Restorative Circles – What Are They?

by REBECCA BISHOP, October 5, 2017

Restorative Circles 1Deer Park high school is on a mission to bring students together. Fridays in X-Bell students at Deer Park Jr/Sr High School have restorative circles. I talked to the Assistant Principal Mr. Hartley to find out more about them.

Mr. Hartley wants to have positivity and build relationships between students and teachers. “It focuses on building relationships, getting to know people and the idea that the more you know people the more you communicate with people the better relationships your gonna have.” said Mr Hartley.

These restorative conversations could potentially help students in some way if they are having a bad day. “We’re hoping by having conversations that if students are having a bad day they have a chance to get things of their chest in a productive way instead of taking it out in a negative way.” says Mr. Harley.

restorative-circles-2.jpgAs of now the circles are only happening in the high school. At Amity Elementary they are using more of their TLC (Thriving Learning Communities). There are also a number of other schools like Northwest and Colerain doing the circles as well.

It’s a little too early to tell how it’s affecting students right now, but there seems to be some improvement happening. “It’s probably not going to be received easily by people, because we are asking people to step out of their comfort zone and any time you ask people to step out of their comfort zone it can be challenging,” says Mr. Hartley.

This school is trying to allow people to be able to talk and step out of their comfort zones and be able to build relationships with people.  Mr. Hartley said, “We’re hoping that if we keep continuing with it and practicing with it…that some of those exterior walls that have been put up can be taken down over time.”