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Hello District 158 Families,

We hope this email finds you well. We are excited to share that our first round of social-emotional and behavioral screening through the Behavioral and Emotional Screening System (BESS) concluded in late fall.  As a reminder, the BESS is a district-wide, universal screener.  The term “screener” means that this is a preliminary step for identifying, from all students, those who may be at risk of future difficulty in school.  The BESS provides additional insight into our students’ social-emotional and behavioral needs. 

It is important to reiterate from previous communications that the BESS serves as a single data point referenced when considering a student’s social-emotional and behavioral needs.  When reviewing the BESS data, building level teams also take into consideration other factors including a student’s attendance, academic data, and information shared by teacher(s) and parent(s).  Using the BESS assists us in better understanding all our students’ needs on a universal level.  It assists in identifying what behavioral, emotional, or social skills small groups and/or individual students may be struggling with and need additional support through intervention.

If your child participated in this initial screening, their results are now available through OTUS.  OTUS is the platform we utilize to store student’s diagnostic and screener assessment information.   Once you are logged into the OTUS portal, parents will have access to some of your child(s)’ longitudinal and current academic data such as AimsWeb (K-5 screener for early literacy and math skills), STAR (K-11 adaptive screener for math and reading), and NWEA MAP (assessment used for K-11 math and reading prior to STAR).  These assessments are utilized to help teachers adapt instruction to your child’s needs.  The Huntley 158 assessment schedule is located here. If you have any questions regarding the district’s assessment schedule, please contact the Huntley 158 Curriculum Department.

In order to help interpret your student’s screening results, we have included an overview of the information that you will see when accessing this information in OTUS, below.  Please follow the instructions outlined in the video below or follow these step by step instructions to log in to the OTUS platform and view your student’s information.    

BESS Information

When referencing your student’s BESS information in the OTUS platform, you will see their Behavioral and Emotional Risk Index (BERI) T-score which serves as the overall score based on the responses provided by your student’s teacher or by the student who completed the screener. This score is grouped into one of three categories: 

  • Normal (60 or below)
  • Elevated (61 to 70)
  • Extremely Elevated (71 or higher)

Your student(s)’ score is associated with the amount of “risk” they have of developing a behavioral or emotional problem. When a student’s BERI T-score places them in the normal range, this indicates that they do not require additional supports from their building. When a student’s score places them in the elevated or extremely elevated category, this indicates that the student may need additional support and/or intervention, which will prompt your student’s building to address these needs through the appropriate channel. 

For more information about the BESS universal screener and your student(s)’ screening information, please visit our website here. The BESS will be administered again during our spring window for students in grades PreK-12 from February 22, 2022 to March 11, 2022.  As a reminder, if you would like to opt your student out of the BESS screening process and have not done so already, please complete this opt out form for EACH of your Huntley 158 students who you do not want to participate; those who opted out previously continue to remain on the opt-out list.

If you have any questions after reviewing your student(s)’ BESS results, we encourage you to reach out to staff or administrators at your student(s)’ school. Our buildings will have a more in-depth knowledge of each individual student and their needs. Thank you for your continued partnership and collaboration. We look forward to using this information to serve All Students Always in Huntley 158.


Special Services Department
Huntley Community School District 158