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The Holistic Student Assessment (HSA)

The Holistic Student Assessment is a data-driven tool to promote social-emotional development in young people in school and afterschool settings. The self-report tool provides teachers, program staff and administrators with a social-emotional “portrait” of the unique strengths and challenges of each young person. Data can be reported at individual, classroom, school and district levels. The HSA can be administered to students at different times in the year.


Design Attributes:

  • Student voice – the HSA is based on answers that young people provide about themselves.

  • Fast turnaround – schools and programs receive results within two weeks of HSA administration.

  • Strength-based – individual portraits present strengths as well as challenges in different social-emotional domains.

  • Differentiated learning – information from the tool encourages differentiated teaching and support strategies.


The 61-question instrument is based on PEAR's Clover Model, which describes child and adolescent development as a holistic interaction between four core developmental needs: Active Engagement (engaging the world physically), Assertiveness (expressing voice and choice), Belonging (social connection and relationships) and Reflection (thought and meaning-making). Based on student responses, support staff at the program are provided an HSA Portrait for each participating student, providing information about the student's social-emotional balance.

Sample HSA Individual Student Portrait

The HSA portrait provides teachers and student support staff with a snapshot of a student's long-term social-emotional state. The portrait provides information both on the student's strengths (how well the student is able to cope with stressful factors in the environment), and on the student's struggles (the extent to which the student cannot control the body, mind, and cognition). These portraits can be especially useful in identifying those students who are struggling in a way that may not be immediately obvious to teacher


Sample HSA Dashboard

The HSA Dashboard dashboard displays your school- or program-level HSA aggregate data to help teachers, staff, and program administrators see the bigger patterns in the individual HSA data. It is securely hosted on the Qualtrics platform and includes filtering and exporting features to give you a more interactive experience with your data.​




HSA Overview Webinar

Duration: 54:33


In this webinar, hosted by Wisconsin DPI Drs. Gil Noam and Dawn McDaniel will discuss PEAR’s Holistic Student Assessment (HSA) and its alignment to Wisconsin's SEL work. The Clover Model of social and emotional development, the developmental process theory that is the foundation for the HSA, will be reviewed, along with information regarding the validation and use of the HSA and its dashboard.

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