Restorative Schools Toolkit

How to implement

There are key components to implementation that should be taken into account when planning. According to the Illinois Balanced and Restorative Justice project (IBARJ), these are the basic steps that must be taken to implement Restorative Practices with fidelity:

  • Basic Implementation model for schools
    • Introduce the restorative approach.
    • Develop and train leadership team
    • Train all staff in restorative practices.
    • Introduce restorative practices in all settings.
    • Develop a team trained in Circles, Peer Jury, and Conferencing to respond to serious incidents.
    • Develop school-wide policy and procedures.
    • Evaluate the initiative
    • Ongoing coaching and tweaking based on evaluation

Since RJ is a philosophy, and not a program, implementation looks different at different schools. At Oakland Unified School District, they have been implementing for many years and now they have Program managers and on site facilitators, so at the start of the school year, the RJ Facilitator creates a scope of work and a work plan with the RJ program manager and the principal of the school. This plan lists the priorities for RJ implementation and a timeline for accomplishing them. For example, a school might arrange for all staff to receive RJ training and regular continuing education, create an RJ site leadership team, and create an RJ discipline matrix with protocols for classroom managed versus office managed discipline. The RJ school facilitator’s duties include assisting in data collection to help the school administration make informed discipline decisions, and assisting in crisis intervention to resolve critical incidents. Reference:

Others who are just getting started rely on an administrator or other district or building leaders to map out the plan for implementation. Learn more about implementation models, tools, practices and training resources here:

General Implementation

Restorative Conversations & Language
Peer Conferencing
Restorative Conferencing

Training Resources

Repairing Our Schools through Restorative Justice

Teacher Jean Klasovsky shares the story of Farragut High School, a Chicago Public School in Little Village, which has become a model for how schools can improve climate and discipline by using restorative justice practices such as peace circles and peer juries.