DESSA System Features

Aperture Education’s DESSA System is a complete solution for measuring and improving the social-emotional competency of youth in grade K-12 nationwide. Our cloud-based system provides educational directors, counselors, out-of-school time providers, and teachers with helpful tools for SEL initiatives. This user-friendly technology supports students in a comprehensive manner—from SEL screening and assessment to growth strategies and outcomes tracking. Educators will enjoy how the DESSA System makes it easier to track and report students’ social-emotional strengths and needs. Learn more about the DESSA System’s Features:

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Universal Screeners

Schedule and administer the highly reliable, 8-item DESSA-mini, available in four parallel forms. In less than one minute, this universal screener and progress monitor can be completed, offering a quick way to screen and track the growth of students’ overall social-emotional competence. With the DESSA System, educators have a convenient assessment tool for choosing the next step in the SEL process. Use the DESSA-mini to complement your Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS), Response to Intervention (RTI), and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) approaches.

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Our assessment and intervention system features the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA) for measuring social and emotional learning in schools. The standardized, norm-referenced, strength-based behavior rating scales measure the social and emotional competencies of children across eight domains, allowing for a better understanding of students’ strengths and needs as well as more individualized and focused instruction. Results from the social and emotional assessment tools can also be combined across groups of students to guide instruction and evaluate outcomes at the classroom, school/program, district, or community level.

Learn how the DESSA System provides the full-length DESSA assessment


Growth Strategies

Turn information from the available assessments into action with the DESSA Comprehensive SEL System. Once a report is generated, educators can choose a growth strategy, targeting a social and emotional competency. Growth Strategies are available at the universal, small group, individual, home, and teacher level, allowing a tailored approach. Choose strategies from top curricula providers for social and emotional learning in schools: Second Step, Open Circle, Caring School Community, The 4Rs, Engaging Schools, and Inner Resilience.

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Generate reports across multiple levels and provide users access to the key information they need with the DESSA System. Educators and support staff receive individual and classroom reports while administrators are provided site and program-level reports and data exports. Whatever your scope, the DESSA System’s reporting features help you make informed decisions for your SEL program.

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Progress Monitoring

The DESSA System helps educators keep an eye on where their students have been—and where they’re going. Access student comparison reports on the DESSA-mini to monitor the progress students are making in developing their social and emotional competence. Longitudinal data provides added value year to year and helps you evaluate the effectiveness of your SEL initiatives.

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Time-Saving Workflow

Save time with the DESSA System. Our user-friendly system was created to be both reliable and practical to protect one of educators’ most valuable resources- their time. With a staff largely comprised of former teachers, we know the value of planning and instructional time. So, we created the system to intentionally cut down unnecessary communication, forms, and paperwork and added in automation and reminders to help as you scale your SEL program.

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The DESSA is the most frequently cited SEL assessment.

With over 30 peer-reviewed articles, discover the many reasons why the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment is one of the best and most reliable social and emotional learning assessments.

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