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Wednesday 30 November 2022
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SCSD Teachers Attend Restorative Justice Training Sessions

By Staff

 

scsd teachersSeveral teachers in the Syracuse City School District have taken part in professional development sessions, led by Restorative Strategies CEO Robert Spicer, in order to help them learn about cultural competence and restorative practices, SCSD officials stated.

SCSD said the purpose of the sessions had been to build upon the district’s ongoing work surrounding restorative practices in school cultures, and throughout the community.

“It was my pleasure to facilitate these restorative practices workshops, with support staff in the Syracuse City School District,” Spicer stated. “It was awesome to be invited to schools, and sit with staff and students. I want to thank all of you for your warm hospitality, and willingness to sit in circle, and learn this practice. I want to personally thank Ms. Dana Crockett, Ms. Evette Williams and Tabitha Ngwashi, who took time out of their busy schedules as teachers in SCSD to co-train with me.”

The Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools provided the Syracuse Cultural Competency Institute trainings, which Spicer facilitated.

SCSD said restorative practices focus on the importance of individual and collective accountability, and repairing the harm caused by conflict. In addition, the sessions included activities like peace-making circles in order to address underlying reasons for conflicts.

According to officials, teachers acquired tools and techniques that could be used immediately in their classrooms, such as being mindful of how things are phrased, responding to the issues with an awareness that incorporates cultural differences, and empowering students to learn about cultural differences.

Additionally, the teachers have also been encouraged to reframe conflict in order to think about the intent of a behavior, officials said.

“This training was a serious, yet fun discussion about how to create safe and accepting environments,” one teacher stated.

Teachers also said they appreciated how the training engaged them in experiencing restorative circles they could use with students.

Moving forward, SCSD said each school will be sending members of School Intervention Teams to participate in a four day “Train the Trainer” program this summer, which will allow schools to develop a plan for their entire building to have all staff trained in restorative practices.

It will also ensure that schools have internal support for day-to-day implementation of the practices throughout the 2015-2016 school year, according to officials.