Behavior/Emotional Social Skills Tracking

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Interpersonal Skills

Frequently Asked Questions



  • How is the website information secured?
    There are external and internal methods to account for security issues. The external method is the login information. Computer codes have been installed in the login section that acts against would-be "hackers." The internal methods are controlled by how the Manage section is completed. The website "recognizes" users and gives them restricted access to information depending on their level of security clearance. For example, data are secured within the website by assigning different levels of "Data Access." There are three levels: DISTRICT level, School level, and Grade level users. Therefore it is very important to read and follow all the directions in the Manage section.
  • What is a "Data Manager" and why do you need one?
    The "Data Manager" is a person within your district who establishes membership with BESST Web. Any time a district decides to use an assessment tool, administrative approval should be obtained. We recommend that the Data Manager be a district level administrator or a district's most experienced School Social Worker. This person is needed to add new users to a district's membership. We cannot possibly know every district's employees and what level of security clearance they should have. That would be a huge confidentiality issue. Therefore, a main contact person for each district is needed.

    The role of a Data Manager could be as large or as small as you would like. For example, a Data Manager could just be a person who completes the district level portion of the Manage section by correctly adding the names of employees and informing them of their login info. Or, because the Data Manager has access to all scores and reports of all students in the district, the role could be quite large. For example, the Data Manager could analyze all the data and identify deficits needing remediation and meet with teachers, staff, etc. to plan and implement intervention efforts. It is really up to you to define your role.
  • Why do I get an error message when I try to enter students in the Manage section?
    Because besstweb is not a diagnostic tool like most Psychologists and Social Workers are used to. It is a Universal Screener and the Manage section must be completed properly before you enter a student. It is likely that you did not first complete the School and Grade portion of the Manage section. The website will not allow you to add a student without first telling it what school and grade that student "belongs" to.
  • What is the significance of the three colors that are found throughout BESST Web?
    The colors serve two purposes. First they indicate a relationship to each of the three SEL goals. For example,

    Goal Topic Color
    1 Self Awareness/Emotions Red
    2 Social Awareness and Friendship Blue
    3 Citizenship/Care for Community Environment Green

    Secondly, the colors help to identify which of the performance indicators on the PAT are related to the items on the BAT.
  • What is the difference between SEL and behavior?
    Strong SEL is a prerequisite for good behavior.

    "Behavior-based RtI" is gaining popularity right now. The problem with "behavior-based RtI" is that it's reactive rather than pro-active. For example, "screening" for behavior problems implies that you have already observed the behavior problem. If that is so, then students run the risk of already having maladaptive behavior habits, and identifying and remediating these issues is reactionary. The value of RtI is that it focuses on prevention. Therefore, school personnel need to screen for skill development, rather than behavior.
  • Does BESST Web provide interventions?
    Yes. When you become a subscriber, you will be able to access a curriculum guide. This will provide you with interventions that others have found useful for addressing a particular SEL skill deficit that was identified on the Benchmark Assessment Tool. Look for Links to our main Intervention site. Using the Performance Assessment Tool also provides you with a method to measure, monitor and document response to intervention.

    Additionally, you will be able to submit a review/recommendation on any interventions that you have found beneficial. As a BESST Web member, you will be part of the BESST Web community dedicated to ensuring the best practices for addressing and assessing SEL development.
  • What would be some of the advantages for becoming a BESST Web member?
    • BESST Web generates an aggregate database for comparisons at both Tier 1 and Tier 2 levels.
    • BESST Web pinpoints evidence-based interventions to coincide with areas of weakness by grade.
    • Weaknesses in social-emotional development can be readily identified.
    • Data managers are able to track district, school, teacher, and student trends.
    • Provides guidelines for duration, recommended practices, and clear examples for optimum scoring.
  • Does BESST Web compare data I input with a standard population?
    Our population base is not Standardized but Representative. Our District Membership subscribers provide data and as that continues to increase, so does our Representative Sample. This creates the probability and increasingly valid normative sample.
  • Is Progress Monitoring (PAT) like a Running Record?
    Yes, similar. Running records focus on specific skills, so in that way the PAT does look at specific skill development in the Social Emotional area. However, like a curriculum based measure the BAT and PAT also are indicators of overall proficiency in the Social Emotional Domain of the child/adolescent.
  • Can I use BESST Web to help write SEL goals?
    Absolutely! Teachers, Counselors, and Social Workers have struggled with writing accurate and relevant behavior/SEL goals. When you use BESST Web, the goals are already written for you AND they are related to the Illinois State SEL standards!

    You can simply use a low area on the Benchmark Assessment Tool for your IEP goal and the related items on the Performance Assessment Tool for your objectives. The student's current level of performance would have already been completed and ready for use on the IEP.
  • Are the BESST Web assessments considered diagnostic?
    No. It is an SEL screening tool. It effectively fulfills a school district's responsibility to address and assess the mastery of its student's SEL development. However, a tremendous amount of information about the child can be gained over time, i.e. relative strengths, weaknesses and response to intervention.
  • For what grades does BESST Web have Benchmarking and Performance Assessment measures?
    The Benchmark and Performance Assessment measures are available for primary grades (K-8). We are in the process of developing a self-report for secondary school students. This includes students from grades 6 through 8.
  • How are Benchmark Targets determined in BESST Web?
    We have a normative sample. That continues to grow as more districts utilize our Site and enter new data.
  • How do I start a BESST Web membership, and when are the start and end dates?
    Go to the "Join Now" link. Subscription is based on the school year and goes from July 1st to June 30th of the following year.
  • How do I know BESST Web measures are valid and reliable?
    BESST Web is based on the Illinois State Learning Standards SEL goals. These goals were developed from research that indicates SEL competent children:
    1. Have Self Awareness
    2. Manage Their Emotions and Behavior
    3. Are Socially Aware
    4. Have Relationship Skills
    5. Demonstrate Responsible Decision Making.
    Each of these components are included in the BAT and PAT.
  • Does BESST Web conduct their own research?
    The developers of BESST Web believe that conducting their own research represents a conflict of interest. Consequently, we are interested in hearing from "researchers" who are willing to conduct more reliability and validity studies using BESST Web. Please contact us if you are willing to participate in data collection and analysis.
  • How many persons can be on a District Membership?
    Unlimited. However, we strongly recommend having the School Social Worker as the "Data Manager" for the district. School Social Workers are in a unique position to plan, organize and implement SEL activities. Therefore, the district "Data Manager" will have access to all scores, reports, norms and information for their district to better assist them in their new role within the RtI model. Other registered users will have more focused access to the information that applies to their specific environment. For example, individual teachers will only be able to view the results of their children along with the norms related to their classroom, school, district and subscribers.