

The team has two components:

The Counseling Office

The Counseling program at Aidan Montessori is designed to teach and promote school-wide emotional intelligence and to provide support towards the social/emotional growth and needs of students and families.

The Counselor at Aidan helps students and families to gain insight and develop strategies around conflict resolution, managing friendship dynamics, and understanding feelings. The tools we use to achieve this include short term counseling to students, running parent education workshops and programs, and providing classroom observations.

In addition to supplementing the Grace and Courtesy lessons students receive from classroom teachers, the school counseling program utilizes social/emotional tools and programs such as RULER, Connected and Respected, and MindUp to help facilitate the work of the school counselor.

The Learning Support Office

The Learning Support program at Aidan Montessori is designed to teach and promote one-on-one and small group differentiated learning when appropriate. The program also communicates to the student various ways to understand education.

The Learning Support Specialist helps students and families to gain insight and develop strategies concerning learning difficulties and to provide enrichment for accelerated learners. We use an array of approaches and tools to identify student needs and to generate and implement effective plans for student learning and well-being.

The Learning Support Specialist works with faculty and families to understand each student’s needs, to identify community resources (and make referrals if necessary), to read and translate test results, and to suggest strategies for student success.

Student Support News and Posts

Supporting Your Student Online

Have you and your student hit a wall with online learning? Aidan's new Student Support Specialist Olivia Bartley shares some tips for how to support your student's online learning.

Upper School Blog: Phonemic Awareness

Literacy Specialist Emily Navarro sounds out on phonemic awareness and shares some ideas for creative ways to improve reading and vocabulary skills at home. 

Developing Healthier Self-Talk

When was the last time you checked or even observed your self-talk? School Counselor Jessica Kwerel shares some advice on how to develop a healthier internal dialogue and to improve emotional resiliency. 

Program Faculty

Olivia Bartley

Olivia Bartley

Learning Support Specialist

Aidan is pleased to welcome Olivia Bartley as our new Learning Support Specialist. She will be taking over for Mr. Hurwitz and providing assistance in math, reading, language, and executive functioning support for half of the students who need additional assistance alongside Ms. Navarro. Coming from a small town in western Pennsylvania, Olivia always cherished trips outside of her town to new countries and cities, including Washington, DC. She embraced this love for new experiences when she joined the Peace Corps as a English Education Facilitator in Togo, West Africa. Since being evacuated due to the pandemic, she has missed being in the classroom with her kids and is thrilled to be meeting her new students at Aidan. In addition to her time as Education Facilitator with the Peace Corps, Olivia has also worked as an assistant teacher and an aftercare teacher for students with special needs.

In her free time, Olivia loves to belt out to musicals, work on the daily sudoku, and cheer on her Pittsburgh Steelers.

Jessica Kwerel

Jessica Kwerel

School Counselor

Jessica has served as School Counselor at Aidan since 2009, supporting the social and emotional needs of students and their families. In addition to her education and counseling certifications, she has a background in ropes course facilitation, team building, and outdoor experiential education working with children, adolescents, and adults. As a member of the WAISC (Washington Area Independent School Counselor) group, Jessica participates in monthly meetings with other area independent school counselors to collaborate and share in current school counseling trends and topics relevant to the Aidan community. Jessica holds professional memberships with the American School Counseling Association, the American Counseling Association, and the DC Mental Health Association. She has served as a volunteer counselor with Whitman-Walker clinic and the Wendt Center for Loss and Healing, and has volunteered with Capital Caring Hospice. Jessica also has a small private practice providing pet grief support

Jessica's mother, Linda Feldman, was Aidan’s librarian for 13 years. Jessica is an avid outdoor enthusiast and enjoys hiking and biking with her husband. They love going on adventures with their two beloved rescue dogs, Buford and Sam, as well as riding on the motorcycle.

Emily Navarro

Emily Navarro

Literacy Specialist

Before joining the Aidan faculty, Emily worked in student engagement at 826 Boston, a youth writing center, and served as a middle and high school English teacher. In 2019 she earned an AMI Foundations certificate in Zurich, Switzerland, and previously spent a summer at Middlebury College's Bread Loaf School of English.

Outside of Aidan, Emily enjoys spending time with her family and exploring new places--especially while hiking or biking.