A Continued Focus on Restorative Practices

A Continued Focus on Restorative Practices
Posted on 11/11/2019
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Restorative practice is a strategy that seeks to repair relationships that have been damaged by bringing about a sense of remorse and restorative action on the part of the offender and forgiveness by the victim. It’s intended to lead to healthier interpersonal relations among members of the school community and more effective learning.

“Educators across the nation are recognizing the importance of fostering positive, healthy school climates and helping students learn from their mistakes,” explains Director of Leadership and Learning, Deidre Roemer.  “Punitive, exclusionary discipline removes students from the school environment without guiding them to understand the ramifications of their actions.”

“Although removal of a student is sometimes necessary, exclusionary discipline often leads to increased negative behavior, increased dropout rates, and increased risk for involvement with the justice system.”    

Over the past three years, staff members have attended training to help them develop restorative practice skills.

“Allowing students to address and take responsibility for their behavior is really important,” said school psychologist, Laura Sage. “Children need to reflect on how their actions made others feel.  From there, we can work together to repair the harm.” 

“As a District, we’re working to integrate restorative practices into our classrooms and curriculum to create a positive, supportive school culture that focuses on the social and emotional health of our students,” adds Roemer.
  “We all play a significant role in developing and maintaining a school culture that is respectful, trusting, and caring.  Building relationships with students is crucial to making restorative practices work.”  

“Restorative Practices is a framework for responding to challenging behavior through authentic dialogue, coming to understanding, and making things right,”  said Sage. “We are providing students with skills they can use throughout their lives.”