Restorative practices are a broad range of approaches that proactively build a school community based on cooperation, mutual understanding, trust, and respect. Restorative practices respond to conflict by including all impacted individuals in processes that rebuild relationships, ensure meaningful accountability, and repair harm done to individuals, groups, or the school community during conflict. These practices blend very well with Culturally-Responsive Behavior Interventions and Supports (CR-PBIS) in classrooms and on school campuses at each tier of support.
Restorative practices are used as both a prevention and intervention measures which helps schools: Build relationships with, and empower community members to take responsibility for the well-being of others; Prevent or deal with conflict before it escalates; Address underlying factors that lead youth to engage in inappropriate behavior; Increase the pro-social skills of those who have harmed others; Build resiliency both in students who have committed harm and in those who have been harmed; and provide students with the opportunity to be accountable to those they have harmed and enable them to repair the harm to the extent possible.
When used as an intervention measure, taking a restorative approach to discipline changes the fundamental questions that are asked when a behavioral incident occurs. Instead of asking who is to blame and how those engaged in the misbehavior will be punished, a restorative approach asks four key questions:
- What happened?
- Who was harmed or affected by the behavior?
- What needs to be done to make things right?
- How can people behave differently in the future?
Effective and consistent use of restorative practices can reduce disciplinary referrals, lower dropout/pushout rates, elevate school climate measures, increase attendance, and promote greater academic achievement. For these reasons and more, PPS is committed to expanding restorative practices throughout the district and to helping educators, students, and families learn to implement it with fidelity.
Restorative Justice Practices TFI Companion Guide
While the Tiered Fidelity Inventory (TFI) is the core document used by school teams to assess the basic features of their school climate in all three tiers, the Restorative Jutice Practices TFI Companion Guide is a tool that supports the integration and implementation of Restorative Practices as part of climate planning.
The Restorative Justice Practices TFI Companion Guide has been created as a guide for school teams who are implementing restoriative justice practices as part of their overall school climate. Teams can use this tool to assess the basic features of their school's implementation of restorative practices in all three tiers. Teams can score their implementation, prioritize school needs, and create an action plan.