Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2023


Research indicates that punitive discipline practices, such as zero-tolerance policies and exclusionary approaches, have shown limited effectiveness and create potential harm in schools. In contrast, school discipline and culture based on restorative practices have shown great promise as an alternative. This school improvement project seeks to promote a change from a punitive, exclusionary discipline system to a research-based system rooted in restorative methods in a suburban public school district in the Midwest. The goal was to integrate restorative practices with a district's existing MTSS framework, emphasizing positive alternatives to exclusionary punishments, equity prioritization, and healthy relationships. By educating staff, students, and the community, encouraging stakeholder buy-in, and providing professional training, the project aims to establish a transformative shift towards a more positive disciplinary approach grounded in restorative principles. The action plan outlines key strategies, including stakeholder involvement, hiring a restorative discipline coordinator, and embedding therapeutic techniques in classrooms. The ultimate goal is to foster a positive disciplinary culture based on restorative justice that improves student well-being, increases academic success, reduces suspensions and lost learning time, creates a culture of accountability, repairs harm, restores dignity, and ensures equitable treatment within the district.

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