Restorative Practices
Building Community, Transforming Conflict

Restorative Justice, Restorative Discipline and Restorative Practice refer to a community-building, relationship-based culture and way of viewing conflict that:

  • sees harm as an offense against people and relationships
  • seeks to learn who has been harmed and how
  • asks how victim needs and offender responsibility can repair harm

Restorative practices are predicated on safety first, followed by accountability and repairing harm, with the idea that a school system’s chief responsibility is to support the learning of its students, using incidents of conflict, harm and rule-breaking as opportunities for growth.

School districts across the country, including DJUSD, are implementing restorative principles because they foster community in a way that increases equity, improves school climate for both students and staff, and increases academic outcomes.


Restorative Practices in DJUSD: An overview of restorative concepts with examples of uses in the District.

Constructivist Listening Protocol: Guidelines for one of the foundational tools of a restorative approach.

Resources for Students & Families

Parents may wonder what it means for our schools to be taking a restorative approach. First and foremost it means that the District takes as its main responsibility to respect the safety, dignity and right to learn of each student. It also means that the District considers our students and staff to be part of a community, and to deliberately strengthen that community so that when harm or breaches of relationship happen, the community has a base to repair to. When a rule is broken or a person is hurt it is an opportunity for a person to be accountable to those who have been harmed and to participate in making things as right as they can be.


Please see your school's student handbook for a description of the restorative approach to discipline for the particular grade levels.

When you have experienced harm or conflict and would like support:

  • Contact your Site Principal
  • Contact Kate Snow at the Climate Office.
  • Contact Cara Messmore or Jennifer Mullin, Crisis and Prevention Managers.
  • Contact Yolo Conflict Resolution Center, with whom DJUSD has a contract. Mediation and other restorative options for addressing conflict in relationships at all levels can be accessed anonymously and for no charge.

Questions about the overall restorative approach can be answered by Kate Snow at the Climate Office.

Other resources include:
Defining Restorative, the essential concepts of restorative practice from the International Institute for Restorative Practice

Restorative Justice Webinars, a wide-ranging collection of topics related to RJ from the Zehr Institute for Restorative Justice

What is Restorative Conferencing? A description of the aspects of restorative conferences.

Resources for Classrooms & Schools
For building classroom community:
Teaching Restorative Practice with Classroom Circles
Common Challenges in Circles

Circle Guidelines Poster

Curriculum and Resources from
San Francisco Unified School District


Resources from Oakland Unified School District


For responses to harm and conflict:
Discipline That Restores from Fresno Pacific University

Protocol for Responding to Racial and Other Identity-Based Slurs: a step-by-step approach when students have harmed each other. Mostly aimed at secondary students; adaptable for elementary students.

Fix School Discipline


Local resources:
Yolo Conflict Resolution Center

Transformative Justice in Education Center: at the UC Davis School of Education, resources for teaching teachers about Restorative Justice.

Other districts:
Restorative Practice in Oakland Public Schools

Other Resources:
Defining Restorative, the essential concepts of restorative practice from the International Institute for Restorative Practice

Restorative Justice Webinars, a wide-ranging collection of topics related to RJ from the Zehr Institute for Restorative Justice

Dignity in Schools: an organization working to end the school-to-prison pipeline

Resources for Staff Experiencing Conflict

When you have experienced harm or conflict and would like support:

  • Contact Personnel Services.
  • Contact the Climate Office.
  • Reach out to your union representative.
  • Contact Yolo Conflict Resolution Center, with whom DJUSD has a contract. Mediation and other restorative options for addressing conflict in relationships at all levels can be accessed anonymously and for no charge.  YCRC can also provide training for staff members.