The Gates Foundation has been spreading the word about OSI-supported efforts to integrate restorative practices into Baltimore City Public Schools. A recent post on the foundation’s “Principal Project” – a forum to explore ideas that are working in education that reaches more than a million educators nationwide – featured essays from five Baltimore education leaders about their experiences with restorative practices:
- OSI’s Karen Webber, who led the initiative, wrote “How restorative practices are transforming Baltimore City Public Schools – and where to start in your school community,” including five communication techniques for educators to use.
- Middle school language arts teacher Wyatt Oroke wrote “Want more culturally responsive instruction? Start with restorative practices.”
- Malik Muhammad, founder of Akoben LLC – an OSI grantee which has led district-wide trainings in restorative practices for Baltimore City educators – wrote “3 Pillars for Building a Restorative Practices Culture.”
- Brandon Pinkney, principal of Baltimore City’s Walter P. Carter Elementary-Middle School, wrote “How to get all-staff buy-in on restorative practices.”
- Matt Hornbeck, principal of Baltimore City’s Hampstead Hill Academy, wrote “In 18 years of being a principal, implementing restorative practices is the most valuable thing I’ve done.”
These first-hand accounts confirm the data in last year’s study, “Restorative Practices in Baltimore City Schools: A Research Update and Implementation Guide,” which reported that, within one year of restorative practices being implemented, school suspensions dropped by 44% and 72% of school staff reported improved school climate. OSI’s work to introduce and integrate restorative practices in Baltimore City schools is part of OSI’s mission as a hub of innovation, to seed ideas locally and then scale them up statewide and, where appropriate, nationally or internationally.