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Restorative Practices

Restorative Practices
Happy Kids At Brookdale we believe that positive relationships are at the heart of everything we do. Our vision for students to develop social, emotional, and academic skills to be successful beyond elementary school is supported by being a restorative school. The aim of restorative practices is to develop community, and to manage conflict by repairing harm and building relationships. It has been proven that when people live in healthy relationships with significant others, there is abundant personal growth, capacity for character building and a high level of achievement in all areas of endeavor. 
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Restorative Practices:
*Allow the act (the unacceptable behavior) to be rejected, while acknowledging the intrinsic worth of the person and their potential contribution to society.

*Rejects the ‘Act not the Actor’. Separates the ‘Deed from the Doer’. It is a process that puts repairing harm done to relationships and people over assigning blame and dispensing punishment. It shifts the emphasis from managing behavior to focusing on building, nurturing and repairing relationships. 

A school-wide approach using restorative practices creates a happier and safer place where effective teaching and learning occurs. It helps promote a culture of inclusion and belonging, reduces exclusion and bullying behaviors. Attendance improves and morale increases. At Brookdale, students and staff can be involved in the restorative process. This includes circles, meetings and conferences. 

The 5 Restorative Practice Questions These questions are designed to build a strong basis upon which to foster healthy relationships. The questions are open ended, respectful and not value laden. They are objective and thinking questions that ironically evoke stronger emotional responses leading to the development of empathy.

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When harm has been done the Restorative questions include asking:

1. What Happened?

2. What were you thinking at the time?

3. What have you thought about since?

4. Who has been affected by what you have done? In what ways?

5. What do you think you need to do to make things right? 

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If a child has been harmed by the actions of others Restorative questions include asking: 

1. What did you think when you realized what happened?

2. What impact has this incident had on you and others?

3. What has been the hardest thing for you?

4. What do you think needs to happen to make things right? 
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At Brookdale we ask these questions in developmentally appropriate ways using language that children understand. Restorative Practice is not just about the questions, it is about engaging students in a process that is fair, allows free expression of emotions and offers high levels of support. We are helping students communicate, accept responsibility and make repair efforts. These are skills we hope our students will continue to use beyond elementary school!