Rhonda Richetta, principal of the City Springs K–8 school in Baltimore that is part of the Baltimore Curriculum Project, sees the new guidelines as the first step in changing the mind-set of educators about discipline. "Zero-tolerance policies are not effective in changing student behavior or creating environments that are conducive for learning but are still widely in place," she says. "The new federal guidelines should help to finally move us away from these ineffective policies."The Baltimore Curriculum Project brought Restorative Practices to its schools in 2007 with training from the International Institute of Restorative Practices and generous support from the Open Society Institute - Baltimore and the Goldesker Foundation.
Richetta said that her school started implementing restorative practices six years ago. "We experienced a dramatic decrease in suspensions and a steady increase in student achievement," she says. "With restorative practices, students are drawn into building a sense of community within their class and their school, and they begin to behave appropriately because of the relationships they have with each other and with teachers, not because of some severe consequence that is dangled over their heads."
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http://www.takepart.com/article/2014/01/14/school-to-prison-pipeline-federal-guidelines International Institute for Restorative Practices