DESSA-High School Edition

Be a Part of Bringing the DESSA and Evo SEL To Schools and Programs Serving High School Students

Social and emotional skills are critical for success in school, in college, and in the workplace. The Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA) is a strength-based behavior rating scale measuring social and emotional skills of children in grades K-8. Aperture Education is currently working to expand the DESSA for use with high school students (9th-12th grades). Completion of this work will allow schools and programs serving all students (K-12th grades) to screen, assess, and promote the social and emotional skills of their students using the Evo Social/Emotional Assessment and Intervention System (EvoSEL).

The DESSA-High School Edition (DESSA-HSE) is currently in the exciting process of being nationally normed and standardized. This means that we are collecting a large, nationally representative sample of DESSA-HSE ratings to reflect the diversity of high-school aged youth today. We will be collecting over 3,000 ratings from teachers and out-of-school time staff, parents, and students across the US. These ratings will be used to create the DESSA-HSE scoring norms, and will enable schools and programs to compare their students’ social and emotional skills to the skills typically demonstrated by students in the US.

We need your help to bring the DESSA to the high school level, and extend our suite of social and emotional assessments to cover K-12th grades. We are currently looking for high schools, out-of-school time programs, and other youth serving organizations to invite their teachers, staff, parents, and/or students to participate in this process. Read more on how your high school or program can benefit from the DESSA-HSE and Evo SEL—and what you can do to participate.

Time-Saving Features. Established Support System.


As a principal, high school dropout rates and behavioral difficulties are a major challenge to the success of your educational program. You also want to ensure your students have the skills they need as they enter college and the workforce. One way to combat these challenges and prepare students for the future is through a comprehensive SEL program.

Leverage Evo SEL’s time-saving, targeted features for your high schoolers and consider participating in the DESSA-HSE national standardization. With each school and program’s participation, we’re one step closer to providing you the assessment and intervention system you need.

Specialized Prevention Strategies. Targeted Intervention.


Aperture’s Evo SEL platform contains key features for educational supporting staff. Evo SEL specializes in prevention and targeted intervention, providing you a tool to decrease referral rates and promote overall student well-being.

Participate in the standardization of the DESSA-HSE to implement Evo SEL for your response to intervention (RTI) initiatives. You’ll help build the assessment that’s critical to the high school level.

Higher Achievement. Greater Success.

Social and emotional skills have been linked to higher academic achievement, and as a teacher, student success both in the classroom and in life is important to you.

You can bring these vital skills to your high school by participating in the national standardization of the DESSA-High School Edition (DESSA-HSE).

Help Build the DESSA-HSE

Participating in standardization is a quick, one-time process. Adults (teachers, staff, and parents) who participate will be asked to complete at least one anonymous DESSA-HSE rating on a high school student. This rating includes positive behaviors related to social and emotional skills, as well as basic demographic information. Students who participate will be asked to complete an anonymous self-rating of their own social and emotional skills.

Those who participate will be compensated $5 per rating. Individual parents can earn up to $10, individual teachers can earn up to $20, and organizations/schools can earn up to $695!

Organizations or schools may provide up to 32 teacher/staff ratings, and/or up to 75 parent ratings, and/or up to 32 high school student self-ratings. Participating schools and programs will also receive access to the DESSA-HSE online assessment system (EvoSEL) for one year, be entered into a $500 cash giveaway, and will be recognized in the final published DESSA-HSE manual. The primary contact who helps distribute and collect materials will also receive $100 as a thank you for their time. Organizations interested in learning more can click the “School-Wide Participation” button below.

If you are a parent or teacher/staff of a 9th -12th grade student, you can complete the online form by clicking the “Individual Rating Form for Teachers/Parents” button below. Parents can complete up to 2 ratings and teachers/staff can complete up to 4 ratings.

Learn More about School-Wide Participation

Access Individual Rating Form for Teachers/Parents