The DESSA Comprehensive SEL System

Aperture Education’s SEL program used to screen, assess and strengthen social-emotional competence for youth grades K-12.




A Comprehensive, Cloud-Based Social and Emotional Program

The DESSA Comprehensive SEL System allows educators to measure, strengthen, and support social-emotional competence in youth, grades K-12. The DESSA System includes a suite of strength-based social emotional learning (SEL) assessments, a universal screener that can be administered in less than a minute, foundational practices, and growth strategies to strengthen social and emotional competence. Actionable data and reporting helps SEL program administrators measure the impact of their social emotional learning programs and social emotional learning curriculum as well as helps educators understand students’ SEL strengths and needs.

Check out a quick look at our SEL program to the left, or take a more extensive tour of the DESSA System.

Take a Tour

Explore Aperture Education’s suite of social emotional learning (SEL) assessments

DESSA SEL Program

The Devereux Student Strengths Assessment

The flagship assessment of Aperture Education. A valid and reliable 72-item assessment of social and emotional strengths and needs in students grades K-8.

DESSA Mini Social Emotional Learning Program

The Devereux Student Strengths Assessment-mini

A valid and reliable one-minute screener of students’ social and emotional strengths and needs. The DESSA-mini provides insight for students Grades K-8.

DESSA Second Step Social Emotional Learning Programs

The Devereux Student Strengths Assessment-Second Step Edition

A valid and reliable 36-item assessment of social and emotional strengths and needs directly aligned to the Second Step curriculum for students Grades K-5.


The Devereux Student Strengths Assessment-High School Edition mini

A valid and reliable one-minute screener of students’ social and emotional strengths and needs. The DESSA-HSE mini provides insight for students Grades 9-12.

DESSA High School Edition Social and Emotional Learning Program

The Devereux Student Strengths Assessment-High School Edition

A valid and reliable 43-item assessment of social and emotional strengths and needs in students Grades 9-12.

Kickboard social and emotional learning programs

The Kickboard DESSA SEL Inventory

A partnership between Kickboard and Aperture Education, this inventory helps schools collect, monitor, and analyze real-time data on 40 student behaviors tied to the DESSA core SEL competencies.

Statistically Valid and Reliable Assessments

With over twelve years of research behind it, the DESSA is one of the most reliable social emotional learning assessments and is hosted within our social and emotional learning program. Paired with the award-winning technology, you can count on reliable and user-friendly data.

For more in-depth information about any of our research studies, visit our Research and Publications page.






SEL program with social emotional learning activities



Social and emotional learning programs
Measuring SEL competencies

A SEL Program with Actionable, Accurate Data

Along with the powerful data from the suite of SEL assessments, the DESSA System provides users with access to research-informed social emotional learning activities, including Growth Strategies and Foundational Practices, used to bolster social and emotional skills on eight SEL competencies.

These social and emotional learning activities can be used universally (large group settings, like a classroom), in small groups, individually, or as take-home assignments. In addition, each competency comes with a teacher reflection activity – allowing users to understand their own social and emotional strengths and areas of need.

Sample Strategy



Resources to Support Your SEL Program

You’ll find lots of guidance, information and inspiration in the  Aperture Education blog. Our on-demand webinars are also an excellent resource whether you’re in the early stages of implementing a social emotional learning program or have one already established.  Take a look at these featured articles.

12 Social and Emotional Learning Activities

Looking for a Social and Emotional Assessment? The DESSA System Aligns with Many Popular SEL Programs!