Transforming In-School Suspension into a Restorative and Supportive Space

In a recent presentation at RJ World Online, Dr. Angela Monell, an Assistant Principal from Winston Salem, NC, along with Eric Rainey of the International Institute of Restorative Practices, shared their transformative approach to discipline in schools. Titled “Moving from Traditional Punitive Measures to Restoration Station,” this dynamic session shed light on the power of restorative practices in fostering social-emotional growth among students.

Dr. Monell’s passion for education and her belief in the potential of every student was evident throughout her presentation. She emphasized that given the opportunity and proper guidance, students can develop invaluable skills in restoring relationships, rebuilding trust, and effectively communicating their needs.

The focus of this session was centered around reimagining traditional In-School Suspension (ISS) models into what they called “Restoration Stations.” By shifting the purpose of ISS from punishment to support and skill-building opportunities for students who have made mistakes or violated school rules, educators can create a more positive learning environment that promotes personal growth rather than perpetuating negative behavior patterns.

Attendees gained valuable insights into various aspects related to implementing restorative practices within schools. Driven by her experience as an administrator, Dr. Monell highlighted the importance of human capital – recognizing each individual’s worth and investing time and effort into building strong relationships between staff members and students.

Furthermore, she stressed how social-emotional learning plays a crucial role in supporting students’ overall development beyond academic achievements alone. The restoration station model not only addresses disciplinary issues but also focuses on nurturing emotional intelligence through empathy-building exercises and conflict-resolution strategies.

By adopting restorative practices within daily wrap-around models at schools nationwide, educators can enhance their capacity to guide students towards becoming responsible individuals capable of making positive contributions both inside and outside the classroom walls.

The benefits extend far beyond just addressing behavioral concerns; they encompass educational advancement as well as social, emotional, and psychological growth. Restorative practices empower students to take ownership of their actions, learn from their mistakes, and actively participate in the healing process.

Dr. Monell’s presentation at RJ World Online left attendees with a clear understanding of the potential impact that transitioning from punitive measures to restorative practices can have on students’ lives. By creating spaces for support and skill-building rather than punishment, schools can foster an environment where every student feels valued and empowered to grow.

The Restoration Station model offers hope for a more compassionate approach to discipline – one that prioritizes rehabilitation over retribution and seeks justice through restoration rather than perpetuating cycles of harm. As educators continue to embrace these transformative strategies, they contribute towards building a society rooted in empathy, understanding, and social justice.