Last week, Center for High School Success (CHSS) coach, Gina Yacovetta hosted a virtual training and conversation with ninth grade success educators to delve into restorative practices, community, and relationship-building to engage students, and creating a safe & responsive learning environment. Over 20 ninth grade teachers, student engagement coordinators, administrators, and district staff across Colorado attended the training. Stand is committed to centering restorative practices in our education system, and we are proud to be able to offer this learning opportunity to schools across Colorado.
Gina is an educator and school leader with over 30 years of experience. Most recently she retired as the principal of Arvada High School in Jeffco School District. During her six years at Arvada High School, she led the implementation of restorative practices, a philosophy that focuses on building positive relationships and providing opportunities for community members to take responsibility for their behavior and their lives.
Gina shared her experience with a restorative approach saying, “With everything going on right now, the social-emotional challenges that are happening, we want students to build connections with each other and to share respect, both with their peers and with the adults in their school buildings. This is the time for us to say, 'Let’s make school a safe place where students can make mistakes, and let’s be there to help them and support them through all of it.’ By the time I left the school that I was at with restorative practices, students would say, ‘I would've never graduated if we wouldn't have had this.’”