A Resilient School Culture is flexible, adaptable and can absorb and accommodate external systemic influences with minimal impact on day to day operations of the school. Resilient School Cultures create resilient students. This strand will introduce participants to the Restorative Approach and the full range of restorative school practices (RSP) and show their connection to creating resiliency at all levels of a school system. Whole school, as well as targeted, individual and intensive strategies will be demonstrated and experienced. Within a whole school approach, these practices build resilient school communities that support students, staff and administrators in feeling connected and respected, which enhances learning outcomes and reduces peer aggression. Discipline becomes part of a learning environment featuring accountability and support rather than punishment and exclusion.
School teams that are implementing PBIS will find compatibility with the restorative approach. While PBIS seeks to establish a school-wide framework to teach and support student pro-social behavior, the restorative approach seeks to engage the group to encourage helpful, healthy behaviors and relationships. Both approaches draw upon the public health framework for prevention, and taken together, provide approaches that fill in gaps in the puzzle of student need.
At the end of this strand participants will:
• Understand the fundamental hypothesis of the Restorative Approach, its rationale, and its empirical basis;
• Be able to explain the range of restorative responses and how these practices can best be used in schools to build community and improve relationships at all levels;
• Understand the purpose and uses of Circles in school, including proactive and responsive circles with students, and staff.
• Know the stages of implementing restorative practices in a whole-school approach, including dealing with staff resistance and buy-in.
The strand will be highly experiential and include:
• Presentation and discussion;
• Participation and practice in using the Circle process for relationship building and
• High quality video examples of different circle practices;
• A recommended approach to data collection and measuring school climate;
• A lot of laughter.
Suggested reading (not required) Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
Chuck Saufler received an M.Ed. from Northeastern University in Community Mental Health in 1979. His background includes private practice, adventure based counseling, restorative justice work, coordination of state-wide projects, program development for schools and communities, speaking at national conferences and consulting with schools and youth focused organizations. He has been an elementary school guidance counselor and staff trainer in Maine for the past 23 years. As co-coordinator of the Maine Project Against Bullying (1997-2000) he implemented a statewide bullying survey. He has provided initial bullying prevention training for over 200 schools and communities nationally. He is co-developer of CLIMBERS, a proactive program for teaching social skills and improving school climate. CLIMBERS was selected as 1997 “Program of the Year” by Maine Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. He has served at the state level on the Governor's Task Force for Safe Schools and Communities and as a member of the Critical Review Team for the Career Development Strand of the Maine Learning Results. He is the recipient of the 1999 Governor's Medal for outstanding service to education and prevention of substance abuse. He is currently a trainer/consultant for Safe Schools for All and the Restorative School Practices Collaborative of Maine, assisting Maine schools in the implementation of restorative justice practices.
The focus of his career has been developing safer schools and communities. He is drawn to this work by a firm belief that community building, prevention and early intervention are our best hope of creating a civil society for future generations.
Mr. Saufler is married and resides in Bath, Maine with his wife Beth and their son Christopher.