What are Restorative Practices?
Restorative practices focus on repairing harm to relationships instead of assigning blame and dispensing punishment. Restorative Practices, inspired by this philosophy of restorative justice, is a model for building community and for responding to challenging behavior through authentic dialogue, coming to understanding, and making things right.
- Build healthy relationships between educators and students;
- Reduce, prevent, and improve harmful behavior;
- Repair harm and restore positive relationships;
- Resolve conflict, holding individuals and groups accountable; and
- Address and discuss the needs of the school community
Restorative Practices within a PBIS Framework
How do PBIS and Restorative Practices Intersect? PBIS and Restorative Practices are whole-school models that can be used hand in hand to increase positive outcomes for student behavior. Both emphasize prevention and positive responses to problem behavior. PBIS’ multi-tiered structure for implementing practices and the systematic use of data provide a framework for using restorative practices that include a process for including youth, staff, and community voice within that framework. (see www.otlcampaign.org/sites/default/files/restorative-practices-guide.pdf). Both PBIS and Restorative Practices place high value on student and staff engagement and involvement. They support social-emotional learning for students and staff, and are seen as effective strategies to lower racially disproportionate discipline referrals by offering adults alternative responses to student misbehavior. PBIS shifts adults’ focus from punishing and excluding to teaching and acknowledging positive student behavior, while restorative practices encourage personal reflection, accountability, and healing for both students and adults. Both approaches seek to enforce positive behavior and uplift student strengths [The California Conference for Equality and Justice, 2013].