Staff Training. The 2015-16 school year focused on laying the groundwork for implementing restorative practices, helping staff to understand and buy into the approach, and developing a common vision for implementation. “You have to start with staff and help them understand both the practical and philosophical implications of this work,” Sparrow explains. “It’s a huge commitment, and there’s a lot you’re going to have to go through together.”
B21 started by providing professional development in restorative practices for teachers and administrators during its Summer Institute (a two-day, off-campus retreat), as part of faculty meetings prior to the beginning of school, and then through regular professional development sessions during the school year. Sparrow also provided coaching during regular classroom periods, tailored to specific needs and requests of teachers (e.g. on circles, affective statements, and other forms of positive interactions with students).