Legislative report submitted by UEA Policy Ambassador Brian Barnum, school counselor at Kearns High School in Granite School District
Educator is currently synonymous with the word teacher, but there are so many more stakeholders in a school building that impact our students’ education. Over the course of the last few decades, as we have seen the impact that the evolution from guidance counselor to school counselor with the implementation of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) national model, school counselors are continuing to become noticed and valued professionals. While we have made strides, we must continue to advocate, innovate and collaborate with other school-based specialists to positively promote our impact for the betterment of Utah’s students.
It is with this collaborative mindset that school-based specialist associations across the state have come together to create the Utah Coalition of School-Based Specialists (UCSS). The UCSS was born from the realization that as professionals in the workplace, particularly schools, we are frequently working closely together as a team to support students. It is only natural that our organizations would work together as a continuation of that teamwork. The adage, “we get more done together than we do apart,” rings true for educators and those who work in the more itinerant education support roles.
United we stand to create change, empower our organizations, and best support our members and their students. Our current goals include trying to reduce ratios for all school-based specialists to match their national association guidelines, organize and host a collaborative conference that targets all school-based specialists, and to provide diversified training opportunities for members of all our organizations.