Research shows that when implemented with fidelity, the Second Step program works.

To make sure you’re getting the most out of your Second Step program, you must be able to measure the quality of your implementation and if the SEL program is working. If an intervention isn’t improving student outcomes, it’s important to understand why — and the sooner the better.

Measure Progress to Determine Second Step Effectiveness

One way the DESSA Comprehensive SEL System supports Second Step and other social and emotional learning (SEL) programs is through progress monitoring. Progress monitoring is the practice of administering an assessment multiple times throughout the school year to determine if and how students are responding to an SEL program. If students are not making expected progress, you can use the data to make adjustments to improve the intervention.

A common practice for progress monitoring involves:

  • Baseline assessment (generally conducted at the beginning of the school year)
  • At least one mid-year assessment, though this can be repeated as desired
  • End-of-year assessment

Capturing and analyzing data throughout the year helps you determine if students are making sufficient progress. It also provides valuable insight into how to make changes to the program. For example, the data might show most students need additional support in a specific social-emotional competency. You can use that information to change universal instruction to increase focus on that particular skill.

Using the DESSA for Progress Monitoring

The DESSA System is uniquely equipped to assist educators with progress monitoring. The DESSA-mini takes less than one minute per student to complete, and it can be administered throughout the year to measure student progress toward specific goals. The DESSA-Second Step Edition (DESSA-SSE) is aligned to the Second Step curriculum, and it provides a reliable tool for adapting the program to students’ individual needs. The DESSA-SSE reveals changes in specific social-emotional skills, and the sensitivity of the instrument can help you evaluate the effectiveness of SEL programs and strategies.

The DESSA System also allows you to compare an individual student’s scores over time to determine their overall social-emotional competence. It’s easy to use the reporting feature to analyze students’ past and current raw scores, percentile scores, T-scores, and descriptive categories. This information helps schools understand whether the difference between the baseline and subsequent assessments is significant.

Second Step is a quality, effective SEL program that increases student outcomes. The DESSA System can help you get the best results by providing valuable insight into whether the implementation is working and how to adjust instruction to maximize program fidelity. Request a demo of the DESSA System to learn more today!