SEL Impact Award: Boerne ISD’s Excellence in Education

We are proud to announce the launch of our SEL Impact Award designed to honor school systems that take innovative approaches to providing students and teachers with the tools they need to develop strong social and emotional skill sets. These skills help address the anxiety and depression prevalent among both students and educators. Aperture Education supports the whole student and educator and we believe SEL is critical to their success in and out of the classroom.  

This award recognizes districts that prioritize SEL and make a positive impact on their school system and its members. Keep reading to learn more about our first district recipient— Boerne Independent School District in Boerne, Texas. 

About Boerne ISD: Achieving an Award for Excellence in Education 

Boerne ISD became an Aperture Education client in 2018 after looking for a strength-based tool that could support its pre-existing MTSS framework. With the district’s first implementation of the Aperture System taking place in the 2019-2020 school year, they have seen tremendous growth in their students’ skill acquisition.  

Here’s a look at Boerne ISD’s journey to implementing SEL. The steps may help you advocate for bringing an SEL program and assessment into your school system. 

Strategic Planning 

From the get-go, district leaders at Boerne ISD incorporated stakeholders from all levels to collaborate on strategic planning goals. They landed on four areas of student success: academic, college/career, social/emotional, and behavioral. 

Community Forums 

Many of us are familiar with the phrase “college and career readiness.” Boerne ISD knew the importance of connecting SEL to future preparedness. The district hosted panels where alumni, college, business, and technology experts shared insights on skills for success in their respective industries with the current school community. Unsurprisingly, SEL played a foundational role in all of the areas the panelists discussed.  

Three-Year Plan 

Boerne then created a three-year plan to design, implement, and evaluate change to accomplish the district’s goals for excellence in education. Boerne ISD district leaders began looking for a strength-based tool to support their pre-existing MTSS framework. They found the Aperture System, home of the DESSA suite of assessments, fulfilled their needs. 


At this point, Boerne ISD began to use the Aperture System. Educators began completing the DESSA and progress monitoring students’ growth over time in social and emotional skill development. 

Program Evaluation 

Next up, the district leaders made sure to intentionally evaluate the programs they did implement for efficiency and effectiveness. Educators did not need more on their plates; district leaders wanted them to use tools that make their lives easier. Not only did the Aperture System produce positive results, educators found it beneficial to supporting the whole child. 

Creating a Shared Vision 

Sharing the vision of a whole child with district and campus leaders fueled the continuation of the work. District leaders focused on giving praise to school leaders and educators for investing their time in SEL. Additionally, it created a more positive school culture by approaching discussions with students from an asset-based lens. 

Leaders Share Thoughts on the School Excellence in Education Award 

Boerne ISD achieved an 80% reduction in out-of-school suspensions, a 53% decrease in in-school suspensions, and a 47% drop in referrals during the 2020-2021 school year after using the Aperture System’s tools. They continue to find success in incorporating strength-building activities throughout the school day. The district received the award as recognition for their inspirational work at the SEL Vision Summit in Denver in April.  

“Boerne ISD was an obvious choice to receive our first SEL Impact Award because their approach is unheard of in the education space – they are literally changing IEPs and behavior plans to get everyone in sync with the eight strengths included in our DESSA SEL suite and are incorporating these competencies at every level within the district,” said Aperture Education CEO Jessica Adamson. 

Marcie Warner, Student Support Counselor for the district, shared that she appreciated the recognition for the district’s focus on SEL. 

“We are honored to be given the first ever SEL Impact Award as SEL is a priority for Boerne ISD and is at the foundation of everything we do. We attribute our success to the focus on strength-based screening that really fosters deeper relationships with students and keeps the focus on meeting students where they are and building out support from there,” said Marcie.  

We’re here to help you reach your district’s excellence in education goals through SEL! 

Fill out the form below to connect with our Partnership team about using SEL to achieve your goals! 

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