Peninsula Union uses a three tier restorative practice approach to school discipline. Our program is not punishment based but instead is designed to build awareness of our impact on one another, repair harmed relationships, promote self awareness, and address the root cause of behaviors, transforming the conditions that allowed the harm to take place in the first place. Staff are trained through the International Institute of Restorative Practices.
Tier 1: Community Building Circles
Students and staff engage in community building circles as a regular part of the school day. Circles can be academically focused while others are social/emotionally focused. You can't repair something that doesn't exist, so these community building circles develop strong relationships and maintain our sense of community.
Tier 2: Restorative Circle
When a mistake is made, or harm to the school community occurs, students have an option to participate in a Restorative Circle. If they participate fully and complete any agreements they make during the circle the matter is considered resolved. Students who do not choose this option, or who do not participate in all phases of the process are then held accountable through the historical school disciplinary model.
Tier 3: Restorative Conferences
When a big mistake takes place, or significant harm to the school community occurs, a conference may be used. A Restorative Conference brings together all of the involved parties, and their support people, to have a structured conversation about the harm caused. During this process, relationships are repaired, everyone has an opportunity to be heard, and a contract is drafted to outline any reparative acts needed to repair harms and restore harmony. Students who do not choose this option, or who do not participate in all phases of the process are then held accountable through the historical school disciplinary model.
Peninsula Union is committed to the work of decolonizing public education. Transforming our discipline system is one of many ways we build a school culture where all students are supported in learning and growth. Punishment is not shown to cause meaningful positive changes.
Every mistake is an opportunity to grow.