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Association of California School Administrators
Association of California School Administrators
Research supports ‘restorative restart’ for schools
June 28, 2021
A new report from PACE lays out 14 “restorative actions” educators should take in the 2021-22 school year to welcome students back and begin the foundational work for creating change within school systems.
“Restorative Restart: The Path Towards Reimagining and Rebuilding Schools” cautions against bringing students back to schools that look the same as they were before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As transmission rates decline and vaccination rates increase in California, many are eager to return to normalcy, but we must all recognize that even the prepandemic normal was not working for all students,” according to the report summary. “The 2021–22 school year, therefore, constitutes a critical opportunity for schools to offer students, families and educators a restorative restart. This is a moment for districts and schools to reimagine and rebuild equitable school systems where all students have the support and opportunities they need to thrive.”
The authors recommend that all schools take six weeks starting now through the start of the 2021-22 school year to prioritize practices that not only address lost learning but also begin the work of systemic transformation “using evidence-based, whole child approaches to advance learning and engagement for all students.”
While acknowledging the challenges educators will face in the new year, such as decline in student/teacher well-being and learning loss, the report authors also take stock of new “assets,” such as more capacity for using technology and increased family engagement.
The following are 14 restorative actions recommended in the report. Find detailed practices, strategies and resources for each action in the report online at
Restorative action 1: Proactively connect one-on-one with each and every family. Restorative action 2: Create dedicated time and space for relationship building and reengagement. Restorative action 3: Implement positive and restorative discipline practices. Restorative action 4: Conduct regular student wellness screenings. Restorative action 5: Assess student learning and review data on attendance, engagement, and grades. Restorative action 6: Create an individualized action plan to meet the whole child needs of every student. Restorative action 7: Pair students with high-dosage tutoring. Restorative action 8: Provide mental health supports. Restorative action 9: Offer expanded learning opportunities. Restorative action 10: Staff up to support student reengagement. Restorative action 11: Advance racial equity in curriculum and teaching. Restorative action 12: Offer students choice and voice in their learning. Restorative action 13: Focus on priority standards and lessons to accelerate learning. Restorative action 14: Engage diverse teams to monitor improvement and build towards long-term change.
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