FORWARD Program News
(formerly STOP School Violence) November 2021
Circles are a signature technique of Restorative Practices. According to the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP), “A circle is a versatile restorative practice that can be used proactively, to develop relationships and build community, or reactively, to respond to wrongdoing, conflicts and problems. Circles give people an opportunity to speak and listen to one another in an atmosphere of safety, decorum and equality.”
Sitting in a circle, staff and students come together to share openly about their experiences and perspectives. Participants are directed to speak honestly, listen respectfully, and treat each other fairly as they discuss topics related to academics, behavior expectations, getting to know one another, and more. This creates a culture of care within the classroom and encourages problem-solving.
Keep reading to see how Restorative Circles are being used throughout the District!
"Stop, Sit, Circle!" at George Southard
George Southard’s Restorative Practices Team recently led a schoolwide event in which every classroom participated in a community-building circle after the morning announcements. The theme of this event was “Teamwork”. Students and staff were encouraged to think about what teamwork means to them, and how they can be a "team player" at school.
Circles with Staff at Lockport High School & Charles Upson Elementary
Students aren’t the only ones who benefit from participating in restorative circles! Staff at both Charles Upson Elementary School and Lockport High School have been meeting in circles to improve their personal wellness and strengthen their relationships with one another. In October, these circles focused on “Values”, and the impact that our values have on our work as educators. Staff discussed what they need from one another to be successful. They used those expectations to create "centerpieces" for their circles that will serve as guidelines for future activities.
LHS staff participating in a circle.
The centerpiece at LHS, featuring items that represent the Circle Keeper, Heather Scharping, and the values described by staff.
LHS staff participating in a circle.
From the Lion's Den
At Charles Upson, Mrs. Connolly's classes made anti-bullying magnets for their lockers. Mrs. Connolly also created a "Bullying Stops Here" display which features artwork made by Upson students for Mrs. Wurl's Bullying Prevention Poster Contest. In another lesson, students brainstormed ways they could show compassion to someone who had been bullied, and built a "spider web" of kindness.
Charles Upson students with their locker magnets.
Sully surrounded by artwork for Mrs. Wurl's poster contest at Charles Upson.
Mrs. Bogdan's class makes a "spider web of kindness".
How to Reach Us
- Nicole Weaver, Multidisciplinary Mental Health Coordinator, is located at Lockport High School and works with grades K-12. She can be reached at email@example.com or via phone at (716) 478-4423.
- Heather Scharping, Behavioral Health Coordinator, is located at Aaron Mossell Junior High School and works with grades 7-12. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 478-4700.
- Laura Feind, Behavioral Health Coordinator, is located at Charles Upson Elementary School and works with grades K-6. She can be reached at email@example.com or via phone at 478-4412.
LCSD works with community organizations to make information about activities and enrichment opportunities available to families. We cooperate with approved community partners by posting eflyers online and distributing them electronically.