Best Practices for Assessing Students' Social Emotional Competencies within an MTSS Framework

Wednesday, March 24, 2021
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Time displayed above is EST - The webinar will be available everywhere via Zoom
Aperture education DESSA Branching Minds logo

As many districts move towards developing system wide practices to support social-emotional learning and development, questions remain regarding how to assess and monitor students’ social-emotional competencies.

This webinar will outline best practices for selecting evidence-based social-emotional screeners and assessments. We will also:

  • Demonstrate how assessment data can be used to identify the needs of students and inform the intervention planning process;
  • Spotlight the DESSA system, from Aperture Education, which provides districts and schools with a comprehensive SEL assessment tool;
  • Share details on the research supporting the DESSA’s reliability and validity, as well as how the tool can be used to accurately identify students needing SEL support;
  • Finally, we will demonstrate how SEL assessment data is stored and utilized on the Branching Minds platform. 





About the presenters:

Dr. Essie Sutton is an Applied Developmental Psychologist and the Director of Learning Science at Branching Minds. Her work brings together the fields of Child Development and Education Psychology to improve learning and development for all students. Dr. Sutton is responsible for studying the impacts of the Branching Minds on students’ academic, behavioral, and social-emotional outcomes. She also leverages MTSS research and best practices to develop and improve the Branching Minds platform.


Lisa-Anne Williams is a Senior Partnership Manager and Master Teacher Trainer with Aperture Education. Lisa-Anne was an educator for 13 years, working with students across three states and from a variety of populations. Her background in curriculum & instructional program design, differentiated instruction across multi-age classes and behavior/social skills training, led her to find a passion for focusing on SEL. Combining those areas with a data driven approach to intervention, she has continued to strive to build connections and relationships across environments for each student and their individual success.  She has supported schools, districts and community organizations across the country with Aperture Education for almost 5 years.



About Aperture  

Aperture Education empowers over 3,000 schools and out-of-school-time programs across North America to measure, strengthen, and support social and emotional competence in K-12 youth and educators. This system enables education leaders can make strategic, data-based decisions about SEL within their organizations. The Aperture system includes the DESSA suite of strength-based assessments, CASEL-informed intervention strategies, and robust reporting, all in one easy-to-use digital platform. Aperture has supported over one million students in their social and emotional growth and continues to develop innovative solutions to bring the whole child into focus. To learn more, visit




Later Event: January 25