Dean of School Culture Kevin Pugh » Restorative Practices at Flagstaff Academy

Restorative Practices at Flagstaff Academy

Restorative Practices at Flagstaff Academy

Flagstaff Academy utilizes a multi-tiered Restorative Practices approach within the school's culture and is embraced by the school leadership, staff, and students. The result of this approach is a community that is committed to relationships, self-responsibility, self-discipline, and self-awareness of how our words and actions impact one another. What does this look like in the classroom?

  • Restorative Language - Our school's discipline code integrates restorative language as an important way to reflect the inclusion of such practices in the discipline process. Further, many of our staff have been trained in Restorative Practices, which helps to unravel the often adversarial dynamic between students and authority roles.
  • Connection Circle - Our classrooms practice this community-building and conflict prevention strategy that enhances relationships among students and with staff. The process enhances empathy and thereby results in a conflict reduction/prevention effect. In a circle, each person speaks in turn in response to a prompt (example: one thing I am proud of is....). The rules for a connection circle include:
    1. Listen and speak with respect

    2. Only tell the truth

    3. Use school-appropriate language

    4. Respect people’s privacy
  • Restorative Agreement Meeting - We are committed to a successful learning environment. These meetings begin with emphasizing the positive attributes of the student and are intended to assist both student and teacher to arrive at an agreement about what needs to be done to improve their working relationship. 
  • Solution Circles - When more is needed, a facilitated circle practice is used as an alternative way to address an incident or specific concern and will typically require a single meeting. Circle participants determine what harm resulted from the violation and what the participants need to do to repair the harm. All participants sign a written agreement. If the person who caused harm completes all items in the agreement, there are no further disciplinary actions taken. If not, the concern may warrant more traditional discipline consequences. (Typically not used in true bullying incidents where there is an imbalance of power).
  • Restorative Alternative to Expulsion and Suspension (RATES) - A more advanced, district-level form of the Solution Circle process that may be used to address serious school violations that would otherwise result in school district expulsion or suspension. This circle includes parents and community members

There is a saying: “The purity of theory is no match for the mess of reality.” I recognize that there is some truth to this, and also recognize that if we don’t have theory to guide us, we are like a ship without a rudder. The following documents are shared below to help provide a guide, or a “rudder”, for the emerging ideas about how to implement Restorative Justice values and principles in a school setting. Please read, watch, and listen: