Maintaining a Restorative Justice Philosophy in the time of COVID-19

As education moves online and everything feels increasingly uncertain, the Restorative Justice Partnership (RJP) is offering this webinar as a point of connection for our community and reminder of what’s most important in times of crisis – our relationships with one another. During this webinar we will focus our attention on the possible traumas our young people are experiencing at home and how they may show up in remote learning, discuss ways to assess needs and maintain relationships with students online, and acknowledge the disproportionate impact this pandemic is having on communities of color, so we can properly address, and not exacerbate existing disparities.

For this webinar, we will be joined by Marcy Leonard and Erika Strauss Chavarria, a principal and teacher from Howard County Public School System’s (HCPSS) Wilde Lake High School, who are ensuring that restorative justice and the well being of their students remains central to online education; and Kenny Porritt, from HCPSS’ Long Reach High School, who will share creative strategies for student engagement. RJP’s Project Manager Lindsay Lee, LCSW, will provide an overview on trauma and tools to address it, and introduce a new resource designed to invite students to share their experiences during this difficult time.

Growing Restorative Champions in Middle School

Student voice and engagement is critical to restorative justice becoming part of the everyday lived experience of a school community. Denver Public Schools’ Skinner Middle School’s “Restorative Justice League” represents their first foray into student leadership with established and valued restorative justice practices. In this webinar, Allison Horton, Restorative Practices Coordinator for Skinner Middle School, and Lindsay Lee, Project Manager for the Restorative Justice Partnership, will share the process and lessons learned from developing this new youth-leadership model. Additionally, some of Skinner’s current “Restorative Justice League” members will share their insights and expertise from serving as their school’s first restorative peer leaders.

Expanding the Circle – Understanding the Importance of Community and Labor Partnerships

Provides insight into the unique relationship between community and the teachers union in Denver that centers the work of restorative justice, and how other communities can follow suit. Hear from Ricardo Martinez, Co-Executive Director of Padres & Jovenes Unidos; Henry Roman, President of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association; and Harry Lawson, Director of Human and Civil Rights, National Education Association. Each will offer their distinct perspective on how their organization contributes to furthering the restorative justice movement in education.

Restorative Justice Champions – The Role of School and District Level Coordinator

In order to successfully implement restorative justice schoolwide, a full-time restorative justice coordinator is necessary. But what do they do? In this webinar, Allison Horton, Restorative Practices Coordinator for Skinner Middle School, and Allison Meier, Restorative Practices District Coordinator for Denver Public Schools, share their experiences as leaders of restorative justice practices at the school and district level, including how they use their roles to effectively leverage change and the greatest challenges they face.

Restorative Justice: Whole School Implementation

Discusses whole school implementation based off of the Restorative Justice Partnership’s Implementation Guide.. Allison Meier, our Project Manager, walks us through the steps to implement restorative justice throughout your school community.

Understanding School Discipline Data

Provides information on how to analyze your discipline data so you have a baseline for implementation. Shares a new tool that will allow you to calculate referrals, restorative interventions, discipline disparities, and lost days of instruction due to out of school suspensions and expulsions in real time. If used properly, data has the power to be an instrument for racial and social justice and a tool for dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline.

Restorative Language and Culture

Discusses ways to promote the use of restorative language to transform the culture of the school community.Facilitated by Denver Public Schools’ Allison Meier.

Authentic Engagement of Students and Families

Discusses ways to ensure that the voices of students and families are valued in the implementation process so the needs of the entire school community are met. Facilitated by Denver Public Schools’ Allison Meier.

Building and Sustaining Effective School Behavior Teams

Details the process to build and sustain an effective school behavior team. Denver Public Schools’ Allison Meier provides an overview of Skinner Middle School’s Prevention and Intervention Manual and the work the staff undergoes each year to update it. We will also share a new resource that will assist you with developing your own manual to address the needs of your individual school community.

Hiring for a Restorative Mindset

Discusses the process that schools can undergo to ensure that incoming staff understand and believe in a restorative philosophy rooted in building relationships; how to hire for a restorative mindset: including developing interview questions, involving students in the interview process, and interviewing restoratively.

Creating Staff Buy-In and Ownership

Discusses ways to create staff buy-in and ownership. Denver’s Allison Meier,l walks us through the steps it takes, and necessary elements to achieve this goal.

Implementation at the School Building-Level: Reflections from Denver’s North High

Principal Scott Wolf  illustrates his commitment to restorative justice and its impact at the building level. North High School serves as a model for Denver Public Schools and campuses nationwide in its dedication to long-term restorative justice implementation and championing student leadership in that process.

Restorative Justice Implementation at the School District Level – Lessons Learned from Denver Public Schools

Details how Denver Public Schools came to be a model for restorative justice implementation. Daniel Kim, Chief of Staff and Donna Cash, Manager, both from Denver Public Schools’ Division of Student Equity and Opportunity, will explore the challenges and successes from over a decade of implementation in the district.

Aligning Trauma Sensitive and Restorative Justice Practices

Schools are increasingly moving toward the recognition that trauma is the driver of some undesirable behaviors within school communities. A restorative school invests time and attention into relationships and community building, which can prevent both young people and adults who have experienced trauma from being triggered. In this webinar, Lindsay Lee, LCSW (Project Manager of the Restorative Justice Partnership) and Joe Waldon, LCSW (Social Worker at Skinner Middle School), examine the prevalence and impact of trauma in school settings and ways to restoratively address adult and student behavior.

Creating Equitable Discipline Outcomes by Managing the Risk Factors for Bias

Educators want to be objective when making decisions that affect students, particularly in regards to discipline. However, science has established that individuals, despite their best intentions, can inadvertently engage in biased decisions (and behaviors) when certain risk factors are at play. Many of the risk factors for bias are inherent to the teaching and school administrative professions. Accordingly, it is important that educators are aware of the risks and the strategies to manage them, to make them more effective practitioners. This webinar reviews the science of bias, as well as the unconscious impulses and risks that make all individuals likely to engage in biased behaviors. The webinar also reviews long-term strategies educators can incorporate into their daily lives to manage the risks that disrupt their ability to be objective.