Steadfast restorative and supportive approaches to student behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic


Prior to 2020, schools across the nation undertook school discipline reform. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Unknown is whether schools remained steadfast in their commitment to restorative practice (RP). The current case study examined student (n = 53–86) and staff surveys (n = 49–62) before and during the pandemic. It also examined the nature of the RP consultancy and leadership values and strategies, based on principal and staff interviews (n = 15). Survey results showed that despite disruption in the trainings and consultation, the school remained steadfast in offering activities to foster community, social emotional learning, and repairing harm. Training data showed that the RP consultancy had an upfront focus on developing leadership capacity. The qualitative analyses found that the principal drew on restorative values focused on relationships, equity, and restoration. Implications are that RP committed leaders combined with a capacity-building RP consultancy may support steadfast implementation of RP.

Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation. doi: 10.108010474412.2023.2234365.