What is Restorative Practice?
Restorative Practices is a social science that studies how a strong community can be built through relationship building, repairing harm caused, and problem-solving. Emerging as a common practice in many school districts, restorative practice replaces a punishment-oriented disciplinary system and focuses on inclusiveness and strong relationships among teachers and students.
Our Restorative Mindset
- Relationships and trust are at the center of all healthy school communities. Students who feel connected to school are more likely to succeed, have better school attendance, show more engagement in learning, and achieve high academic levels.
- All members of the school community are responsible for one another.
- Multiple perspectives are always welcome and all voices are considered equal.
- All students need a chance to learn from their mistakes and make them right. Conflict resolution is an important social-emotional skill that students will need throughout their lives.
- Conflict is best resolved through honest dialogue and community problem-solving that addresses the root causes and needs of all those involved.
- Wrongdoers should both be held accountable and supported to take an active role in repairing the harm caused. This collaborative process is essential to maintaining a healthy school community.
OUR VISION OF A RESTORATIVE SCHOOL COMMUNITY
“Building strong relationships, acknowledging and healing harm, student-centered learning, and a more caring community culture.”
Data and Research
Studies and data gathered from the implementation of Restorative Practices in many school districts have found that core areas of relationship building, academics, graduation rates, and absenteeism witness positive outcomes.
When we broke down Hiawatha Academies SY19-20 suspension data, we found that male students, Black students, and students with IEPs experienced a disproportionate number of suspensions than their peers. The largest number of suspensions fell into the category “Disruptive/ Disorderly Conduct/ Insubordination.” Instead of continuing our current practices without any significant decrease in suspensions or improvement in student outcomes, the implementation of restorative practices hopes to address issues when they arise via a human-centered approach.