• Alternative to Exclusionary Discipline


    Restorative Questioning

    • Who? Someone at the school site who is familiar with the restorative questions and can keep a neutral tone
    • When? As soon as possible after the incident of harm
    • Why? Allows individuals involved to share their perspective, feel heard, and start moving into a restorative mindset
    • How long? This may take anywhere from 10-30 minutes


    Pre-Conference Meetings

    • Who? Conference facilitator holds an individual meeting with all those involved
    • When? As soon as possible after the incident of harm
    • Why? Allows facilitator to explain the restorative conference process, build rapport with each participant, and give an opportunity for each person to think about how they want to answer the restorative questions
    • How long? Held over multiple days and may take 15-60 minutes per meeting


    Restorative Conference

    • Who? Facilitator, individuals involved, persons of support, and school members
    • When? As soon as possible after pre-meetings are completed
    • Why? An alternative to traditional disciplinary measures where participants come together to heal harm done, hold the harmer accountable, create an accountability agreement and support school community re-integration
    • How long? May take multiple hours


    Accountability Agreement

    • Who? Collaborative process with conference participants
    • When? End of conference
    • Why? Addresses specifically: how harm will be repaired; ensure that the behavior does not happen again; if and how the person who did the harm will give back to the school community; provide ongoing support for the person harmed; the person who did the harm and any other affected persons
    • How long? Varies; usually less than an hour


  • Following Exclusionary Discipline

    We recognize that there are some severe incidents that require school leaders to make decisions regarding removal of a student. For these cases, school communities may still hold a restorative conference when the student has permission to return. The only difference is that a re-entry conversation must take place prior to beginning the restorative conference process. 

    Re-Entry Conversation

    • Who? Principal, student, parent/guardian, conference facilitator
    • When? Immediately upon return from exclusionary discipline
    • Why? Welcome the student back to school, explain that they are going to take part in a restorative conference to repair harm and ensure that a behavior doesn’t happen again, and differentiate the process from traditional punishment by passing off responsibility to a neutral party (facilitator)


    Follow-Up Meetings

    • Who? Facilitator, conference participants, school representatives
    • When? Every few weeks following the all conferences as necessary
    • Why? Celebrate successes, keep participants accountable; make adjustments
    • How long? Every few weeks until the team decides harm has been repaired

    “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken (wo)men.”  – Frederick Douglass