Schools throughout California have adopted restorative practices as a means to curb the use of exclusionary discipline, allay racial disparities in discipline, and improve school climate. While research suggests that implementing these practices can drive improvements for students and schools, the literature is replete with examples of schools facing implementation challenges. Many school leaders lack means of tracking staff use of these practices, which constrains their ability to improve implementation. This session provides guidance to school leaders regarding how to use existing data systems to measure school utilization of restorative practices and identify inequities in student exposure to these practices. Together we will consider new, purpose-built data systems that can drive deeper understanding of students’ experiences and catalyze school practice improvements.
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Sean Darling-Hammond (he/him) is a PhD candidate at UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy. He combines his backgrounds in psychology, sociology, law, policy, and statistics to identify and improve education policies that can help students of all backgrounds thrive. He is currently conducting research using administrative data from the California Department of Education to determine whether student exposure to restorative practices can improve academic, disciplinary, school climate, and mental health outcomes. Sean is also a certified restorative justice circle leader. Before pursuing his PhD, Sean earned his BA in sociology at Harvard, spent 5 years as the director of research at Hattaway Communications (a mission-driven firm in Washington, DC), earned his JD from UC Berkeley, clerked for the District Court of Maryland, and worked in education law and policy.
Lan Nguyen (she/her) is a Program Associate with WestEd’s Resilient and Healthy Schools and Communities content area. She has experience in diverse roles within large K–12 school districts supporting and guiding the implementation of restorative practices programs. As a former high school science teacher and experienced restorative practitioner, Lan is grounded in the daily realities of school and classroom life and has used her knowledge to guide her work with school and district leaders. She has seen firsthand the transformative effects of implementing restorative practices programs on the culture and climate of schools. Lan also has years of experience providing professional development and technical assistance to schools and districts regarding LGBTQ+ issues in education.