Aperture Education, a Riverside Insights company and the leading provider of social-emotional skills assessment and intervention solutions, and Committee for Children, the leading provider of social-emotional curriculum programmes in the United States, have recently announced that they will collaborate to provide four co-developed assessments to help schools demonstrate the impact of evidence-based social and emotional programmes.
Based on the Aperture DESSA suite, these assessments enhance the Committee for Children’s Second Step® programmes, which are research-based social-emotional learning (SEL) curricula designed to foster SEL in children’s daily lives, both in and out of the classroom. Educators can gain valuable insights into instructional effectiveness and the impact of the SEL curriculum on students by using integrated assessment and curriculum tools.
For over 40 years, the Committee for Children has worked for children’s safety and well-being through bullying prevention, child protection, and social-emotional learning. The platform promotes social-emotional well-being from birth to early adulthood, benefiting not just classrooms but entire communities. It develops to meet societal challenges to ensure children everywhere can thrive, as its programmes touch the lives of more than 26.9 million children annually.
Commenting on the partnership, Chief Executive Officer of Riverside Insights, Vivek Kartha, said:
As schools introduce social-emotional learning into their curriculum, it’s imperative to show how these investments translate into improved student outcomes. Years of evidence show how the Second Step improves critical life skills and mental well-being. We are proud to collaborate with the Committee for Children and contribute to improving student outcomes by aligning our gold-standard DESSA assessments with their world-class curriculum.
Second Step programmes from the Committee for Children include SEL curricula for early learning through middle school, with additional offerings for out-of-school time and adults. The programmes are used in 45,000 schools in all 50 states, reaching 26.9 million children globally annually. The second Step assists students in developing critical success skills such as effective communication, resilience, and problem-solving. According to research, teaching these life skills has a positive, long-term impact on students’ math, reading, and writing academic achievement.
Chief Executive Officer of Committee for Children, Andrea Lovanhill, added:
Our partnership with Aperture enables us to offer our school community partners something they’ve been seeking: a high-quality assessment tool aligned to their Second Step curriculum. By bringing easy-to-use, data-driven DESSA assessments to schools using our Second Step programmes, teachers and support staff will have access to data that quickly and reliably illustrates whether students are learning the skills taught through the program and growing their competencies, as well as where additional instructional support may be needed. This partnership provides school and district leaders with a validated assessment to identify which classrooms and schools need additional implementation support. It allows them to evaluate the return on their investment in the Second Step programme.
The strengths-based assessments developed by Aperture for Second Step are standardized, nationally normed, and meet or exceed professional standards for psychometric rigour. They will allow educators in grades K-8 to assess a student’s social and emotional skills in under five minutes and permit middle school students to self-report. Students gain agency due to their ability to influence their learning and development. Educators can access real-time student data through Aperture’s highly scalable platform, and users will find it simple to switch between the two companies’ offerings. This collaboration ensures users can access results aligned with the programming language and accurately measure skills taught through Second Step.
This first-of-its-kind partnership will support district decision-making as school budgets are growing tighter and education leaders look to vendors to prove that their products produce student outcomes and seek ways to get more value from existing products. The assessments will be available for Second Step schools to purchase in early 2024.
Aperture Education has enabled over 6,500 schools and out-of-school time programmes across North America to assess, strengthen, and support K-12 youth and educators’ social and emotional competence. Its system combines the DESSA suite of strength-based assessments, aligned intervention strategies, and robust reporting into a user-friendly digital platform. It enables educational leaders to make data-driven strategic decisions to promote mental health, support life skill development, and build stronger communities within their organizations. The platform helped over three million students in their emotional and social growth and continues to develop innovative solutions to focus on the whole child.