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All Salt Lake elementary schools to have full-time counselors

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All 27 elementary schools in the Salt Lake City School District will have full-time counselors next fall following a vote by the school board to direct more resources to social and emotional learning.

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SALT LAKE CITY — All 27 elementary schools in the Salt Lake City School District will have full-time counselors next fall following a vote by the school board to direct more resources to social and emotional learning.

The Salt Lake City Board of Education also voted earlier this week to increase funding for counseling services at Clayton Middle School by half a position to bring the school in line with other middle schools in the district.

Superintendent Lexi Cunningham said the school board's budget deliberations identified social and emotional learning as a priority.

"These changes show our board’s commitment to continuing to support our students and our employees. Having full-time counselors at every elementary school, as well as an additional (half-time) counselor at Clayton, will be transformative for both educators and students," Cunningham said in a statement.

The board also raised pay for instructional assistants to $15 an hour.

At $15 an hour, the wage is competitive with Park City School District, which is advertising a range of $14.14 to $17.50 for some paraprofessional positions, according to its website.

"Raising the salary for our paraprofessionals not only helps us support our employees but will also help us retain some of our best staff members in our schools," Cunningham said.

The board also approved additional literacy coaches, which means all elementary schools will have literacy coaching support, which Cunningham said "will make a real difference as we continue to help our students achieve academic success.”