OSI-Baltimore is pleased to make a draft version of its Baltimore City Schools Restorative Practices Plan available for public review. Restorative practices are a set of tools and strategies that draws on the belief that open, respectful communication helps reduce conflict. And, when conflict does occur, restorative practices encourage students to focus on the harm caused and on ways to repair relationships. Baltimore schools that have adopted restorative practices have seen reductions in chronic suspensions and absences, greater teacher retention, improved academic outcomes, and, often, dramatic enrollment increases.
The document, created in collaboration with Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Sonja Santelises and the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners with input from hundreds of local stakeholders, lays out an ambitious plan to make Baltimore City Schools a “restorative district,” where every staff member learns how to use restorative practices, over the next five years. It includes a timeline of restorative practices in Baltimore, the project goals and theory of change, a literature review done by the Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy, methodology, stakeholder perspectives from nearly 400 participants, and a comprehensive list of recommendations gleaned from focus groups, presentations, and research.
Members of the community are encouraged to offer feedback on the this draft using this survey until September 1st. Feedback will be used to create a final version of the plan in the coming weeks. For more information about the rollout of restorative practices in Baltimore City Schools, visit the restorative practices pages on the OSI-Baltimore website and the city schools website.