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Recent News, Articles & Videos

“Best school in the universe” says key is restorative practices

Posted by on Mar 10, 2014 in Schools

Our school’s culture is deeply rooted in care and personalization. As an organization, we have always approached students, families and staff in a restorative manner, we just didn’t have a name for it. We built our school on five pillars: Welcome, Never Too Late to Learn, Do No Harm, Choice Words and The Best School in the Universe! These five pillars have been the foundation upon which, starting three years ago, we built our restorative practice, beginning with proactive strategies.

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February 2014 restorative practices news roundup

Posted by on Feb 24, 2014 in News Roundup

Schools Robert Koehler always writes eloquently as he seeks solutions to hard problems. In his latest piece on restorative justice, “Beyond Our Broken Dreams,” he reports, “So far this year, the students [at Uplift Community High School in Chicago, Illinois, USA] have held 16 [restorative] conferences, 15 of which have ended in agreements that were successfully completed; 129 days of suspension were prevented.” In a New York Times Op-ed, Robert Ross and Kenneth Zimmerman argue for “real discipline in school,” aka restorative practices, which they place in the context of the school-to-prison pipeline and the new national guidelines on discipline in schools. This professional and detailed 14-minute video...

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Restorative practices: Building a connected community of learners

Posted by on Feb 18, 2014 in Canada, Schools

The following post is by Suzanne Bartel, a grade 4/5 teacher at Cheam Elementary School in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada. She has been doing restorative practices in her classroom for four years and says that this year three of six classes in her school are using RP with the other three classes showing great interest. To enhance her already experienced practice, Suzanne recently attended four days of Basic Restorative Practices professional development offered by IIRP Canada and wrote this post afterwards. “Because of our class circles, students accepted more responsibility for their roles in both creating and solving the problems. It became much easier to encourage students to solve their problems themselves; in part because I...

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Schools across Ontario join forces, build restorative practices movement

Posted by on Feb 18, 2014 in Canada, Schools, Video

The following article discusses two 2013 symposia, one held in the town of Cobourg in southern Ontario, Canada, another in Thunder Bay in the northern part of the province, both funded by the Ontario Ministry of Education to develop restorative practices in schools and the community. Bruce Schenk, director of IIRP Canada said, “Restorative practices is not just being done by a school board [district] here and there, but is a potentially recognized and supported approach right across the province.” RP is not confined to Ontario. In a companion piece, an elementary school teacher in British Columbia on the west coast of Canada, who recently attended an IIRP Canada professional development event near Vancouver, describes the specific ways...

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IIRP graduate Beth Alosi applies restorative practices at Ford Motor Company

Posted by on Feb 10, 2014 in Leadership

Beth Alosi was working as a teacher and taking courses towards a master’s degree in restorative practices in education from the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP), but unbeknownst to her, the future pointed to a job with Ford Motor Company. Her father, Ed Alosi, had always worked in auto service, training and consulting, and Beth, while growing up, spent time with him at dealerships and even held a job for four years detailing cars. Beth often talked to her father about the restorative practices she was learning, and they both saw something in common between Beth’s work teaching and engaging adults in literacy and workforce development programs and Ed’s consulting work where he had to engage auto dealers to make...

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Restoring community and trust

Posted by on Feb 4, 2014 in Schools

The following article by IIRP Assistant Director for Communications Laura Mirsky and IIRP Trainer and Consultant Steve Korr appeared in Principal Leadership, Vol. 14, February 2014. The publication coincides with a presentation by Korr at the National Association of School Principals’ 2014 Ignite Conference. You may also download a printable pdf of this article. How can schools teach high-level academic content effectively and also promote students’ social and emotional development and help them become better members of society? Those goals are not mutually exclusive; they feed each other. Restorative practices provide an overarching philosophy and specific strategies that develop relationships, communication, empathy, and...

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January 2014 Restorative Practices News Roundup

Posted by on Jan 22, 2014 in News Roundup

Schools The New York Times editorialized that “reappraisals are long overdue” when it comes to zero tolerance policies that rely upon suspensions and expulsions of students, while the VERA Institute issued a report showing a generation of zero tolerance in schools has not worked. The Washington Post reports about Virginia students pushing for changes in discipline that would include restorative justice. IIRP President Ted Wachtel contributed to an ongoing discussion in San Francisco (see for example “San Francisco schools need solutions not suspensions” and this excellent long piece from the San Francisco Guardian about the effort to redress racial disparities in disciplinary practices) arguing that restorative...

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Restorative practices shows promise for meeting new national school discipline guidelines

Posted by on Jan 15, 2014 in Schools

On January 8, the U.S. Federal Government issued new guidelines recommending that schools revise their discipline policies to move away from zero tolerance policies, which exclude large numbers of students with suspensions and expulsions, often for minor infractions. Instead the guidelines recommend the use of methods such as restorative practices, which foster positive school climates. A joint effort of the Department of Education and the Department of Justice, these recommendations come in response to numerous studies showing that students of color and students with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by current disciplinary policies, resulting in the creation of what many advocates for change have dubbed a “school-to-prison...

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Toward a restorative Detroit: Transforming relationships in the Motor City

Posted by on Jan 13, 2014 in Article, Featured, Schools

You may download a PDF of this article for your personal use. Detroit, Michigan, USA, can claim some of the highest rates of crime, violence, school expulsion, dropouts and truancy in the country. But as Henry McClendon, a pastor, program officer with the Skillman Foundation and IIRP licensed trainer and board member observed, “We don’t have a crime problem, we have a relationship problem.” To address this problem, McClendon aims to “infuse restorative practices in every major institution in the city, particularly those that touch kids, but adults as well: schools, social work, criminal justice, families and faith communities.” Recognizing that this goal needed an established organization within the city to “carry the ball,” he brought...

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IIRP Europe expands pan-European organization

Posted by on Jan 8, 2014 in Featured, Video

With nearly 20 years experience in the UK and Ireland plus affiliates and associates throughout Europe, IIRP Europe (formerly IIRP UK & Ireland) is poised to increase offerings across the continent for training, graduate education and research into restorative practices. IIRP Europe CEO Les Davey said, “Working with our colleague Vidia Negrea in Hungary (IIRP Europe, Director for Central Europe), we are looking to bring together existing associates of the IIRP in Sweden, the Netherlands, the UK and Ireland, plus new colleagues we’re starting to develop relationships with elsewhere in Europe, in such a way that people can go to one source to find out what restorative practices is about and what’s available in their area.”...

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