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 to help facilitate the work of the school counselor.

The Learning Support Office

The Learning Support program at Aidan Montessori is designed to provide additional support to students through one-on-one and small group differentiated learning when appropriate. The support program does not support students with Montessori materials or Montessori lessons, but uses an array of approaches and tools that fit the needs of the student. 

The Learning Support Specialists help students and families gain insight into other practices and strategies concerning learning difficulties. The specialists do not provide parents with a diagnosis and cannot assess learning disabilities. Standardized testing and other assessments are performed by the Learning Support Specialists to identify areas of a particular student's need. Testing data is not entered into the student's record and is only shared with the Learning Support Specialists, teachers, and parents. 

The Learning Support Specialists work with faculty, staff, and families to understand each student's needs, identify community resources (if available), read and translate test results, and suggest strategies for student success. Students may be referred to an outside organization or tutor depending on their needs and availability of support at the school. 

Student Support News and Posts

Talking About the Birds & the Bees

Is the prospect of talking to your children about the birds and the bees daunting? Fear not, School Counselor Courtenay Labson and Aidan parent Betsy Quilligan have got you covered. Tune-in next Tuesday, May 10 at 8 PM for a virtual session on strategies and resources for navigating conversations about puberty, sexuality and reproductive health with your child.

Program Faculty

Julia Dakich

Julia Dakich

School Counselor

Julia is the school counselor, and will be providing social, emotional and mental health support to students at Aidan. She entered the field of school counseling because she wanted to combine her interest and experience in both education and mental health and provide a wider impact in the school community. She is excited to be at Aidan Montessori School and in such a nurturing, caring, and child-centered environment. Julia has spent her professional career working with infants through 8th grade. She is a licensed social worker since 2020 with experience in early childhood and special education. Julia holds an undergraduate degree in sociology with a minor in psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University, in Madison, NJ and a master's degree in social work from Indiana University with a concentration in school social work. She has worked in both public and private schools, with very diverse student populations, and has had a year and a half of post-graduate supervised experience providing therapy in schools.

Julia is originally from New Jersey, and moved to DC three years ago after attending graduate school in Indianapolis, IN. She loves exploring DC and her hobbies include hiking, biking, and reading.

Jade Jackson

Jade Jackson

Learning Support Specialist for Literacy

Jade Jackson joins Aidan as a Learning Support Specialist for Literacy with a great deal of experience. In 2016, Jade served an AmeriCorps term with Reading Partners DC after earning her BA in Sociology from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and working at a non-profit supporting Middle School literacy intervention. Jade has lived a life of service and has volunteered with several organizations, including Peace Corps, to achieve educational equity. During her time at Reading Partners DC, Jade worked one-one with students using an evidence-based literacy curriculum, managed a team of AmeriCorps members to individualize instruction further, and served as the program director, creating a vision for an effective literacy program in 22 partnerships.

Jade loves to get creative through jewelry-making, sculpting, and fashion. She writes letters to loved ones during the quiet moments, reads, and goes outside for a walk. Her favorite movie genre is horror, which stemmed from reading Goosebumps and ghost stories as a child!