Press Releases

Committee for Children Joins Forces with Aperture Education to Integrate Assessments and Curriculum to build Social-Emotional Skills

The DESSA-based Assessment suite aligned to the Second Step Program highlights real-time student data to help educators gauge instructional effectiveness

Committee for Children
Aperture Education

Charlotte N.C. – November 7, 2023 – 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 programs in the U.S., announced today that they will partner to offer four co-developed assessments to support schools in demonstrating the impact of evidence-based social and emotional programs.

Built from the Aperture DESSA suite, these assessments complement Committee for Children’s Second Step® programs, research-based social-emotional learning (SEL) curricula developed to nurture social-emotional learning in children’s daily lives, both in and outside of the classroom. By having integrated assessment and curriculum tools, educators can gain valuable insights from reliable, real-time data about instructional effectiveness and the impact of SEL curriculum on students.

“As schools introduce social-emotional learning into their curriculum, it’s imperative to show how these investments translate into improved outcomes for their students. Years of evidence show how Second Step improves critical life skills and mental wellbeing,” said Riverside Insights CEO Vivek Kartha. “We are proud to collaborate with Committee for Children and contribute to improving student outcomes by aligning our gold standard DESSA assessments with their world-class curriculum.”

Committee for Children’s research- and evidence-based Second Step programs include SEL curricula for early learning through middle school, with additional offerings for out-of-school time and adults. Second Step programs are used in 45,000 schools across all 50 states and reach 26.9 million children worldwide annually. Second Step helps students build vital skills for success, like effective communication, resilience, and problem-solving. Research shows that teaching these life skills has positive, lasting effects on students, including improved academic achievement in areas such as math, reading, and writing.

Aperture’s strengths-based assessments for Second Step are standardized, nationally normed, and exceed professional standards for psychometric rigor. They will enable educators in grades K-8 to assess a student’s social and emotional skills in less than five minutes and offer middle school students the ability to self-report. Empowered with their own results, students gain agency to offer a key voice in their learning and development. Educators can access student data in real-time via Aperture’s highly scalable platform, and users will find it easy to navigate between the two company’s offerings. This collaboration ensures that users can access results aligned to program language and appropriately measure skills that are taught through Second Step.

“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,” said Committee for Children CEO, Andrea Lovanhill. “By bringing easy-to-use, data-driven DESSA assessments to schools using our Second Step programs, 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 and gives them a way to evaluate the return on their investment in the Second Step program.”

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 are producing outcomes for students and seek ways to get more value from existing products.

The assessments will be available for Second Step schools to purchase in early 2024. For more information, email


About Committee for Children

Committee for Children is a global nonprofit that has championed the safety and well-being of children through bullying prevention, child protection, and social-emotional learning for more than 40 years. With a history of action and influence, we’re known as a leader in social-emotional education and a force in advocacy, research, and innovation in the field. We take a comprehensive approach to SEL, promoting social-emotional well-being from birth to early adulthood—supporting not just classrooms, but entire communities. As our programs impact the lives of more than 26.9 million children per year, we rise to meet societal challenges to ensure children everywhere can thrive. Visit to learn more.

About Aperture Education

Aperture Education has empowered over 6,500 schools and out-of-school time programs across North America to measure, strengthen, and support social and emotional competence in K-12 youth and educators. The Aperture System includes the DESSA suite of strength-based assessments, aligned intervention strategies, and robust reporting, all in one easy-to-use digital platform. This system enables education leaders to make strategic, data-based decisions to champion mental wellbeing, support life skill development, and foster stronger communities within their organizations. Aperture has supported more than three million students in their social and emotional growth and continues to develop innovative solutions to bring the whole child into focus. To learn more, visit

About Riverside Insights

Riverside Insights, one of the nation’s leading and most long-standing developers of research-based assessments, is led by a powerful mission: to provide insights that help elevate potential and enrich the lives of students, patients, employees, and organizations globally. For more information, visit

Media Contacts

Maria Bradley for Aperture Education

(415) 509-0498

Wendy Belleville for Committee for Children

(206) 438-6492