Essex Middle School Restorative Practice
FAQ for Parents
What is Restorative Practice?
Restorative Practice is a simple and effective way to repair relationships harmed by negative choices or behavior. It involves a discussion including the following questions:
- What happened?
- Who was affected and how were they affected?
- What needs to be done to repair the harm?
- Who is responsible for fixing or repairing the harm caused?
Who could be at my child’s RP meeting?
Every meeting is different, but generally there will be a school staff as facilitator, other involved school staff, student volunteers and possibly those affected by the incident. The meeting is usually less than an hour and is a conversation that everyone participates in.
Who are the volunteers?
The volunteers are picked or sign up from our 7-8th grade teams, often who may be part of a peer leader group and want to support the students in our school.
Is this process confidential?
This is a confidential process within the school. The volunteers and staff from agree to confidentiality as part of their involvement and will not share details with friends, family or others unless there is a clear safety issue including threats of harm to self or others.
Can parents be at the meeting?
This is decided on a case-by-case basis with the school. If the incident was one that would routinely be dealt with at school, without notifying parents, there may be no need for parent involvement in RP. If the incident is one that would routinely require parent involvement (e.g. bullying or truancy), parents may be asked to participate.
Why is Restorative Practice part of my child’s consequences if they have broken school rules?
RP may and will accompany the consequences for breaking school rules. The intent of RP is to identify relationships that have been harmed and attempt to repair these, rather than to focus on just the rule that was broken. It is a way for a student who has harmed another member of the school community to make amends and move on in a positive way. It is also an opportunity for those who were harmed to have a voice. RP is not a place to lecture or yell at someone who made a bad choice, instead, it’s a place to have a conversation and learn more about why the incident happened and how to move forward.
What if the student is not successful in the RP process?
If the student does not successfully complete any portion of the RP process, the board members will meet with administrative staff to discuss next steps on a case-by-case basis. When a student does successfully complete the process, they will receive a certificate of completion.
What if my child does something else, can they go through this process more than once?
This is dependent on the type of rule breaking and other factors and is decided on a case-by-case basis.