Focus: How to Introduce and Conduct Restorative Circles in School
Who & Where: Pinellas Country Schools
Grade Level: K-8
Administrations and school staff talk about their experience rolling out Restorative Circles in their school starting in September—from an first go round of “what did you do this summer?” to “what’s your one goal that you’d like to achieve in chorus” to more meaningful Circles over time.
Staff discusses the impact of Restorative Circles on relationships in their classrooms with students, between students, and how Restorative Circles have promoted student voice and improved the school’s culture significantly.
Student voice in Circles is a recurring theme in this video from students on the spectrum to English Language Learners and shy students. Staff also emphasizes the importance of social and emotional skill building for students to build and maintain relationships and know how to ask for help.
Instead of punitive approaches to discipline staff now look to talk things out and rebuild relationships using Restorative Discipline. “It … got my class through truly tough times,” says one teacher “I set it up as a way to build culture but the restorative circles are happening naturally as intended when big events happen. The process and strategies are already in place because I’m using them as part of my morning meeting.”