As schools continue to adjust to a post-pandemic educational reality, teachers, administrators and students struggle to rebuild a sense of community and safety while undesirable behavior continues to escalate. The Maine School Safety Center, a division of the Maine DOE, believes that the development of an intentional community based on Restorative Practices is the best way to build a sense of safety, equity and belonging, while also responding to behavior in a victim centered, nonpunitive manner that encourages accountability, and restoration to individuals and community.
Restorative Practices in schools work best when initiated using a top-down approach, starting with consensus from all stake holders, followed by a review of district or school-based codes of conduct to ensure that both restorative language and restorative response to undesirable behavior is the standard. Analysis of current policies also allows for modifications that ensure equity for all students, regardless of race, ethnicity, academic ability or socio-economic status.
With this in mind, the Maine School Safety Center will begin our Restorative Practices training with a free of charge workshop, led by Stacey Barlow, Restorative Practices Coordinator of the MSSC and John Hudson, nationally recognized Restorative Code of Conduct expert, designed to help schools evaluate their current code of conduct through an equity lens and then integrate restorative policy and language, the foundation of building a restorative school culture. A Restorative Code of Conduct will put your school or district in alignment with Maine law, as described below:
15-A. School disciplinary policies. When revising the prescribed consequences for violation of the student code of conduct pursuant to subsection 15, paragraph C, a school board shall consider districtwide disciplinary policies that:
B. Focus on positive and restorative interventions that are consistent with evidence-based practices rather than set punishments for specific behavior and avoid so-called zero-tolerance practices unless specifically required by federal or state laws, rules or regulations. For the purpose of this paragraph, “restorative interventions” means school practices that are designed to strengthen relationships, improve the connection to school and promote a strong sense of accountability and that help students learn from their mistakes, understand the impact of their actions on others and find opportunities to repair the harm they have caused through their misbehavior; [PL 2011, c. 614, §7 (NEW).]
Workshop dates/times (same workshop offered in three locations):
- Monday, November 7, 2022 – USM Portland 9AM – 4PM
- Wednesday, November 9, 2022 – Augusta Civic Center 9AM – 4PM
- Thursday, November 10, 2022 – University of Maine, Bangor 9AM – 4 PM
All workshops are free for Maine Educators – Register for Workshops Here
For questions, please contact Stacey Barlow at Stacey.Barlow@Maine.gov (207)446-8313