Implementation Guides for Restorative Practices in Schools

We’ve come across some amazing implementation guides for restorative practices in schools and we want to share them with you. Why re-invent the wheel? Implementing restorative practices is more than just attending a training. It takes thoughtful preparation time, sufficient resources, and dedicated staff to pull it off with fidelity and sustainability. Our aim is to promote best practices that last over time and inspire others with their success. Our own Implementation Manual is listed at the end!

Restorative Practice Resource Project: Tools and Successful Practices for Restorative Schools Supporting Student Achievement and Well Being
255 pages

The Restorative Practice Consortium of Ontario Canada has recently released a 255-page resource document for applying restorative practices to schools. The Restorative Practice Resource Project is packed with colorful charts, articles, and presentation materials for helping schools navigate their way into a holistic approach to implementing RP in schools.

The Restorative Practice Consortium is also making this material free of copyright, and encourages the sharing of this content to help spread the work of restorative practices in North America. Thank you Canada!

Click here to access a downloadable copy of the Restorative Practice Resource Project.

School-Wide Restorative Practices: Step by Step
44 pages

An excellent implementation manual developed by the Denver School-Based Restorative Practices Partnership, a coalition that includes Advancement Project, Denver Classroom Teachers Association, Denver Public Schools, National Education Association, and Padres & Jóvenes Unidos. The content of this guide was written in working groups comprised of representatives of the partner organizations, allies in the community, and the knowledgeable staff of North High School, Skinner Middle School, and Hallett Fundamental Academy in Denver, CO. This implementation guide builds upon the first report issued by the Denver School-Based Restorative Practices Partnership, Taking Restorative Practices School-Wide: Insights from three schools in Denver, written by Yolanda Anyon, MSW, Ph.D., of the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work.

Oakland Unified School District: Restorative Justice Implementation Guide, A Whole School ApproachOakland Guide cover
68 pages

“This guide is designed for a Restorative Practices Facilitator to support their school to create an implementation plan to introduce restorative practices to a school, school wide.”

One of the best guides around that has inspired others. Their nested circle graphic of the three tiers of support (different from the triangle graphic often used) is worth checking out just for itself (p.12). Simple, easy to use, and filled with activities, worksheets, and checklists.

Oakland RJ Report 2014 CoverRestorative Justice in Oakland Schools: Implementation and Impacts, An Effective Strategy to Reduce Racially Disproportionate Discipline, Suspensions and Improve Academic Outcomes
85 pages

This is a comprehensive report about the implementation and potential impacts of restorative practices in Oakland Unified School District to date. “After nearly a decade of implementation, we now have sufficient data to indicate how effective restorative practices are in reducing suspensions in a large urban school district, as well as show the challenges we have faced and our strategies to overcome them. This report articulates the positive difference restorative practices are making for our students, teachers/staff, and schools, to build strong community schools and reduce racial disparities in discipline and academic achievement. We hope the information provided is useful to district officials, principals, teachers, school staff, students and parents who wish to lift up restorative practices within their schools, drawing upon practices and procedures that are field tested.”

SFUSD Restorative Practices Whole School Implementation Guide
116 pagesSFUSD RP Whole School Impl Guide cover

“This Whole-School Implementation Guide is designed to offer a step by step evidence-based approach that ensures an inclusive, comprehensive, successful and sustainable change effort through the implementation of Restorative Practices. Components of Whole-School Change Model: Incorporated into the step by step process, this whole-school implementation model includes the following critical stages of implementation:

  • Restorative Practices Introduction to Entire School Community
  • Identifying Need and Preferred Outcomes
  • Establishing School Site Implementation Team
  • Collecting School Climate and Discipline Baseline data
  • Establishing the Foundation for a Welcoming and Safe School Culture
  • Restorative Practices Professional Development
  • Systems of Support (Professional Learning Communities)
  • Progress Checks (measuring outcomes)
  • Sustainability

This is perhaps the most thorough and detailed guide among them. At 116 pages, this guide takes you step-by-step through every part of the process and includes just about everything you might need to implement restorative practices in your school and school district.

Restorative Practices Implementation,Trainers and Training: An Administrator’s Checklist
7 pages

“This checklist is designed for school administrators interested in school-wide implementation of Restorative Practices (RP) and provides guidelines for working with RP trainers.” from the Minnesota Department of Education

Whole-School Restorative Approach Resource Guide (Vermont Agency of Education
47 pages

“This publication provides readers with an orientation to a whole-school
restorative approach and points readers toward more in-depth resources and current research. This guide does not replace comprehensive training. Readers are encouraged to use this document to locate relevant resources and to seek out training that provides opportunities for practical application.”

Relationships First Implementation Guide: A Holistic, Whole-School Responsive Approach
95 pages

This guide provides resources and information meant to introduce you to the foundations of RF and provide a key responsive approach for implementing a relational culture in your school or organization that will be sustainable for many years (and hopefully generations). This implementation guide is a companion to The Little Book of Restorative Justice in Education (Evans & Vaandering, 2016), and outlines how to put into practice much of the content discussed in that book.

Using Circles to Build Positive Relations- A Practical Guide
29 pages

“The first part of this guide summarizes the theoretical underpinnings of using circles and provides readers with practical information to begin implementing circles with young people in schools and colleagues in workplaces. Two key components of Kristy’s circles are mixers and energizers. The second part of this guide describes these components in greater detail and provides readers with examples of enjoyable activities they can begin to use immediately in their setting.” (Created by Kristy Elliott, Director and Senior Trainer at Restorative Pathways, Australia)

Restorative Justice: A Working Guide for Schools (Alameda County Health Care Services Agency)
44 pagesAlameda County Working Guide to RPS cover

“The purpose of this publication is to provide support and guidance for teachers, health workers, community leaders, and school personnel who seek to implement Restorative Justice in their schools and to shed light on its implementation.”

This is a shorter implementation guide that covers the basics: Introduction to RJ, Benefits, Outcomes and Impacts, and a 6 Step Process for implementing restorative justice in schools or districts. They have an excellent, one page Sample Action Plan that spans 3+ years.

Taking Restorative Practices School-wide
10 pagesTaking Restorative Practices School-wide report cover

“Through interviews and focus groups with staff members at three Denver schools that have successfully implemented restorative practices (RP), four essential strategies for taking this approach school-wide were identified: strong principal vision and commitment to RP; explicit efforts to generate staff buy-in to this conflict resolution approach; continuous and intensive professional development opportunities; and, the allocation of school funds for a full-time coordinator of RP at the site.”

This is an excellent summary of four essential strategies needed for implementing restorative practices in schools.

12 Indicators of RP Impementation (Anne Gregory, Ph.D., Rutgers University)
28 pages

RP implementation can falter under stretched resources and lack of implementation supports. The 12 Indicators of Restorative Practices Implementation was developed to offer guidance to administrators and their teams. The aim is to help teams understand the scope of implementation supports and to consider RP, SEL, and Equity initiatives in tandem.

An excellent tool to use when assessing your implementation efforts.

Teaching Restorative Practices with Classroom CirclesTeaching Restorative Practices in the Classroom Final- Cover
66 pages

“This manual describes how to hold restorative circles in classrooms. It contains step‐by‐step instructions for circles that build community, that teach restorative concepts and skills, and that harness the power of restorative circles to set things right when there is conflict.” The first version of this resource was written under a contract with San Francisco Unified School District.

Overall, a very nice summary of using restorative classroom circles. Includes goals, definitions, elements of a restorative circle, varieties of classroom circles,  and seven lesson plans for teachers.

Restorative Circles: Cultivating Restorative School Communities
53 pp

This is a clear, easy-to-read-and-implement handbook on holding Restorative Circles in the classroom by a leading practitioner in the field for Solano County Office of Education: Tier 1 MTSS. It covers: 1) Cultivating a Restorative School Community; 2) Building and Sustaining Trusting Relationships and Community; 3) Circles; and 4) Resource List. Highly recommended.

Restorative Practice Kete (A Kete is A Basket of Materials or Manual)Restorative Practice Book One-Cover
New Zealand Ministry of Education
Book One: Introduction, 24p
Book Two: Restorative Essentials, 72 pp
Book Three: Restorative Circles, 48 pp

“Welcome to the Positive Behaviour for Learning Restorative Practice kete. This kete supports schools to implement a restorative practice model that builds inclusive networks of positive, respectful relationships across the school community. In particular, it provides information and support for Restorative Practice coaches, principals, and other leaders in schools. The PB4L RP kete is made up of five books.”

Book One consists of four sections. The first section introduces the concept of restorative practice, gives an overview of the PB4L RP model, describes the positive outcomes for schools of implementing the model, and outlines the support provided to schools in the course of the three-year implementation. The second describes the roles and responsibilities of the various sections of the school community in implementing the programme. The third provides an overview of how schools grow their capability in restorative practice, from mapping their current position, through using the conceptual model and tools from the kete, to using data on student engagement and achievement to inform and sustain changes. The final section introduces and explains the PB4L Restorative Practice process and its three phases.

Book Two focuses on the PB4L Restorative Essentials and how RP coaches can support staff to use them to build positive and respectful relationships across the school community. Book Three provides information and support for Restorative Circles. Book Four provides information and support for Restorative Conferencing. Book Five consists of resources to support the programme, including a range of templates and recommended readings.

Restorative Practices for School Communities: Implementation ManualRS Implementation Manual cover
Restorative Solutions Inc.
41 pp

This is the Implementation Manual we now use with schools. In this manual, we include a variety of materials, checklists, action plans, and articles that are designed to help you implement restorative justice practices for schools that will last over time and be implemented with fidelity.

It includes the following items:

  • Agreement to Work Together
  • Action Planning Worksheet
  • Ending the School-to-Prison Pipeline & Stats That Prove It Works
  • Expected Results After Implementing Restorative Practices
  • Expected Behavioral Outcomes from Students’ Perspective
  • Restorative Practices Training Learning Objectives
  • Executive Summary from Taking Restorative Practices School-wide
  • Implementation Stages Checklist
  • Implementation Teams
  • Implementation Components
  • Suggestions for Daily, Weekly and Monthly Activities following a Restorative Practices in Schools Training
  • Sample Action Plans
  • Suggested Evaluation Outline of Restorative Practices in Schools
  • Rubrics for School & Classroom Level Evaluation of Restorative Practices
  • Teacher & Student Questionnaires on Restorative Practices
  • “5 Reasons Implementation of Restorative Practices Fails in Schools”
  • Suggested Language for Including Restorative Practices Into the Discipline Code and Student Code of Conduct
  • Background Info on Restorative Solutions, Inc.
  • Restorative Practices in Schools Implementation and Training Services from Restorative Solutions, Inc.