YEO Policy Books 2015 Policy Book - Page 38

Restorative Justice in Oakland Schools Origin: Oakland Unified School District Bill Name/Number: Restorative Justice in Oakland Schools: An Effective Strategy to Reduce Racially Disproportionate Discipline Link: Click here Summary: In 2005, OUSD started the Whole School Restorative Justice (WSRJ) program, and more recently, the Peer RJ program aimed to reduce harm, build community, and ensure successful re-integration of marginalized students coming from the juvenile justice system. This report looks at the impacts and implementation of restorative justice practices from the past decade. Talking Points & Important Information: • Students in restorative justice circles report enhanced ability to understand peers, manage emotions, greater empathy, resolve conflict with parents, improve home environment, and maintain positive relationships with peers. They are learning life skills, and sustainable conflict management skills. • Over 60% of the staff believe that implementation of restorative practices in their school have helped to reduce suspensions at the school. • Suspensions have declined significantly in OUSD in the past three years. The most significant decline has been for African American students suspended for disruption/willful defiance, which went down from 1,050 to 630—a decrease of 40% or 420 fewer suspensions in only one year. The African American suspension rate for disruption/willful defiance also declined significantly by 37% from 7.4 to 4.7 within that year. • In terms of academic achievement, reading levels as measured by SRI in grade 9 doubled in restorative justice (RJ) high schools from an average of 14% to 33%, an increase of 128%, compared to 11% of students in non-RJ high schools. From 2010-2013, RJ high schools experienced a 56% decline in high school dropout rates in comparison to 17% for non-RJ high schools. And four-year graduation rates in RJ schools increased significantly more than non-RJ schools (public schools only) in the past three years post-RJ intervention­—a cumulative increase of 60% for RJ schools, compared to 7% for non-RJ schools. • For more on restorative justice practices in schools, click here. 2015 POLICY BOOK SCHOOL BOARD LEVEL PAGE 38