The faculty wishes to acknowledge and thank Ashwood’s parents for their generous contribution that will allow three of Ashwood’s grade school teachers to attend a six-session AWSNA Restorative Practices workshop. Through the APC’s contribution and the donation of an individual parent, Jeremy Clough, Elizabeth Doshi, and Rob Kaczor have all registered for this important training at the AWSNA continental conference that will take place in Chicago this June. The teachers have been asked to bring what they have learned back to Ashwood and do a presentation for our entire community next fall.
The Waldorf culture encourages engaging with students holistically, which requires development of trusting relationships characterized by integrity and respect among students, families, faculty, staff, and administrators. Even with the best intentions, conflict arises, and relationships are impacted and harmed. As our school communities become more diverse and evolve with the times, the need to implement intentional processes for building and repairing relationships grows. Restorative practices offer a continuum of tools that can be used at all levels to build, maintain, and repair relationships. In this workshop, we will focus on language and models to foster respectful trusting relationships proactively, to guide difficult conversations when there is disagreement, and to facilitate group dialogue when multiple parties have experienced harm. These models share values and strategies with restorative justice, a growing movement being used as an alternative to the criminal justice system nationwide. Restorative practices work best when they are applied schoolwide—with students, parents, faculty, and administrators— ultimately leading to a restorative culture schoolwide. This workshop will entail instruction, direct experiential work, and time for action planning. It will be beneficial if more than one representative from your school community attends the training, in order to increase the likelihood of sustained implementation once you return to your local school.