The Devereux Student Strengths Assessment

A standardized, strength-based measure of the social and emotional competencies of children in kindergarten through 8th grade.

FREE Webinar about the DESSA!

Join Paul LeBuffe, co-author of the DESSA, to learn how the DESSA can be appropriately used to support the social and emotional development of children in your schools and out-of-school time programs.

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What is the DESSA?

The Devereux Students Strengths Assessment (DESSA), originally developed by the Devereux Center for Resilient Children, is the assessment portion of Aperture Education’s Evo Social/Emotional Assessment and Intervention System. It is a standardized, strength-based measure of the social and emotional competencies of children in kindergarten through 8th grade. Grounded in resilience theory, the DESSA provides user-friendly, practical tools that meet the highest professional standards. With the DESSA, parents, teachers, and out-of-school-time staff can assess a child’s social and emotional skills and promote healthy outcomes.

Evo SEL Pricing


Why Should I Use the DESSA?

Research-Based: The DESSA is both nationally standardized and norm-referenced, with a standardization sample of n=2494. In addition, it exceeds the recommended standard for rater reliability and assessment validity. For more specific information, visit our DESSA 101 page.

Progress Monitoring: In addition to the full, 72-item DESSA, the DESSA-mini (a shorter, 8-item assessment) can be used to monitor your students’ social and emotional development throughout the school year, providing actionable data to steer quality SEL intervention.

CASEL Aligned: Aperture Education’s 8 social and emotional learning (SEL) competencies are directly aligned to the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning’s (CASEL) highly-regarded five SEL competency framework.

Multi-lingual: The DESSA and DESSA-mini are provided in both English and Spanish, serving all raters – including families – who may not speak English as a first language.

Personalized Use: Along with access to the DESSA and DESSA-mini, users also have access to the full suite of intervention strategies and foundational practices, as well as 24/7 system support and a team of dedicated implementation personnel. This ensures that each users experience is efficient, yet personalized.

Safe and Secure: See our Privacy Policy for a full statement on our commitment to safe and secure data collection, including adding our signature to the Student Data Privacy Pledge.



Identify Student Strengths Using Social and Emotional Competencies

The DESSA-mini provides a Social & Emotional Total (SET) Score for screening and progress monitoring.
The DESSA covers the following social and emotional competencies:





Learn More with the DESSA 101

For more detailed information on the DESSA – including awards, research studies, and success stories – visit our DESSA 101 page.