Restorative Practices (RP) are dervied from social science that studies how to build, nurture, and maintain positive social groups through participatory learning and decision-making (Source).
Combined with Developmental Design - the philosphy and practices used by EMS to create, and sustain a positive school community through relationship development, social engagement, and social skills development- RP helps students be accountable and provides for growth opportunities when an action or behavior impacts indivduals and groups within the school community.
RP uses the developed relationships within the school comunity to give students an opportunity to acknowledge mistakes they have made and to repair any damage caused. It also gives the person(s) who were affected a chance to understand what may have motivated the event as well as gives them voice into how the damage can be best repaired.
RP is used as a part of most discipline or behavioral interventions at EMS as an alternative to discipline measures only, which helps to reduce intensity or frequency of behavioral/disciplinary issues and strengthens the entire school community.
The Restorative Circle
RP here at EMS will most often be facilitated through the use of a Circle meeting, which will include an adult facilitator, the responsible party(s), possible affected party(s), other involved adults, and other community peers.
the circle structure best works by ensuring:
- Everyone has a voice and a chance to speak.
- No interruptions.
- Shared responsibility for creating rules and adherence to rules
- A shared understanding is built through Community
- decisions, actions, repairs are agreed upon communally to promote healing, growth, and change
Look to the FAQ in the links on this page to learn more about the RP here at EMS.