Facilitating Restorative Conferences

Educators Trained in Innovative Approach to Discipline. Another group of CCSD educators were trained to lead restorative conferences.

School administrators are increasingly looking for creative ways to address discipline issues in a manner that allows for a shared understanding of what has occurred, reflection on the impact such actions have caused, followed by a discussion to reach agreement on how to resolve the issue and bring the students and/or staff members back into community with one another. Restorative Conferences can be an effective tool to ensure that community is restored after harmdoing occurs.

Dr. Patti Agatston and Brittany Phillips, Licensed Trainers in Restorative Practices, led a 2-day training on Facilitating Restorative Conferences on December 4-5, 2019.   This training provided a brief overview of the theory behind restorative practices and focused on teaching the skills needed to facilitate a restorative conference when harmdoing has occurred. Participants had an opportunity to role play a restorative conference using a script that is used around the world for such interventions.  Participants also received a copy of the Restorative Justice Conferencing Handbook, that provides many tips and tools for implementing restorative conferences.

Restorative Conferences can be used as an alternative to traditional discipline that often results in detention, in-school suspension or out of school suspension.  They can also be used after a suspension as part of a re-entry plan to repair relationships and reduce the chance of further incidents of wrongdoing.  Restorative Conferences are part of the full continuum of restorative practices, so the use of conferencing typically occurs after other restorative practices are in place, such as using affective statements and using circles to develop community and problem solve.

This training is offered 2-3 times per school year in the Cobb County School District.  For more information contact: Dr Patti Agatston, patti.agatston@cobbk12.org.

Dr. Patti Agatston, Crisis Response Coordinator
School Counseling

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