Strong Resilient NYC

The New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) is thrilled to bring 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 in the 2021-22 school year.

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 are implementing the DESSA, and giving educators access to Urban Assembly's Resilient Scholars Portal for guided intervention supports. 

With the data from the screener, we will help our students develop these essential skills by using targeted, highly responsive support to each individual student.

We will build on students' strengths while identifying skills to further develop. 

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The easiest and most reliable SEL screening and intervention program.


Equity Driven

Bolsters Academic Achievement

Supports Student Wellness

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 

Portrait of smiling little school kids in school corridor

The DESSA is entirely strength-based, which means that instead of focusing at deficits, it highlights a student's positive social and emotional strengths and build 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