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Restorative Practice

Discipline and Relationship-Building Philosophy

NKC Schools strives to create a district culture that promotes collaboration, positive relationships, and a safe environment conducive to teaching and learning for all students. Students and adults are expected to honor and take responsibility for our district community. This includes making a conscious effort to maintain self-control and self-discipline and to display respect for the institution, its property, and each other. Practices which establish discipline guidelines for students are necessary and basic to their personal growth and development, as well as to maintain healthy school cultures. Therefore, the NKC Schools discipline code reflects our district's standards and expectations for student behavior and human interaction among every member of our district community.The student discipline code is an integral component of the education process and requires the commitment of parents, students, teachers, and administrators.

Restorative Practices

Relationships are at the heart of our discipline philosophy in NKC Schools.  We will utilize restorative practices and Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (PBIS) as relationship-building and expectation-setting models that also serve as frameworks for addressing harm. Discipline and relationship-building are interdependent in nature and require a holistic process that is:

  • Proactive (developing relationships and outlining clear expectations)
  • Responsive (responding appropriately and with intentionality when expectations are not met)
  • Restorative (restoring relationships when harm is done).

NKC Schools' discipline philosophy is based on the premise that a person is less likely to harm their community when they feel connected to it, have a clear understanding of their role and expectations in supporting the goals of the  school community, and understand the potential outcomes of not meeting those standards. When harm is done-- whether to another person, self, or our district schools-- we will seek a process that centralizes personal responsibility, reflection, accountability, and restoration. Restorative practices are not synonymous with the absence of consequences. Rather, it focuses on restoration, despite any additional consequences that are administered due to a violation of rules or norms. Our district utilizes a continuum of restorative practices that range from informal to more formal, depending on the situation being addressed.

Social Discipline Window

Social Discipline Window

We believe students welcome structure and accountability in their schooling experiences. When we provide students with high support in a controlled environment and do things with them, rather than to them or for them,  it is more likely that they will meet the expectations we outline. The Social Discipline Window reflects our espoused philosophy and a restorative approach that promotes responsibility, accountability, and cooperation.

Fair Process

The fair process is a method North Kansas City Schools utilizes to ensure those most directly involved in a situation where some form of harm has been caused are provided with the opportunity to share their perspective, to provide input on the topic, and to have clear expectations regarding outcomes or future actions. This is called the fair process in Restorative Practices, and involves engagement, explanation, and expectation clarity. North Kansas City Schools will use the fair process to underscore the referral, re-entry, and reintegration process when a student receives a referral.

The graphic below is a visual representation of the fair process. With respect to office referrals or discipline infractions – engagement – in its simplest form – is about due process. A generated referral is an opportunity for the teacher to explain what has happened from their perspective, the student receives due process from the administrator and has the opportunity to tell what happened from their perspective. During the explanation stage, the administrator will weigh in and give their thoughts on the referral using our school/district  values, handbooks, and any additional information as resources for the decision. Expectation clarity refers to ensuring all parties understand the initial concern, the decisions made, and the expectations moving forward. The fair process is not always a formal process and can be accomplished in a variety of ways. However, the three components must always be present to maximize full understanding, closure, and clarity.