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Intervention Summary

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Project ACHIEVE

Project ACHIEVE is a comprehensive school reform and improvement program for preschool through high school (students ages 3-18 years) that focuses on students' academic, social-emotional/behavioral, and social skills outcomes; schoolwide positive behavioral support systems and school safety; positive classroom and school climates; and community and parent outreach and involvement. For students, the aim is to improve resilience, protective factors, and effective self-management skills so youth are better able to resist unhealthy and maladaptive behaviors. The aim for staff is to ensure effective instruction and classroom management as well as supports and services to students not responding with academic and behavioral success. The school aim is to help schools to be successful for all students.

Based on social learning theory and effective approaches to school reform and improvement, this schoolwide program uses professional development and ongoing technical consultation to target and reinforce critical staff skills and intervention approaches. The program incorporates a continuum of student services, including prevention, strategic intervention, and crisis management, and consists of seven interdependent components implemented over 3 years:

  • Strategic planning and organizational analysis and development
  • Problem-solving, response-to-intervention, teaming, and consultation processes
  • Effective school, schooling, and professional development
  • Academic instruction linked to academic assessment, intervention, and achievement (i.e., Positive Academic Supports and Services)
  • Age-appropriate social skills instruction (i.e., Stop & Think Social Skills Program) linked to behavioral assessment, intervention, and self-management (i.e., Positive Behavioral Support System)
  • Parent and community training, support, and outreach
  • Data management, evaluation, and accountability

Project ACHIEVE involves the school's entire instructional, administrative, and support staff and, following training, can be implemented with resources available in most schools. Training typically involves in-service training, classroom-based demonstrations, and technical consultation and follow-up.

Project ACHIEVE has been used in public schools, alternative schools, special education centers, psychiatric and juvenile justice facilities, Head Start programs, and specialized charter schools. The research study reviewed for this summary involved kindergarten through grade 6 in public schools.

Descriptive Information

Areas of Interest Mental health promotion
Outcomes Review Date: April 2009
1: School staff perceptions of staff interactions and school cohesion
2: School staff perceptions of school discipline and safety
3: Office discipline referrals
4: Administrative actions in response to office discipline referrals
5: Academic achievement
Outcome Categories Education
Environmental change
Ages 6-12 (Childhood)
18-25 (Young adult)
26-55 (Adult)
Genders Male
Female
Races/Ethnicities Black or African American
Hispanic or Latino
White
Settings Home
School
Geographic Locations Urban
Suburban
Rural and/or frontier
Implementation History Since 1990, Project ACHIEVE has been implemented in more than 250 schools, reaching more than 175,000 students, school staff, community agency professionals, and parents. At least 12 studies of the program have been documented in reports or peer-reviewed journals. While Project ACHIEVE materials have been sold outside the United States, predominantly to individuals and organizations in English-speaking countries, it is not known whether any formal implementations of Project ACHIEVE have been conducted internationally.
NIH Funding/CER Studies Partially/fully funded by National Institutes of Health: No
Evaluated in comparative effectiveness research studies: No
Adaptations Project ACHIEVE has been adapted for implementation in urban, suburban, and rural settings as well as in Shoshone and Arapaho (Wyoming), Chippewa (North Dakota), Apache (Arizona and New Mexico), Navajo (New Mexico), and Kenaitze (Alaska) tribal schools. It also has been adapted for use in State schools with students who have special needs (e.g., deafness, blindness, learning disabilities, behavioral disorders).
Adverse Effects No adverse effects, concerns, or unintended consequences were identified by the developer.
IOM Prevention Categories Universal
Selective

Quality of Research
Review Date: April 2009

Documents Reviewed

The documents below were reviewed for Quality of Research. The research point of contact can provide information regarding the studies reviewed and the availability of additional materials, including those from more recent studies that may have been conducted.

Study 1

Harding, M., Knoff, H. M., Glenn, R., Johnson, L., Schrag, H., & Schrag, J. (2008). The Arkansas State Improvement Grant evaluation and outcome report to the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs: Improving student outcomes through the school-wide implementation of Project ACHIEVE's Positive Behavioral Support Systems. Little Rock, AR: Arkansas Department of Education, Special Education.

Supplementary Materials

Arkansas Department of Education. (2006). Arkansas growth model proposal.

Arkansas Department of Education. (n.d.). Consolidated State application accountability plan. As amended April 2003.

Arkansas Department of Education. (n.d.). Consolidated State performance report: Parts I and II for State Formula Grant Programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. For reporting on school year 2005-2006.

Development and Psychometric Properties of: The Scale of Effective School Discipline and Safety and the Scale of Staff Interactions and School Cohesion

Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) Forms, A, B, and C

Kilian, J. M., Fish, M. C., & Maniago, E. B. (2006). Making school safe: A system-wide school intervention to increase student prosocial behaviors and enhance school climate. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 23(1), 1-30.

Knoff, H. M. (2005). Project ACHIEVE technical report on longitudinal outcomes from national implementation sites: Results from Florida, Texas, and Maryland. Little Rock, AR: Project ACHIEVE Press.

Knoff, H. M., & Batsche, G. M. (1995). Project ACHIEVE: Analyzing a school reform process for at-risk and underachieving students. School Psychology Review, 24(4), 579-603.

Quinn, M. M., Osher, D., Hoffman, C. C., & Hanley, T. V. (1998). Safe, drug-free, and effective schools for ALL students: What Works! Washington, DC: Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice, American Institutes for Research.

Outcomes

Outcome 1: School staff perceptions of staff interactions and school cohesion
Description of Measures Perceptions of staff interactions and school cohesion were measured using the Scale of Staff Interactions and School Cohesion (SSISC), which was administered online. School staff (i.e., instructional, administrative, support staff) rated characteristics of staff in their school along a 5-point scale from 1 (excellent) to 5 (poor). The SSISC consists of 26 items across the following 4 scales:

  • Scale 1: Staff understanding of the mission of the school
  • Scale 2: Staff interactions contributing to successful organizational outcomes
  • Scale 3: Staff interactions contributing to successful group outcomes
  • Scale 4: Staff interactions contributing to successful interpersonal processes
Key Findings In schools that participated in cohort 1 of Project ACHIEVE, staff completed the SSISC prior to implementation and after 1 and 2 years of implementation. From baseline to 1-year follow-up, schools had statistically significant improvement on all four scales of the SSISC (p < .001 for Scale 1, p < .002 for Scale 2, p < .05 for Scales 3 and 4). From 1- to 2-year follow-up, no statistically significant differences were found.

In schools that participated in cohort 2 of Project ACHIEVE, staff completed the SSISC prior to implementation and after 1 year of implementation. From baseline to 1-year follow-up, schools had a statistically significant improvement on Scale 1 (p < .01), with no significant differences on the three other scales.

No data were reported for comparison schools.
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 1
Study Designs Quasi-experimental
Quality of Research Rating 2.1 (0.0-4.0 scale)
Outcome 2: School staff perceptions of school discipline and safety
Description of Measures Perceptions of school discipline and safety were measured using the Scale of Effective School Discipline and Safety (SESDS), which was administered online. School staff (i.e., instructional, administrative, support staff) indicated their agreement with statements along a 5-point scale from 1 (strongly agree) to 5 (strongly disagree). The SESDS consists of 58 items across the following 5 factors:

  • Factor 1: Teachers' effective classroom management skills
  • Factor 2: Students' positive behavioral interactions and respect
  • Factor 3: Holding students accountable for their behavior: administration and staff
  • Factor 4: Teachers' contribution to a positive school climate
  • Factor 5: School safety and security: staff, students, and school grounds
Key Findings In schools that participated in cohort 1 of Project ACHIEVE, staff completed the SESDS prior to implementation and after 1 and 2 years of implementation. From baseline to 1-year follow-up, no statistically significant differences on any of the five factors were found. From baseline to 2-year follow-up, four of five factors showed significant improvement (p < .05 for Factors 2 and 4, p < .001 for Factor 3, p < .01 for Factor 5).

In schools that participated in cohort 2 of Project ACHIEVE, staff completed the SESDS prior to implementation and after 1 year of implementation. From baseline to 1-year follow-up, no statistically significant differences on any of the five factors were found.

No data were reported for comparison schools.
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 1
Study Designs Quasi-experimental
Quality of Research Rating 2.1 (0.0-4.0 scale)
Outcome 3: Office discipline referrals
Description of Measures Office discipline referrals, expressed in the number of referrals per 100 students in the school, were measured using data from the Arkansas Department of Education's Arkansas Public School Computer Network (APSCN). Using APSCN, referral data were reported annually, following State regulation and Federal law, by every school principal in the State.
Key Findings In six Project ACHIEVE schools that demonstrated high implementation fidelity, the average number of annual office discipline referrals per 100 students decreased from 65.50 at baseline to 42.14 after 1 year of implementation and 38.14 after 2 years of implementation. In contrast, the 17 comparison schools, which were demographically matched to intervention schools but did not implement Project ACHIEVE, averaged 43.31 office discipline referrals at baseline, 47.68 at 1-year follow-up, and 37.83 at 2-year follow-up (p < .01).
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 1
Study Designs Quasi-experimental
Quality of Research Rating 2.2 (0.0-4.0 scale)
Outcome 4: Administrative actions in response to office discipline referrals
Description of Measures Administrative actions of school principals (e.g., suspension, expulsion) in response to students' office discipline referrals, expressed in the number of administrative actions per 100 students in the school, were measured using data from the Arkansas Department of Education's APSCN. Using APSCN, administrative action data were reported annually, following State regulation and Federal law, by every school principal in the State.
Key Findings In six Project ACHIEVE schools that demonstrated high implementation fidelity, the administrative actions per 100 students decreased from baseline to 1-year follow-up (mean change score of 83.36). In contrast, the administrative actions for the 17 comparison schools, which were demographically matched to intervention schools but did not implement Project ACHIEVE, increased from baseline to 1-year follow-up (mean change score of 171.93; p = .043.). From baseline to 2-year follow-up, the number of administrative actions per 100 students decreased in the Project ACHIEVE schools (mean change score of 69.70) and the comparison schools (mean change score of 120.49), with no significant difference in the change between intervention and comparison schools.
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 1
Study Designs Quasi-experimental
Quality of Research Rating 2.2 (0.0-4.0 scale)
Outcome 5: Academic achievement
Description of Measures Academic achievement was measured using data on the following measures available on the Arkansas Department of Education's Web site:

  • Arkansas State Benchmark Tests, given in Literacy and Mathematics. These test data generally are reported as the percentage of students who score at the "below basic," "basic," "proficient," and "advanced" levels using score thresholds established by the State.
  • Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS), given in Reading Comprehension, Math Concepts and Estimation, and Math Problem Solving and Data Interpretation. ITBS data generally are reported as the average national percentile rank earned by students in the school taking the test.
Key Findings In six Project ACHIEVE schools that demonstrated high implementation fidelity, scores on 2 literacy tests (Arkansas State Benchmark Test and ITBS Reading Comprehension test) were tracked over time for 11 groups of students: 3rd-graders from 5 schools, 4th-graders from 4 schools, and 5th- and 6th-graders from 1 school. With 11 groups of students and 2 tests, there were 22 possible student group-by-test combinations. In 12 of the 22 combinations (55%), students increased their scores from baseline to the 2-year follow-up:

  • On the Arkansas State Benchmark Test, scores improved for 4 groups of the 3rd graders, 3 groups of the 4th graders, and the group of 5th graders.
  • On the ITBS, scores improved for 2 groups of the 3rd graders and 2 groups of the 4th graders.

Eight of these 12 increases reached statistical significance (p values ranging from < .001 to < .05). Further, four groups of students increased their scores on the ITBS from baseline to 2-year follow-up more than their comparison school counterparts (p values < .05).

Scores on 3 mathematics tests (Arkansas State Benchmark Test, ITBS Math Concepts and Estimation test, and ITBS Math Problem Solving and Data Interpretation test) were tracked over time with the same 11 groups of students. With 11 groups of students and 3 tests, there were 33 possible student group-by-test combinations. In 26 of the 33 combinations (79%), students increased their scores from baseline to the 2-year follow-up:

  • On the Arkansas State Benchmark Test, scores improved for all 5 groups of 3rd graders, all 4 groups of 4th graders, the group of 5th graders, and the group of 6th graders.
  • On the ITBS Math Concepts and Estimation test, scores improved for 4 groups of the 3rd graders and 3 groups of the 4th graders.
  • On the ITBS Math Problem Solving and Data Interpretation test, scores improved for 4 groups of the 3rd graders, 3 groups of the 4th graders, and the group of 5th graders.
Twelve of these 26 increases reached statistical significance (p values ranging from < .001 to < .05). Further, five groups of students increased their average math score on the ITBS from baseline to 2-year follow-up more than their comparison school counterparts (p values < .05).
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 1
Study Designs Quasi-experimental
Quality of Research Rating 2.9 (0.0-4.0 scale)

Study Populations

The following populations were identified in the studies reviewed for Quality of Research.

Study Age Gender Race/Ethnicity
Study 1 6-12 (Childhood)
18-25 (Young adult)
26-55 (Adult)
51% Male
49% Female
55% White
40% Black or African American
5% Hispanic or Latino

Quality of Research Ratings by Criteria (0.0-4.0 scale)

External reviewers independently evaluate the Quality of Research for an intervention's reported results using six criteria:

  1. Reliability of measures
  2. Validity of measures
  3. Intervention fidelity
  4. Missing data and attrition
  5. Potential confounding variables
  6. Appropriateness of analysis

For more information about these criteria and the meaning of the ratings, see Quality of Research.

Outcome Reliability
of Measures
Validity
of Measures
Fidelity Missing
Data/Attrition
Confounding
Variables
Data
Analysis
Overall
Rating
1: School staff perceptions of staff interactions and school cohesion 1.8 2.0 2.0 1.8 2.0 3.0 2.1
2: School staff perceptions of school discipline and safety 1.8 2.0 2.0 1.8 2.0 3.0 2.1
3: Office discipline referrals 1.8 2.0 2.0 2.5 2.0 2.8 2.2
4: Administrative actions in response to office discipline referrals 1.8 2.0 2.0 2.5 2.0 2.8 2.2
5: Academic achievement 4.0 4.0 2.0 2.5 2.0 2.8 2.9

Study Strengths

Standardized instruments with good psychometric properties were used in measuring academic achievement.

Study Weaknesses

Psychometric information was not adequately documented for some measures. The majority of the intervention schools did not implement the program with high fidelity. During the implementation of one intervention component, observations of a "master trainer/consultant" were conducted, but results of these observations were not presented. The researchers did not discuss how they handled missing data associated with the intervention schools. The data analysis did not account for some confounding variables. For example, intervention schools were matched with controls, yet some differences at baseline existed (e.g., on average, intervention schools had 50% more office disciplinary referrals than comparison schools). No analysis of covariance was conducted to examine the impact of other potential confounding variables, such as demographic characteristics.

Readiness for Dissemination
Review Date: April 2009

Materials Reviewed

The materials below were reviewed for Readiness for Dissemination. The implementation point of contact can provide information regarding implementation of the intervention and the availability of additional, updated, or new materials.

Knoff, H. M. (2001). The Stop & Think Social Skills Program: Grades 2-3 instructional package. Longmont, CO: Sopris West Educational Services.

Knoff, H. M. (2001). The Stop & Think Social Skills Program: Grades 4-5 instructional package. Longmont, CO: Sopris West Educational Services.

Knoff, H. M. (2001). The Stop & Think Social Skills Program: Teacher's manual grades preK-1. Longmont, CO: Sopris West Educational Services.

Knoff, H. M. (2001). The Stop & Think Social Skills Program: Teacher's manual grades 2-3. Longmont, CO: Sopris West Educational Services.

Knoff, H. M. (2001). The Stop & Think Social Skills Program: Teacher's manual grades pre 6-8. Longmont, CO: Sopris West Educational Services.

Knoff, H. M. (2005). Teaching children to stop & think at home: A parents' guide to teaching good behavior [DVD]. Little Rock, AR: Project ACHIEVE.

Knoff, H. M. (2005). The Stop & Think parenting book: A guide to children's good behavior. Longmont, CO: Sopris West Educational Services.

Knoff, H. M. (2007). Developing and implementing the behavioral matrix: Establishing school-wide behavioral standards and benchmarks for student accountability. Little Rock, AR: Project ACHIEVE Press.

Knoff, H. M. (2007). Guiding comprehensive school improvement: The step-by-step Project ACHIEVE implementation book of surveys, forms, and questionnaires. Little Rock, AR: Project ACHIEVE Press.

Knoff, H. M. (2007). More Stop & Think social skills and steps: Classroom and building routines and scripts from preschool to high school. Little Rock, AR: Project ACHIEVE Press.

Knoff, H. M. (2007). Time-out in the classroom: A step-by-step guide for consistent, educative, and effective implementation. Little Rock, AR: Project ACHIEVE Press.

Knoff, H. M. (2008). APPRAISE: Action plan for Project ACHIEVE implementation success and evaluation. Little Rock, AR: Project ACHIEVE Press.

Knoff, H. M. (2008). Implementing response-to-intervention at the school, district, and State levels: Functional assessment, data-based problem solving, and evidence-based interventions. Little Rock, AR: Project ACHIEVE Press.

Knoff, H. M. (2008). Project ACHIEVE end-of-year articulation process. Little Rock, AR: Project ACHIEVE Press.

Knoff, H. M. (2008). The Project ACHIEVE implementation integrity self-evaluation (PRAI/ISE). Little Rock, AR: Project ACHIEVE Press.

Knoff, H. M. (2009). Guiding comprehensive school improvement: An overview of e-books, products, documents, and resources to facilitate Project ACHIEVE implementation. Little Rock, AR: Project ACHIEVE Press.

Knoff, H. M. (2009). Implementing effective school-wide discipline and behavior management systems: Increasing academic engagement and achievement, decreasing teasing and bullying, and keeping your school and common areas safe. Little Rock, AR: Project ACHIEVE Press.

Project ACHIEVE. (2003). Building strong schools to strengthen student outcomes: Positive behavioral approaches for schools, staff, students, safety, and success [DVD]. Little Rock, AR: State of Arkansas Department of Education.

Project ACHIEVE. (2007). The Stop & Think songbook [CD]. Charlottesville, VA: Core Knowledge Foundation.

Project ACHIEVE. (n.d.). Core Knowledge Foundation: Early childhood program. Autonomy, social skills and work habits [PowerPoint slides]. Little Rock, AR: Author.

Project ACHIEVE. (n.d.). Core Knowledge preschool posters. Longmont, CO: Sopris West Educational Services.

Project ACHIEVE. (n.d.). Discipline Scale--Rating Scale. Little Rock, AR: Author.

Project ACHIEVE. (n.d.). Partners in Literacy: Arkansas Parent Training and Information Network/Arkansas State Improvement Grant [PowerPoint slides]. Little Rock, AR: Author.

Project ACHIEVE. (n.d.). Staff Interactions Scale--Rating Scale. Little Rock, AR: Author.

Project ACHIEVE. (n.d.). Stop & Think parents slides and handouts [PowerPoint slides]. Little Rock, AR: Author.

Project ACHIEVE. (n.d.). Stop & Think Social Skills Program order form. Longmont, CO: Sopris West Educational Services.

Project ACHIEVE Web site, http://www.projectachieve.info

Readiness for Dissemination Ratings by Criteria (0.0-4.0 scale)

External reviewers independently evaluate the intervention's Readiness for Dissemination using three criteria:

  1. Availability of implementation materials
  2. Availability of training and support resources
  3. Availability of quality assurance procedures

For more information about these criteria and the meaning of the ratings, see Readiness for Dissemination.

Implementation
Materials
Training and Support
Resources
Quality Assurance
Procedures
Overall
Rating
3.7 4.0 3.9 3.9

Dissemination Strengths

Implementation materials are comprehensive. "Blueprints," planning worksheets, and checklists facilitate navigation through the many processes required for implementation. The program developer requires new sites to conduct an organizational analysis and needs assessment prior to implementation. The developer offers comprehensive training using multiple training methods and formats. Multiple quality assurance tools, in both paper and electronic formats, are available and are supported by on-site consultation.

Dissemination Weaknesses

The volume of highly detailed and technical materials may be overwhelming to prospective implementers. Electronic versions of the many forms, assessment instruments, and other tools are not readily available.

Costs

The cost information below was provided by the developer. Although this cost information may have been updated by the developer since the time of review, it may not reflect the current costs or availability of items (including newly developed or discontinued items). The implementation point of contact can provide current information and discuss implementation requirements.

Item Description Cost Required by Developer
Implementing Response-to-Intervention at the School, District, and State Levels: Functional Assessment, Data-Based Problem Solving, and Evidence-Based Academic and Behavioral Interventions (book) $39.95 each Yes
Implementing Effective School-Wide Student Discipline and Behavior Management Systems: Increasing Academic Engagement and Achievement, Decreasing Teasing and Bullying, and Keeping Your School and Common Areas Safe (book) $29.95 each Yes
More Stop & Think Social Skills and Steps: Classroom and Building Routines and Scripts From Preschool to High School (book) $34.95 each Yes
Holding Students Responsible for Their School and Classroom Behavior: Developing a School-Wide Accountability System To Encourage Student Self-Management and Staff Consistency (book) $34.95 each Yes
Changing Student Behavior by Linking Office Discipline Referrals to a Strategic Time-Out Process: A Step-by-Step Implementation Guide to the Effective Use of Classroom Consequences (book) $29.95 each Yes
Building Strong Schools To Strengthen Student Outcomes: The Project ACHIEVE Forms Book $59.95 each Yes
Grade-level classroom sets $180 each Yes, at least one per grade level required
Support materials for school $250 per school Yes
The Stop & Think Parent Book: A Guide to Children's Good Behavior (with DVD) $59.95 each Yes
The Stop & Think Social Skills Songbook (CD) with posters $75 each Yes, required for preschool-grade 2
5-12 days of on-site training $2,250-$3,000 per day depending on site location, plus travel expenses Yes
Off-site training via conference call or Skype $250-$300 per hour Yes
Project ACHIEVE Technical Assistance Papers Free Yes
Parent Literacy Training PowerPoint Free Yes
Parent Home Discipline, Behavior Management, and Stop & Think Social Skills Training PowerPoint Free Yes
The Seven Sure Solutions to School-Based Mental Health Services Success: The Necessary Collaboration Between School and Community Providers (book) Free Yes
Building Strong Schools To Strengthen Student Outcomes 12-DVD Training Series Free Yes
Off-site consultation via conference call or Skype $250-$300 per hour Yes
On-site consultation $2,250-$3,000 per day depending on site location, plus travel expenses Yes
Scale of Staff Interactions and School Cohesion Free Yes
Scale of Effective School Discipline and Safety Free Yes
The PRAIISE--Project ACHIEVE Implementation Integrity and Self-Evaluation Free Yes
The APPRAISE--Action Plan for Project ACHIEVE Implementation Success and Evaluation Free Yes
Replications

Selected citations are presented below. An asterisk indicates that the document was reviewed for Quality of Research.

Kilian, J. M., Fish, M. C., & Maniago, E. B. (2006). Making school safe: A system-wide school intervention to increase student prosocial behaviors and enhance school climate. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 23(1), 1-30.

Knoff, H. M. (2005). Project ACHIEVE technical report on longitudinal outcomes from national implementation sites: Results from Florida, Texas, and Maryland. Little Rock, AR: Project ACHIEVE Press.

Knoff, H. M., & Batsche, G. M. (1995). Project ACHIEVE: Analyzing a school reform process for at-risk and underachieving students. School Psychology Review, 24(4), 579-603.

Contact Information

To learn more about implementation or research, contact:
Howard M. Knoff, Ph.D., NCSP
(501) 312-1484
knoffprojectachieve@earthlink.net

Consider these Questions to Ask (PDF, 54KB) as you explore the possible use of this intervention.

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