Restorative Practices in the San Diego School District


Schools from around the county have partnered with NCRC to provide restorative tools and support their school site. The purpose of restorative practices is to further cultivate community on campuses with a focus on building strong relationships.

“The premise of restorative practices is that people are happier, more cooperative and productive, and more likely to make positive changes when those in authority do things ‘with’ them, rather than ‘to’ them or ‘for’ them.”  – International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP)


STAGE 1 uses circles to proactively create strong positive relationships between teachers and students in classrooms. Restorative circles include the whole classroom community and focus on building empathy, good communication, a strong sense of belonging, and shared values through fun ice breakers and open dialogue. Circles are also used for staff development and focus on building positive campus culture.


STAGE 2 uses one on one conversations to create a sense of empowerment and ownership for individual’s actions. Restorative conversations focus on sharing personal impact using “I” statements and creating a safe space where a challenging incident between two people can be discussed openly and honestly.


STAGE 3 uses impact circles and restorative conferences to respond to offenses such as assault, vandalism, drug use, disorderly conduct, truancy, etc. These processes bring those affected by harm together to address the root causes of the incident, hold the student accountable, and promote healing for impacted community members, such as other students, teachers, staff, administrators, and school police.


STAGE 4 uses restorative circles to welcome students back to their school site after a period of absence related to suspension, expulsion or incarceration. The focus is on mending broken relationships, creating a site based accountability plan, and creating supports for the student to ensure their academic success.

Want to Learn More About Restorative Practices?

For more information please contact Karla Broady or Juan Carlos Nieblas