Title

Restorative Response to Misbehavior

First Presenter's Institution

Orange County Public Schools

Second Presenter's Institution

NA

Third Presenter's Institution

NA

Fourth Presenter's Institution

NA

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Location

Verelst

Strand #1

Social & Emotional Skills

Strand #2

Safety & Violence Prevention

Relevance

Restorative Justice Practice relates to the social and emotional skills educators and students must have to maintain a positive social climate that is safe and conducive to learning. Students from all backgrounds have conflicts with each other or with educators that school leaders who are appropriately trained can help resolve in a peaceful manner. Participants will learn how to build relationships and community and resolve conflicts in a manner that repairs relationships and amends to the person harmed. Educators will learn about the RJP process and how it can assist students in improving their communication skills and emotional intelligence. When students are given a voice in the decision making process in resolving conflicts, they develop a positive sense of self that can empower them to achieve academically and prepare for college and career.

Brief Program Description

Participants will gain an understanding of how the 10th largest school district in the nation implemented Restorative Justice Practices (RJP) to build relationships and a positive school culture to help reduce out of school suspensions. We will also discuss our challenges and successes during the process. Organizations working with students in k-12 will glean ideas for possible replication of RJP.

Summary

In an effort to close the achievement gap between minority students and their peers, Orange County Public Schools in Orlando, Florida created The Minority Achievement Office (MAO). To address and reduce the disparity in out of school suspension (OSS) rate for minorities, OCPS has adopted restorative practices to respond to discipline issues. The district first trained middle school staff on Restorative Justice Practices (RJP) to form teams at each school site consisting of an RJ lead, guidance counselors, deans, Positive Alternative to School Suspension (PASS) person, and SAFE coordinator. All high schools will be trained next year after two years at the middle schools.

The goal is to change secondary school culture to a more compassionate environment where relationships are built through positive communication. With a strong foundation of positive relationships, when misbehavior occurs, everyone affected is heard with the purpose of making amends to the person harmed and restoring the relationship and community. When we allow students and adults to speak openly and freely, the information we garner can open the door for rich conversations and deeper understanding of all, which will increase efficacy, motivation, and academic achievement.

Participants will gain understanding of RJ by participating in an RJ circle activity that they can easily implement in the classroom or school at large. We will look at some statistics for our males of color that can interfere with building relationships and trust in the classroom, which are necessary to advance student learning. Because speech and the written word are the prominent conduits educators use to communicate ideas, we will learn some scripts that promote responsibility as well as build empathy and positive life skills.

Evidence

The presentation is based on the work of the International Institute of Restorative Practices (IIRP) and Kay Pranis' book Circle Forward.

The presentation is based on the work of Kay Pranis and the book, Circle Forward, written by Carolyn Boyes-Watson and Kay Pranis. Prior to providing RJ training district-wide, it was first offered to the 38 middle schools and focused on reducing out-of-school suspensions in order to increase academic seat time. Data from the first year of implementation, 2015-2016 illustrates a 94% positive outcome and reduction of out-of-school suspensions for our students.

A pilot study of a restorative conferencing program in Minnesota, McMorris and colleagues (2013) report increased school connectedness and improved problem solving among students in a six-week follow up. Jain and colleagues (2014) also note that two thirds of staff perceived the RJ program as improving the social-emotional development of students, and 70 percent of staff reported that RJ improved overall school climate during the first year of implementation.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Nancy Charles is a district resource teacher in the Minority Achievement Office in Orange County Public Schools, Florida —the 10th largest school district in the nation. Nancy has worked as an educator for over 20 years as a classroom teacher and instructional leader: History, Language Arts, and French teacher, parent liaison, literacy coach and instructional coach. In addition, Nancy has conducted district professional development on culturally responsive instruction, teaching methods, and restorative justice practices to reduce the out of school suspension rate. She currently coordinates the district implementation of Restorative Justice Practices. Nancy has received many awards for her work with students and the community and has a B.S. in Marketing, an M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction and is certified in Education Leadership.

Keyword Descriptors

restorative, justice, voice, accountability, conflict resolution, relationships, responsibility, amends, suspensions, empathy

Presentation Year

2017

Start Date

3-8-2017 9:45 AM

End Date

3-8-2017 11:00 AM

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Mar 8th, 9:45 AM Mar 8th, 11:00 AM

Restorative Response to Misbehavior

Verelst

Participants will gain an understanding of how the 10th largest school district in the nation implemented Restorative Justice Practices (RJP) to build relationships and a positive school culture to help reduce out of school suspensions. We will also discuss our challenges and successes during the process. Organizations working with students in k-12 will glean ideas for possible replication of RJP.