DESSA NYC DOE – Devereux Student Strengths Assessment

DESSA NYC DOE : Recognizing the crucial role Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) is playing in promoting students’ well-being and academic achievement, New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE) has implemented the usage of the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA).

Its significance will be explored in the development of SEL skills, its use throughout NYC DOE schools and its advantages for educators and students alike.


The Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA) is a highly effective and precise method of assessing the students’ emotional and social skills and further developing them.

DESSA offers educators an assessment framework that can measure and improve these skills in areas such as self-awareness social awareness, self-management relationships and responsible decision-making among the most important.

Aspect Information
Purpose DESSA (Devereux Student Strengths Assessment) is an
assessment tool used by the NYC Department of Education
to measure students’ social-emotional skills and
inform their support and development.
Usage Administered to students in NYC DOE schools
to assess their social-emotional competencies.
Features – Measures students’ social-emotional skills
– Provides data for targeted interventions and support
– Supports educators in promoting social-emotional growth
Official Website DESSA in NYC DOE

DESSA recognizes strengths as well as areas for improvement in order to provide specific interventions and guidance that increase the wellbeing of their students’ social and emotional.

NYC DOE Superintendents


DESSA (Devereux Student Strengths Assessment) was previously utilized by the NYC Department of Education as a screening tool to detect social-emotional concerns among its student body, however as of the 2023-2024 school year it no longer mandatory and many schools have chosen not to utilize this screening system.

Here is what you should know about DESSA NYC DOE:


  • Social-Emotional Screening: DESSA was intended to assess students’ social and emotional skills such as decision-making, self-awareness, and taking responsibility.
  • Questionnaire Format: The assessment involved students filling out questionnaires about their behaviors and emotional wellbeing.
  • Optional Status: DESSA was initially planned as a citywide initiative; however, due to concerns from educators and parents it became optional for schools. By March 2024 it appears to have fallen out of widespread usage.

Implementation of DESSA in NYC DOE:

NYC DOE NYC DOE has recognized the importance of social-emotional learning in education systems and has adopted DESSA as a method to measure and encourage SEL skills at schools across NYC. Here are some of the most important aspects to consider in DESSA use at NYC DOE schools

Assessment and screening Assessment and Screening

DESSA is used to evaluate students’ emotional and social abilities, pinpoint areas where needing additional assistance and determine strengths and areas for improvement in order to offer individualized training and support for SEL. Schools generally administer this test which provides valuable information about the SEL skills of each child as well as identifying those who may require specific interventions.

Teachers make use of DESSA assessment results to inform them about their students’ strengths and areas that require improvements, which allow them to create individualized educational plans and support for them.

Supports and targeted interventions

The results of DESSA aid educators in designing specific interventions that meet students’ emotional needs. Based on this information, educators can create individual strategies to improve students’ self-esteem and SEL skills, for example the development of social skills, mindfulness exercises or counseling services in order to help the growth into healthy behavior in social and emotional areas.

Professional Development for Teachers under DESSA’s implementation the educators will be able to take advantage from professional learning opportunities to enhance their understanding and enhance their capabilities in helping students develop their SEL.

Workshops, training sessions and other resources are offered to educators so that they can incorporate strategies for social emotional learning in their teaching practices and create an environment that is conducive to learning.

Family and Community Engagement Implementation of DESSA promotes family and community involvement to support students’ emotional and social development. Schools collaborate with parents/guardians family members, and other community groups to promote an integrated approach to social emotional learning.

Engaging families in discussions about SEL and providing resources to aid in the home reinforce the relationship between families and schools to ensure that the same practices are followed across all settings.

Benefits of DESSA Implementation

Learning for Holistic Students DESSA promotes the holistic growth for its students by focusing on social-emotional skills alongside academic achievement. Through assessing and developing students’ SEL capabilities schools can offer an environment that supports the entire child.

Improved Classroom Climate DESSA implementation helps create positive classroom atmospheres where students feel secure and secure, as well as connected.

Through the use of targeted interventions and instructional strategies that encourage Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) teachers can foster inclusive and empowering learning environments that promote students’ wellbeing and participation.

Enhancing academic performance Studies have long demonstrated the connection between the social emotional competencies and academic achievement, therefore by prioritizing them in DESSA the implementation of DESSA NYC DOE schools are providing students with the resources they need to succeed academically, while preparing them for new challenges that may arise beyond the walls of their schools.

DESSA provides a customized support program for students. DESSA helps teachers to recognize the individual needs of students.

DESSA assessment data provides educators with the complete picture of the strengths of students and areas of development making it possible to develop custom strategies and plans that are specifically tailored for them to ensure that they receive all the help required for emotional and social well-being.

The Early Intervention Program and the Prevention DESSA gives educators The ability to identify early, which allows them to recognize students who are who are at risk or have social-emotional problems as early as is possible school can then initiate timely interventions and prevention programs to tackle them in a proactive manner and prevent their further development while helping students develop resilient and healthy coping skills.

Data-Informed Decision-Making DESSA provides valuable information that aids in decision-making at all levels, like individual student assistance, classroom instruction or school-wide projects.

Evaluation results allow teachers to detect trends, evaluate progress, and assess the effectiveness of SEL programs and interventions. this method of data-driven decision making lets schools make better informed decisions about the allocation of resources, professional growth requirements, and implementation of evidence-based practices.

DESSA implementation is a key factor in creating an environment that is positive for students and culture through explicitly taking care of the social-emotional skills of both staff and students, focusing on compassion, inclusion and respectful relationships between teachers and students.

Positive school environments support the overall well-being of students and also increases positive interactions with peers, reducing instances of bullying and increasing overall school connection.

Long-term impact on students lives

The emotional and social abilities developed by DESSA Implementation will result in lasting consequences for students after their high school.

Skills in social-emotional development such as self-awareness, managing their emotions and making responsible decisions are vital to the academic and professional success of students and satisfaction with life overall.

In empowering students with these competencies, DESSA helps them manage relationships effectively while tackling problems more successfully and delivering positive contributions to their communities.

How Many Students Left NYC DOE?

Over time, the number of students leaving the NYC Department of Education can fluctuate due to various factors including changing demographics, school preferences, and external circumstances.

What are the numbers of NYC DOE schools?

My last update listed over 1,800 NYC Department of Education schools.

What Does the NYC Department of Education (DOE) Do?

The NYC Department of Education is charged with overseeing New York City’s public school system and setting educational policies, managing school budgets, hiring and evaluating staff as well as providing curriculum resources while adhering to state and federal education regulations.

Are You Wondering If the NYC Department of Education Is the Largest in America?

Yes, as of my last update, the New York City Department of Education was the largest school district in America.

How Many NYC Teachers Quit Each Year?

Teacher turnover rates may differ every year and be affected by several factors including job satisfaction, salary, work environment and personal circumstances.

Why are NYC school enrollment numbers falling?

Enrollment numbers can fluctuate due to factors including demographic shifts, population movements and changes in housing patterns – as well as major events like COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.

What school in NYC has the highest enrollment?

My last update showed that Thomas A. Edison Career and Technical Education High School in Queens had one of the largest student populations among all NYC high schools.

How many children attend private schools in NYC?

My last update showed that about 20-25% of school-age children living in NYC attended private schools.

How many uncommon schools exist in NYC?

Uncommon Schools is a non-profit charter school network operating multiple schools throughout NYC at last count; this may or may not have changed since.

How many students does New York University (NYU) enroll?

In my last update, NYU boasted over 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled, as per my assessment.

How bad is the teacher shortage in New York?

Teacher shortages vary between regions and subjects across New York State. Sometimes there have been shortages in specific subjects like math, science or special education which is especially prevalent in certain districts or rural locations.

Where are teachers leaving most often?

Teacher turnover rates can be affected by various factors, including salary, working conditions, administrative support and personal reasons. High turnover rates have been observed in certain urban areas with complex school environments.

What year do most teachers quit?

Teacher turnover rates fluctuate year to year; no specific year stands out as being when most teachers quit due to various factors influencing turnover rates.

Which teachers are in high demand? In my previous update, teachers in areas such as math, science, special education and English as a Second Language (ESL) were often in high demand due to shortages.

Why Are Teachers Departing in the US?

Attrition among educators may be caused by various factors, including low pay, challenging working conditions, limited administrative support and job dissatisfaction leading to burnout.

Who provides the highest teacher salaries?

At my last update, New York, California and Massachusetts were among those states providing relatively higher teacher salaries compared to others; however, these could vary based on factors like cost of living and specific school districts.


DESSA is an essential element of the social-emotional curriculum in NYC DOE schools. By implementing it, educators are able to assess students’ emotional skills, offer targeted interventions and support, create positive school environments and ultimately enhance student wellbeing academic performance, as well as individual help, in addition to data-driven decisions and the development of lifelong learning skills.

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