We are excited to inform you that Paseo Hills School will continue to implement Restorative Practices during 2021 - 2022 school year. Restorative Practices is an emerging field of study that will enable us to restore and build community at Paseo Hills.
Paseo Hills saw a 21% decrease in discipline referrals from the first two school years of implementation (2016-2018) and has seen an overall decrease of 75% in discipline data as of May 2021. Seeing a decrease in discipline means that Paseo Hills students are in class receiving more instruction which supports academic improvement.
In education, circles and groups provide opportunities for students to share their feelings, build relationships and problem-solve, and when there is wrongdoing, to play an active role in addressing the wrong and making things right (Riestenberg, 2002). These restorative circles and groups are based on the principles of fair process.
The three principles of fair process are:
- Engagement — involving individuals in decisions that affect them by listening to their views and genuinely taking their opinions into account;
- Explanation — explaining the reasoning behind a decision to everyone who has been involved or who is affected by it;
- Expectation clarity — making sure that everyone clearly understands a decision and what is expected of them in the future.
Our students will learn how to effectively communicate their feelings using affective statements and affective questions. These statements and questions will help them communicate their feelings and understand how their behavior has affected others.
- What happened?
- What did you do? (Helps create ownership)
- What were you thinking at the time (Helps reflect on more than impulsive actions)?
- What have you thought about since (Helps reflect on the choices/consequences that have happened as a result)?
- Who/how many have been affected by what you have done (Helps build empathy)?
- What do you need to do to make things right (Plan of action to move forward)?
Our students and staff will use restorative circles to share their feelings, ideas and experiences in order to establish relationships and social norms. Circle-go-rounds are a great way to foster a sense of community among students in a classroom. They are proactive and bring great discussion and ideas to the forefront. Circle-go-rounds help build character traits in the areas of kindness, empathy, respect, responsibility, trust and cooperation. Once students feel comfortable using circles they can be used as a tool to solve problems.
We are very excited to continue using Restorative Practices at Paseo Hills as we have seen improvements in community, relationships, student accountability as well as a decrease in discipline referrals.