Why assessing readiness for RJE is critical – A message to School Administrators

I love that you’re thinking of implementing Restorative Justice in Education (RJE) in your school or district. You already know it takes time, money, training, support, and resources. You understand that successful implementation of RJE could transform your school, your staff, and your students, and you’re excited. But hang on – excitement and knowledge doesn’t set you up for success. Ever wonder why great programs and initiatives fail in schools? They weren’t ready for it. But what does “readiness” mean?

Readiness looks at the extent to which the people in your school are willing and able to implement RJE. It makes sense, right? You might have high turnover, just got a new administrator, just introduced 300 more kids into your school, or your staff is suffering from innovation burn-out and doesn’t have the energy- or capacity – for one more thing. If people aren’t motivated, if they don’t collaborate well, if you have a lot of staff vacancies, it’s going to be very difficult for your school to embrace and implement something that’s supposed to create school-wide change.

RJAE Consulting has partnered with the Wandersman Center to develop a readiness assessment specific to schools wishing to implement restorative justice. This assessment comes in the form of a survey allows and us to look deeply into three areas essential for implementation: general capacity, motivation, and innovation-specific capacity. That’s how we came up with the formula R = MC2: Readiness = Motivation x Capacity (innovation-specific) X Capacity (general)

Most schools have strengths and weaknesses, and readiness assessments allow you to know exactly what those are. By looking at motivation and capacity, we can determine what you are really good at and help you start implementing RJE from a strengths-based perspective. We also support you in getting better at the areas where you might not be as strong. So throughout the implementation process, your entire school gets better – or gets more “ready.” How do we know things are changing? We use the readiness assessment over time as one tool to monitor implementation.

Readiness assessment reports are great tools for you, your staff, and your RJ trainer because you know exactly how to spend time and resources. And we can continue working together beyond the initial assessment to strengthen those weak areas, to monitor implementation, and keep the focus on school-wide change (not individual students’ behavior).

To talk about how our readiness assessment can facilitate the implementation of RJE in your school or district, contact RJAE Consulting. Read more about readiness on our website. We are here to set up your school up for success!