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Oakland Unified School District

Restorative Justice

BRAND NEW: RJ Toolkit for Elementary RJ implementation

This new toolkit is born out of the experiences of OUSD RJ staff that have been implementing whole school restorative justice for years.  It includes a section on how to create a robust peer RJ program at the elementary level.

Contact Us

David Yusem

Restorative Justice Coordinator

Restorative Justice | Community Schools and Student Services

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You may use this poster to help people identify their own feelings as well as the feelings of others including characters in books, movies, poems etc. These emotions go beyond the usual "happy, angry, sad and tired" to include feelings that may arise during RJ processes such as talking circles and circles for conflict, harm and healing. 

"I feel incredibly invigorated and empowered by today's RJ training. I have experienced a lot of trainings in OUSD and this was truly the most thoughtful one in my 11 years as a teacher. Thank you!"

Click the links below for more videos:

Tier 1 Circle  |  Tier 3 Circle  |  O News: Edna Brewer Circle  |  A Response to Harm

Featured Videos: 

Click here to watch students at Fremont HS discuss the power of RJ

Watch this video by the Native American Rights Fund on Indigenous Peacemaking

Mini-documentary on the Maine-Wabanaki Truth Telling Commission

More videos on our YouTube channel

Restorative Justice in OUSD

In OUSD, Restorative Justice (RJ) is a set of principles and practices inspired by indigenous values used to build community, respond to harm/conflict and provide individual circles of support for students. By building, maintaining and restoring relationships between members of the entire school community, we help to create an environment where all students can thrive. Our program is implemented through a 3-tier, school-wide model.

Tier 1: Community Building (Prevention/Relate)

Tier 1 is characterized by the use of social emotional skills and practice (classroom circles) to build relationships, create shared values and guidelines, and promote restorative conversations following behavioral disruption. The goal is to build a caring, intentional, and equitable community with conditions conducive to learning.

Tier 2: Restorative Processes (Intervention/Repair)

Tier 2 is characterized by the use of non-punitive response to harm/conflict such as harm circles, mediation, or family-group conferencing to respond to disciplinary issues in a restorative manner. This process addresses the root causes of the harm, supports accountability for the offender, and promotes healing for the victim(s), the offender, and the school community.

Tier 3: Supported Re-Entry (Individualized/Restore)

Tier 3 is characterized by 1:1 support and successful re-entry of youth following suspension, truancy, expulsion or incarceration. The goal is to welcome youth to the school community in a manner that provides wraparound support and promotes student accountability and achievement.

RJ Tiers