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The DESSA Comprehensive SEL System

The Devereux Students Strengths Assessment (DESSA), originally developed by the Devereux Center for Resilient Children, is the social emotional learning assessment of Aperture Education’s DESSA System. It is a standardized, strength-based behavior rating scale used by educators to measure the social-emotional competence for children in grades K-8. In addition to the full, 72-item DESSA, the DESSA-mini (a shorter, 8-item social emotional learning assessment) can be used to monitor students’ social and emotional development throughout the school year, providing actionable data to steer quality SEL intervention.

KCS has chosen to use the DESSA as a universal screener and progress monitoring tool for social and emotional learning in grades K-5. Our goal is to strengthen our MTSS framework by incorporating this critical non-cognitive, SEL component. It will also empower teachers with intervention strategies and foundational practices to better support our students.


Name:IconBrief DescriptionType:EssentialsGrade: is powerful, free, online software that improves reading, learning, and teaching.WebsiteOtherK-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Move Their Bodies, Grow Their BrainsMovement activities and ideas that can be implemented right away to engage students with what they are learning, review content, assess student learning, and most importantly get students moving!Instructional StrategyOtherK-2, 3-5
Video AssessmentsUsing videos to assess to reach those student who are not the greatest with regular assessments.Instructional StrategyOtherK-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12