ACCESS Academy is in the process of becoming a community of restorative practitioners. Restorative practices are both a framework for communication and values as well as a set of strategies and shared understandings that staff and students can reliably use to have successful interactions together including when a harm has occurred.
During the 21-22 school year, we focused on Tier 1 restorative practices, namely community-building circles. Tier 1 practices mean that every community member participates regularly. All students and staff got to practice circling and relationship-building.
In 22-23 we will continue our Tier 1 practices and begin training staff and students on Tier 2 or harm repair practices. These restorative practices are rooted in the fact that behavior including behavior that causes harm to the community can be best addressed by addressing underlying issues and through the opportunity to take authentic accountability and make restitution. Data shows that restorative campuses are more supportive of student success on both the social emotional as well as the academic intellectual levels.
Books we like that are foundational to our restorative understandings are Circle Forward by Boyes & Watson and Circle in the Square by Riestenberg.