Success Stories

Implementation Success Stories

Steamboat Springs, CO

One of our most successful, long-term projects has been working with Steamboat Springs School District in the beautiful mountain town of Steamboat Springs, CO. We began work with them in 2017 when we were asked to train the staff at their alternative High School. It was a successful beginning that led to a meeting with the district’s Director of Teaching and Learning. There, we created the early outline for a long-term vision for the district. Grants were written to support a 3-year effort and, once funded, we slowly began training the rest of the schools in this small school district, moving from the middle school to the elementary schools and finally to the high school. 

The initiative gained steam year by year and they began to see results. Teachers found that this work “helped address the root cause of some of the behaviors that caused problems”, “helped students become people who respect and empathize with others” and “created a positive culture shift schoolwide.” Their success was due in large part to creating a district implementation team who oversee efforts and sending multiple staff through our Training of Trainers workshop so they could develop internal capacity for training staff throughout the district. We continue to work with them on an occasional basis to deepen and strengthen their initiative, by training administrators and facilitating schoolwide Healing Circles.

“Having worked with Restorative Solutions continuously since 2017, I can confidently say that our district would not be where it is today without their constant guidance and support. Their knowledge and experience in large system implementation as well as the nuanced details of specific restorative practice skills has been invaluable to our district.”- Allison Wither, School Counselor, Corps Grant Manager, Sleeping Giant School

Flagstaff Unified School District

In 2019, we were approached by the Director of Student Support Services for the district to implement Restorative Practices throughout the district, which is composed of 16 schools. Their goal was to improve school climate, reduce suspensions and increase collaborative problem solving among staff and students. We submitted a 3 Year Plan of Action that was built on the principles and practices of Implementation Science. Once we received approval and funding from the board, we began our “Preparation Phase” in the Spring & Summer of 2020, doing initial planning, readiness assessment, and strategic planning, including establishing district and school level implementation teams. From there, we slowly worked through the “Initial Implementation Phase” in 2020-21 and the “Full Implementation Phase” in 2021-22, starting with training Core Teams and then moving to training all staffs—first with one group of schools and then with the remaining group of schools. 

Our goal as an organization was to build long term capacity so that once we left, they had the skills, resources and personnel to continue after we left. They created a district RP Coordinator position, sent over 10 people to our Training of Trainers workshop so they could be trainers in their own buildings, and worked with us to completely revamp their Student Handbook and Code of Conduct. In a survey to school staff at the end of 2022, the majority of staff (80%+) have agreed to adopt and implement Restorative Practices and most schools have a restorative practices leader who works with both school and district teams. Some successes include: “All classes are doing community circles, lots of success with having restorative conversations with students” and “Friendships have been restored, fights have been avoided, teacher and student relationships have been made better”, “Students and staff taking ownership of their emotions, actions, and relationships” and “A parent used RP to solve a problem in their family with the daughters taking the lead!!”

It takes 3-7 years for an initiative to be successful and to last and FUSD is well on their way.

"Restorative Solutions has helped FUSD with sustainable changes to our district culture that creates connections and reduces discipline incidences and staff discord with a focus on trauma and equity sensitivity.  The program gave us essential language tools and skills to address the underlying dynamics of conflict and trauma. The trauma-responsive communication and the program's behavioral components helped our district understand the need for restorative practices. All programming and consultation were designed to meet schools where they are – beginning RJ to fine-tune existing RJ initiatives. Restorative Solutions has provided the schools and our district with new ways of communicating, understanding accountability, relationships, and connections. Our relationship with Restorative Solutions could not have been better. The constant support and guidance as we embraced this three-year plan in our district was extraordinary.  Catherine and Randy's personal attention and care made for a very smooth partnership.  We always look forward to our communication and visits with them." -Cathy Cox, Director of Student Support Services and Rochelle Bronson, Restorative Practice District Coordinator

Training of Trainers Workshop

For years we had heard about the concerns over holding Training of Trainers (ToT) workshops to build the capacity of Restorative Practices trainers in the field—and we were hesitant to start the process. Certainly, there is a big question in the field about how we’re going to achieve implementation sustainability and whether the Training of Trainers model is an effective strategy. We know that training someone to be a trainer right after they attend a training and before they have any real-life experience is most often insufficient. Trainers need experience, stories and presentation skills before they can fulfill the role well. But, we also knew that schools and districts couldn’t—and shouldn’t—have to rely on outside training organizations forever and ever. 

So, in 2019, we held our first Training of Trainers workshop with 11 participants. Since then, we have trained 119 people to be “Readiness Assessor & Implementation Strategists, Trainers, Facilitators and Coaches” in our structured yet flexible model of Restorative Practices—and overall, we feel it’s been a success. Some are now trainers for their school districts. Some are trainers for their individual schools and some are trainers for their educational organizations. In an informal survey to our ToT participants, 93% said the ToT was helpful or very helpful in strengthening their school's or organization's use of Restorative Practices and building self-sufficiency, and 93% said that the ToT model is an effective way for building self-sufficiency with fidelity to the practices.

We have been training trainers for four years now under a careful approach that seeks to develop readiness, competence and ongoing support and we are excited about our results. We continue to talk about how best to build capacity in schools and districts that is done with fidelity to the process and practices. And, we also provide customized ToTs for criminal justice and community organizations with our curriculum relevant to those arenas.

“My district was very impressed with the trainings I have been able to provide as a licensed trainer after attending your Training of Trainers Workshop. As an SEL Specialist in a fairly new role in my district, becoming a licensed trainer equipped me with the necessary tools to train staff in my district and engage key stakeholders in the implementation of Restorative Practices district-wide. I am truly grateful for the continued support, guidance, and relationship with Randy and Catherine as we do this important work.” - Erica Holloway, SEL Specialist, Crowley Independent School District, Ft. Worth, TX

Davenport Community-wide Implementation, IA

In 2018, Davenport, Iowa was hit with a sharp increase in juvenile auto theft. With poverty rates of almost 20%, and the largest school district in the state, the community was struggling to find a solution. That's when the Scott County Juvenile Detention and Diversion Center (SCJDDC) took action and contacted us to implement Restorative Justice Practices.

Their Executive Director, Jeremy Kaiser, reached out to us in 2019, and since then, they've been working with us to implement a community-wide initiative that is a collaboration between Juvenile Courts, Diversion, and the School District. 

With guidance from Restorative Solutions, they started by developing a ground-breaking Auto Theft Restorative Justice Program. This program transformed the community, providing an opportunity for juvenile offenders to meet with direct victims and trained community members in a facilitated restorative dialogue. Since its launch in 2019, the program has received 90 referrals from the Juvenile Courts, has a high contract completion rate, and a recidivism rate of only 20% after one year. The program has expanded to include three dedicated staff members, including a family liaison. Victim participation and satisfaction has been above 80%.

But they didn't stop there. They recognized the need to disrupt the School to Prison pipeline further upstream and formed a partnership with the Davenport School District to provide Restorative Justice Mediation services for students who receive Tier 2 and 3 referrals. Restorative Solutions worked with Davenport Schools to educate on the value of Restorative Practices and support the partnership. School-building based Juvenile Court Liaisons were trained in Restorative Practices and Mediation in 2020, and the program has since received close to 700 referrals with an extremely low rate of repeat behaviors.

In December of 2021, SCJDDJ staff members became licensed Restorative Solutions trainers through our Training of Trainers program, and have since trained both school staff and members of the local NAACP as facilitators.

The long-term vision is to fully implement Restorative Practices in Davenport and Bettendorf schools, as well as expand community partnerships, moving toward a fully Restorative Community.

“The training we received from Restorative Solutions, Inc. provided us with a strong knowledge base and skills in both restorative practices and program implementation.  This has allowed us to build what is now, three years later, a thriving, successful, and multi-faceted restorative justice program.” -David Bonde, RJ Program Coordinator and Trainer Scott County Juvenile Detention and Diversion Center


“I feel like I’m a better person and teacher because of this training.”

“You guys always do an awesome job and I appreciate all I’ve learned from you.”

“Fantastic training and trainers with relevant, practical and in your pocket ready to use skills.”

“Being able to work through our questions by actively participating in a connection circle throughout the training was such an amazing experience!”

“This was so inspiring! I have changed how I have written my students Behavior Improvement Plans to incorporate Restorative Practices.”

“Thank you so much!  It was one of the best trainings I have ever been to and I appreciate your guidance through the learning.”

“The training was outstanding! Thank you for your thoughtful reflection of our population.”

“Trainers were very knowledgeable and moved through the presentation at a comfortable pace.”

“Thank you so much, Catherine. This was unequivocally the most professional and clear PD I have had on RP so far. I thought you did a wonderful job working with our team and providing the support that we need. I am not sure what the future holds for us, but if we do end up going this route, I certainly hope we will get to work with you in the future.”

“Very good training…especially for such a short time.”

“Exceptional facilitators. It is an honor to work with you!”

“I can’t remember the last time that all staff was focused for an in-service. Excellent!”

“Today’s training was the the most meaningful I’ve had in 8 years of public education. Thank you.”

“I’ll be honest, it has completely changed how I structure my classroom!  I feel that I have a better grasp on behavior and that my students work better in an RP community.”

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