Branching Minds makes MTSS easy, efficient, and effective by bringing together all of the components of MTSS so teachers can collaboratively problem-solve and support all students’ holistic needs. Our system-level solution helps schools improve students’ outcomes across academics, behavior, and SEL equitably.
Our platform supports behavior and SEL in the following ways:
Assessing SEL Needs with the DESSA
Grounded in resilience theory and directly aligned to the CASEL framework, the DESSA is a user-friendly, practical social-emotional learning assessment that meets the highest professional standards. It is a standardized, strength-based social-emotional and behavior assessment designed to measure social-emotional competence for students in grades K-12
The DESSA suite of assessments includes the following:
- The DESSA-mini
A valid and reliable one-minute screener of students’ social and emotional competence. The DESSA-mini provides insight for students in grades K-8.
- The DESSA
The flagship assessment of Aperture Education. A valid and reliable 72-item assessment of social and emotional strengths and needs for students in grades K-8.
- The DESSA-High School Edition-mini (DESSA-HSE mini)
A valid and reliable one-minute screener of students’ social and emotional competence for students in grades 9-12.
- The DESSA-High School Edition (DESSA-HSE)
A valid and reliable 43-item assessment of social and emotional strengths and needs for students in grades 9-12.
- The Harmony SEL and DESSA K-8 Crosswalk
The Harmony SEL Crosswalk shows where assessed DESSA skills appear in Harmony curriculum components. When used in a MTSS approach, the Harmony SEL Crosswalk can be used to identify supplemental instructional programming at Tier II and Tier III.
Understand Students Perception of their Own SEL Competence with the SECA
The SECA is a free, research-based, student-facing survey that measures self-reported social and emotional competencies of students in grades 5-12, and can be administered directly through Branching Minds. The SECA assesses 8 social-emotional skills and provides an overall SEL global score. Questions are available in English and Spanish. Once completed, students’ scores appear immediately on their Student Overview page. Educators can use that data to identify students who need support and find programs, strategies, and resources aligned to their specific SEL needs. For more information on the SECA, click here.
SECA assessment (40 questions)
Measures 8 social-emotional domains
- Self-awareness of strengths and weaknesses
- Self-awareness of emotions
- Self-management of emotions
- Self-management of goals
- Self-management of school work
- Relationship skills
- Social awareness
- Responsible decision-making
Leveraging SEL Screeners for Tiering
Branching Minds can ingest SEL screener data, or use SECA and DESSA data, to determine tier placement for students based on school-determined performance cut scores. Educators can then review tier level reports which provide the percent and number of students in each tier broken down by school, grade, gender, race, ethnicity, English proficiency, and FRL status. It also provides tier movement reports to understand if students are moving up or down in tier between two time periods.
More effective problem-solving
The Branching Minds Behavior Insight Survey leverages the learning sciences to collect teachers’ observations of students’ executive functioning and social-emotional skills, differentiated by students’ grade performance level.
Finding the Right Evidence-based Interventions & Accommodations for Each Learner
Hundreds of free, evidence-based behavior and SEL learning supports - including supports for attendance, relationship skills, responsible decision-making, self-awareness, self-management, and social awareness. The library includes supports sourced from CASEL, PBIS World, and Sanford Harmony, and can be customized for each school or district.
Creating Intervention Plans and Monitoring Daily & Weekly Progress in Behavior/SEL
Customizable behavior plans - for individual students and small groups - include evidence-based interventions, accommodations and progress monitoring. Use any type of behavior progress monitor that includes a score, rate, percent, or scale measure, such as Daily Behavior Report Cards or Check-In / Check-Out
Logging & Monitoring Behavior Incidents
Log and monitor behavior incidents, such as bullying, disruption, physical aggression, and other issues. The behavior incidents are presented alongside intervention data and daily/weekly behavior progress monitoring - enabling teacher teams to quickly identify and address emerging issues with a student.
Pattern Matching Behavior Incidents Across Groups
Behavior incidents are also filterable and viewable across subgroups like school, grade, student, staff, incident, demographic subgroups and more. The presentation of this data enables school and district-level administrators to better identify patterns of behavior incidents and problem solve system-level needs.
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