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Project Goals

The development of the ABC Support intervention procedures and materials was supported by the Institution of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through grant R305A179961 to the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Wisconsin Center for Education Research. The ABC Support project had three goals:

  1. To develop a preliminary version of the ABC Support intervention by incorporating (a) research-supported elements of interventions that target classroom behavior and reading fluency, and (b) recommendations/feedback from national and local consultants as well as “end users” (classroom teachers).
  2. To conduct a series of feasibility trials during which the research team (a) provided training, intervention materials and ongoing support for school-based interventionists to “try out” ABC Support with students in Grades 1-2, and, (b) developed a final iteration of the intervention based on results/feedback from the feasibility trials.
  3. To conduct an experimental pilot study to evaluate the final iteration of ABC Support using a multiple baseline design (MBD). For the pilot study, teachers implemented ABC Support with students in Grade 2 over an 8-week intervention period. The research team assessed students’ reading fluency and learning-related classroom behaviors repeatedly across study phases

Significance of Integrated Interventions

The significance of ABC Support derives from three unique benefits of integrated supplemental interventions – efficiency, prevention, and effectiveness.


Schools face critical choices when making decisions about the focus of supplemental interventions. With declining resources and greater demands on schools, the effectiveness of academic and behavior interventions must be balanced with efficiency. The integrated focus in ABC Support on both academic and behavior enables schools to maximize the efficiency of supplemental student support.


Because schools have a narrow window of opportunity to intervene and remediate academic and behavior deficits, targeting students in the early elementary grades (Grades 1–3) has practical importance for averting long-term negative outcomes. This early intervention feature of ABC Support is consistent with a focus on prevention.


Finally, integrated academic and behavior systems of support at the universal level have been shown to be effective in promoting student success. An integrated supplemental intervention like ABC Support has the potential for achieving comparable effectiveness for students with academic and/or behavior challenges.