DESSA-High School Edition (HSE)

A strength-based, valid and reliable social and emotional learning tool created specifically for high school students.

We now support high school students!

The DESSA-High School Edition (DESSA-HSE), is a social and emotional learning (SEL) assessment created specifically for high school students from the authors of the K-8 DESSA. It is a standardized, strength-based measure of the social and emotional competencies of students in grades 9 through 12. Just like the DESSA, the DESSA-HSE provides parents, teachers, and out-of-school-time staff with the ability to assess a child’s social and emotional skills and promote healthy outcomes.

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Why Should I Use the DESSA-HSE?

Research-Based: The DESSA-HSE is both nationally standardized and norm-referenced. In addition, it exceeds the recommended standard for rater reliability and assessment validity. For more specific information, see below.

CASEL Aligned: Aperture Education’s 8 social and emotional learning (SEL) competencies are directly aligned to the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning’s (CASEL) highly-regarded five SEL competency framework.

Multi-lingual: The DESSA-HSE is provided in both English and Spanish, serving all raters – including families – who may not speak English as a first language.

Personalized Use: Along with access to the DESSA-HSE, users also have access to the full suite of growth strategies and foundational practices, as well as 24/7 system support and a team of dedicated implementation personnel. This ensures that each users experience is efficient, yet personalized.

Safe and Secure: See our Privacy Policy for a full statement on our commitment to safe and secure data collection, including adding our signature to the Student Data Privacy Pledge.

The Research Behind the DESSA-High School Edition

Educators can rely on the DESSA-HSE to deliver accurate results. During national standardization, our researchers involved teachers and out-of-school time program staff in collecting a large and nationally representative sample of DESSA-HSE assessment ratings used to develop the norms for scoring. Over 1,000 DESSA-HSE ratings of 9-12th grade students from all regions of the U.S. were collected to form a broad standardization sample.

As a benchmark, the developers of the DESSA-HSE used the Statistical Abstract of the United States 2012-13. The DESSA-HSE’s reliability, just like the DESSA K-8’s, is bolstered by its representativeness to the characteristics of the larger U.S. population of high school students. Specifically, the DESSA-HSE standardization sample’s  gender, ethnic, and racial distribution, as well as the geographic regions represented by the students, closely approximates data on U.S. demographics. Additionally, the sample also closely approximates the percent of high school students eligible for free or reduced priced lunch in the US.

The statistical rigor applied to the development of the DESSA-HSE assures educators and administrators alike that the DESSA-HSE assessment can be applied to students nationwide, regardless of age, gender, or other demographic factors.

Research Supporting the Reliability of the DESSA-HSE

When developing the assessment, statistical analysis of internal reliability was conducted using the sample gathered for the DESSA-HSE’s standardization. LeBuffe, Shapiro, Naglieri, and Robitaille examined the data using Cronbach’s alpha. In their research, they confirmed that the DESSA-HSE demonstrates internal reliability.

DESSA-HSE Founders’ Circle