This project is an implementation of a Restorative Discipline Program at Kipp Austin Connections Elementary School K-3. Restorative Discipline is a relational and prevention-oriented approach to student behavior that promotes building respectful and trusting relationships as the foundation for teaching and learning while providing meaningful opportunities for students to develop self-discipline and positive behaviors in a caring, supportive environment.

The Institute for Restorative Justice and Restorative Dialogue (IRJRD) at The University of Texas at Austin’s School of Social Work will manage the implementation of the program by providing a restorative justice coordinator for 19 hours a week and a process and outcome evaluation. IRJRD will subcontract with Life Anew to provide teacher training and supervision of the restorative justice coordinator.

Project services and deliverables include: on-site training for teachers, staff, parents; restorative justice coordinator; individual and group supervision to the restorative justice coordinator through Life Anew; monthly coordination meetings with the Kipp administration through Life Anew; bi-monthly consultation to and coordination with Life Anew; additional services on an as-needed basis; outcome and process evaluation at the end of the school year addressing the overall function of the program and measuring the impact of Restorative Dialogue on school climate and behavioral indicators of student risk.

Based on similar initiatives in San Antonio and around the U.S., researchers expect to see reductions in ticketing, in-school suspensions, out-of-school suspensions, and alternative school placements. Researchers also anticipate a positive impact on the disproportionate use of discipline on boys of color as well as indicators of a more positive school climate as evidenced by fewer office referrals and tardies.