Restorative Practices

Restorative Practices
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Restorative Practices is a system of principles and processes that build and sustain a culture of respect, responsibility, and accountability. This is achieved through emphasizing the importance of trusting relationships as central to building community and repairing relationships/restoring community when harm has occurred.

Grounded in the traditions of Indigenous Cultures around the world, these practices underscore the value of respect, compassion, dignity, accountability, and inclusion of all members of the community. This approach rests with the belief that everyone is an equal member of society and everyone has a contribution to make.

”The underlying premise of restorative practices is that people are happier, more cooperative, more productive and more likely to make positive changes when those in positions of authority do things WITH them rather than TO them or FOR them.” 

- Ted Wachtel, International Institute for Restorative Practices
 

Coming Soon

Stayed tuned for the Spring 2023 Restorative Practices dates and times.

Attend a Training

Based on a partnership between Buncombe County Schools, Asheville City Schools, and United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County, restorative practices trainings are offered for free to all school faculty and staff, community partners, community members, and parents/guardians. 

  • 2-Day Intro to Restorative Practices and Proactive Circles: Overview of building a restorative school community by introducing restorative principles and concepts, community building practices, and circle design.
     
  • 2-Day Responsive Practices (Repairing Harm and Restoring Community): Developing classroom and school-wide relational & restorative accountability systems and skill building for responding to minor to medium level conflicts and repairing harm. Prerequisite: 2-Day Intro to RP Training

Building Trusting Relationships Locally

Asheville Middle is working hard to strengthen relationships and build community throughout the school building. AMS has started a morning advisory time that is part of their Restorative Practices implementation — each teacher has a group of 10-12 students that they do advisory within circles for 30 minutes each day. Students build relationships with their peers and teachers, work on academic goal-setting and build important skills like empathy and active listening.

For one advisory period, they all took some time to learn about the custodians in the building. Then every AMS student took time to write a thank you note to a custodian. Each custodian was presented that day with a HUGE stack of notes thanking them for the work they do every day!

At Reynolds Middle, teachers utilize a 20-minute period of every school day to focus on social-emotional learning skill-building. Much of that work is done through proactive community-building circles. Teachers are able to utilize this time to create a strong sense of community in their classrooms and throughout the school.

Owen Middle has created a Circle Keeper Committee that includes students who have been trained in Restorative Practices. The group meets weekly to discuss important topics that are relevant to OMS students while also building strong relationships with one another. As one student noted, he is a Circle Keeper to make "a good school even better," and the feedback that the students provide is helping shape important decisions at the school. 

Enka Middle recognizes the importance of building relationships and establishing connection in creating a meaningful and effective learning community. To that end, an extended homeroom has been integrated into the school day, allowing for dedicated community-building circles to happen weekly in every classroom. The Enka Restorative Practices Implementation Team, comprised of teachers, counselors, and administrators, works intentionally to create lessons on social-emotional learning, character building, and empathy, and to provide support to staff in creating a culture of connection through Restorative Practices.

Engage and Learn More

Below you'll find a few resources and opportunities that allow you to engage at a deeper level. Be sure to visit this page often for a schedule of future Restorative Practices trainings: