Restorative Justice Practices in Independent Schools

Jun 17, 2019 9:00AM—Jun 18, 2019 3:00PM


San Francisco Day School

Cost $600 members; ($900 non-members)

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Restorative Justice is a framework that can support the range of diverse learners in independent school communities. One goal of “RJ” is to help students “repair the harm” when they have broken community agreements. Restorative practices support a more inclusive school environment and reinforce diversity work, social-emotional practices, and community norms. Learn how to rethink school discipline issues so that the emphasis is on “What happened?!  And how do we make it right?”

The workshop can accommodate 25-40 people and will be facilitated by a team comprised of an administrator, diversity director, teacher and counselor that collaborate to support RJ.  Based on enrollment, we will break up into small groups for dialog and facilitated work time.

Over the two-day workshop teachers, counselors, and administrators will have an opportunity to explore restorative practices and consider how “RJ” may work in their schools.  Educators across the K-12 experience will learn:

Day 1: Foundational work in Restorative Practices

  • What is Restorative Justice and how does it differ from traditional discipline practices?
  • What are ways RJ is used through an independent school lens?
  • How can RJ guiding questions and principles help identify and reinforce values in schools?
  • How does diversity and inclusion language support school climate and culture?
  • How does SEL and RJ help support student behavior expectations already in place?

Day 2:  Using circles:  An Introduction into restorative practices and navigating conflicts

On Day 2, participants will practice implementing restorative practices through the use of circles. Circles are a method of restorative practice that help community members reconnect themselves with others, create a brave space for all voices, and enable participants to be their best selves, particularly when conflicts may arise. Teachers and administrators can explore the basic process of circles and how they may be used within the context of their school community to reinforce community values, strengthen positive relationships during conflicts, and provide diverse perspectives to engage in inclusion and equity work.  Participants will learn the essential elements of circles and how to organize, plan, and lead a circle. They will also have the opportunity to practice facilitating a circle.

Attendees are encouraged to bring “dilemma” questions, student handbooks, and school artifacts to work with as they imagine RJ at their schools. We will provide sample documents, question frames and templates to support this work.  The goal will be for attendees to leave with a working document or artifacts tailored to their school’s context.

Once attendees sign-up, the workshop facilitators will request information to help guide a more responsive, inclusive, engaging work time.

Participants should bring laptops and materials for note-taking and resources that help provide context for their school or classroom practices.  

Workshop Facilitators;  Ruth Bissell, PhD, Head of the Upper School, Loren Moyé, Dean of Faculty , Betsy Brody, Diversity Director, San Francisco Day School.



Dr. Ruth Bissell has worked in both independent and public schools for the past fifteen years. Over her fifteen years in education she has implemented restorative practices with middle school and high school students that has included the development of peer courts, the use of co-crafted restorative contracts, redesign of schoolwide discipline policies, teacher and parent education on restorative approaches. She is the current middle school division head at SF Day and committed to using restorative practices to support student learning.

Loren Moyé has been teaching for twenty-six years, nineteen of those years at San Francisco Day School. Prior to coming to SF Day, he taught in the San Francisco Unified School District. His teaching experience covers third and fourth grades, all subjects, and seventh and eighth grade math. He was formerly a co-director of Aim High, a free summer program for low income middle school youth in the Bay area. He is currently the Director of Diversity and Dean of Faculty at SF Day and on the staff for the National SEED Project.

Betsy Brody has worked in educational institutions for 27 years, both in the classroom and as an administrator. Her journey began in France where she taught ELL ranging in age from 5 to 85 in public schools, specialized educational industries, and private homes. Upon her  return to San Francisco, she worked in a bilingual independent school, providing administrative support to the middle and high school principals for a few years before joining the admissions office. Her belief in the essential value of cross-cultural communication drives her personal and professional commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, a framework she has applied for over a decade as Director of High School Admission. Five years ago she joined San Francisco Day School as Director of High School Counseling and Co-Director of Diversity.

Cancellation Policy

Life happens. We understand that there will be times when you cannot attend a workshop that you have registered and paid for. We strive to be as helpful and flexible as possible when things out of your control happen. Please visit our FAQ page for detailed information about our cancellation policy and answers to frequently asked questions about enrollment and membership.