Restorative Practices

Discovery Elementary School is proud to be implementing Restorative Practices across our campus. All staff members (teachers, activity teachers, office staff, instructional aides, supervisors, and custodian) as well as PTO representatives have attended Restorative Practice trainings from the San Diego County Office of Education. Discovery is devoted to continuing the development of our understanding and implementation of Restorative Practices through ongoing staff development. 

"At the core, Restorative Practices is about building and sustaining relationships."

Restorative Practices promotes strengthened relationships and community building while promoting meaningful and supported opportunities for all members of our school communities to share the responsibility for making our school a safe and nurturing environment.

Restorative Practices are based on principles and processes that emphasize the importance of positive relationships as central to building community and restoring relationships when harm has occurred.

"The underlying premise of Restorative Practices is that people are happier, more cooperative, more productive and more likely to make positive changes when those in positions of authority do things WITH them rather than TO them or FOR them." (The Restorative Practice Handbook, Costello and Wachtel)

Restorative Practices: A Movement

Restorative Practices is a movement grounded in principles designed to create powerful relationships, which are central to building thriving communities. RP represents a paradigm shift that focuses on the harm done, rather than on the rule broken, in the restoration of relationships. RP is a reflective practice that encourages personal responsibility, giving a voice both to the person harmed as well as the person who caused the harm. RP aids in the acceptance of cultural differences by offering an equitable process where all members of a community feel valued and heard, and in turn, are more likely to bring their best self to the community.

Through restorative practices, members of the school community will:

  1. have an opportunity to be heard
  2. understand the greater impact of one's actions
  3. learn to take responsibility
  4. repair the harm one's actions may have caused
  5. recognize one's role in maintaining a safe school environment
  6. build upon and expand on personal relationships in the school community
  7. recognize one's role as a positive contributing member of the school community

Benefits of Restorative Approaches in the School Setting

  • A safer, more caring environment.
  • A more effective teaching and learning environment.
  • A greater commitment by everyone to taking the time to listen to one another.
  • A reduction in bullying and other interpersonal conflicts.
  • A greater awareness of the importance of connectedness to young people. The need to belong and feel valued by peers and significant adults.
  • Greater emphasis on responses to inappropriate behavior that seek to reconnect, and not further disconnect young people.
  • Reductions in fixed term and permanent suspensions and expulsions.
  • A greater confidence in the staff team to deal with challenging situations.

For more information about Restorative Practices click on the resources linked below:

Hansen, T, (2005), Restorative Practices Practices and Principles in Schools, Center for Restorative Practices & Peacemaking.
Cole, K., Dedinsky, P. Restorative Practices Practices, Milwaukee Public Schools Safe Schools/ Healthy Students.
Amstutz, L, Mullet, J. The Little Book of Restorative Discipline for Schools. (2005)
International Institute for Restorative Practices, Restoring Community in a Disconnected World

San Francisco Unified School District, Student, Family, and Community Support Department, Restorative Practices
Restorative Approaches/Practices in Schools, Transforming Conflict

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