Restorative Practices

Restorative Practices refer to an emerging social science that provides an alternative to punitive discipline policies often associated with high suspension rates and challenged school climates. By focusing on and encouraging healthy relationships, Restorative Practices help staff members build stronger connections to students and each other, help students create social norms based on empathy and understanding, and help all stakeholders to build trust, repair harm and restore community.

The training services listed below support staff, administrators, students and parents in understanding and implementing Restorative Practices in their schools and communities.


An Introduction to Restorative Practices

For staff and administrators. An overview which highlights the impact Restorative Practices can make in achieving positive behavioral outcomes. The training is experiential and provides skills practice with affective statements, impromptu dialogue, and the use of circles in creating and sustaining an inclusive and restorative culture on campus.

-3 hour training
-In-person and virtual options available


Restorative Practices – Administrators Training

For administrative-level staff with responsibility for school safety, climate, and discipline. It provides an overview of restorative practices and its relationship to discipline, school climate, and its roots in restorative justice. Participants will learn how to effectively establish school-wide Restorative Practices by building buy-in of staff and families, developing policies and procedures, training staff and leadership, and utilizing best practices and lessons from the field.

-In-person: One-day training for up to 50 participants
Virtual option: Four 2-hour modules for up to 30 participants


Restorative Practices – Skills Development (Circles)

For staff and administrators. This training provides a foundation for individuals interested in using restorative practices with their students and deepening their understanding of its roots in restorative justice and effectiveness in achieving positive behavioral outcomes. The training is experiential and provides skills practice with affective statements, impromptu dialogue, and the use of circles, which are essential elements in the Restorative Practice continuum. The two day in-person training is recommended, as it provides more time for interaction and participants can practice skills under the guidance of a trained facilitator.

-In-person: One-day or two-day training options, for up to 40 participants
-Virtual option: One-day only for up to 40 participants


Strengthening and Sustaining a Restorative School Culture

For district administrators, teachers and all staff members who have been trained and involved in Restorative Practices for schools. Supporting and sustaining a restorative school culture requires ongoing efforts and teamwork. Keeping the momentum towards attaining a restorative school wide culture while not allowing obstacles to block the progress is key. This interactive training will explore ways to keep restorative efforts strong and sustainable while also expanding the impact. Guidance will be provided for school teams to identify connections between the multiple current initiatives and Restorative Practice plans.

-One-day or two-day in-person training, for up to 40 participants


Connecting with Students Using Community Building Circles

This series of 4 interactive online modules will engage and motivate participants as they delve into the beneficial possibilities of using Circles with their students for in-person and online instruction. Community Building, Responsive, Curriculum and Restorative Circles will be explored as participants join in and design Circles they can immediately implement with their students.

-Virtual training: Four 1.5 hour modules, for up to 30 participants. Learn More


Formal Restorative Conferencing

(CM partners with the International Institute of Restorative Practices (IIRP) to provide this Formal Restorative Conferencing Training)
For individuals experienced in Restorative Practices who are interested in facilitating restorative conferences. Participants will:

  • Learn how to plan and coordinate pre-conference activities, which are essential to the success of Restorative Conferences
  • Gain skills needed for effectively facilitating conferences
  • Understand how to develop and monitor high quality follow-up plans
  • Recognize the benefits of Restorative Conferencing and their positive impacts on school discipline, suspensions and overall climate

* Pre-requisite: Participants must have prior experience with RP, either completing Community Matters’ Restorative Practices Skills Development 2-day training or related experience.

-In-person: Two-day training, for up to 30 participants
Virtual option: Condensed training consisting of two 3-hour modules, for up to 30 participants


For Students

Empowering Students as Restorative Practice Leaders (for Grades 9 – 12)

This dynamic training is part of a year-round program. It equips and empowers diverse student leaders with the tools, resources and skills to act as restorative leaders. Through hands-on activities students learn the importance of building a restorative culture and their role in fostering a safe and connected school. This training is experiential and provides opportunities to practice participating in circles, using affective statements and restorative communication skills.

* Pre-requisite: School must have adults that are already using Restorative Practices and are committed to supporting the program throughout the year.

-One-day or two-day training, in-person and virtual options, for up to 40 students, and 6 adults with Restorative Practices experience.


For Families

Restorative Practices for Families

This 2-part series will provide parents and caregivers skills, tools and strategies they can implement to bring restorative practices to life at home. Participants will learn how to create optimal distance-learning environments for their children, provide opportunities to strengthen relationships and improve communication, and support a positive learning climate at home and online.

Two 1.5 hour online modules, for up to 50 participants. Learn More


Restorative Practices Consulting Services

With expertise and a proven track record of success in implementing and utilizing restorative approaches and practices for school climate improvement, Community Matters is available to provide consultation services to districts and individual schools that are interested in school climate transformation effort


View and download our Restorative Practices Guide

Contact us to learn more about our Restorative Practices programs, or to schedule your training.


“The cycle of reprisal and counter reprisal that had characterized their national history had to be broken and the only way to do this was to go beyond retributive justice to restorative justice, to move on to forgiveness, because without it there was no future.” – Desmond Tutu