Recognition & Awards

The DESSA System has gained a number of accolades as a social and emotional evaluation instrument since its launch in 2014. As a part of the system, the DESSA, developed in 2005, has also received significant recognition as a leader in the field of social and emotional learning assessment.

Since it’s inception, the DESSA System has received numerous awards and recognition for setting the standard of social and emotional learning assessment systems. The honors of both the DESSA individually and the DESSA Comprehensive SEL System as a whole are listed below.

2019 Tech Edvocate Award Winner

Best Global EdTech Startup

2019 Telly Awards: Bronze Medalist

General Education, “Strategies for Social Emotional Learning – North Belt Elementary at Humble ISD and Aperture Education”

Measuring SEL: SEL Assessment Guide

In 2018, the DESSA and DESSA-mini were included in the Measuring SEL Assessment Work Group as valid and reliable assessments of students’ social and emotional skills.

Commissioner’s List of Approved Prekindergarten and Kindergarten Assessment Instruments

In July 2017, the Texas Commissioner for Education added the DESSA-mini to its list of approved assessment instruments for Health and Wellness in Kindergarten.

2017 CODiE Award Finalist

In May 2017, the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) named DESSA System (formerly the Evo SEL System) as a finalist for the CODiE award for Best Social-Emotional Development Solution.

2017 Tech & Learning What’s New: New Tools for School

In 2017, Tech & Learning Magazine listed Aperture Education’s DESSA System (formerly Evo Social/Emotional Assessment and Intervention System) as a new and innovative tool for assessing the social and emotional learning of students, K-8.

2016 REVERE Award

In June 2016, Apperson (now Aperture Education) gained national acclaim when the Association of American Publishers (AAP) granted the DESSA System (formerly the Evo SEL Assessment and Intervention System) the distinct honor of a REVERE award in its supplemental resources category.

2015 AIR Tool

In 2015, the American Institutes for Research (AIR) featured the DESSA and the DESSA-mini as a social and emotional assessment resource in its tools’ index.

2015 Tech & Learning Award of Excellence

In October 2015, Tech & Learning, a publication that aids the technology decisions of educators, awarded the DESSA System (formerly the Evo SEL Assessment and Intervention System) an Award of Excellence for its new product category.

2015 CODiE Award Finalist

In May 2015, the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) named the DESSA System (formerly the Evo SEL Assessment and Intervention System) as a finalist for the CODiE award for Best Instruction Solution.

2015 BESSIE Award

In April 2015, ComputED Gazette, a publication that specializes in education and technology, announced Aperture’s DESSA System (formerly the Evo SEL Assessment and Intervention System) as a winner of the Best Counseling Tool for teachers.

2011 CASEL Resource

In 2011, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) included the DESSA social and emotional evaluation as one of its five reviewed assessment tools.

2011 Raikes Foundation Resource

In 2011, the Raikes Foundation reviewed 73 social and emotional assessment tools. In their review, the Foundation found only ten viable options, one being the DESSA.

The Handbook of Social and Emotional Learning Research and Practice includes the following review:

Given its level of comprehensiveness and focus on child strengths, and its fit with other criteria listed here, the DESSA provides useful information for intervention planning and can also be applied to create classroom profiles that can be used for subsequent prevention strategies.

The authors also state their opinion on the reliability of the DESSA-mini:

Recent independent investigations indicate evidence of convergent and divergent validity for the main measure, as well as reliability, and predictive power for the DESSA-Mini.

The Compendium of Preschool through Elementary Social-Emotional Learning and Associated Assessment Measures notes the flexibility and adaptability of the DESSA social and emotional evaluation:

The DESSA also lends itself to be used with the general population in Tier 1 (i.e., universal screening) to promote the social-emotional well-being of all youth as well as for more targeted and intensive interventions.

In Social and Emotional Learning in the Classroom: Promoting Mental Health and Academic Success, authors Merrell and Gueldner also comment on the benefits of the DESSA:

The DESSA appears to be advantageous for several reasons, including its specific focus on protective factors or resilience, its dual-rater (parent and teacher) target, its structural connection to the three-tiered prevention model that is increasingly popular in education, its strong technical properties, and the availability of the brief 1-minute checkup version of the scale.

Additionally, the Eighteenth Mental Measurements Yearbook gives a positive review of the DESSA’s compliance with APA standards:

Initial reliability and validity information…is very promising. The developmental processes of the DESSA meet or exceed the standards for test construction set forth by the American Psychological Association.

Providing social and emotional evaluation, the DESSA is an integral part of Aperture’s DESSA Comprehensive SEL System. The platform’s ability to use technology to pinpoint the needs of students is due to its reliance upon the DESSA.


Download Reviews of the DESSA