We believe in the power of Restorative Practices at Hamilton. We use restorative practices as an alternative to some of the more punitive measures of discipline. Through restorative practices, Hamilton provides opportunities to correct wrongdoing while maintaining positive student-to-adult relationships. These interventions build life and character skills in students that focus on self-regulation, peaceful conflict management, and civic responsibility. Restorative practices involve many components and requires support from teachers, administrators, students, parents and support workers. Read even more about Restorative Practices using the CPS RP Toolkit which is also referenced below.
What are Restorative Practices?
Restorative Practices are ways of pro-actively developing relationships and community, as well as repairing community when harm is done. After conflict or harm, Restorative Practices provide a way of thinking about, talking about, and responding to issues and problems by involving all participants to discuss their feelings and opinions, identify what happened, describe how it affected everyone, and find solutions to make things better. Rather than a separate program, Restorative Practices at CPS are underlying mindsets, practices, and simply “how we do business” in schools. When successfully integrated throughout the school culture and climate, Restorative Practices create safe and productive learning spaces where students develop social and emotional skills and strong relationships with peers and adults.
Why use Restorative Practices?
As educators, it is our role to create supportive school communities where students can thrive and learn the academic, social and emotional skills that they need to succeed in college, career and life. Restorative Practices provide a way for schools to strengthen community, build relationships among students and between students and staff, and increase the safety and productivity of the learning environment.
• Improve school and classroom climates by focusing on community, relationships and responsibility
• Promote social & emotional skill development by teaching students’ self-awareness, empathy, communication skills, responsible decision-making, relationship building, and conflict resolution.
• Increase safety and order in school buildings by decreasing conflict, de-escalating volatile situations, and promoting a sense of collective responsibility
• Decrease disciplinary issues and disruptions, and serve as an alternative to harmful exclusionary practices such as suspension and expulsion
• Promote student engagement in learning and aids in classroom management
Tiered Systems of Support
Tier 1 ALL STUDENTS – RESTORATIVE SCHOOL CLIMATE
A restorative school climate focuses on building a strong sense of community and positive relationships among all stakeholders. In a restorative environment, all community members feel safe and welcome, and adults support students in developing social and emotional skills.
Practices that support Tier 1: Restorative Mindsets, Restorative Language, Talking Circles, Restorative Conversations
Tier 2 SOME STUDENTS – RESTORATIVE DISCIPLINE
After harm or conflict, restorative responses address the root cause of the problem, promote healing, and ensure that students are held accountable and take ownership over the process of repairing harm.
Practices that support Tier 2: Restorative Conversations, Peer Conference/Peer Mediation, Peace Circles, Skill-Building Alternatives to Suspension
Tier 3 – RE-ENTRY AND RESTORATIVE HEALING
In the most serious incidents of harm or conflict, restorative practices ensure that students who have been removed from the classroom/school are welcomed back to the community. When needed, intensive one-on-one interventions promote healing.
Practices that support Tier 3: Re-entry Procedures, Restorative Conferencing
CPS Anti-Bullying Policy
CPS and Hamilton are committed to ensuring all students have access to a safe, supportive learning environment free from bullying and harassment. Updates provide guidance and protections against bias-based harassment, and clarify steps for schools to follow when responding to bullying allegations.
- “Immigration status” is added for protection against discrimination in both the Anti-Bullying Policy and SCC Section 3-4 (harassment based on race, color, national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, gender identity, gender expression or disability).
- The definition of bullying is aligned to national definitions of bullying and clarified as incidents that meet four criteria: 1) real or perceived imbalance of power between students; 2) severe or pervasive behaviors; 3) intent to cause physical or emotional harm; and 4) behaviors have or can make the student fearful, have a detrimental effect on the student’s physical or emotional health; or interfere with the student’s academic performance or participation in school.
- Prejudice or bias is included as a form of harassment/bullying.