Earlier this week, more than 60 educators and education advocates came to the Family League offices for an OSI-sponsored training in restorative practices in advance of the roll-out of restorative practices to all Baltimore City Public Schools (BCPSS), which begins in the fall.
Facilitators from the International Institute of Restorative Practices (IIRP) led the training, which was attended by many BCPSS educators and representatives from the ACLU, Strong City Baltimore, Community Conferencing, the Family League, Attendance Works, and Positive Schools Center.
Facilitators explained that the aim of restorative practices is to “develop community and to manage conflict and tensions by repairing harm and restoring relationships.” In schools, this means integrating restorative circles–facilitated, inclusive conversations–into the every day life of a school and using them to address conflicts that arise.
Several Baltimore City schools, including City Spring Elementary/Middle and Hampstead Hill Academy Elementary/Middle, have already implemented restorative practices, with very positive results, including fewer suspensions, increased attendance, and higher test scores.
Those who attended the training will, in turn, train educators in several dozen Baltimore City schools who will integrate restorative practices in their schools in the fall. The goal is for Baltimore City Public Schools to become a restorative district, with restorative practices integrated into all schools, within five years.
For more information on the roll-out, stay tune to our restorative practices page.