Restorative Practices

at Bath Middle School

Bath Middle School was one of seven schools in Maine chosen to participate in a two-year Whole School Change program with direct support from the International Institute of Restorative Practices (IIRP). The staff participated in monthly sessions focused on the smaller elements of Restorative Practices as well as four whole-day trainings that focused on some of the larger elements. Overall, the staff was trained in eleven essential elements that are broken down into school-wide, broad-based, and targeted elements.

The teachers and staff now use this proactive approach to curb unwanted behaviors by implementing the relationship-building aspects of Restorative Practices in their classrooms. This includes the use of proactive circles to build community or cover academic content, and the use of affective (“I”) statements to convey feelings about behavior, incidents, or other experiences throughout the day.

When necessary, staff members use a specific set of questions to help students reflect upon their behavior to try to determine how they are impacting others. When harm occurs, staff members help students find ways to repair the relationships they have harmed. There are more formal processes used when necessary, ranging from problem solving or accountability circles to conferences that involve many people impacted by a student’s actions, but the goal always remains the same: To restore and repair the harm that has been done.

To read more about the research project connected to our training, visit: NIH to fund first randomized controlled trials for restorative practices in 14 Maine schools

To read more about the impact of our training, visit: Maine schools report positive preliminary result