Strong Resilient NYC
The New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) has utilized the DESSA, a strength-based social and emotional learning screener, and the Urban Assembly Resilient Scholars Portal, a guided intervention program, to support all students since 2021.
As part of a district-wide focus on social and emotional needs, we are prioritizing the support of student wellness across the city. To do this, we implemented the DESSA, and gave educators access to Urban Assembly's Resilient Scholars Portal for guided intervention supports.
With the data from the screener, our students develop these essential skills by using targeted, highly responsive support to each individual student.
We are building on students' strengths while identifying skills to further develop.
When we start with strengths, we end up stronger.
"We don't want our students to come back and hear all of the things they don't have. We want to leverage their strengths, leverage their assets, and build from that place."
-Meisha Porter, NYC DOE Chancellor
The DESSA is entirely strength-based, which means that instead of focusing on deficits, it highlights a student's positive social and emotional strengths and builds from there.
Research shows that a strength-based approach benefits educators, students, families and the community. By highlighting strengths, we achieve higher levels of engagement, academic achievement and greater levels of happiness.
Learn more about Social and Emotional Learning
According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.
In a recent study, students who participated in evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL) programs scored 13 points higher academically, had a 6 percent higher high school graduation rate, and were 11 percent more likely to graduate from college.