The Holistic Restorative Schools Project (HRSP) aims to synthesize current restorative practices in schools and design a field-tested and evaluated implementation guide and supporting curriculum by the 2026/27 school year.

Mission and Vision

HRSP will aid schools in strong, thoughtful, and equitable implementation of restorative approaches throughout the state. We will help schools build and maintain communities in which all community members are valued, connected, and empowered. Through HRSP, we will enhance the legitimacy and efficacy of the field of Restorative Practices in Schools by using evaluation, research, and development to gather promising restorative practices to develop a pilot implementation guide and supporting curriculum for holistic restorative school implementation.

HRSP Core Beliefs

  1. The process needs to be centered in racial, cultural and identity; diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

  2. Restorative practices build a positive school culture and climate as it promotes engagement, supports the whole child as well as increases fidelity to academic learning.

  3. Successful implementation depends on skilled integration with existing initiatives and approaches such as Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), Responsive Classroom, DEI, SEL, and Trauma Informed Practices.

  4. Our work is aligned with the Vermont State Agency of Education Recovery Plan structure.

  5. Culture and climate transformation reduces stigma, biases and barriers to support all students to increase safety, voice, respect and belonging.

  6. Responses to harm or incidences related to substance use and/or mental health need to be inclusive and restorative not exclusionary.

  7. The Design Project phase of this curriculum will honor and intentionally braid with current school pedagogy and whole child learning, to include: PBIS, Responsive Classroom, Conscious Discipline, SEL education, trauma-centered learning, Motivational Interview technique, Whole Child Framework, UDL, brain and human behavior science, academic excellence, youth voice, non exclusionary integrated discipline approaches, framework consideration for MTSS, PLC, CTL, HHB, student services and accommodated learning plans.

  8. At the heart of the work is our desire to enhance relationships which support greater safety, belonging, respect and voice.
    “While teachers may focus on what they are teaching, evolutionary history and current neuroscience suggest that it is who they are and the emotional environment in the classroom they are able to create that are the fundamental regulators of neuroplasticity. Secure relationships not only trigger brain growth, but also serve emotional regulation that enhances learning.” ~Louis Cozolino, from The Neuroscience of Education

Project Methodology

We will:

  1. Begin by developing deep understanding of the unique assets and needs of each school.

  2. Leverage each school’s strengths and build in-house capacity for leading and sustaining the work.

  3. Use Improvement Science to empower school-based teams and inform decisions.

  4. Braid Equity, SEL and Trauma Informed work with RP to increase impact and decrease initiative fatigue.

  5. Engage in meaningful partnerships with restorative practitioners and school-based youth and adult teams across Vermont.

  6. Align current relationship-based approaches with the Restorative Approaches Framework.

  7. Work with schools to develop and field test professional learning that will help ensures lasting holistic and transformative change.

  8. Evaluate, support, and reimagine school structures through a restorative and equity-focused framework.

Call for Collaboration

HRSP will reflect the depth of knowledge, wisdom, and experience of those doing great work in the field of restorative practices in schools. We will be building collaboration through many approaches, including:

  • Field Testing Materials (lessons, activities, scripts, PD, etc.)

  • Surveying Active RA Practitioners & Educators

  • Engaging the Critical Friends Process

  • Consulting with an Advisory Board

  • Building a Restorative Educator Network

  • Sharing & Learning with the VT Restorative Approaches Collaborative

Expected Timeline

2021/22: Develop and test elements of implementation plan & identify pilot schools.

2022/23: Begin 3-year pilot with promising skills.

2026/27: Release final implementation guide and supporting curriculum resources.