Junior-Senior High School students participated in proactive circles regarding restorative practices, which are evidence-based processes that proactively build healthy relationships between educators and students, and a sense of community to prevent and address conflict and wrongdoing in schools. This activity was facilitated by School Social Worker Ms. Weissman, Math Teacher Ms. Longo, and English Teacher Ms. Falvo, all of whom are on the Restorative Practices Collegial Circle. Restorative practices reduce, prevent and improve harmful behavior, while repairing harm and restoring positive relationships.
In addition, restorative practices also resolve conflicts and hold individuals and groups accountable. During proactive circles, students got to know each other, and the circle helped build relationships and trust. These circles created a sense of community and also set the stage for students to listen to one another and help make group decisions. Students followed guidelines that helped ensure that conversations remained positive and allowed for everyone to have an opportunity to share. Some students said it was “empowering,” “relaxing” and “helpful to get to know one another.”