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KIDS AT 14 SCHOOLS TO GET MORE ATTENTION

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The Salt Lake City School District's blueprint for spending $1.4 million in highly-impacted-school money will significantly increase student contact with adults in 14 schools.

District officials unveiled the spending plan Tuesday, saying the underlying objective at all the schools is to boost the students' academic performance and social skills through more personal attention from teachers, tutors and mentors.To that end, the district has decided to use its share of the state money to hire 33 teachers, six counselors and 18 teaching assistants. The district says the extra staff will provide an additional 141,500 hours of "student-to-adult contact time."

Acting on a request from Gov. Mike Leavitt, the Utah Legislature appropriated $4 million earlier this year to address special problems at 40 schools statewide.

Both the state and Salt Lake boards of education have approved the spending plans submitted by the city's 14 highly impacted schools. Generally, the schools intend to increase instruction in specific areas, reduce class sizes and employ more counselors and tutors to deal with attendance and disciplinary problems.

In her report to the school board, Superintendent Darline Robles said each school based its plan on an in-depth needs assessment for providing direct services to students.

"These services range from counseling to increased contact time with skilled professional and well-trained assistants," Robles said. None of the money goes into administrative costs.

Most of the schools also indicated the additional staff will make it possible to conduct more group and family counseling for students with special academic or behavioral problems.

The specific spending plans include:

Backman Elementary, 1450 W. 600 North - $98,353 - a counselor and two teachers to assist families in crisis and increase reading and math performance in grades 3-6.

Bennion Elementary, 429 S. 800 East - $115,066 - part-time social worker, counselor and teachers for additional music and English proficiency instruction and to increase attendence.

Edison Elementary, 466 Cheyene St. - $114,182 - a qualified adult employee for orientation, refugee liaison and English instruction; additional teachers to reduce class size and a counselor for student and family support.

Franklin Elementary, 1100 W. 400 South - $99,234 - one half-time and four full-time teachers to reduce class sizes and improve English skills; two assistants to monitor tardiness and attendance.

Jackson Elementary, 750 W. 200 North - $117,595 - eight adults to tutor, mentor and teach children who need special attention in reading; five tutors to increase math performance; and other part-time personnel to work with students and families on attendance and behavioral problems.

Lincoln Elementary, 1090 S. Roberta St. - $132,742 - six part-time reading instructors; two teachers to reduce class size; and a part-time counselor to handle attendance problems and increase family participation.

Meadowlark Elementary, 497 N. Morton Dr. - $106,940 - part-time counselor and teacher and two full-time teachers for math and English instruction; and additional pay for teachers on staff to provide tutoring before and after school.

Mountain View Elementary, 1415 W. California Ave. - $102,650 - three additional teachers to increase reading and writing skills.

Parkview Elementary, 1250 W. Mead Ave. - $123,377 - 2.5 additional math teachers and part-time reading, extended day and social work staff.

Riley Elementary, 1431 S. 900 West - $63,012 - one teacher to reduce class size in grades 5 and 6; two part-time teachers for reading proficiency, after-school instruction and technology training; and a part-time counselor to deal with behavior problems.

Rose Park Elementary, 1130 Sterling Dr. - $113,149 - two teachers to increase reading/writing skills; part-time tutors and assistants for literacy training; part-time counselor and attendance assistant.

Washington Elementary, 420 N. 200 West - $103,268 - two teachers to reduce class size and increase English training; part-time tutors, assistant and counselors to work with students after school and handle crisis intervention.

Whittier Elementary, 1568 S. 300 East - $98,669 - part-time teachers in reading and extended day, one math teacher, increased counselor hours and a part-time behavior intervention specialist.

Glendale Intermediate, 1430 W. Andrew Ave.- $115,495 - three teachers in reading, writing and computation programs and part-time staff for after school tutoring and personalized help.