By developing explicit school-wide expectations, schools can work to prevent problem behaviors and to reinforce positive ones. The resources on this page will help schools to develop their own set of expectations, as well as reviewing key components of this process. These include teaching expectations, acknowledging and reinforcing positive behavior, and developing positive relationships.

NEW! Tools to build Tier 1 understanding

Tier 1 MTSS FAQ: Core Social, Emotional, Behavior Practices


These resources provide many examples of how to ensure that school-wide expectations are being taught throughout the building and ideas for how to incorporate them into the daily curriculum and school activities.

ResourceDescriptionHow to Use This Resource
School-wide Expectations: Development & Review GuideThis checklist provides the key features to include when developing school-wide expectations as well as sample language.Teams can use this resource when creating their school-wide expectations matrix.
Behavior Matrix Blank FormThis document provides a sample format and prompts for applying school-wide expectations into different settings in the school.School teams can use this tool to operationalize how the school-wide expectations will generalize across settings.
New! Personal Matrix Mini ModuleThis DE-PBS mini-learning module (15 mins total) walks viewers through a brief introduction of the PBIS Cultural Responsiveness Field Guide and the role of promoting situational appropriateness in a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS). The module then presents key concepts and tools found in the field guide that can help the viewer to better promote staff and student understanding and conversations regarding situational appropriateness and, more specifically, student background experiences in relationship to school-wide (SW) expectations. Teams can use this tool to enhance their teaching of the matrix with a culturally responsive lens.
Cool Tool Blank FormThis document helps facilitate the teaching of expectations by organizing specific school-wide expectations into lessons, teaching examples, student activities, and follow-up reinforcement activities.Teams can share this document school-wide on a weekly basis to ensure that expectations are being taught to all students.
Homegrown SW-PBIS VideosThis website offers many direct, school-made videos explaining school-wide initiatives and strategies used across different grade levels.Teams can access this website to reference many examples of other teams implementing school-wide initiatives in their schools.
PBIS School-wide VideosThis website offers many videos of presentations from PBS-related forums that cover topics such as implementation, strategies, and building capacity.Teams can reference these presentations for assistance in developing specific aspects of PBS systems at their school.
Expectations Teaching Matrix – TemplateThis document is a blank template that provides spaces for school expectations and the settings that a school wishes to apply these behavioral expectations in.Teams can use this document to create behavioral expectations for their school and provide the settings in which they want to teach these expectations to the students.
Expectations Teaching Matrix – Elementary ExampleThis document illustrates an example of the Expectations Teaching matrix filled out for a typical elementary school setting.Teams can use this document as a reference when creating their own elementary level expectations matrix.
Expectations Teaching Matrix – Secondary ExampleThis document illustrates an example of the Expectations Teaching matrix filled out for a typical secondary school setting.Teams can use this document as a reference when creating their own secondary level expectations matrix.
Classroom Routines Teaching Matrix – TemplateThis blank document is similar to the expectations teaching matrix but can be used specifically for the classroom.Educators can use this document to create behavioral expectations they wish to address in their classroom.
Behavior Lesson Plan  – TemplateThis template guides an educator through creating a lesson plan to teach skills/behaviors.Educators can use this template to plan which behavior they want to teach, an example of how to teach/model the behavior, and how to monitor and reinforce the new skill.
Behavior Lesson Plan – ExampleThis example of a lesson plan allows educators to see how they can possible complete the template on their own.Educators can use this document as a reference when creating their own behavior lesson plan.
Creating a Teaching Plan – TemplateThis document provides another example of a way to plan how to teach behavioral expectations to students.Educators can use this document to complete the various steps needed when teaching a behavioral expectations and decide when and how the steps will be completed.
Creating a Teaching Plan – ExampleThis document provides an example of how to complete the creating  a teaching plan document.Educators can use this document as a reference when creating a teaching plan for behavioral expectations.



This section provides resources for building/improving an acknowledgement system to promote positive student and staff behavior and PBS buy-in.

ResourceDescriptionHow to Use This Resource
Acknowledgement Matrix Blank FormThis acknowledgement matrix breaks down different types of acknowledgement and the what, when, where, and who of each type.Teams can use this document to create a clear acknowledgement system and determine what acknowledgement will be given, who will provide the acknowledgement and when/where that may happen.
Free Rewards for Students & StaffThis document includes an extensive list of examples of inexpensive or free rewards that can be used with students at both elementary and secondary levels, as well as with adults.This document can help teams to identify unique rewards to recognize students and staff for positive behavior and may be especially useful for teams looking to minimize costs.
Acknowledgement System Self-CheckThis document provides a checklist to determine the strengths and weaknesses of an acknowledgement plan.Teams can use this document to assess their acknowledgement plan and generate ideas to strengthen their system.
Positive Behavior Referral Example — Milford HSThis is an example of a blank positive behavior referral form to inform parents of students’ positive behaviors.Teams can use this strategy as a way to recognize and praise students for positive behavior, as well as establishing positive communication between school and home.
Class DojoThis multifaceted app aims to build positive classroom communities. Teachers can assign individual students, or the class as a whole “points” throughout a lesson or day for positive behavior and take points away for negative behaviors. The app also allows teachers to connect with parents by sharing achievements, photos, videos, and messages.Teams can determine if this app would be effective as a behavior management and communication system in their school.
Effective Use of Praise & RewardsThis document outlines the most effective ways to acknowledge and praise students, and highlights the do’s and don’ts of reward systems.Teams can use this document to help guide their acknowledgement system to ensure they are praising and rewarding students and staff in the most effective and feasible ways.
Recognition Matrix – TemplateThis document outlines various types of recognition and rewards and when, where, and who to provide them to.Teams can use this matrix to determine how often and to whom rewards and recognition are being provided.
Recognition Matrix – ExampleThis document provides a completed example of the matrix.Teams can use this for reference while completing their own recognition matrix for their school.

Developing Positive Relationships

The resources below highlight the importance of developing positive relationships with students and parents on both classroom and school-wide levels.

ResourceDescriptionHow to Use This Resource
My Name, My Identity Mini Module
This DE-PBS mini-learning module (13 mins total) walks viewers through a brief introduction of the PBIS Cultural Responsiveness Field Guide and the role of promoting identity in a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS). The module then presents excerpts of a Gerardo Ochoa TED Talk that helps the viewer to better promote student identity in school through the use of students’ names and, therefore, culture. Lastly, the module orients viewers to the My Name, My Identity website, which has resources and ideas for prioritizing correct pronunciation of student names to promote belonging.Teams can use this tool to facilitate discussion about cultural representation and student belonging in schools.
Developing Positive Relationships – SW & CR IdeasThis document provides helpful tips and examples for improving positive relationships between teachers and students, peers, and home and school.Teams can use the strategies outlined in this document to increase positive relationships school-wide, in the classroom, and with families.
Knowing Your Students ActivityThis document helps educators determine how well they know their students by listing their names, interests, and whether the student knows you know their interests.Staff can use this document to reflect on how well they know individual students and ways they can improve relationships with students that they do not know well.

The resources below relate to the Connect the Dots Student Engagement Screener.

ResourceDescriptionHow to Use This Resource
Connections Screening FAQThis is a 1-page FAQ on the Connectedness Survey or “Connect the Dots” screening process being used in many schools to measure the sense of student belongingness schoolwide (Tier 1) and to identify supports needed at the Tier 1, 2, and 3 level to enhance that belongingness for all students.District Coaches and Tier 1 Team Leaders may want to review this FAQ when they first hear about any “Connect the Dots” activities to help determine if it could be a helpful relationship/belonging screening tool for a school.
Connections ManualSchool psychologist, Kim Pristawa, and colleagues brought the Connect-the-Dots screening tool to the general public through a NASP presentation. This is a free implementation manual  that can help schools to implement this screener effectively and equitably.It is recommended that Tier 1 Teams designate a work group to implement the “Connect the Dots” screening activity and this is the manual to help them plan all of the logistics.
Connect the Dots PPTRed Clay School District and the DE-PBS Project partnered to present this PPT to schools with more information about the “Connect the Dots” activity for measure student belongingness and student-teacher relationships. Please contact Megan Pell ( and/or Sarah Hearn ( for more information.District Coaches and Tier 1 Team Leaders can review this PPT and use slides to help build staff buy-in for implementing the “Connect the Dots” screener. Please contact Megan Pell and/or Sarah Hearn for original slide deck, if needed.
Connect the Dots Implementation StrategiesThe DE-PBS Project shares additional implementation strategies (1pg) from lessons learned by DE schools that have implemented the Connect-the-Dots activities.Members of Tier 1 Team who are implementing the “Connect the Dots” screening activity may want to preview this document to help build their system for implementing this screener.
Activities from Talley Middle SchoolThis 1pg handout describes Talley Middle’s Connect-the-Dots activities  completed with staff and students.Members of Tier 1 Team who are implementing the “Connect the Dots” screening activity may want to preview this TMS document to help shape their presentation of this screener to staff.