What are "Restorative Practices"?
Restorative Practices, or RP, is a framework rooted in relationship building and rebuilding, designed to create a culture of equity and belonging that rethinks how we view conflict and results in healing and learning. The Ferguson-Florissant School District embraces Restorative Practices ensuring that all, including those who have been harmed, will have their needs and experiences recognized and acted upon, thus creating a supportive climate of empowerment for all. In some cases, students may be separated from their assigned school building, but never completely separated from their education.
Why We Are Committed to Restorative Practices
Restorative Practices have been shown to have a positive effect on school climate, culture, and academics (including improved student attendance, test scores, and graduation rates), and on outcomes related to discipline policies and practices including reductions in discipline referrals, violent and serious incidents, and punitive and exclusionary discipline responses.*
While these are powerful reasons enough to shift to a restorative approach to education, teachers and students will point to more personal reasons for why it is important. Students report a greater sense of belonging, voice, and empathy while teachers report greater experience of connection with students and satisfaction in their jobs. To learn more about why RP is important, read Understanding the “Why?” of Circles by Annie O’Shaughnessy, M.Ed.
*Adapted from Jon Kidde’s Restorative Justice: A Yardstick for Schools and Restorative Justice in Schools: Outcomes and Indicators