Our goals for creating a restorative culture here at MMS are:
To build relationships.
To identify and work to address the specific needs of our school.
To use a common language and approach to building community, while repairing harm.
Following the restorative model from San Francisco Unified School District, which follows the International Institute for Restorative Practices model, MMS has chosen to become a fully restorative school. This consists of creating a culture built on the knowledge that relationship is powerful and proactive in generating a community of care and accountability. While much of the foundational ideas of restorative practices is already a daily part of our practices at MMS, this initiative creates a consistent environment where all staff are using the same language, the same practices to proactively and intentionally build relationships and the same practices to address harm. This consistency will foster a culture of restoration that will become our daily way of life.
We recognize this process will take time, but are willing to put in the time and learning to make it happen!
3. Restorative Practices Principles:
Acknowledges that relationships are central to building community.
Builds Relationships that address misbehavior and harm in a way that strengthens relationships.
Focuses on the harm done rather than only on rule-breaking.
Gives voice to the person harmed.
Engages in collaborative problem solving.
Empowers change and growth.
2. What is Restorative Practices?
Now a common practice in many schools across the nation and world, Restorative Practices promote building respectful and trusting relationships as the foundation for teaching and learning while providing meaningful opportunities for students to develop self-discipline and positive behaviors in a caring, supportive environment. It views conflict primarily through the lens of the harm caused to people and relationships, and emphasizes the priority to meet the needs of those affected by this harm. A restorative approach sees conflict or misbehavior as an opportunity for students to learn about the consequences of their actions, to develop empathy with others, and experience how to make amends in such a way as to strengthen the community bonds that may have been damaged. -Taken from: http://www.sfusd.edu/en/programs-and-services/restorative-practices.html
Restorative Practices Paradigm Shift “What’s fundamental about restorative justice (practices) is a shift away from thinking about laws being broken, who broke the law, and how we punish the people who broke the laws.
There’s a shift to: there was harm caused, or there’s disagreement or dispute, there’s conflict, and how do we repair the harm, address the conflict, meet the needs, so that relationships and community can be repaired and restored.
It’s a different orientation. It is a shift.”
Cheryl Graves - Community Justice for Youth Institute
4. Addressing Harm: Restorative Questions
When responding to challenging behavior, restorative practices can be used to create accountability while allowing harm to be repaired. The following questions are used to foster restoration: What happened? What were you thinking of at the time? What have you thought about since? Who has been affected by what you have done? In what way? What do you think you need to do to make things right?
To help those harmed by others’ actions, restorative practices can be used to give voice. The following questions are used to foster healing: What did you think when you realized what had happened? What impact has this incident had on you and others? What has been the hardest thing for you? What do you think needs to happen to make things right?