Restorative Practices Collaborative holds its Principal Kickoff for the 2022-2023 school year
On Sept. 1, 2022, the Restorative Practices Collaborative held its Principal Kickoff for the 2022-2023 school year at the San Antonio Area Foundation’s Wells Center located in historic Pearl. We brought together principals and community partners including Judson ISD’s Chief of Equity and Diversity Dr. Paula Johnson and Dawn Kulpa, Director of Restorative Practices for San Antonio Independent School District.
Through a check in process, partners came to consensus that they hope to change systems to scale restorative practices in both classrooms and the community to increase a sense of belonging, which will help foster better practices in the classrooms and decrease unfair disciplinary practices that disproportionately impact young men of color through their efforts in the Restorative Practices Collaborative.
There are two components of the Restorative Practices Collaborative, the first of those being community building, through partnerships with organizations like American Indians in Texas at the Spanish Colonial Missions (AITSCM) and Empower House. Both organizations practice and teach community partners about restorative practices such as peace circles and peace corners and how to incorporate these best practices into their own organizations, including many campuses from the previously mentioned school districts.
Those campuses that have this knowledge can help further build campus capacity in these restorative practices, Ramon J. Vasquez, Jr., said, particularly within other schools in the participating school districts.
A major obstacle the Restorative Practices Collaborative sees is that not all schools within a district carry out restorative practices, which can particularly be challenging for students that are in participating alternative schools who gain some skills to help with the transition back to a home school, but may not necessarily be enough to ensure their success, Vasquez added in a conversation during the event on trying to engage entire school districts, rather than on an individual campus basis.
The second component is collaborative improvement which is led by the work that we do at UP Partnership as the collective’s backbone organization, which includes making space for these organizations to meet and further collaborate and holding partners accountable to the community framework laid out in the Future Ready Bexar County Plan. Through that plan, there is a keen focus on the equity pillars of healing, voice and access—the must HAVEs for equity amongst Bexar County’s young people. Falling under the equity pillar of HEALING— Young people will be future ready when they all have the developmental relationships and healing they need— is the vital work of the Restorative Practices Collaborative.
Overall, this work feeds into the Future Ready North Star goal of increasing the percentage of Bexar County High School graduates enrolling in postsecondary degree or credential programs to 70% by 2030 (currently, this number sits at around 50%).
If your organization is ready to join the Future Ready movement or the Equitable Enrollment Collaborative, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more information on how you can become a Future Ready partner or donate to the work here.
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