Restorative Practices


Recognizing the need to build relationships and maintain positive connections to students and their families, Austin ISD has embarked on the development of a districtwide Culturally Responsive Restorative Practices Model. This student-focused model will frame the school-level climate and culture, ultimately preparing all students for college, career and life.

Restorative practices in Austin ISD builds on the foundation set out below:

Seven Core Assumptions About Human Beings

These are basic ideas that we believe to be true about human nature and our relationships to the world. It is important to be aware of one's core assumptions, because what we believe to be true shapes what we see. Our beliefs form the prism through which we see ourselves and others in the world.

  • The true self in everyone is good, wise and powerful.
  • The world is profoundly interconnected.
  • All human beings have a deep desire to be in a good relationship.
  • All humans have gifts, and everyone is needed for what they bring.
  • Everything we need to make positive change is already here.
  • Human beings are holistic.
  • We need practices to build habits of living from the core self.
Source: 'Circle Forward: Building a Restorative School Community' by Boyes-Watson & Pranis

Interested in learning more about restorative practices? We invite you to access the free, online professional learning our team is offering this school year. Learn more about it on our professional learning schedule.

Education Innovation Research Grant

The U.S. Department of Education awarded a five-year, $3.5 million grant to Austin ISD in October of 2017 for school years' 2017 (Fall)–2022 (Fall). The Education Innovation and Research Grant is designed to support whole school implementation of culturally responsive restorative
practices at six elementary schools (Barrington, Becker, Blazier, Blanton, Cook and Pickle) and four middle schools (Dobie, Mendez, Garcia YMLA and Burnet).

Sarah N. Johnson is the EIR Grant Coordinator and Project Director. The grant provides one grant coordinator and seven Restorative Practices Associates. Four RPAs support the middle schools, and three elementary RPAs support two elementary schools. The RPAs are closely aligned to support SEL and CP&I, Trauma-Informed practices, No Place for Hate, Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, and Mental Health Centers.

View the EIR Grant Report, completed by the American Institute of Research

The following questions guide the work of the EIR grant:

  • How do we prepare the adults in EIR Schools to create identity-safe campus spaces and places where student voice, agency and self-efficacy transform the school into a culturally responsive restorative space?
  • How do we prepare third-grade students to be the sixth-grade students that will transform their feeder middle school into a culturally responsive restorative space?
  • How do we prepare sixth-grade students to be the ninth-grade students that will transform their feeder high school into a culturally responsive restorative space? 

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Grant

The Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention awarded a $775,000, three–year grant to support a comprehensive approach to address youth violence and victimization at three campuses in Austin ISD. Crockett ECHS, Covington Middle School, and the Alternative Learning Center are implementing prevention, intervention, and accountability efforts that are community-driven and multi-tiered to include universal, school-wide programming as well as targeted interventions for youth exposed to violence. This includes youth identified as at risk for delinquency and/or youth involved in the juvenile justice system. Crockett ECHS has a Restorative Practices Associate on their campus supporting Restorative Practices implementation campus wide. Learn more about the grant on the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention website.

Contact Information

Oscar Adams

Assoc. Director of Discipline