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.

School-wide Expectations – Development & Review Guide

Behavior Matrix Blank Form


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.

Resource Description How to Use This Resource
Cool Tool Blank Form This 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 Videos This 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 Videos This 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.


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

Resource Description How to Use This Resource
Acknowledgement Matrix Blank Form This 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 & Staff This 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-Check This 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 HS This 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 Dojo This 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 & Rewards This 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.


Developing Positive Relationships

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

Resource Description How to Use This Resource
Developing Positive Relationships – SW & CR Ideas This 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 Activity This 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.