Apperson Forms New Partnerships to Expand Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Support to After School Programs - Tech Learning

Apperson Forms New Partnerships to Expand Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Support to After School Programs

Evo Social & Emotional assessments help target needs and validate interventions
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Charlotte N.C. – April 20, 2016 – Assessment leader Apperson has partnered with three organizations to support their social and emotional learning (SEL) programs, both during and after school.

FutureReady Columbus; the United Way of Greater Cincinnati; and the Sports & Arts in Schools Foundation in New York City are now using Apperson’s Evo Social & Emotional online assessment platform to screen students for social and emotional learning competencies.

According to a 2015 report from the American Institutes of Research, consistent participation in high-quality afterschool programs has an impact on students’ social and emotional development. However, the report also states that many after school programs struggle with how to measure that impact. Apperson’s assessment platform provides measureable SEL data to help organizations fill that gap.

“The key to ensuring the effectiveness of any social and emotional learning program is to have quality data,” said Bill Apperson, chairman of the board of Apperson. “By partnering with these organizations, each of which offer after school programming, we hope to provide that critical link to help them set their students up for lifelong success.”

Apperson provides an online SEL assessment and intervention platform which supports public schools, private schools, and after-school programs throughout the country.

Apperson’s Evo SEL online platform allows educators to administer the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA), a standardized, strengths-based measure of social and emotional competencies in students in grades K-8, and to have access to that data immediately. The competencies addressed in the assessment include self-awareness, social awareness, self-management, relationship skills and decision-making skills. Instructors use the DESSA Mini to identify, in under one minute per student, who may be at risk for SEL problems. Instructors can then administer the full DESSA to delve deeper with students who were identified as at-risk. Instructors can also access a variety of intervention strategies from Apperson to bolster the student’s social-emotional skills.

FutureReady Columbus is a public/private organization focused on supporting a “cradle through career” approach to education and workforce excellence in the Columbus region. It is piloting the DESSA in eleven of its afterschool programs. So far the pilot includes nearly 1,500 students.

The United Way of Greater Cincinnati is a nonprofit agency that partners with other nonprofits, businesses, and government and social service agencies to address the community’s most pressing needs. It serves communities in 10 counties in Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky. This year 21 of its partner programs are using the DESSA or DESSA Mini, including several afterschool programs. The United Way is working to analyze the data and provide next steps for these organizations.

The Sports & Arts in Schools Foundation is one of the largest providers of after-school programs in New York City. It serves more than 25,000 students in 110 schools with the goal of developing students’ SEL skills. It began using the DESSA-mini this year to measure SEL competencies among K-8 students.

“We were looking for a tool that would help us identify whether we’re making an impact and supporting our kids in a way that promotes lifelong change,” said Diamond St. Thomas, Director of Research and Evaluation for the Sports & Arts in Schools Foundation. “Our goal is to build robust programming around the needs of our students and this tool helps us to achieve that.”

About Apperson

Apperson’s K-16 assessment solutions help educators develop a 360° panorama of the student and his or her strengths, as well as areas of opportunities, that can inform curriculum decision-making and create positive learning outcomes. Whether it’s DataLink scanners, or the Evo assessment platform, Apperson’s products support and encourage a holistic learning and development approach by helping educators turn assessment data into actionable information. For more information, visit