NTPS is deepening its application of Restorative Practices, which is a science that studies how to build social capital and achieve discipline through participatory learning and decision-making. While Restorative Practices do not eliminate traditional or exclusionary discipline, it does flip the script on traditional behavior management by promoting the power of relationship and community building rather than the power of sanctions as a motivator. Restorative Practices provide a framework for responding to challenging behavior through authentic dialogue, self-reflection, empathy, accountability, and limit-setting.
The fundamental hypothesis of Restorative Practices is that human beings are happier, more cooperative and productive, and more likely to make positive changes in their behavior when those in positions of authority do things with them rather than to them or for them.
Restorative Practices have the potential to influence school climate and strengthen positive social connections between students and staff. The main goals are:
- Accountability: Restorative Practices provide opportunities for the people who have done harm to be accountable to those they have harmed and repair the harm they caused.
- Community Safety: Restorative Practices recognizes the need to keep the community safe by building relationships and encouraging the community to take responsibility for the well-being of all its members.
- Competency Development: Restorative Practices seeks to increase the cognitive, emotional, and interpersonal skills of those who have harmed others, address underlying factors that lead students to engage in maladaptive behavior, and leverage the strengths of every member of the community.