Community Circles

Building relationships and community within the classroom

How do I build relationships virtually?

During these unprecedented times, how the start of school looks is still uncertain. Whether students go back full-time, part-time or not at all, developing a relationship with students is key to a successful year.

Learning how to conduct a circle virtually will allow you foster relationships with incoming students so that the transition to your classroom is smoother. The information gathered from this session can easily be adapted to work in a physical classroom so that community circles can continue throughout the year.

What are "Community Circles"?

Community Circles is the name given to a process based on the philosophy of restorative justice, which is focused on building relationships. The goal of these circles is to create harmony in the school community by creating a sense of belonging and connectedness.

In this Community Circles process, certain ground rules are established so a safe place can be created where people (be they students, teachers, and/or families) can come together, with a facilitator, to build and maintain relationships.

Target Audience

  • Educators interested in learning how to establish relationships within schools

Workshop Details

Date: Thursday, August 13, 2020

Time: 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Registration will close on Tuesday, August 11 at 4pm.

Location: Workshop will be held virtually


  • $20.00 for employees of districts/agencies in Madison, Champaign, Clark, Hardin, Logan and Shelby counties
  • $25.00 for employees of districts/agencies in counties other than those listed above.

Contact Hours: 1 Contact Hours will be provided by the ESC


Melissa Scoville has received training on Restorative Justice Education (RJE) through the work of Dr. Tom Cavanagh. At the start of the school closures, RJE went to work to establish a framework specific for conducting online Community Circles.

Community Circle

Thursday, Aug. 13th, 1-3pm

This is an online event.

What time should I arrive at the training site? Please plan to log into Zoom 5-10 minutes early to complete the check-in process and ensure a smooth start to the workshop.

What You Should Bring: Participants should plan to have available the following:

  • A talking piece - Something of value you to that you are willing to share with the group

Cancellations received up to five (5) business days prior to the date of the workshop will receive a full refund. Cancellations received less than five business days prior to the event will receive a fifty percent refund.

Individuals who register and are "no show" will pay the full registration fee.

We appreciate your understanding.