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Seventh Grade Implements Restorative School Discipline Practices

Seventh Grade Implements Restorative School Discipline Practices
Posted on 03/05/2015
Dear Grade 7 Parents/Caregivers,

At VLUS we believe that the quality of relationships among students, as well as between staff and students, contributes significantly to the success of our school. In addition to our work using Developmental Designs practices to promote positive relationships and school climate, we are beginning to use some Restorative School Discipline Practices.

Today the 7th grade met in Restorative Circles facilitated by experienced “circle keepers”. It was an amazing thing to see all nine 7th grade advisories talking openly and candidly about ways to help the 7th grade community become a stronger, kinder and more welcoming place for both students and staff.  Melody Brazo, District Wellness Coordinator, and Chandra Banks, District Mediator, brought in a team of trained “circle keepers” to run the sessions. Please ask your scholar how it went today!  

For effective teaching and learning to take place, good relationships must be at the heart of all that happens at VLUS. Our aim is to enhance and continually build a culture of mutual respect and understanding by developing our use of Restorative Practices. These practices are intended to develop community and to manage conflict and tension. Restorative practices work by building relationships and by providing mechanisms for repairing the harm done to the entire community when relationships are jeopardized. Restorative practices move a community’s focus from blaming, punishing, and managing behavior to developing and restoring community. Restorative processes are fair and offer high levels of support. They work to challenge inappropriate behavior through setting clear boundaries and accepting responsibility when boundaries are crossed.

VLUS scholars and staff will continue to be involved in meetings, (circles) this year and next to learn about this process and to continue our exploration of school culture and climate by looking at the concept of respect: the unique view that each of us brings to that concept as well as the places where we can find common ground.  

Stay tuned for more information!

Jamel Sharif
Head of School, VLUS