University of Vermont

The Center on Disability and Community Inclusion (CDCI)

BEST: Building Effective Support For Teaching Students With Behavioral Challenges

A person runningBEST/MTSS Summer Institute 2018

Strand F - FULL

Restorative Practices Foundations and Implementation

Annie O'Shaughnessy and Jessica Villeneuve


Use of restorative practices (RP) in schools has been linked to improved school climate, a greater sense of belonging, increased student attendance, improved test scores, increased graduation rates, reduced discipline referrals, reductions in violent and serious incidents, and decreases in punitive and exclusionary discipline responses. Strand participants will be introduced to and actively explore a three-tiered whole school restorative framework. Tier I applies to the entire school community and focuses on building and strengthening relationships. Tier II applies when there has been wrongdoing and aims to repair relationships. Tier III is focused on reintegration of students returning to the classroom or school due to a discipline response. The strand intends to position participants to integrate restorative principles and practices in the schools and/or classrooms where they work. Both the presenter and co-presenter are teachers who use RP in the classroom and can answer questions and share the challenges and successes of their efforts. In addition, insights from other educators who are implementing RP will be shared.

Who should attend?

This strand is recommended not only for people who work in schools that desire a comprehensive introduction to restorative justice principles and practices but also for teachers who wish to use the restorative approach to transform their own classrooms. No prior experience is needed. Those familiar with use of the restorative justice approach will have ample opportunities to share their experience and develop a deeper understanding.
By the end of the strand participants will have:
    • Identified personal values and related them to restorative practices core assumptions.
    • Reviewed why restorative practices works.
    • Defined restorative practices in their own words and in a way that is relevant for school staff and students, answering the question “Why RP in schools?”
    • Examined a three-tiered framework for restorative practices in schools and assessed application in their school.
    • Reviewed what RP looks like in action in schools.
    • Reviewed and Practiced restorative communication and (P.A2I. R.)
    • Practiced circle process as a way to build community.
    • Identified and reflected on goals for implementation.
    • Designed and facilitated a circle process
    • Reflected on facilitation of circle process or other action
    • Used implementation strategies and steps to consider implementation of restorative practices
    • Examined different frameworks for implementing restorative practices
    • Considered the use of outcome and fidelity measures to assess progress
    • Proposed action steps to integrate restorative practices in their classroom or school and to enhance school climate within their sphere of influence.


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Annie O’Shaughnessy’s dedication to Restorative Practices began with her experiences with circle work beginning 20 years ago. Having participated in and led circles personally and professionally since the 90s around the country and in the classroom, she has witnessed the tremendous impact of these experiences on her own and other’s lives and the essential role mindfulness plays in successful restorative work. Currently, she teaches English half-time at the Center for Technology, Essex, teaches Mindfulness and Restorative Practices courses for educators through CVEDC, and trains educators in schools throughout the state. Annie is passionately committed to supporting teachers and schools in creating more mindful and restorative learning communities. The 180+ hours of clinical training she has received as a teacher at the Centerpoint School alongside 80 hours of training in RJ and an M.Ed in Mindfulness for Educators has prepared her well to be of benefit to students, teachers, and schools as they work to meet the challenges facing them.

Jessica Villeneuve is Dean of Students at Enosburg Falls High School after ten years of teaching history and social studies. For about two years, she focused on a transition to a more restorative model for discipline at this school. By using restorative justice circles, the Restorative Justice Committee helps students who have caused harm consider their actions and a plan for repair. Across the school, teachers, students and staff are learning about restorative practices, that can range from chat, to conferencing, to circles and encompass a more compassionate and mindful way of interacting. Before her teaching career, Jessica studied art history, anthropology and archaeology, working abroad in museums and completing a master’s in history at UVM. With this eclectic background, she always returns to the importance of community and respect for cultural diversity, two things that restorative practices esteem.

Last modified April 12 2018 09:17 AM

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