Marist School Counseling

What is School Counseling?

Teacher showing students the inside of a computer

At Marist, our School Counseling Department is an integral part of our students’ lives.  We believe every student: can learn, and every student can succeed; should have access to and opportunity for a high-quality education; should graduate from high school and be prepared for employment or college and other post-secondary education; and should have access to a school counseling program.  We also believe that school counseling is a collaborative process involving school counselors, students, parents, teachers, administrators, community leaders and other stakeholders.

We take a holistic approach to counseling—meeting each student where they’re at—and help cultivate an atmosphere that promotes individual achievement. Aligning with the National Model set forth by that American School Counselors Association, we seek to help students in three specific domains: Academic Development, Career Development, and Social/Emotional Development.  We do so through running individual counseling, small group counseling, and classroom workshops.  We also provide Parent Workshops throughout the year to make sure they’re in the loop on hot-topics, developmental issues, and college and career readiness. 


Each student is assigned one counselor for the duration of their time at Marist. In doing this, we are able to maintain supportive relationships starting Freshman year, and lasting through Senior year. This also enables each counselor to help students make educated decisions on college and career that match the student’s strengths, values, and personality.  Our program design also provides consistent contact for parents, should they have any questions or concerns about school life. 

Counseling Resources

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Year-Level Counseling 

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Year Level Counseling

Marist’s guidance program spans four years. Students in each year level are assigned a counselor so that each student will receive personalized attention. The guidance and counseling program is one of the ways in which this personalized attention is provided.

Students in school uniform near school bus

Freshman Year

-Introduction to the School Counseling Department, Tours of the Department, transition into High School Workshops
-Explanation of Counseling services
-Overview of standardized testing
-PSAT  (Fall); ACT Aspire (Spring)
-Identification of students with special needs
-PSAT score report presentations
-Individual Counseling
-Group sessions 
-Peer Counseling 
-Introduction to Summer Programs

Marist football players practicing

Sophomore Year

-Character Development
-Personality Exploration
-Career Exploration
-Explain academic performance requirements related to specific careers, Teaching, Business, Medical, Engineering, etc.
-Administer PSAT and interpret results (Fall); ACT Aspire (Spring)
-PSAT score report presentations
-Referral of student athletes for NCAA eligibility
-Individual counseling
-Group sessions 
-Participation in Summer Program

Student making small wooden bridge

Junior Year

-PSAT, interpret results, Score Report Presentations
-Assist with SAT registration
-Explain Junior Year Timetable
-What colleges consider in selecting applicants
-Continuation of Personality Exploration
-Continuation of Career Exploration
-Factors to consider in search for college
-How to obtain college/school applications and information
-Financial aid and college selection 
-Use of Resource Center
-Referral of student athletes for NCAA eligibility
-Discuss rank and grade average for 4th and 5th semesters
-Conduct parent/student/counselor interviews as requested
-Attend College Fair
-Assist with course selection for senior year
-Individual counseling
-Introduce College Board materials
-Participation in Summer Programs


Two students dressed for graduation

Senior Year

-Classroom workshops on preparing for the college application process
-Assist with SAT registrations
-Terminology of college admissions, tests and testing
-Senior Year Timetable
-Arrange visits and programs by college admissions counselors
-Dates and deadlines for applications – acquiring applications
-Completing applications and the application process
-Teacher, counselor recommendations
-Assist with college selection
-Assist with college essays
-Liaison with college admission counselors
-Visiting college campuses
-Distribution and explanation of financial aid forms
-Rank and grade average distribution for 6th and 7th semesters
-Distribution of college scholarship applications to students
-College and financial aid information night providing resources on financial aid for parents
-Individual counseling
-Attending College Fair
-Peer Counseling
-Career Day
-Post-graduation transition skills

Counseling Programs

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Counseling Programs

Individual Counseling

Man talking to a woman 

Counseling is a way of helping with the broad range of questions and concerns that students face as part of growing up.  It is regarded as a vital part of life here at Marist.

Individual counseling is the process in which a student, in face to face contact with a counselor, further develops self-understanding and becomes increasingly self-directive in making his/her own decisions, choices and plans.  It is in this highly personal contact that the counselee is assisted in (1) identifying concerns; (2) getting insight into areas of concern; (3) considering alternatives; (4) setting goals, especially for college.  School Counseling is not a substitute for therapy.  When a student appears in need of therapy, the counselor may recommend it and make appropriate referrals.

In an emergency, the student may see a counselor by coming to the Counseling Center.

  1. Counseling is available to students at all times during the school day on an appointment basis.

  2. Each counselor is responsible for a proportional number of students. In this way, the counselor gets to know the characteristics, personality, goals and values of each of his/her counselees. This facilitates effective counseling.

  3. Parents are strongly encouraged to contact their son’s or daughter’s counselor if they feel the counselor can be of service in any way. This may be done during school hours (8:00 AM – 2:30 PM).

Course Placement

Assistance is provided to the student in the choice of an appropriate and desirable academic program.  Information sessions are held at critical times (when course choices are to be made) and each student is given the opportunity for an individual interview for curriculum planning. Seniors are provided opportunities for group and individual interviews for post-high school planning.

Student making small wooden bridge


A conference is an intensive study of an individual student.  The purposes are:

  1. to organize and appraise data about an individual for all sources, and

  2. to develop a global picture of an individual which will contribute to effectiveness in working with him/her

The Guidance Department requests a conference when the situation requires, or when initiated by the faculty or administration.  When appropriate, the counselors process any necessary referrals to the Bayonne Child Study Team, with the parents’ permission.

Peer Counseling

Students sitting in a circle talking

Seniors who express an interest in working with freshmen apply to this program.  Students are chosen by a group of administrators, teachers and counselors.  Once accepted, the seniors agree to participate in a training program over the summer.

The five objectives are:

  1. Support: how to give it and own it
  2. Awareness: of self, others, circumstances
  3. Self-confidence: how to keep it, develop it and give it to others
  4. Positive thinking: about self, others and life
  5. Values: self, others, potential

These objectives are taught with and by tasks in:

  1. Group process – to teach support
  2. Communication – to teach awareness
  3. Motivation – to teach self-confidence
  4. Change – to teach positive thinking

Leadership – to teach values

Summer Programs

Throughout each year, the School Counseling Department receives information from various colleges and other educational organizations concerning Summer educational opportunities.  Some of these programs are free; others charge tuition.  Some are competitive or require nomination by the high school.  The students are made aware of these programs.  Counselors are available to help students make decisions about the programs and to assist them with their applications.

Physical Facilities

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Our 7 room suite provides a safe space for students to explore who they are, and become the best version of themselves. Each counselor’s office is set up for individual and small group sessions and is designed to make students feel welcomed and comfortable. Our College Resource Center is equipped with computers, workstations, and a full resource library that enables students to explore colleges and careers, prepare for the SATs and ACTs, and develop skills for 21 st century life.