Use SEL Assessment Data to Guide Budgeting, Instructional Planning, and PD Planning

There are many ways schools and districts across the country are using social and emotional learning (SEL) data to improve student achievement. But did you know that SEL can also be used to guide budgeting, instructional planning, and professional learning planning?

Learn how to get the most from your SEL data by using it to inform your spring budgets and fall planning.


As you work on your spring budgeting, keep in mind that SEL assessment data can help you understand the needs of your students and staff so you know where to allocate funds for additional resources. SEL data can also help you know which supports will maximize your budget. Student data can tell you which students — and how many students — need more intensive interventions or additional resources, and it provides insight into why students are struggling. Use this information to zero in on which supports (i.e. staffing and instructional and intervention programs) are most needed and will have the greatest impact. Educator data can help guide budget decisions around staff supports, including professional learning.

Instructional Planning

A continuous improvement plan can help you develop instruction. The secret to creating an effective continuous improvement plan is to assess, evaluate, act, and repeat. Capturing and analyzing data throughout the year helps you determine whether students are making sufficient progress. The data also provides valuable insight into how to make changes to the program.

For example, the data might show that 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. SEL data can also show you what’s working and what’s not working so you can troubleshoot any obstacles and make adjustments to your program to improve effectiveness.

Improving the academic performance of English learners (ELs) is another way SEL can support instructional planning. SEL can help address many key concerns that may be impacting ELs’ ability to learn English and succeed academically, and it can help ELs learn how to cope with high stress, overcome difficulties with classmates, stay on task, cope with feelings of loneliness and sadness, and reduce anxiety levels. SEL data can identify the needs of your ELs so you can plan instruction accordingly.

Professional Learning Planning

SEL is not just for students educators can also benefit from increasing their social-emotional competence. When educators have strong social and emotional skills, they are:

  • more resilient and better equipped to manage stress, the demands of teaching, and students’ needs
  • better prepared to teach SEL to students
  • able to model social-emotional skills authentically in the moment

By looking at aggregate educator SEL data, you can see which areas of support will benefit the majority of your staff. Use this insight to create an effective professional learning plan that will meet the needs of your staff and help them become better educators.

There are many ways to use SEL data, including to guide budget decisions, instructional planning, and professional learning planning. As you work on your spring budgets and planning for the fall, be sure to utilize your SEL data to its fullest potential.

Also be sure to use a quality SEL assessment to identify students’ social and emotional needs. Aperture Education’s DESSA Comprehensive SEL System includes a suite of strength-based assessments, a universal screener that can be administered in fewer than one minute (the DESSA-mini), and growth strategies and foundational practices to strengthen social-emotional competence. Actionable data and reporting helps SEL program administrators measure the impact of their programs and helps educators understand students’ SEL strengths and needs.

To learn more about how to keep your students engaged so they can finish the school year strong, contact our team through the form below.

Request Quote