Restorative Practices (RP) empower schools to build a community where all students, staff, and families feel connected and valued within the school building. If a situation occurs where harm is done, schools can also use RP to address behavior in a way that holds students accountable for repairing the harm while still providing them with an honorable path back into the school community.
Why is AACPS Going Restorative?
Students cannot learn if they are not in school. Restorative Practices help keep students in school by increasing connections between all members of the school community and decreasing referrals, suspensions, and dropout rates.
AACPS has identified 16 middle and high schools as the first AACPS schools to “go restorative.” These schools will receive specialized training and work with our AACPS School Climate Specialist to infuse RP into their school. Ultimately, every AACPS school will embrace and utilize Restorative Practices.
What do restorative practices look like?
Restorative Practices are used both proactively to build and support the school community and responsively to rebuild relationships after a fight, vandalism, or other situation where harm was done. Some restorative practices include:
- Community-building Circles
- Five Restorative Questions
- Responsive Circles to Address Harm
RP can help address any level of student misconduct and can be used in addition to, or instead of, other disciplinary interventions.
"… One way that we have encouraged our staff to see the value of regularly building community with students was to create a staff “Morning Huddle!” [Our “Morning Huddle” is very like a Community-Building Circle, and I believe it has increased staff] “buy in” for morning circles with our students. [It has helped staff] understand the value of community-building first hand!
-Tiffany Stewart-Kline, Assistant Principal, Moss-Adams