Direct SEL Instruction and DESSA Mini Assessment Results 2023
Connie Easton (Curriculum Coordinator for SEL) worked with several classes at Ferris over the course of the school year. She co-taught SEL lessons with classroom teachers and supported teachers as they built capacity in this area. In January, a DESSA Mini assessment screener was administered with several classes. This tool measures student behaviours observed by a teacher over a period of one month. It provides a "snapshot" of the SEL tone of a class. The screener was administered again in June, after a series of SEL lessons were taught. The results of a kindergarten and a grade 2/3 class have been attached. Positive changes demonstrated by students in these classes included: an increase in feeling word vocabulary and ability to recognize feelings in others; an increase in students taking responsibility for their actions; a positive shift in kindness behaviour; an increase in social awareness; an increase in ability to follow instructions; and an increase in number of students who follow the instructions of a trusted adult. As part of our School Story, Ferris is working on building the capacity for direct SEL instruction. The positive results from the DESSA assessment provide encouraging evidence that efforts in this area are positively impacting students.