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Willamette Education Service District in Oregon Partners with Aperture Education to Offer SEL Assessments to Districts

Aperture Education’s Assessment and Intervention System provides data to help Oregon school districts personalize their approach to SEL

Charlotte N.C. (Dec. 6, 2017) — The Willamette Educational Service District in Oregon has partnered with social and emotional learning (SEL) company Aperture Education to provide data-driven SEL assessments to Oregon school districts, including the 21 school districts and 84,000 students Willamette ESD directly serves.


The partnership will provide Willamette ESD clients and districts across Oregon with discounted access to Aperture’s Evo Social/Emotional assessment and intervention system, which includes the widely-used Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA) to measure students’ competencies in areas such as personal responsibility, self-management, building relationships and healthy decision-making. Willamette ESD selected Aperture as its SEL assessment provider because it wanted to offer an assessment that both complemented the curricula that its clients were using and that was also practical for teachers to administer. Teachers and student support personnel can use the DESSA-mini, a brief, universal screener of social and emotional competence to screen students in less than a minute each. They can then follow up and administer the full DESSA as needed, as well as access the system’s SEL interventions for skill-building.

“It was important that our SEL solution had a strong measurement component so our clients could truly understand their students’ SEL needs and monitor progress along the way,” said Keith Ussery, Deputy Superintendent at Willamette ESD. “Aperture’s Evo Social/Emotional provides a strengths-based measure of SEL competencies that gives our clients the data they need. Crucially, Aperture also worked with us to automatically push SEL data into our widely-used data warehouse so our districts can start looking at the relationship between SEL and other important indicators like test scores and attendance.”

Willamette ESD will use Evo Social/Emotional to help its districts create a personalized approach to SEL and measure the outcomes of their programs. Aperture’s team also trained Willamette ESD’s staff and lead teachers from schools implementing Evo Social/Emotional on administering the assessment via Aperture’s “Train the Trainer” professional development program.

“As the birthplace of PBIS, Oregon has always been a leader in focusing on positive student behavior and we are thrilled to see Willamette ESD build upon that legacy by partnering with us to help Oregon districts go beyond behavior management by also building their students’ social and emotional skills – skills these kids will need to be successful in school, their careers and their personal life.” said Jessica Adamson, CEO of Aperture Education.

Partnering with organizations like Willamette ESD is part of Aperture Education’s ongoing work to support educators, administrators and out-of-school-time providers in implementing social and emotional learning programs within their schools or programs. It also provides SEL information and resources for parents and organizations, and offers a scholarship program for students.

About Aperture Education

Aperture Education is a social enterprise focused on addressing the whole child. Its social and emotional learning (SEL) solution, Evo Social/Emotional, is based on the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA), a standardized, strengths-based measure of critical social and emotional skills. The Evo Social/Emotional online system includes both the DESSA assessment and the DESSA-mini, a brief, universal screener of social and emotional competence. Evo Social/Emotional also provides strategies to strengthen social and emotional skills. Version 2.0, now available, provides the data needed to help SEL program administrators measure the impact of their programs and to help educators understand students’ SEL needs and strengths. For more information, go to