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Restorative Practice

West Fargo Public Schools implements a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) for students in kindergarten through twelfth grade in academics as well as social-emotional learning. MTSS is a whole school, child-focused, preventative framework which supports and improves learning for all students by providing high-quality instruction and interventions matched to student need. In the system, educators utilize continuous improvement processes for increasing the achievement and behavioral success of all learners by using research and/or evidence-based practices. Restorative practice is one powerful, research-based tool that schools utilize as a part of the MTSS program.


Restorative practice is a social science that focuses on building community and strengthening relationships. Research shows that when individuals feel connected to a community, such as a school, we are more inclined to respect others within the community as well as the community’s well-being. Unlike traditional disciplinary systems that utilize rewards and punishments to influence behavior, restorative practice investigates the underlying motives for learners’ disruptive and hurtful behavior and responds by further encouraging a sense of belonging, safety, and accountability.

Many of the district’s schools have implemented restorative practices within their disciplinary system. The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund allowed for three restorative practice leader positions to be created, with two at West Fargo High School and one at Heritage Middle School. A restorative practice leader aims to build stronger relationships among learners and educators in order to create a more positive school climate. As learners are referred to a restorative practice leader, interventions and supports are implemented to further strengthen their success. The district is gathering data on the efficacy of these positions to consider for ongoing funding.

Social Emotional & Behavioral Interventions

Positive social emotional and behavioral support includes three levels of support: universal, targeted, and intensive. CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning) is utilized to address five broad and interrelated areas of competence that include self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. Students are screened using Panorama Social Emotional surveys one to two times per year.

Learner Behavior Management

West Fargo Public Schools have defined the operating principles of the entire school community, which outlines how members of our schools are expected to interact with one another.

Educators and learners work together to help every person reach their fullest potential; academically, socially, physically, and emotionally. We believe that behavior is a choice. We believe that discipline is guidance. Through discipline, we strive to teach appropriate conduct and personal responsibility using an equal balance of logical consequences, problem solving, and restitution. Learners are expected to own their behaviors and solve their problems with adult guidance. Behavior which helps someone grow and mature will be encouraged. Behavior which interferes with another person's growth or rights will not be tolerated.

North Dakota Century Code 15.1-19.02 requires that any school district with multiple schools at any given level must have identical behavior management programs using identical language and expectations. 

To help meet the requirements of the North Dakota Century Code, each school has participated in training and a district discipline committee was formed to create a uniform learner management program. A behavior matrix was created to provide positive procedures in a school community, and training of staff to help build positive relationships with learners to facilitate effective classroom management and ultimately a positive learning environment.

The learner management program emphasizes our behavioral expectations and procedures that every teacher demonstrates and reviews throughout the school year and every learner practices and applies daily.