About Restorative Practices
Updated by Saint Paul Public Schools in April 2018
In Saint Paul Public Schools several schools have received grant funds to implement Restorative Practices school-wide. Restorative Practices are ways for a school community to build relationships, problem solve and learn. In this approach, relationships are the most important way we learn about the world and ourselves.
A Restorative Practice school and community believe:
- Everyone in the school community is good, wise and powerful.
- We are all connected to one another.
- All of us want to be in good, healthy relationships with others.
- We all have talents and gifts we bring to school.
- It takes time, habits and support to build and maintain positive relationships.
In addition to the Restorative Practice sites, many schools are seeking to use restorative approaches to create a sense of community and repair harm.
Restorative Practices began in fall 2016 as a collaboration among SPPS, its Office of College and Career Readiness and the Saint Paul Federation of Teachers (SPFT).
Why Restorative Practices?
Representatives of SPPS administration and SPFT jointly agreed to piloting restorative practices as a strategy to improve school climate. Restorative Practices has four core objectives:
- Students and educators will experience increasingly authentic, nurturing relationships
- Harm within school settings will be recognized and repaired, with people who cause harm increasingly taking responsibility for actions, and supportive adults seeking to address root causes of misbehavior
- Attendance improves (fewer unexcused absences, less chronic absenteeism)
- Discipline becomes more equitable, less frequent
SPPS educators have embraced learning about restorative practices across multiple departments -- the Office of Equity, School Climate and Support, social workers, counselors, nurses, licensed staff and educational support professionals -- and through training experiences ranging from 90-minute introductions to last summer’s 3-day Restorative Practice Institute hosted by SPFT.
In March 2018, Battle Creek Middle School, Central Senior High School and Nokomis Montessori North Campus were selected to become restorative practice pilot sites in the 2018-2019 school year.
The three new pilot sites join American Indian Magnet, Farnsworth Aerospace 5-8 Campus, Johnson Senior High, Maxfield Elementary, Murray Middle School, Riverview West Side School of Excellence, Eastern Heights Elementary, Parkway Montessori Middle School and Washington Technology Magnet.