Fix School Discipline Toolkit for Educators - Page 43

constraints. If we had said five days of training were needed first, it could have taken two years just to get the professional development days, money, and substitutes to reach all of the teachers. We had to have practices and strategies that would work in the context of 50 minute periods or less, and training strategies that could more quickly empower school personnel to implement them. We now start with a leadership team from the school site. We have the administrators who handle discipline/suspensions, a leader from schoolsite security, which is key, and several key faculty members willing to take on the key roles related to implementation. We don’t bring in the students and parents at the beginning, because we need school leadership to be deeply trained to champion this throughout the school community. Prior to the training, we look at the school’s data, have them go over it and understand it clearly. We set goals and priorities regarding what they want to see change. Then, we go into the Restorative Practices 101 training and our focus is on improving student’s educational outcomes, improving conditions for learning, connecting community members and students and engaging them. We focus on community building in a very pro-active way. We bring students, faculty and others into circle practice in as many arenas as possible – in teaching, planning, meetings, celebrating, grief and healing, etc. The practice itself connects, engages and develops respectful and trusted relationships that empower the school community to handle its problems and wrongs. While the community building circles are happening, we are also providing a second tier of training over two days that is about the specific practices and skills, such as conflict resolution, that you use to address specific unwanted student behaviors and replace the current practices related to discipline. Then, the final tier of training and support is about how we use Restorative Practices to address violence or the most egregious offenses. The trainings are spread out over time for the leadership teams and in between the trainings, leaders are actually practicing and spreading the practices and receiving support through on-site coaching and feedback from the practitioners in my group. What are some of the obstacles and barriers to implementation? How do you ensure that t