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What role do counselors and social workers play in schools?

Local News

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Salt Lake City School District announced they would be doubling the number of school counselors in their elementary schools, a move that decisively says: a counselor is worth the investment. 

Other districts are following suit as well, increasing their numbers of counselors and social workers to care for the emotional and social health of their students. So how exactly do these professionals accomplish that? 

Nicole O’Brien is the Principal of Rose Park Elementary; she says she can’t imagine not having a full-time counselor on staff.

She explained, “They are teaching lessons, they are holding small groups for kids, for example, a group of kids who struggle with anger management, the counselor will pull a tiny group of those students for a while and support those students.”

O’Brien says that classroom size has a lot to do with the demand. teachers simply don’t have time to accomplish all of their instruction and provide sufficient emotional and social skills for some students. 

One way to look at this increase of counselors in Utah is the ratio of counselor to students. Watch the story above for a breakdown of local districts. 

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