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Restorative Practice & Social Emotional Learning Competencies

Restorative Practices

Restorative Practices offer a continuum of prevention and intervention responses to support positive behaviors and reduce negative behaviors.

The most meaningful purpose of Restorative Practices is restoring and building relationships. Wissahickon School District employs Restorative Practice to focus on teaching behavior. The Code of Student Conduct details preventative and responsive actions that can be taken to address behavior concerns when they arise.

Using Restorative Practice ensures that students will engage in a process that moves through acknowledgement and accountability. Research shows that when students take ownership of the conflicts that they created, they develop self-awareness of the impact their behavior had on others and take intentional steps to make things right.

Traditional and Restorative Application

Traditional Approach
Consequences Given

Restorative Approach
Consequences, Understanding Impact, and Steps to

Repair Harm Given 

  • School rules are broken. 
  • Resolution focuses on establishing guilt.  
  • Accountability equals punishment.
  • Punishment is directed at the Person Who Caused Harm. 
  • Rules and intent outweigh whether outcome is positive or negative. 
  • Limited opportunity for expressing remorse or making amends. 
  • People and relationships are harmed.
  • Resolution identifies accountability, needs, and responsibility. 
  • Accountability equals consequences, understanding impact, and repairing harm.
  • Person Who Caused Harm, Person Harmed, and School all have direct roles in the resolution process.  
  • Person Who Caused Harm is responsible for harmful behavior, receives consequences, and works toward positive outcomes. 
  • Opportunity given to make amends and express remorse. 


We value our partnership with our WSD families. Below are questions that we employ when we engage in restorative conversations. These questions can be applicable at home and support district efforts. 

Restorative Questions to Ask When Someone Is Harmed

  • What did you think when you realized what had happened? ​
  •  What impact has this incident had on you and others? ​
  • What has been the hardest thing for you? ​
  • What do you think needs to happen to make things right?

Restorative Questions to Ask When Someone Has Harmed Someone

  • What happened? ​
  • What were you thinking of at the time? ​
  • What have you thought about since? ​
  • Who has been affected by what you have done, and how were they affected?  ​
  • What do you think you need to do to make things right?


Social Emotional Learning  

Social Emotional Learning is an integral part of education and human development. It is the process through which ALL young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities; manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals; feel and show empathy for others; establish and maintain supportive relationships; and make responsible and caring decisions (Casel 2021). 

To ensure that Wissahickon School District students experience a culture of belonging and dignity, the District continues to create equitable learning environments, spaces, and experiences focused on all students’ social, emotional, mental, behavioral, and academic wellness. Therefore, we recognize the importance of building and sustaining meaningful relationships with and between our students and staff. The responses to behaviors found in The Code of Student Conduct direct our purpose in teaching behavior, acknowledgement, and accountability for authentic change in behavior to occur. This is a framework and process that we, with our students, faculty, staff, and in partnership with parent/guardian support, are committed to in our school community.   

Social Emotional Learning Competencies 

  • Self-Awareness: The ability to accurately recognize one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior (self-confidence and self-efficacy) 
  • Self-Management: The ability to set and work toward personal and academic goals (self-motivation & goal-setting) 
  • Social Awareness: The ability to take perspective of and empathize with others (empathy, respect for others, and perspective taking) 
  • Relationship Skills: The ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships (communication & teamwork) 
  • Responsible Decision Making: The ability to make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions (identifying, analyzing, and solving problems and reflection)