Source: (2008) Changing ways / building skills, 12(2): pg. 3.
All good educators utilize restorative measures when dealing with students in their schools. Messalonskee Middle School has long been a place where teachers put studentsâ€™ needs first while providing a rigorous and meaningful education. In the Fall of 2007, after having been trained in the circle process and many staff having used it in their Pride (advisory) classes, some staff members became more interested in more formalized restorative approaches. Later in the year a small group from our school had the opportunity to visit Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast; what we took away from that trip was a strong desire to change the traditional detention model we were using to one that both increased studentsâ€™ accountability and addressed the relational damage that was caused by misbehavior. A group of fi ve staff members took a UMO graduate course in restorative approaches in early summer and the momentum for change grew. In mid July fifteen staff members participated in a facilitation training hosted by Troy Howard staff. After this training nine staff members volunteered to pilot the program in the 2008-09 school year. In August the principal and I presented our plans to the school board and with overwhelming support began the program in September of this year.
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