FCPS is committed to the Portrait of a Graduate approach.

This process increases student motivation and responsibility for their own learning. It encourages students to work hard to achieve their goals and become:


Students communicate effectively while applying content knowledge to real-world problems and creatively solving those problems both independently and in teams using critical thinking and contemporary digital tools.  

College &
Career Ready

Students develop and explore a variety of interests and career opportunities while developing professional skills necessary to succeed in today’s high tech global workforce. 

Civically Engaged &
Culturally Competent 

Students become responsible leaders and active participants in our community who demonstrate civility, empathy, compassion, and respect for others. They also develop an understanding of different cultures and interact thoughtfully in diverse groups.

Equipped for
the Future

Students practice setting goals while displaying the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the real world and reach targets like perseverance, self-confidence, personal responsibility, social/ emotional wellness, financial literacy, digital citizenship, and ethical behavior.

Program Provider Overview

Why FCPS Chose the Aperture System (DESSA)

The most reliable screening and assessment solution to empower student growth

Strengths-based, building on student’s competencies (vs. gaps)

Research foundation, with proven evidence of improving student outcomes

Focus on the most important skills for success in the classroom and beyond

Our K-12 System

Aperture System Overview

To achieve our district mission, students need to develop the skills to effectively manage relationships and responsibilities, work collaboratively with people of diverse backgrounds, and have the skills to navigate challenges and solve problems.

The DESSA measures critical skills linked to college & career readiness and supports our number 1 priority — student achievement– by championing healthy conditions for learning.

User Guidance

Important Information

Elevate Program


Program FAQs

How does FCPS use The Aperture System (DESSA)?
  • The modern school uses data to monitor student progress to ensure they are receiving the instruction and supports they need to be fully prepared for a successful future, aligned with the Portrait of a Graduate. 
  • We want to ensure we maintained a holistic approach to our students-- focus is on the whole child, not just their academic performance. 
  • We recognize the students need skills of emotional regulation, self-management, social skills, and problem-solving skills to be successful in our classrooms and in their post-graduate pursuits of college and career. 
Can I access sample questions for the assessment?
Yes, here are links to sample questions for each grade level:
When does the rating period start and end?

First Rating Begins: 10/9/23.  

The Second Rating Begins 03/04/24. 

What is the official guidance district guidance for SB 150?
How can I register my student?
Please reference the Parent letter with instructions for program participation.
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