IJLA practices are rooted in restorative justice. Restorative justice is based on respect, responsibility, relationship-building and relationship-repairing. It focuses on mediation and agreement. It aims to create/maintain a safe environment where learning can flourish for all students. The entire IJLA family is expected to reflect on any and all harm they engage it (students, staff, families). This is an opportunity for students to identify the harm they created to a student, staff member or physical space in our building and encourages students to take responsibility for their actions. Staff model these practices by engaging in all restorative practices as well.
Acuerdos are an integral component of the IJLA culture. Acuerdos are agreements, not rules, that we (staff & students) agree to and honor. Acuerdos guide us in how we work, speak and treat each other. Acuerdos can be school-wide or in individual classrooms and are developed by the community to create a safe, respectful, successful space to learn. The community is in charge of monitoring Acuerdos and holding each other accountable for behaviors that do not go along with the Acuerdos. Teaching desired behaviors to minimize misconduct is based on three principles:
- All behavior is learned;
- Any repeated behavior is serving a function for the student; and
- Student behavior can be changed.