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The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) will make the DESSA Assessment System available to districts at no cost. The DESSA comprehensive assessment system includes the DESSA-mini, the universal screener, and the DESSA, an in-depth assessment. This strength-based assessment suite provides a data-driven approach to SEL leading directly to strategies and interventions for students and enabling schools to document progress, evaluate outcomes, and continuously improve their SEL programming over time.



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Join an Information Session

Cohort 4 has been closed. Please reach out to Lisa-Anne Williams with her calendar below for additional information. 

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7 Ways CSDE is Leading Social and Emotional Learning

The Connecticut State Department of Education has created a great resource for districts across the state. Download it today to discover more information on how to support social and emotional learning in your district this school year.

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Next Steps:

What is the first step to sign up?

Welcome! The first step is to join an information session, which will walk through the process of joining a cohort, expectations for the districts and schools, and expectations from the state. 

How do I know if we are ready?

Join our info session to learn more about expectations and ways to evaluate your readiness. We are here to help you in your Social and Emotional Learning program - let us help set you up for success!

What are the deadlines?

We have currently filled Cohorts 1-4. If we open an additional cohort in the future we will let you know! Connect with Lisa-Anne Williams through her calendar link below for additional information. 

More Information:

Why is the CSDE providing this?

The Connecticut State Department of Education believes there is a need to screen for Social and Emotional Competencies (SEC) in students across the state. 

After a rigorous bid process, the CSDE selected Aperture Education and the DESSA-mini is the preferred program to screen students K-12. 

What was the selection process?

The bid process was a months-long program put forth by the Connecticut State Department of Education. After a rigorous selection process, the CSDE selected Aperture Education as the state-wide voluntary social and emotional competency screener.

What does the state need from my district?

The state requests access through a dashboard to determine usage of the Aperture SEL System, The DESSA, and the DESSA-mini. 

Is there a minimum number of schools needed to sign up per district?

We encourage districts to bring on as many schools that are interested to join, however, we will provide guidance for each district based on district size in our information sessions. 

[Press Release] Partnership Information

The CSDE and Aperture Education released a joint statement on SEL Day, March 26th. Read the press release about the partnership here.

Districts Committed

Cohort 1 Districts:

Bethany Public Schools, Bethel Public School District, Brooklyn Public Schools, Canterbury Public Schools, Clinton Public Schools, Consolidated School District of New Britain, Coventry Public Schools, East Conn, Enfield Public Schools, Hebron Public Schools, Montville Public Schools, Naugatuck Public Schools, New Beginnings Family Academy, New Fairfield School District, Norwich Free Academy, Odyssey Community School, Plainfield Public Schools, Plainville Community School District, Regional School District 17, Side by Side Charter School, Stafford Public School District, Suffield Public School District, Town of Vernon Connecticut, Wallingford Public Schools, Watertown School District, West Hartford Public School District, Winchester Public Schools, Windham Public Schools, Windsor Public Schools

Cohort 2 Districts:

Area Cooperative Education Services, Ashford Public Schools, Canton Public Schools, Chaplin Public Schools, East Lyme Public Schools, Fairfield Public Schools, Groton Public Schools, Hamden Public Schools, LEARN, Madison Public Schools, Marlborough Public Schools, Middletown Public Schools, Norwich Public Schools, Old Saybrook Public Schools, Putnam Public Schools, Regional School District 12, Regional School District 14, Regional School District 15, Stamford Public Schools, Waterbury Public Schools, Windsor Locks Public Schools

Cohort 3 Districts: 

American School for the Deaf, Booker T. Washington Academy, Bozrah Town School District, Connecticut Technical High School System, Cromwell Public Schools, Danbury Public Schools, Darien Public Schools, East Granby Public Schools, East Hampton School District, Eastford School District, Explorations Charter School, Granby Public Schools, Jumoke Academy, Killingly Public School District, Lebanon Public School District, New London Public School District, New Milford Public School District, Norwalk Public Schools, Pomfret Community Schools, Portland Public School District, Regional School District 13, Seymour Town School District, Westbrook Public School District, Wilton Public Schools, Woodstock Academy, Wolcott School District

Cohort 4 Districts:

Brookfield School District, Colchester School District, East Haddam School District, Hampton School District, Mansfield School District, Simsbury School District

Communication for Parents

Here is a document you can pass along to your parents or guardians about the Aperture System. Download Here

Aperture's new Parent Portal is available HERE

Aperture 8 Guide available HERE.

Aperture's Parent One-Pager available HERE.

Sample Parent Letter in English and Spanish

Sample DESSA-Data Parent Letter in English and Spanish

Information on Joining Cohorts

To review an overview of our partnership and how to join a future cohort, please review the slide deck available here. 

Looking for an in-depth chat? Schedule a time with Lisa-Anne below!

The first step is to join an information session to learn more about what the CSDE + Aperture Education partnership entails, a dive into the Aperture Education System, and how to sign up for the cohorts. We understand every district is different and are ready to discuss how we will help you properly screen for social and emotional competencies with the DESSA-mini and utilize the DESSA for a complete, CASEL-aligned SEL assessment.