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Restorative Practices

Restorative practices in schools, inspired by the philosophy and practices of restorative justice, prioritizes repairing harm done to relationships over the need for assigning blame and dispensing punishment. Based in indigenous wisdom and modern restorative justice philosophy, Restorative Practices increase accountability, and both student and teacher satisfaction while using such events as a natural opportunity to promote social and emotional learning, positive youth development, and cognitive psychology.

According to Belinda Hopkins, author of Just Schools: A Whole School Approach to Restorative Justice, “A whole-school approach to using restorative practices contributes to

  • Happier and safer schools,
  • Mutually respectful relationships,
  • More effective teaching and learning,
  • Reducing exclusion, and
  • Raising attendance.

Excerpt: Illinois Balanced and Restorative Justice, 2017

Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)

A multi-tiered system of support is a framework for instructional and behavioral decision making of educators. It outlines instruction, support, and intervention for all students. The framework builds to increase and individualize instruction as students demonstrate need.

 

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS)

PBIS is an example of a multi-tiered system of support. PBIS emphasizes proactive strategies for defining, teaching, and supporting appropriate student behaviors to create positive school environments. Expected and socially acceptable behaviors are defined, explicitly taught, and are regularly practiced within the school environment.

Why is it so important to focus on teaching positive social behaviors?

In the past, school-wide discipline focused mainly on reacting to specific student misbehavior by implementing consequence-based strategies including reprimands, loss of privileges, office referrals, suspensions, and expulsions. Research has shown that punishment, especially when it is used inconsistently and in the absence of other positive strategies, is ineffective. Introducing, modeling, and reinforcing positive behavior is an important step to prepare students to be successful for life. The purpose of school-wide PBIS is to establish a climate in which appropriate behavior is the norm.

LINKS

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is, “a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, emotions, sensations and surrounding environment” (Mindful Schools, 2017).

Mindfulness can positively impact the following:

  • Attention
  • Compassion
  • Resilience
  • Calming
  • Emotional Regulation
  • Adaptability (Mindful Schools, 2017)

Because these are all areas of emotional skill, mindfulness can be an effective way to practice skills in schools.

Restorative Practices

Restorative practices in schools, inspired by the philosophy and practices of restorative justice, prioritizes repairing harm done to relationships over the need for assigning blame and dispensing punishment. Based in indigenous wisdom and modern restorative justice philosophy, Restorative Practices increase accountability, and both student and teacher satisfaction while using such events as a natural opportunity to promote social and emotional learning, positive youth development, and cognitive psychology.

According to Belinda Hopkins, author of Just Schools: A Whole School Approach to Restorative Justice, “A whole-school approach to using restorative practices contributes to

  • Happier and safer schools,
  • Mutually respectful relationships,
  • More effective teaching and learning,
  • Reducing exclusion, and
  • Raising attendance.

Excerpt: Illinois Balanced and Restorative Justice, 2017

Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)

A multi-tiered system of support is a framework for instructional and behavioral decision making of educators. It outlines instruction, support, and intervention for all students. The framework builds to increase and individualize instruction as students demonstrate need.

 

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS)

PBIS is an example of a multi-tiered system of support. PBIS emphasizes proactive strategies for defining, teaching, and supporting appropriate student behaviors to create positive school environments. Expected and socially acceptable behaviors are defined, explicitly taught, and are regularly practiced within the school environment.

Why is it so important to focus on teaching positive social behaviors?

In the past, school-wide discipline focused mainly on reacting to specific student misbehavior by implementing consequence-based strategies including reprimands, loss of privileges, office referrals, suspensions, and expulsions. Research has shown that punishment, especially when it is used inconsistently and in the absence of other positive strategies, is ineffective. Introducing, modeling, and reinforcing positive behavior is an important step to prepare students to be successful for life. The purpose of school-wide PBIS is to establish a climate in which appropriate behavior is the norm.

LINKS

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is, “a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, emotions, sensations and surrounding environment” (Mindful Schools, 2017).

Mindfulness can positively impact the following:

  • Attention
  • Compassion
  • Resilience
  • Calming
  • Emotional Regulation
  • Adaptability (Mindful Schools, 2017)

Because these are all areas of emotional skill, mindfulness can be an effective way to practice skills in schools.

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