Recently, we shared with you our plan to open a Wellness Center at the Burnett campus. Another targeted effort to support our students’ social, emotional, and behavioral needs at Rooftop is the implementation of Restorative Practices.
All schools in SFUSD are implementing Restorative Practices as a result of the board resolution “In Support of a Comprehensive School Climate, Restorative Practices and Alternatives to Suspension/Expulsion” (http://tinyurl.com/p7otqbc).
Implementing Restorative Practices requires our entire school community to engage in a paradigm shift:
“What’s fundamental about restorative justice (practices) is a shift away from thinking about laws being broken, who broke the law, and how we punish the people who broke the laws. There’s a shift to: there was harm caused, or there’s disagreement or dispute, there’s conflict, and how do we repair the harm, address the conflict, meet the needs, so that relationships and community can be repaired and restored. It’s a different orientation. It is a shift” Cheryl Graves, Community Justice for Youth Institute.
- Traditional Approach: School and rules violated / Restorative Approach: People and relationships violated
- Traditional Approach: Justice focuses on establishing guilt / Restorative Approach: Justice identifies needs and obligations
- Traditional Approach: Accountability = punishment / Restorative Approach: Accountability = understanding impact, repairing harm
- Traditional Approach: Justice directed at person who caused harm, person who experienced harm ignored / Restorative Approach: Person who caused harm, person who experienced harm and school all have direct roles in justice process
- Traditional Approach: Rules and intent outweigh whether outcome is positive/negative / Restorative Approach: Person who caused harm is responsible for harmful behavior, repairing harm and working toward positive outcomes
- Traditional Approach: No opportunity for remorse or amends / Restorative Approach: Opportunity given for amends and expression of remorse
At Rooftop, we are supporting the implementation of Restorative Practices by having teacher representatives participate on district-level implementation teams and providing coaching and support through district-provided Restorative Practice coaching (our coach is Helen Parker). Additionally, I have earmarked funding from outside partners to provide training and in-class coaching support for staff through the program Positive Discipline (our coach is Lori Onderwyzer). This year, the staff has participated in a day-long retreat with Lori and ongoing professional development is happening throughout the year, including a focus on trauma-informed practices.
Please take some time to review the link above to learn more about Restorative Practices. Your support will be critical as we work to provide the most positive, supportive, and caring environment for our students and whole school community.
Jeff & Tiffany