Is This Working? The Importance of Social and Emotional Progress Monitoring

So, you’ve selected a Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) program and are ready to get the implementation process started. But have you considered how to measure student response to the program? If an intervention isn’t effective, it’s important to understand why, and the sooner the better. Learn how progress monitoring with the DESSA allows you to evaluate the impact of an intervention during the school year so you can make adjustments early on and maximize your students’ rate of success. Progress monitoring is defined as the practice of administering an assessment multiple times throughout the school year. The goal is to determine if students are responding to an intervention or program. If the data shows that students are not making expected progress, this suggests that adjustments are needed to improve the intervention. A common progress monitoring structure includes:

  • 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 insight into how to make changes to the program. For instance, the data might show that students would benefit from individual support, rather than group activities. Or, the data might show that students need additional lessons in a specific area. DESSA Comprehensive System’s DESSA-Mini assessments are uniquely equipped to assist educators with progress monitoring. The assessments measure critical SEL skills linked to student success and can be administered throughout the year to provide insight into students’ progress toward specific goals. Since Evo SEL is sensitive to fluctuations in students’ social and emotional skills, it provides a reliable tool for adapting your SEL program to your students’ individual needs. Additionally, the DESSA reveals changes in specific social and emotional skills, and the sensitivity of the instrument helps you evaluate the effectiveness of SEL programs and strategies. With Evo SEL, you can also compare individual students’ scores over time to determine their overall social and 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 will help you understand whether the difference between the baseline and subsequent assessments is significant. A critical component of any SEL program is the practice of progress monitoring. With Aperture Education’s Evo SEL system, it’s easy to monitor student progress so you know if adjustments to your SEL program need to be made.

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