“It’s the oldest new thing around! In other words, I’m grateful that such a powerful tradition is being brought (back) into the school system. A shift is needed, and this is definitely an integral part of it.” - ESL Instructor, ESI (English Studies Institute)


What ARE Restorative Practices?

Restorative Practices are based on principles and processes that emphasize the importance of positive relationships as central to building community and restoring relationships when harm has occurred.

"The underlying premise of restorative practices is that people are happier, more cooperative, more productive and more likely to make positive changes when those in positions of authority do things WITH them rather than TO them or FOR them.” (The Restorative Practice Handbook, Costello and Wachtel)

Restorative Practices: A Movement

Restorative Practices is a movement grounded in principles designed to create powerful relationships, which are central to building thriving communities. RP represents a paradigm shift that focuses on the harm done, rather than on the rule broken, in the restoration of relationships. RP is a reflective practice that encourages personal responsibility, giving a voice both to the person harmed as well as the person who caused the harm. RP aids in the acceptance of cultural differences by offering an equitable process where all members of a community feel valued and heard, and in turn, are more likely to bring their best self to the community.

Through restorative practices, members of the school community will:
      1. have an opportunity to be heard
      2. understand the greater impact of one's actions
      3. learn to take responsibility
      4. repair the harm one's actions may have caused
      5. recognize one's role in maintaining a safe school environment
      6. build upon and expand on personal relationships in the school community
      7. recognize one's role as a positive contributing member of the school community.  

    Ultimately, people will learn to make positive, productive,
and effective choices in response to situations they may encounter in the future after engaging in a restorative practice.

Benefits of Restorative Approaches in the School Setting

  • A safer, more caring environment.
  • A more effective teaching and learning environment.
  • A greater commitment by everyone to taking the time to listen to one another.
  • A reduction in bullying and other interpersonal conflicts.
  • A greater awareness of the importance of connectedness to young people. The need to belong and feel valued by peers and significant adults.
  • Greater emphasis on responses to inappropriate behavior that seek to reconnect, and not further disconnect young people.
  • Reductions in fixed term and permanent suspensions and expulsions.
  • A greater confidence in the staff team to deal with challenging situations.


At the core, restorative practices is about
building and sustaining relationships


Hansen, T, (2005), Restorative Practices Practices and Principles in Schools, Center for Restorative Practices & Peacemaking.
Cole, K., Dedlinsky, P. Restorative Practices Practices, Milwaukee Public Schools Safe Schools/ Healthy Students.
Amstutz, L, Mullet, J. The Little Book of Restorative Discipline for Schools. (2005)
International Institute for Restorative Practices, Restoring Community in a Disconnected World www.iirp.org
Restorative Approaches/Practices in Schools, Transforming Conflict www.transformingconflict.org



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Restorative Practices
Student, Family, and Community Support Department
727 Golden Gate Avenue, Floor 2
San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: (415) 241-3030
Fax: (415) 241-6213

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