We're on a mission to empower students and educators to thrive

Through our strength-based suite of assessments, strategies, interventions, and professional learning resources, we are dedicated to building resilient school communities.

Home of the DESSA: The #1 Strength-Based Suite of Solutions for Learning and Life Skills

With over 65 years of combined research and experience, our team has carefully developed the DESSA suite of solutions to meet the needs of students, educators and school communities. The DESSA reveals an in-depth, comprehensive view of student social and emotional skills, with tailored strategies and interventions to help them grow.

We Start With Strengths

Optimistic ThinkingRelationship SkillsResponsible Decision-MakingSelf-AwarenessSelf-ManagementSocial Awareness


Trusted by Johns Hopkins University, American Institutes of Research (AIR), the Rand Corporation, City Year, and the Y of the USA for use in major studies

Grounded in resilience theory

Designed on the same proven models as RTI & MTSS


130+ peer-reviewed studies

All measures meet or exceed industry psychometric standards

Only screener to meet universal criteria set forth by the World Health Organization


DESSA-mini is the quickest strength-based universal screener (1 minute per student)

DESSA-mini accurately predicts social and emotional competence

People choose education because it is a passion - a passion to help little people become independent and successful human beings. This can only happen when I know what my strengths are and what I need to grow and succeed. I feel so lucky to be part of a mission to make that happen for every child and every educator.

Lisa Micou, Aperture Advisor, Former District Director of Student Support

Who We Serve

Our Team

We are a caring team of researchers, educators, and service-driven professionals who seek to provide respected, scientific, and practical strength-based social and emotional solutions to educators around the world.

Our greatest asset is our people, and as a result, our culture. Aperture’s work in supporting social emotional competence and life skills is reflected in the relationship building that happens within our company and partnerships. Our job as team members is to cultivate a caring community based on collaboration and strengths.

Aperture has been recognized as a “Best Place to Work” by the Charlotte Business Journal and boasts a high review on Glassdoor.

Best Places to Work award, Best Competency Based Education Solution award, High Employee Satisfaction award

Our Core Values

At Aperture, we are guided by a set of core values that influence how we work as a team, support one another, and create solutions that transform learning communities.

We are dedicated to helping you plan implementation, receive training, ensure adoption, provide product support, and assist you in strategic planning.

Relationships First

We are committed to developing long-term partnerships with our colleagues and clients resulting in sustainable change, positive outcomes, and real impact.

Thought Leadership

We are committed to advancing the field through unique products that solve real problems, thoughtful content, and creating connections that inspire change and growth.

Leading with Strengths

We believe that our colleagues, partners, and the children and adults they serve are best supported when we focus on identifying and honoring strengths. Because when we start with strengths, we end up stronger.

Rigor & Practicality

We are uncompromising in our commitment to ensure that our products and services are both practical and evidence-based so our partners can feel confident that their programming is driving real, sustainable change.


We are responsible stewards of our resources, including the reputation and time of our company, employees, and partners. As such we are committed to continuously evaluating how we can improve.


We are committed to supporting the wellness of ourselves, our colleagues, and our partners through our employment practices, caring company culture, and the products and services we create for educators and children alike.

Ready to build a strength-based program designed to support learning and life skills?