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Courageous Schools Conference:Building School Community through Restorative Practices

Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility

Saturday, May 17, 2014 from 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM (EDT)

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
General Admission
Ticket covers the full day, including delicious boxed lunch!
Ended $60.00 $0.00
Sponsor a Ticket
Please enable others to attend this conference by sponsoring one, two, or more tickets! Please make your tax-deductible donation in increments of $60.
Group Tickets
Register as a group of 5 or more and receive a 20% discount.
Ended $48.00 $0.00

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Event Details

Restorative Circle

Join the Circle!

Join hundreds of educators, parents, and
 others for 

  • stimulating talks by speakers by Kay Pranis & Shaka Senghor
  • skills-building workshops on strategies to improve our classrooms & schools 
  • entertainment by the renowned NYCHA Youth Chorus
  • networking with inspiring educators from NYC & beyond

... and help us honor PS 321 Principal Liz Phillips with our Courageous Educator Award!

... all at Morningside Center's 5th annual conference on social & emotional learning on Saturday, May 17 in New York City! 

Our theme: Building School Community through Restorative Practices. Restorative Circles can have a powerful impact on young people by helping them connect to each other and the school community. Circles create a safe, structured place where everyone is heard and respected, and hurts can be healed. They can be used in academic classes, in advisories, and as a positive approach to discipline.

We'll explore this promising practice - and share lots of other strategies for using social & emotional learning to strengthen our schools and classrooms, from preK to 12. See below for workshop descriptions.  Download our pdf conference flyer here

PLEASE CONSIDER SPONSORING ONE TICKET OR MORE so that people who are currently unemployed, low-income, or facing huge college debts can afford to join us!  If you cannot afford to pay the conference fee, please contact conference organizer Doris Lo at dlo@morningsidecenter.org or 212-870-3318 x37.

Conference Schedule

8:00-9:00             Registration
9:00-9:30            Gathering and Welcome
9:45-11:15          Workshop I
11:30- 12:30        Keynote: Shaka Senghor
12:30-1:15           Lunch
1:15-2:00            Keynote: Kay Pranis
2:15-3:45            Workshop II
4:00-4:40            Courageous Educator Award & NYCHA Youth Chorus
4:40-4:45            Closing Remarks
4:45-5:30            Reception 


Keynote Speakers 

Shaka Senghor

By sharing his personal story, Shaka Senghor addresses the themes of restorative justice, atonement, and the transformative power of literature. He founded The Atonement Project, a global initiative that facilitates healing and understanding through art, literature, and technology.

He is author of, Writing My Wrongs and Live in Peace: A Youth Guide to Turning Hurt into Hope. He received the Black Male Engagement Leadership Award in 2012, and was a 2013 MIT Media Lab Director’s Fellow.
Find out more about Shaka Senghor.


Kay Pranis

Kay Pranis is a national leader in restorative justice and peacemaking circles. She is a Senior Associate at the Center for Restorative Justice at Suffolk University and has authored or co-authored several books about circles, including Heart of Hope: A Guide for Using Peacemaking Circles to Develop Emotional Literacy, Promote Healing and Build Heathy Relationships.  

For nine years, Pranis was Restorative Justice Planner for the MN Department of Corrections.  She has a special interest in using circles to address racial, economic, class and gender inequities, including to understand and respond to historical harms to groups of people.  


Workshops designated as "A" (e.g, 8 A) are in the morning; workshops designated as "B" (eg, 14 B) are in the afternoon.

In most cases, the same workshop is offered in both morning and afternoon, with the designation "AB" - for instance, workshop 1AB on Renewing our Sense of Calling as Educators is offered in both morning and afternoon.

However, workshops 3A&B and 5A&B are intended to be 2-part workshops; participants should attend both morning and afternoon sessions.  

Please decide on which single morning workshop (A) and single afternoon workshop (B) you'd like to attend based on the list below.

You'll be asked to make this selection as part of the online registration process. Seats for each workshop are limited and several of these workshops are already sold out.

1 AB: Renewing Our Sense of Calling as Educators (PreK-12)

For many of us, our professional lives started with a deep inner calling. As we teach and lead, staying connected to this calling and a sense of inner purpose can be challenging. Yet what we offer our colleagues and students is directly related to this condition of our own inner lives. Here we will explore our identity and integrity as educators and have the chance to reclaim the sense of purpose and passion that brought us into the field of education in the first place.
Facilitator:  Linda Lantieri

2 AB: SEL and the Common Core (PreK-5) **Workshop description has been updated

 What one key characteristic determines success, even more than intelligence or talent?  Grit – perseverance and passion for long term goals. Our students must be resilient and persistent in facing the challenges of the Common Core to become college and career ready. Learn about the current research in character development and how you can grow grittier kids.

Facilitators:  Katrina Liebst, Lenox Small

3 A&B: Using Circles to Nourish a Diverse Classroom 2-part workshop (PreK-12) 

This workshop offers participants a concrete set of tools to interact effectively in a diverse classroom. Part A is designed to help participants understand how they can work effectively with people from diverse backgrounds, creating a sense of inclusion and community while retaining their own cultural identity and integrity.   Part B will explore how some current education ideas and practices rely on teaching/learning styles that may be culturally challenging for the teacher, the student, or both. We will look at how SEL and Restorative Circle approaches can bridge this cultural divide. 
 Liz Young 

4 A: The 4Rs (Reading, Writing, Respect & Resolution) (PreK-3)

Research shows that Morningside Center’s 4Rs Program boosts attendance and academic performance of youth identified by teachers as behaviorally at-risk and increases the social and emotional competence of children throughout the school. Students find the program engaging, and its elements enhance regular classroom instruction. In this interactive workshop participants will be introduced to the 4Rs Program for  teachers of grades PreK-3. We will explore how it is structured, what skills are taught and what it looks like in the classroom.
Facilitator: Joyce Griffen

4 B: The 4Rs (Reading, Writing, Respect & Resolution) (4 –8)

The workshop will focus on The 4Rs for teachers of Grades 4-8. See the Workshop 4A description above for more information.
Facilitator: Joyce Griffen

5 A&B: Restorative Practices in Schools: Promoting Inclusion and Accountability 2-part workshop (6-12) Previous training and experience in Circles is highly recommended.  

The premise of restorative practices is that people are happier, more cooperative, more productive, and more likely to make positive change when those in positions of authority do things with them, rather than to them or for them.  Here we will go beyond those modes to explore practices like mediation, circles, and conferences that are part of the restorative and engaging with mode. We will look at conflict and troublesome behavior through a restorative lens by focusing on repairing relationships, making things right, taking responsibility and building the social capital needed for healthy, inclusive communities.
Facilitator: Marieke van Woerkom
and Alan Gomez

6 AB: Class Meetings: Building Community through Joint Problem-Solving (K-5) 

Here participants will experience class meetings that give K-5 students a chance to apply their social & emotional skills to real-life problems. Through videos and role plays, we will explore how class meetings transform classrooms by empowering students, enabling them to take responsibility for themselves and their community in new and exciting ways.
Facilitator: Emma Gonzalez

7 AB: Developing and Running a Successful Advisory Program (6-12)

Here participants will explore the key components of a successful advisory program. Whether building an advisory program from scratch or strengthening an existing program, it is important to consider how the various components fit together and fit within the school day. Through case studies, a puzzle activity and small-group discussions, participants will assess where their school stands and next steps.
Facilitators:  Xioel Terrero and Kenyi Ogando

8 AB: Using Circles to Build Community - NOW OFFERED in the Morning and Afternoon!

This session will cover some of the basic structure of the circle process, explore the ways the structure of the circle promotes connection and understanding among participants and provide examples of using circles to build community.  The session will involve participants and draw on the experience of the group.
Facilitator: Kay Pranis (Keynote Speaker)

9 AB: Designing an SEL-Aligned Approach to Discipline (PreK-12)

The journey to develop a holistic discipline program involves a school community agreeing on a number of steps that build both community and systems. P.S. 309 Principal Nicole Perry and Bronx Collaborative High School Principal Brett Schneider will share some of their schools’ journey and engage participants in a planning process to see how their own school might engage in similar design work. The workshop will focus on four areas we found vital to designing the holistic discipline/restorative model: school community-building initiatives; SEL skill-building curriculum integrated into the school day; internal systems to acknowledge and correct or reward SEL behaviors; and a fine-tuned response system to the most undesirable student behaviors.
Facilitators:  Brett Schneider and Nicole Perry

10 A: Building a Strong Parent Community through Restorative Circles Practices

Parents will participate in a Restorative Circle that will involve ways to open communication and build trust in a school community setting. Through sharing values, storytelling, and problem-solving practices parents will become familiar with a strategy to bring people together with a common purpose.
Facilitator:  Mariana Gaston

11 B: Reflection and Community Circles in Math and Science Classes (6-12) Good for beginners and those experienced in Restorative Circles.

 In this workshop participants will experience how circles can be used in math and science classes to learn about and reflect on growth mindset, build community and reflect on how students and their classmates can learn best. Participants experience how to use circles to help shape the narrative in the classroom, to help maintain a learning environment in which students can become positive leaders.
Facilitators:  Adam Chasen and Raka Spoerri

12 AB: Using Circles to Build Student Leadership (6-12)

Participants will explore the use of circles in leadership development, community development and as a tool to foster student voice in their school. The workshop will outline a process to use with students that includes: Leadership Basics, Initiative Leading and Circle Keeping. In the beginning of the course, we use materials from Be the Change and Heart of Hope to develop the community and skills of the leadership cohort. In the middle section, we use circles to foster growth mindset as the students embark on their leadership internship. And lastly, students design and present circles to the greater school community around topics of their choosing.
Facilitator:  Beth Mowry 

13 AB - Using Circles for Instruction in the Humanities (6-12)

While Circle process has been used for restorative justice and advisory activities, the same process encourages vibrant discussion and accountable talk in academic classes as well. In this workshop teachers will practice ways to bring the Circle process into whole class discussion of literature that incorporates higher order thinking questions, accountable talk, collaborative & differentiated instruction, and opportunities for writing. The workshop will follow the Circle process in looking at a visual image, discussing a short textual reading, and applying literary analysis. Along the way, teachers will learn ways to incorporate think-pair-share, note-taking, accountable talk, & an easy rubric for evaluation; and they’ll see a brief video of the process at work in a classroom.
Facilitator:  J.K. van Nort

14 B - Integrating SEL into After School (PreK-8)  

Participants will experience an engaging and fun workshop designed like an after-school SEL activity. Participants will learn about resources and structures after-school programs need to support students and staff in a socially-emotionally conscious way. Participants will learn about the explicit and implicit benefits of SEL after a long day of school,  and how our students help lead the charge to a peaceful and thought provoking classroom environment.
Facilitators:  Adam Torres and Chesray Dolpha 

15 A - Introduction to Restorative Circles (6-12) - NEW WORKSHOP!! (Due to high demand for a comprehensive workshop on Restorative Circles, we are now offering this workshop in the MORNING Session)

This session will introduce participants to restorative circles. It will include an overview of the basic structure of the circle process and suggestions on how to use Circles effectively in the school setting to build community and address challenges

Facilitator: Joe McCarthy

Have questions about Courageous Schools Conference:Building School Community through Restorative Practices? Contact Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility

When & Where

Bank Street College of Education
610 W. 112th St.
New York, NY 10025

Saturday, May 17, 2014 from 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM (EDT)

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Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility

Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility works hand in hand with educators to help young people develop the values, personal qualities, and skills they need to thrive and contribute to their communities—from the classroom to the world.

For over 30 years, Morningside Center has been the leading provider of programs to foster students’ social and emotional learning (SEL) in the New York City public schools, the nation’s largest school system. 

Two major scientific studies have found that our programs markedly improve student behavior and social-emotional competency; reduce discipline incidents and suspensions; improve classroom climate for learning; improve attendance; and improve academic outcomes.  Our 4Rs and Resolving Conflict Creatively Programs are among 23 SELect programs identified by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning as best in the country.  Morningside Center is now bringing our research-validated approaches to school systems nationally.

Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility, 475 Riverside Drive, Suite 550, New York, NY 10115; 212-870-3318. www.morningsidecenter.org

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Courageous Schools Conference:Building School Community through Restorative Practices
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