Universal supports are the core programs and strategies provided to all students within the school building in order to promote successful student outcomes and prevent school failure. An integrated model not only views behavior and reading as components of the same support system, but these components also influence one another. Unless discipline issues are at a minimum, instruction will be interrupted and teaching time will be lost. Additionally, poor academic performance may lead to students engaging in problem behavior that results in escaping academic tasks.
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The universal support system creates the foundation of a multi-tiered, schoolwide model. Effective universal supports alone should be sufficient to meet the needs of most students to be successful in academics and social behavior. By meeting the needs of most students through effective instruction and behavior support, fewer students then require more intensified supports. This results in a more valid, manageable, and cost effective system of supports at the secondary and tertiary levels.
Universal Support Strategies