New Tool From Aperture Education Supports School Districts Using Harmony SEL Curriculum

The new Harmony SEL Crosswalk helps districts use SEL assessment data in conjunction with the Harmony SEL curriculum to get more out of their SEL programs

A new tool from Aperture Education helps schools and districts use data from Aperture’s DESSA SEL assessment alongside the popular Harmony SEL curriculum in a more strategic way to support students. The Harmony SEL Crosswalk identifies the areas in which the DESSA aligns with Harmony’s curriculum. This helps schools and districts understand how to differentiate support in Harmony lessons to have the most impact on students.

“There are a lot of tools out there to support social and emotional learning (SEL) and sometimes it can be difficult to see where they fit together,” said Jessica Adamson, CEO of Aperture Education. “More than 45,000 schools use the Harmony SEL curriculum and many of them also use the DESSA. We created a crosswalk to make it easier to understand how the DESSA data and the Harmony SEL lessons can be used together to support students, and to measure the effectiveness of the curriculum.”

Harmony SEL is an SEL program for Pre-K-6 grade students with units such as “Empathy & Critical Thinking,” “Problem Solving,” and “Communication.” Each unit has lessons to help students strengthen and practice their SEL skills.

Aperture Education’s strengths-based DESSA assesses students’ competence in eight areas of SEL: self-awareness, self-management, social-awareness, relationship skills, goal-directed behavior, personal responsibility, decision-making, and optimistic thinking. It helps schools identify students’ strengths and areas in which they need additional support.

When schools are using both the DESSA and Harmony SEL, the crosswalk identifies which skills in each Harmony lesson are measured by the DESSA. This helps educators understand how to use the DESSA data to better support their students.

For example, if DESSA data indicates that several students in a teacher’s class need support in the area of decision-making, the teacher can use the crosswalk to identify which Harmony SEL lessons teach those skills so they can provide more support when implementing those lessons in class.

When used in a Multi-Tiered Systems of Support approach, the crosswalk can also be used to identify where supplemental instructional programming is needed in Tier 2 and Tier 3. The crosswalk also helps schools and districts use DESSA data to measure the outcomes of the Harmony SEL program.

“We are excited to see this detailed alignment to better support educators as they make instructional decisions to support student social and emotional development,” said Nick Yoder, Sr. Director at Harmony. “Educators see the value of using data to make informed decisions on how best to leverage the Harmony program and resources, and think this alignment is a great start.”

For more information and to download of the Harmony SEL Crosswalk for free, visit

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