Rooted in Indigenous teachings and values, restorative practices work to build strong, healthy, safe, and equitable school communities where all young people, parents, families, and school staff are valued, respected, and seen as an important part of the community. Restorative practices use circles as a tool for community building and dialog within classrooms and across the school, as well as a strategy for collaborative problem solving, conflict mediation, accountability, and healing for students and adults.
When conflicts arise, rather than taking a punitive approach where punishment is done to a student, restorative practices at AIMS work with students, parents, families, and school staff as partners in the conflict resolution process, finding ways to address the problem and creating a lasting solution. Here, restorative practices continue the learning process even in times of conflict, bringing students into circle with other students and staff, teaching students how to take responsibility for their actions and understand the impact of their behavior and the effect it has on others and the whole school community. The process of “being in circle” empowers students to learn from their mistakes and take an active - rather than passive - role in fixing the damage that has been done, repairing harm, rebuilding relationships, and making positive change.
At AIMS our restorative practice specialist/coach works with students, staff, and families to strengthen our restorative practices in classrooms and across the school, to support students and staff in building healthy, positive relationships, and to facilitate processes to heal harm and resolve conflict.