Restorative Practices

As a component of PBIS, schools may incorporate the use of restorative practices in the prevention and intervention process. Restorative practices focus on building a positive climate within the building and having students develop empathy and understanding of the consequences of their actions on others. Restorative practices hold to a principle that understanding every instance of wrongdoing, conflict or problem that arises is an opportunity for learning, and that despite these conflicts, relationships can be restored.

Restorative practices utilize community circles as a Tier 1 practice to build strong positive relationships among all students and staff. They also teach and model positive social skills such as sharing, listening, empathizing and problem solving, which help to create emotionally and physically safe learning environments that promote respect, trust and accountability. This social skills instruction is aligned with the schoolwide expectations promoted by PBIS and the student competencies put forth by the American School Counselor Association's (ASCA) National School Counseling Model.

Restorative circles are a Tier 2 support used to respond to wrongdoing, conflicts or problems by allowing those affected by the behavior to share their perspectives on how they were impacted and thoughts on how the situation can be “made right” so that the relationship(s) can be restored.

Restorative Questions (To respond to challenging behavior)

  • What happened?
  • What were you thinking of at the time?
  • What have you thought about since?
  • Who has been affected by what you have done? In what way?
  • What do you think you need to do to make things right?

Restorative Questions (To help those harmed by others actions)

  • What did you think when you realized what had happened?
  • What impact has this incident had on you and others?
  • What has been the hardest thing for you?
  • What do you think needs to happen to make things right?