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Restorative Practices

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Restorative practices at Eagle Rock are a set of principles and approaches aimed at fostering a positive and inclusive school culture, resolving conflicts, and addressing behavioral issues in a constructive and healing manner. The focus of restorative practices is on repairing harm, building relationships, and promoting accountability rather than simply punishing or isolating students. These practices often involve open communication, empathy, and collaboration among students, educators, and the community. Here are some key components of restorative practices in schools:

  1. Building Relationships: Restorative practices emphasize the importance of building strong relationships among students, teachers, and staff. Positive relationships create a foundation for effective communication and conflict resolution.

  2. Community Building: Schools using restorative practices often engage in activities and discussions that help create a sense of community and belonging among students and staff. These activities can include circle discussions, team-building exercises, and collaborative projects.

  3. Circles: Circles are a common practice in restorative approaches. In a circle, participants gather in a circle format to discuss topics, share experiences, and address issues. Circles encourage equal participation, active listening, and respectful dialogue.

  4. Conflict Resolution: Instead of punitive measures, restorative practices encourage addressing conflicts through open dialogue and problem-solving. Those involved in a conflict come together to discuss the issue, its impact, and ways to repair the harm caused.

  5. Accountability: Restorative practices emphasize taking responsibility for one's actions and their impact on others. When harm is done, students are encouraged to understand the consequences of their behavior and take steps to make amends.

  6. Restitution: In cases where harm has occurred, restorative practices often involve finding ways for the responsible party to make things right. This might include apologizing, repairing damaged relationships, and taking actions to rectify the situation.

  7. Healing and Support: Restorative approaches acknowledge the emotional and psychological aspects of conflicts and behavior issues. Efforts are made to support the emotional well-being of all parties involved and provide resources for healing.

  8. Prevention: Restorative practices also emphasize proactive measures to prevent conflicts and negative behaviors from occurring in the first place. This can include teaching social and emotional skills, promoting positive behavior expectations, and creating a safe and inclusive environment.

  9. Inclusion: Restorative practices strive to include all stakeholders, including students, educators, administrators, and the broader community, in discussions and decision-making processes.

  10. Fair Process: Restorative practices aim to ensure that decisions are made through fair and transparent processes, and that all individuals have the opportunity to express their perspectives.

By implementing restorative practices, we aim to create a more supportive, respectful, and empathetic learning environment, where students learn not only academic subjects but also important life skills related to communication, empathy, and conflict resolution.