Wednesday, March 17, 2021

New Innovative SEL Tool from Aperture Education helps High School Students Build Skills for College and Career


This is a great tool to help understand high school student social-emotional needs and how to support them with strategies and interventions. 

New Innovative SEL Tool from Aperture Education helps High School Students Build Skills for College and Career

The Aperture Student Portal includes gamified goal-setting and SEL self-assessments offering a research-backed approach to understanding students’ needs

Charlotte N.C. (March 10, 2021) — Goal-setting and having a voice in their own learning are powerful motivators for students, especially those in high school. To help educators use these strategies to support social and emotional learning (SEL), Aperture Education has created the Aperture Student Portal for high school students, an online platform that gives students access to the DESSA-High School Edition Student Self-Report, goal-setting tools, and immediate feedback to help them grow in their social and emotional competencies. These competencies, which include self-management, personal responsibility, decision making and more, are vital for career and college readiness and imperative for any student navigating the dynamic challenges of distance or hybrid learning. The platform is gamified to optimize student engagement and motivation. Because the portal can be accessed online, teachers can use it to support SEL both in the classroom and during distance learning.


SEL assessments help teachers understand students’ strengths and needs so they can plan individual and school-wide interventions and evaluate student progress. And we know giving students a voice in their learning is important, especially for high school students,” said Jessica Adamson, CEO of Aperture Education. “Our Aperture Student Portal provides an engaging way for high school students to take stock of their social and emotional strengths and needs – and helps them strengthen their skills. It is also a great way for teachers to support SEL when they can’t be with students in-person or don’t have a dedicated time to focus on SEL during the school day.”


About the Aperture Student Portal

The Aperture Student Portal, specifically built for high school, is an online platform through which students take the DESSA – High School Edition Student Self-Report, a nationally-normed high school SEL assessment. The assessment provides schools and out-of-school-time organizations with reliable SEL data and captures student voice to help educators understand students’ social and emotional competence. It helps educators provide personalized research-based interventions and allows them to evaluate progress. The Aperture Student Portal includes:


  • Student access to self-guided SEL assessments
  • Personalized strategies to build SEL skills as individuals and in student groups
  • Tools to help students set personal goals
  • The ability for teachers to monitor student progress
  • Options for students to add a parent, mentor or other advocate to their account to help support their progress.
  • SEL assessment data, insights and a dashboard for educators and administrators


The assessment helps educators and counselors identify students in need of Tier 2 & Tier 3 supports. It also provides immediate results so students and teachers can take action right away.


“For the high school students, we felt it would be best if we could just get the data straight from the kids,” said Emilie Tregellas, school psychologist for the Oak Creek-Franklin Joint School District in Wisconsin, which piloted the high school self-assessments. “We’re at a pivotal point where people are realizing that if kids can’t access learning (through a key social emotional skill like self-management, for example), then they can’t learn their academic curriculum. It's good for us to know this type of information because now we can act on it."


Tregellas said the goal-setting component is especially valuable. “Executive functioning skills is a passion of mine. (The Aperture Student Portal) helps kids access goal setting in a way that might be challenging, but can help them follow through,” she said. “This program is helping us connect a lot of pieces, including the ability to teach kids a lifelong skill that is going to make them career and college ready. We can all benefit from knowing our strengths and how to set goals.”


For more information about the Aperture Student Portal visit

About Aperture Education

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 to 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 more than 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