Helping Students Build Strong and Healthy Relationships - In School and In Life
Restorative Practices is a positive way of living—NOT a disciplinary tool. Through Restorative Practices, students learn to connect with teachers and other students to build a strong community. They develop appropriate social and emotional skills, come to understand how their actions affect others, and work to repair any harm done. It is an approach built on respect, communication, and strategies for success. We understand that when everyone is treated with respect, classrooms are safe and healthy environments that support both teaching and learning.
Why use Restorative Practices?
Restorative Practices create supportive school communities where students can thrive and learn the academic, social and emotional skills that they need to succeed in college, career and life. Restorative Practices provide a way for schools to strengthen community, build relationships among students and between students and staff, and increase the safety and productivity of the learning environment. Restorative Practices:
- Improve school and classroom climates by focusing on community, relationships and responsibility
- Promote social and emotional skill development by teaching students’ self-awareness, empathy, communication skills, responsible decision-making, relationship building, and conflict resolution.
- Increase safety and order in school buildings by decreasing conflict, de-escalating volatile situations, and promoting a sense of collective responsibility
- Decrease disciplinary issues and disruptions, and serve as an alternative to harmful exclusionary practices such as suspension and expulsion
- Promote student engagement in learning and aids in classroom management
Implementing School-wide Restorative Practices
Restorative Practices are ingrained in and implemented through a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) that promotes all students’ academic, social, and emotional learning. Rather than a separate program, Restorative Practices are ways of speaking with each other, working together, and resolving conflict as part of the process to develop a warm, safe, and productive school climate. While Restorative Practices may be used informally by individuals, a school-wide approach to Restorative Practices must be implemented intentionally and systematically to create culture change and ensure success.
While implementation is outlined in sequential steps below, in practice, these steps may overlap or require repetition or adaptation.
- Gain Commitment
- Create Ownership
- Create a Shared Vision
- Develop Stystems as Practice
- Continously Improve