Restorative Practices

Vision for School Culture

Prospect Hill Academy Charter School employs restorative approaches for building positive school culture by facilitating the development of positive and meaningful relationships among students and adults in its school community, by creating safe spaces in the school environment for the exploration of identity and culture, and by employing culturally responsive, student-centered learning and teaching practices that frame school discipline and academic failure as opportunities for deep academic and social-emotional learning for students.


All students are expected to live up to the values of Be Safe, Be Kind, and Be Your Best in their daily actions and interactions. We believe that each student has the right to learn in a safe and friendly place, be treated with respect, and receive the help and support of caring adults.


At the Upper Elementary, CREW means more than a group of people working toward the same goal. It stands for the values and qualities that we strive to cultivate in everyone from students to teachers to leaders in our community. We work on these skills throughout the day, giving special attention and time for them during morning advisory meetings. The C stands for Courageous. We show courage by taking on positive challenges, doing what’s right, even when it’s hard and no one is looking, and setting high goals. R is for Responsible, which means reflecting on the causes and effects of our actions,  taking steps to make sure we understand and meet expectations, and caring for the wellbeing of our community, shared spaces, and materials. Next, we are Empathetic when we work productively and respectfully with others, even when we disagree with their ideas; use active listening to learn what others need and provide support without expecting anything in return; and offer genuine apologies and repair when our actions harm others. Finally, W stands for Well-Balanced. To show balance, we strive to be aware of our emotions and match our reactions to the size of a problem, recognize that we all have ways we can grow, work to understand and address our own strengths and needs, and feel good about ourselves.


School culture at the Middle School and High School/Collegiate Institute is formulated around the following three characteristics:

  • Engaged: Students and teachers take pride in their work, and see their work in school as connected to the real world outside of PHA.
  • Respectful and Safe: Because the environment is safe and consistent, students and teachers interact with one another respectfully and support one another in taking risks within the academic setting.
  • Celebratory: Students and teachers celebrate not only victories and great achievements, but also the progress and outstanding effort of each individual and the community as a whole.
Furthermore, students are consistently asked to adhere to and reflect upon the commonly understood STAR values (S- Self Awareness, T- Tenacity, A-Attitude, R- Relationships). Each public assessment and presentation of work includes a section where students rate their performance against these values. 

Restorative Approach and School Discipline

A restorative approach to student discipline combines that need to hold students accountable for their conduct with the support of the adults to nurture and encourage students to learn from their mistakes and continue to grow. In this context, school discipline uses behavioral learning interventions that allow students to reflect upon their interactions with others and themselves and to develop critical social, emotional and non-cognitive skills that help them to navigate their peer groups, their interactions with adults and the community outside of the school.
The above graphic indicates that being a restorative school (that focuses on firm, authoritative and re-integrative practices) means that we seek to balance high expectations for student accountability with providing the necessary learning supports and accommodations for students. Through establishing a restorative school culture, we are best able to help students meet high academic and social-emotional learning expectations.