The "Why" "How" and "What" of Restorative Practices

RP Video Library: In this video, administration and school staff talk about what restorative practices are, why we use restorative practices and what they look like implemented holistically in a school.



  • Focus: Restorative Mindset & Practices throughout the School Day
  • Time: 14:39 min
  • Who & Where: Spokane Public Schools, WA
  • Grade level: K-12



The educators in the clip talk about the foundations of a healthy school community—the need for safety, security and relationships to be able to teach and learn. Connection, communication and trust between teachers and students are emphasized and RP is viewed as releasing adults in school to do what they came into the profession for—love kids, get to know them and help them grow as humans as well as academically. 

The importance of facilitating community and skill building circles is emphasized. Class meetings are used for community problem solving and students are taught conflict resolution skills and supported in working out their conflicts, using negotiation and mediation as needed. 

The school promotes the idea that when harm is done, relationships are impacted and a focus on repair is needed. Student needs are taken into account and students are encouraged to think about different ways of getting their needs met that don’t involve disrupting the community.  The focus is on discipline as teaching and learning and how this is a process over time.

“Ruptures are essential for a healthy relationship and the way they are essential is that the caregiver is big enough to realize something important has happened and their primary goal is to repair the relationship.  And when the child learns that loop: there’s a rupture then a repair there a rupture then a repair, if that happens again and again and again, that’s when you get a secure child.”

“Our overall [restorative] philosophy is all about an interest to change behavior, maintain a relationship with the student and the family an reengage the student academically.” 


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