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Culture and Climate

Restorative Practices

At Park School, the Restorative Practices model focuses on creating an enhanced school climate and a positive, proactive response to improve student behavior, which has helped our students achieve social, emotional, and academic success. In alignment with Restorative Practices philosophy, the Park community believes that through common values and behavioral norms, we strengthen relationships, enhance learning, and create a more inclusive, safer, school environment. In order to increase positive behaviors, evidence supports explicit teaching and modeling of positive behaviors, high levels of accountability (limit setting and structure), and high levels of support (encouragement and nurturing). Common Values have been established for the Park School Community: “Be Safe”, “Try Your Best”, and “Be A Good Friend.”


How We Learn:
Try Your Best!

How We Keep Everyone Safe:
Be Safe

How We Treat Others:
Be a Good Friend


Throughout the year, students are taught what these values look like and how to demonstrate them in different environments. Each morning, various staff members and students start the day by leading everyone in the school-wide affirmation which begins each day on a positive note.

Park School Affirmation

Good Morning!
I am somebody.
What I do, say, and learn matters.
We are a learning community.
What we do, say, and learn matters.
We will go far together.
Park School drop that beat!
Can we do it? Can we do it?
Yes we can, Yes we can!
Podemos, Podemos?
Si se puede, Sise puede!

Shifting from individual reinforcement to an emphasis of collectivism and community, students work together to earn shared rewards and school-wide reinforcement including a weekly “Students of the Week” celebration and parade on Friday afternoons. There is a close link between positive behavior and communication skills. Our strong foundation of school norms and Restorative Practices supports our students’ growth in all areas.

Sharing Circles

Sharing Circles are a foundational piece of Restorative Practices. Sharing Circles can be small or whole class discussions in which the participants (students and staff) share their feelings, thoughts, and experiences in response to a specific, assigned topic. Sharing Circles help to create a community within the classroom and provides a platform for everyone in the room to participate. During a Sharing Circle, circle norms are established.

We are all in a circle.

We are all in a circle.

We all share and take turns.

We all share and take turns.

You are important! What you say is important!

You are important! What you say is important!

A topic  is shared with the group.  If the students require more time and support to prepare their thoughts, a “pre-meeting” to share the topic and determine what the student would like to say can occur. This can be a fantastic opportunity to practice communication and encourage original thought.  During Sharing Circles, there are no wrong answers.  When appropriate, a communication board may be created with the question and possible responses.  In order for the students to be prepared to share, their responses may be pre-written, recorded on a voice output device, or have a visual to share with the rest of the group.

Some examples of a topic for a sharing circle can include, “what I am looking forward to this weekend”, “how I feel about school”, “my favorite food/color”, “I feel proud of ____”, “how I feel today”, or “what I know about a particular content area or topic”.  Each classroom will have a sharing circle at least once a week.  Once a month, the circle will be focused on a Common Value from the Positive Behavior Matrix (see above).  These topics may include, “I want to practice ____ [pick a value]”, “Being a good friend looks like ______”, “Being safe is important because______”.