LCPS Restorative Practices offers a continuum of services to promote a safe and inclusive environment for our students. Restorative language helps children understand how their behavior affects and impacts others while discouraging harmful behavior. Restorative circles create a culture of belonging and help build community and connection. Restorative conferencing provides an opportunity and process for students and families to resolve conflict and repair harm that has occurred.
The goals of restorative conferencing are to have students take responsibility for their behaviors by addressing those they have harmed, allow every student who is harmed to have a voice, and to give students the opportunity to learn from the process without having their education interrupted. Students are empowered to speak their truth about what happened and talk about what they need or need to do to repair harm and prevent this from happening again. Parents or supporters that may be involved also have an opportunity to speak their truth about what happened and what would help moving forward. Often, when something happens between two students, they are not given the chance to have the other person hear their side of the story; how they were affected/impacted.
Restorative Practices provides that through facilitating a conversation that helps develop understanding and repair any harm that has occurred. Students are empowered to speak their truth about what happened and talk about what they need or need to do to repair harm and prevent this from happening again. Parents or supporters that may be involved also have an opportunity to speak their truth about what happened and what would help moving forward. Helping people move forward often involves a written agreement that each participant has an opportunity to contribute.
How does a school make a referral?
A referral will be made by an administrator to the regional restorative practices team lead. The school's RP Lead will contact them within a couple days of receiving the referral. They will set up a time to meet with each family separately for a pre-conference. The pre‐conference allows time for questions to be answered and gives participants the opportunity to hear and answer the questions in a confidential space. Once each party has pre‐conferenced and everyone is on board with moving forward, a formal conference is scheduled for everyone involved. This process from start to finish can take 1‐2 weeks depending on everyone’s flexibility in scheduling.
Restorative Practices are based on four key principals: Respect, Responsibility, Repair, and Re‐ Integration.
“An emerging social science that studies how to strengthen relationships between individuals as well as social connections within communities. The purpose of restorative practices is to build healthy communities, increase social capital, decrease crime and antisocial behavior, repair harm and restore relationships.”
- International Institute of Restorative Practices