Restorative Practices in Baltimore City Public Schools
The Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners and the Chief Executive Officer of Baltimore City Public Schools System (BCPSS), Dr. Sonja Santelises, have pledged to make BCPSS a restorative practices district over a five-year period. Open Society Institute-Baltimore has partnered with BCPSS to create an ambitious strategic plan to train staff in all offices, schools, and programs in restorative practices so that they can be integrated into daily routines throughout the district. (See the Baltimore City Schools’ restorative practices web page here.)
Restorative Practices are already in place in a handful of Baltimore City schools, with great results. The video below, created by OSI-Baltimore grantee, Wide Angle Youth Media, explains what restorative practices are and how they are used as a way to resolve conflict and build positive relationships.
OSI-Baltimore’s commitment to Restorative Practices dates back to 2006, when OSI made a series of grants to Baltimore Curriculum Project and Community Conferencing Center (founded by OSI-Baltimore Community Fellow Lauren Abramson), among others.
Review the following materials for more information on restorative practices and the roll out in Baltimore City Public Schools:
- “Baltimore City Schools Restorative Practices Report” (DRAFT)
- “Restorative Practices Implementation and Resources Guide” (for practitioners)
- “Restorative Practices in Schools,” Johns Hopkins School of Education’s Institute for Education Policy, prepared for OSI-Baltimore
- “Teaching Restorative Practices with Classroom Circles,” San Francisco Unified School District
- “Becoming a Restorative District: Baltimore City Public Schools” (for practitioners)
- “Restorative Circles,” by Wide Angle Youth Media
- PBS Newshour feature on practicing mindfulness at Patterson High School and Coleman Elementary School
- “Restorative Practices as an Alternative to Suspension,” profile of East Baltimore’s City Springs Elementary/Middle School by Wide Angle Youth Media
- Rhonda Richetta, principal of City Springs Elementary/Middle School on eight years of restorative practices
- “The Transformation of West Philadelphia High School: A Story of Hope”
- “Restorative Welcome and Re-entry Circle”
About OSI Baltimore
Open Society Institute – Baltimore is a public charity and the sole field office of the Open Society Foundations’ U.S. Programs. We focus on the root causes of three intertwined problems in our city and state: drug addiction, an over-reliance on incarceration, and obstacles that impede youth in succeeding inside and out of the classroom. We believe that discussion and debate are critical to making positive, lasting changes. This site is a testing ground where ideas can be considered and discussion can be fostered.