Counseling Services


High school marks a time of significant transition. It is a time when adolescents make increasingly difficult independent choices--and the adults who are part of their lives adjust to allowing these decisions to be made, as this is developmentally appropriate in the dance between dependence and independence. The social and emotional health of our students is always a top priority in this journey.

Our overall goal is to provide our students with a program that is both "best practice" and comprehensive in its approach to meeting their social/emotional needs, concerns, and interests as they navigate the world of adolescence. To prepare our students for the transition to the Upper School, I have been working with Lower School counselor Sylvia Miller, LCSW to make it a seamless one.

At AJA Upper School, we complement the excellent secular and Judaic education that our students receive with a "tool box" full of skills that will prepare them for life's challenges during high school and beyond. The idea is that students will gain a wide variety of life skills and strategies that they can practice in high school, and utilize and continue to build upon in their adult lives. These skills include (but are not limited to):

  • study and organizational skills
  • the ability to respectfully assert and advocate for themselves
  • the ability to regulate their emotions
  • ways to be mindful and present in the moment
  • thoughtful decision-making
  • balancing academic responsibilities with extracurricular and out-of-school obligations
  • building and cultivating interpersonal relationships
  • developing healthy habits with regard to sleep and the use of technology
  • drug and alcohol prevention/education

Depending on the needs of the student, we offer support in consultation with teachers, grade deans, and administrators; individual and group counseling sessions; and consultation with outside mental health professionals. Students also benefit from assemblies throughout the school year on topics that reinforce these skills.

Research shows that high schoolers are most successful when there is a partnership between school and home. Working from the premise that knowledge is power, we place a high priority on providing our Upper School parents with current and relevant information on parenting a teen. We do this through both individual consultation and parent meetings, so that parents are able to partner with us on this journey.

It is our goal to ensure that by the end of high school, each individual student is prepared with the skills and tools they need to succeed in the next phase of life.

Pam Mason, Ph.D., School Counselor
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College Counseling

At Atlanta Jewish Academy (AJA), we focus on developing our students into lifelong learners. The college counseling program is designed to guide students as they continue along in their educational journey. We ensure that students are thoroughly prepared for the transition from high school and Israel programs into colleges that complement their talents, interests, and aspirations.

The role of the AJA college counselor is to provide the information and tools that each student needs in order to ask probing questions, obtain answers, make intelligent decisions, write a compelling personal essay, process the paperwork, and make important choices as he or she ultimately finds the college that is the best fit. The college counselor maintains files for each student that contain in-house faculty reports, student activity sheets, interview summaries, transcripts, and lists of college choices. The College Office is, as well, the place to obtain forms and receive help in completing SAT and ACT registration materials.

As advocates for the students, the college counselor will serve as the AJA liaison and ensure that all schools to which our students apply understand our rigorous dual curriculum requirements, the extent of our curricular and extracurricular offerings, and the strengths of each AJA applicant. Our rate of success can be measured by the number of students who complete their four years of college in an environment that answers their religious needs, enables them to fulfill their inherent potential, enhances their academic growth, and helps them meet their career goals.

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College Counselor




Testing Information



Unlike SAT, the ACT registration for Sunday testing is online only.

· If you have not already done so, create an ACT account. Help may be found via the ACT virtual tour.

· The Atlanta Jewish Academy (AJA) CEEB or High School code is code 110264. The school name may still be listed as Yeshiva of Atlanta.

· After you created your student account click the “Register” button and proceed through the next several pages.

· The next few pages will ask you questions about your educational and family background, college plans and interest, any extracurricular activities your may have participated in and major accomplishments.

· Finally on the tenth page is the ACT Interest Inventory. It is designed to help you consider college or career possibilities.

· In "Registration Information," you must check “Show non-Saturday test centers”. In "Test Center," enter your zip code in the second yellow box; then click "list." On the next screen, click "Show non-Saturday test centers" to get a list of Sunday test centers.

· In "Your Score Report Choices," you may have your scores sent to four colleges of your choice included in the basic registration fee. You may wish to consult your college counselor before listing any colleges.

· In "Submit Payment," enter your payment information.

· ACT Fee waivers are available for those who qualify. Please click here for more information

Remember to get a Clergy Letter from the College Office and bring it with you on test day.


Students with certified learning disabilities who are entitled to extended time accommodations at Atlanta Jewish Academy may be entitled to take College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) exams (PSAT, SAT and SAT Subject Test and AP tests) or ACT, exams under similar conditions.


According to the eligibility statement of the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB), a student with a documented disability may be eligible for accommodations on CEEB exams. These exams include the SAT, SAT Subject Tests, AP and PSAT. Since 2002, CEEB examination results do not indicate whether a student received an accommodation when taking the exam.

Atlanta Jewish Academy has set up the following procedure to assist students and parents in applying for accommodations for CEEB exams.

1. Students seeking accommodations must receive a psycho-educational evaluation by a qualified tester.

2. Once the psycho-educational evaluation is complete, it should be submitted to the Mrs. Ogle.

3. The school will then arrange for a meeting with the Strategic Learning office to establish a learning plan. The learning plan is then implemented.

4. The process for applying for standardized test accommodations is conducted completely online. The consent form can be downloaded at

5. Once Mrs. Ogle receives the signed consent form, she will be able to submit the student's eligibility form online.

6. Several weeks after the application is submitted, SSD will send an eligibility letter to Atlanta Jewish Academy and to the student indicating whether the accommodations have been granted.

7. Under certain circumstances, Atlanta Jewish Academy may consider appealing CEEB’s decision.

8. Students may use their accommodations as they see fit. A student intending to use an accommodation must include a copy of the CEEB eligibility letter along with the registration form each time he or she registers for an SAT or SAT Subject Test.


The PSAT is designed as a practice exam, and the results do not appear on a student's record. Accordingly, it is the general philosophy of the Atlanta Jewish Academy College Office and the Learning Center that students should take this test under standard conditions if at all possible. Taking the PSAT (or any other test) without using an accommodation does not prevent a student from utilizing the accommodation on subsequent tests. For further information click here.


The ACT process for applying for accommodations on ACT exams is done directly through ACT. Students wishing to apply for accommodations, or their parents, should contact Mrs. Ogle. For additional information on ACT extended time testing policy, please click here.


If you are registering for Sunday testing for the first time, you must register by paper. Paper application can be pick up in the College Counseling office. Most of the items on the registration form are self-explanatory, but there are some items I wish to call to your attention. Once you have registered by mail for an SAT test (other than the PSAT), you will be able to register online for future tests. Directions are essentially the same.

· Make sure you meet the registration deadlines!

· Use blue or black ink. Do not use a pencil. Print clearly in capital letters.

· All the sections in pink/red are required.

· In box #2 indicate your high school code. The code for AJA is 110264.

· We strongly recommend that you fill in box #11 to receive your test Admission Ticket by email.

· If you would like to pay for the exam(s) by credit card, enter the information in box #12.

· Box #14 must be completed and signed.

· In box #16, if you wish to take the test at Atlanta Jewish Academy, fill in 01000 in the space for First Choice. You will be assigned to a location closest to your home. If you are assigned to a test center you do not want, call the College Board at 866-756-7346 to ask for a switch.

· SAT fee waivers are available in your College Counseling office. Click here for eligibility requirements.

· Remember to include the clergy letter and your check or the credit card information requested.

· On front of the envelope, fill in the oval for the month you plan to take the test and put the stamped envelope in the mail. You should receive a confirmation by email about three to six weeks after your completed application reaches Educational Testing Service, and the Admission Ticket by email during the week before the exam.


The following is a brief introduction to the world of standardized testing. It is intended as an overview to help students do some preliminary planning for junior and senior year. Any such planning, however, should be tailored to the specific needs of the individual student.

1. It is generally recommended that students take the SAT and /or ACT once in the spring of the junior year and once in the fall of the senior year. One need not worry about a lower score on one section of the SAT since almost all colleges will consider a student’s highest critical reading, math, and writing scores, even if earned during different administrations of the SAT. This is referred to as "superscoring." However, not ever college will superscore the ACT.

2. According to the College Board’s policy, students may choose to report only those SAT and SAT Subject Test scores they wish to report. Be aware, however, that colleges have the option of requesting to see all scores. ACT students may choose which ACT results to report. See your college counselor for details.

3. On any given test date, one may take either the SAT or up to three SAT Subject Tests. One may not take the SAT and SAT Subject Test(s) on the same day. (Subject tests are not offered in March.) The SAT takes three hours and 45 minutes; a subject test takes one hour. Atlanta Jewish Academy is an SAT and ACT test center.

4. Some colleges are test optional, but most colleges to which students apply do require the SAT or ACT. There are a select group of colleges which will require students to take the SAT Subject Tests. Students should consult with the college counselor or the college’s website on which exams to take. .

5. Those colleges that require subject tests usually require two. For liberal arts programs, any two subject tests are acceptable. More specialized programs, such as engineering, have stricter requirements.

6. The ACT with writing, a more subject-oriented test, is accepted by most colleges in lieu of the SAT and SAT Subject Tests.

7. Not all subject tests are given on every testing date. The Modern Hebrew exam is given only in June. The French and Spanish Listening exams are given only in November. The World History exam is given only in December and June.


January SAT, SAT Subject Test
March SAT
April ACT
May SAT , SAT Subject Test
September ACT
October SAT I, SAT II, ACT
November SAT I, SAT II
December SAT I, SAT II, ACT


8. In some cases, students with a diagnosed learning disability or handicap may take the SAT, SAT Subject Test or ACT with extended time during a non-standard test administration. Such students must be approved for extended time by the testing agency, many months in advance of the registration dates. Receiving extended time at Atlanta Jewish Academy does NOT guarantee approval by the testing agency.


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