Family Counseling Service is thrilled to announce that we are partnering with West Aurora D129 to provide restorative practice support for their students.

This initiative is called Project I.M.P.A.C.T. (Intervene. Mediate. Participate. Accountability. Community. Transform.) and the goal of this project is to empower change and growth in relationships within the D129 community through restorative practices.

I.M.P.A.C.T.’s focus is to develop a restorative intervention process as well as provide professional development for staff within D129’s four middle schools and Blackhawk Academy.

West Aurora District 129 Assistant Superintendent Angela Smith says, “Being forced by the pandemic into a virtual platform fed into the already concerning behaviors being displayed on the Internet. Social media and gaming sites replaced real, personal interactions for many of our kids during the pandemic.

It’s time to help them learn how to connect again. How to express differences in a healthy way. How to ask for help when you need it without fear of rejection. As strained as educational systems are these days, we couldn’t do this on our own. We rely on strong partners like Family Counseling Service to help us meet our students’ needs.

Our partnership with FCS will begin to help our community heal by bringing both students and staff together to learn new coping skills, engage in meaningful dialogue, and spark restorative conversations to help repair and rebuild relationships. We are grateful for the support of ISBE, FCS and our West Aurora families. Together we can make a positive IMPACT on our community.”

Principles of restorative practices

  • Acknowledges that healthy relationships are key to building a strong community
  • Engages in solving problems collaboratively
  • Gives voices to individuals that have been harmed; created procedures for dealing with misconduct and harm in a way that strengthens relationships
  • Reduce, prevent, and improve harmful behavior

Benefits of restorative practices

  • Strengthens student connections to staff and other students
  • Builds confidence in the community’s ability to handle conflict constructively
  • Provides new and effective tools to replace outdated methods of punishment
  • Gives students opportunity to be held accountable for the effects of their actions on others

IMPACT people in circle image

Framework of restorative practices

  • Social Emotional Learning (SEL)
  • Proactive Circles
  • Responsive Circles
  • Restorative Conferences
  • Restorative Language
  • Affective Statements
  • Check Ins / Check Outs

Huge congratulations to the FCS team of Carlos Ulises Guillen, Amanda Huffman, Leigh Condon, and Erin Carlson who have spearheaded Project I.M.P.A.C.T., as well as our partners in West Aurora D129 who have worked so diligently together to make this initiative a success and serve our D129 students!