Fix School Discipline Toolkit for Educators - Page 39

phase of implementation and offer greater support, coaching, modeling, and training to the schools as they move through the implementation plan. Our approach isn’t to just to provide RP trainings to school site staff. We aim to support schools in a sustainable way that builds internal capacity of the school community, including students, families, and community partners. Our goal is for the RP principles, concepts, values, and practices to become embedded in the culture of our schools and district. This requires a shared commitment among all members of the school and district community. A Day at a School Implementing Restorative Practices: Rosa Parks Elementary School, Principal Paul Jacobsen and Teachers Cecily Ina and Emily Geiges Rosa Parks Elementary School is located in San Francisco Unified, near downtown San Francisco. The school serves a population of 391 students. Of these students, 34% are African American, 22% are Asian, 15% are Hispanic or Latino, 13% are white, 8% are multiracial, 4% are Filipino, and less than 1% each are American Indian and Pacific Islander. Before the implementation of Restorative Practices (RP) at the school, there were 40 out-of-school and in-school suspensions during the 2008-2009 school year. During the 2013-2014 school year, there were 2 uspensions. Rosa Parks Elementary’s Academic Performance Index (API) has similarly improved. API has grown from 713 points in 2009 to 799 in 2014. On Thursday, October 11, 2012, during the lunchtime recess period, Principal Jacobsen made his routine rounds of the playground. A game of tag and play fighting had become far too rowdy and a teacher intervened and sent some of the students to a timeout away from the playground. One of the students had become increasingly sullen and complained that the group of boys “messed with” him every day. Principal Jacobsen escorted the unhappy student, Arnold, to his class so that they could have a restorative conference with a student involved in the altercation. Principal Jacobsen explained, “Restorative conferencing usually occurs after lunch because that’s when two different grades mix and a lot of altercations occur. We have about 2-3 of these restorative conferences a day. We could just take the kids off the yard when this occurs but they would just simmer and we would not get to the bottom of the issue. RP doesn’t just eliminate conflict. It is an approach to dealing with conflict. Conflict is a part of life. Sometimes that conflict is caused by something at home, which can result in some serious acting out. After consulting Arnold’s teacher, Principal Jacobsen told Arnold that he would be back to pick him up for a restorative conference with Elvin. On the way back to the 5th grade classroom, First Grade Teacher Emily Geiges was leading her class of students to another classroom. She told one of her students, “It makes me sad when I have to keep telling you to keep your arms by your sides when we’re walking in a line.” Principal Jacobsen explained that this teacher was using another feature of wholeschool RP implementation, “affective statements,” which are personal expressions of feeling in response to others’ positive or negative behaviors. “Using affective statements helps us to specify the behavior that a student is exhibiting and encourage or discourage that behavior while improving or maintaining the relationship between the teacher and student.” After retrieving Arnold from his classroom and Elvin from a 4t