In yet another sign that social-emotional learning is gaining national momentum, the YMCA of the USA is planning to expand its after-school efforts that focus on building student social-emotional skills, which can lead to increased resiliency and confidence and a correlated improvement in academic achievement.  You can read this recent blog post by Kathryn Baron at which is the online portal for Education Week Magazine to learn more.

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The YMCA of the USA uses the Devereux Students Strength Assessment (DESSA), a 72-item behavior rating scale that assesses the social-emotional competencies that serve as protective factors for children in kindergarten through the eighth grade.  This measurement tool has been designed to help schools, and out-of-school organizations meet emerging social-emotional learning standards.

The DESSA forms the basis of Apperson’s cloud-based assessment platform, Evo Social-Emotional which is being used to make direct impact on the lives of kids across many regional YMCAs.  The platform offers flexible reporting and provides effective measurement for change, along with a balanced set of intervention strategies for use universally, in small groups and individually for real-time improvement.