RESTORATIVE PRACTICES

Restorative practices build community and promote healthy relationships. Educators and students can benefit from utilizing the Practices through teaching and learning social-emotional and conflict resolution skills. 

Through a partnership with Allentown School District, CIS supports and coaches the school adults within the school community to implement and incorporate Restorative Practices into their daily curriculum, practice, and overall school culture.

 

This is an opportunity for school adults and students to further strengthen their relationships and to cultivate an inclusive community where everyone feels a sense of belonging.

Learn more about Restorative Practices

bigger rp circle.png

WHAT ARE

RESTORATIVE PRACTICES?

Restorative practices were developed and created by Indigenous communities throughout the world. Western cultures have a long history of appropriating these centuries-old traditions and practices.

Restorative practices is a social science that studies how to improve relationships and deepen community bonds.

Restorative practices inherently increase social capital and equity, while concurrently promoting accountability and reparative justice.

Educators and students can benefit from utilizing these practices through teaching and learning social-emotional and conflict resolution skills.

Bryan Stevenson, the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative stated, “Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.”

Restorative practices intrinsically and routinely view individuals through a non-judgmental, unbiased lens. Furthermore, individuals who do harm to their community are expected to reflect on the causes of their behavior, the impact of their actions, and to make reparations to those who were harmed. 

WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT USING RESTORATIVE PRACTICES?

DOWNLOAD THESE RESOURCES:

CIS RP External Resource Guide - Affecti

Practice: Affective Statements & Questions

CIS RP External Resource Guide - Respons

Learn More:

Types of Circles

CIS Eastern PA Restorative Practices Sam

Use Circles:

Example Circles 

Najee_DeeAndra(1)_edited_edited.jpg

USING RESTORATIVE PRACTICES

IN SCHOOLS
  • Utilize affective statements and questions in your daily practice.

  • Use circles to build equity, social capital, and community. For instance, begin every class or morning with a Proactive Opening Circle and end every class or day with a Proactive Closing Circle. 

  • Use Responsive Circles when harm is done and create a reparative, growth mindset culture. 

  • View conflicts as an opportunity to foster learning and build stronger relationships.

USING RESTORATIVE PRACTICES

AT HOME
  • Schedule daily self-care restorative activities in your calendar.

  • Greet each day, yourself, and every person with a growth mindset.

  • Utilize affective statements and questions.

USING RESTORATIVE PRACTICES

AT THE WORKPLACE
  • Greet each day, yourself, and every person with a growth mindset.

  • Utilize affective statements and questions.

  • Use circles to build equity, social capital, and community. For instance,  begin every meeting with a Proactive Opening Circle and end with a Proactive Closing Circle.

 

  • Use Responsive Circles when harm is done and create a reparative, growth mindset culture.

Sean_Lee_edited.jpg
My%20picture%20(1)_edited.jpg

RESTORATIVE PRACTICES IN THE FIELD

"I have been very blessed to be a part of many different programs in and out of CIS and Easton Area School District, where I have been able to implement Restorative Practices for the past 17 years. 

Gina Ambrusico, 

CIS Program Manager

We have used these practices for many different reasons:

  • Conflict resolution to restore and help reconcile students back to their community, peers, and families.  

  • Groups for self-reflection and self-improvement.

  • Listening circles around sensitive topics that unleash a lot of unpleasant feelings and emotions (death of a classmate, family member, or faculty).

RP circles have proven to be quite effective because they allow students to feel supported and heard. Through circles, students develop a sense of comradery and partnership with those within their group, which often expands to their community. RP circles help shape students to be more sensitive, understanding, and compassionate to each other’s feelings.  Additionally, RP circles have helped students promote a better self-image while remaining humble and caring.

I have found that most individuals, especially students, may at first show some hesitation, but within minutes become comfortable and relaxed and do truly share openly. It is evident they want to share and look forward to doing it again.  Some students even begin to facilitate the circles themselves, which helps them to develop strong leadership skills and a great sense of respect for listening to others.

Our CIS staff in Easton Area School District implement circles within their own groups and with case-managed students. Within the district, individuals use it with their own staff in hopes that CIS will be the pioneers to assist with future coaching and trainings."

RESTORATIVE PRACTICES IN THE FIELD

"21st CCLC After-School Programs use Restorative Practice Circles to check-in to see how students are doing academically and where they are mentally for that day. 

Erin Philips, M.Ed.

21st CCLC Program Manager

EP_edited.jpg

We ask students to share a school success such as a test grade, writing assignment, or a report card grade they are proud of. Some students also willingly share where they are struggling academically.

I am very thankful to work with a team, both the tutors and the students, who hear the struggles and work to help those who need it.

 

Through our check-ins, we can see where we need to meet our students in order to help them accomplish their academic goals and to celebrate their achievements. 


At the end of the circle activity we take a few minutes to give students an opportunity to discuss events in their lives or in the news. We often adjust our plans accordingly to respond to what is on our students’ minds. 


We want our students to feel cared for and heard. Additionally, we aim to provide a safe space to share feelings and ideas even if we can't be together in person.

 

Using Restorative Practice Circles helps us to quickly understand what the program atmosphere is starting at for the night."