Miller’s Restorative Practices history
In January 2016 Miller Middle School hosted a training paid for by a La Plata Youth Services grant funding restorative justice and the 6th judicial district attorney’s office. This was a joint effort to bring basic training and presentation on restorative practices as it relates to school-wide implementation and to begin the process of allowing schools to decide how to move forward with the skills and training.
Miller moved forward with a strong vision for more inclusive disciplinary processes and strengthening our school climate and culture, in line with 9R action item #4. In March 2016 we were offered a grant-funded opportunity through La Plata Youth Services, Community in Schools Partnership Program, to fund implementation of restorative practices at Miller Middle School. La Plata Youth Services and Miller Middle School hired a full time contracted restorative practices facilitator in July 2016.
Starting in August 2016, Miller and LPYS began implementation, allowing students an opportunity to address conflict and discipline through dialogue that is inclusive of all parties in order to repair harm, reintegrate all those affected, and prevent similar incidents in the future. Most importantly we focus on building and maintaining strong relationships with our students and utilize restorative practices on a daily basis within the classroom and when conflict or incidents arise.
In March of 2018, JoAnne Hibbard was hired as the Restorative Practices Facilitator. JoAnne has been an highly-acclaimed educator for over 38 years: 21 years teaching students in Durango School District 9-R, and 17 more dedicated to training teachers and other adults. JoAnne has a B.A. in Elementary Education and an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction. She has been honored at the state level for leadership and innovation in education. JoAnne has received hundreds of hours of mindfulness-related trainings from, among others, Mindful Schools, Brilliant Mindfulness with Sarah Ruddell Beach, MBSR with Janet Curry, Mindful Life with Dr. Kristen Race, Hardwiring Happiness with Dr. Rick Hanson, Conscious Discipline with Dr. Becky Bailey , Full Circle Restorative Justice (certification training), and Jessica Dancingheart with Opening to Possibilities, and Non-Violent Communication with Marshall Rosenberg.
For the 2018-2019 School Year, JoAnne has brought on Allie Kasten to support her work with Restorative Practices at Miller Middle School. Allie has been in the Durango Community for 4 years. She received a B.A. in Sociology in 2011 and has been working with youth and families in crisis for the last decade. Since getting involved with the restorative justice movement, Allie has received training from La Plata Youth Services, Full Circle Restorative Justice, Jessica Dancingheart with Opening to Possibilities, Dr. Tom Cavanagh of Restorative Justice Education, and Rachel Turiel in Non-Violent Communication. Throughout the 2017-2018 school year, she served as the Restorative Practices Facilitator for Ignacio Elementary School. Allie is passionate about the power of positive relationships and views restorative practices as an incredible opportunity to improve the educational experience for both students and their families.
JoAnne and Allie will be working towards a restorative school climate in the Miller community for the 2018-2019 school year and beyond!
Restorative Practice goals include:
1. Educate and train students to facilitate restorative circles and address harm with support from restorative practice facilitation staff.
2. School-wide participation in relationship building and strengthening through daily CREW meetings.
3. Continue to provide an opportunity for dialogue with students through prevention and intervention methods.
4. Improve positive outcomes from incidents within the school, leading to fewer detentions, suspensions, and other punitive methods of discipline.
5. Build sustainable systems for restorative practices throughout Miller Middle school, so that the shift toward a restorative healthy and safe school climate continues long into the future.