MEND Program Information
MEND began as a pilot program in 2006. MEND continues today as an integral part of Limestone District School Board’s (LDSB) strategic plan. This is made possible by funding from LDSB, Ontario Trillium foundation, the Ministry of Child and Youth Services and our Kingston community.
Restorative Practice Definition: (Restorative Practice Consortium, 2016)
- Restorative Practice is a way of thinking and being based on a foundation or caring, collaborative and respectful relationships.
- Restorative Practice builds and strengthens healthy relationships and community.
- Restorative Practice provides a supportive framework to prevent, respond to and repair harm through a continuum of practice.
Preventative Classroom Support:
MEND Community Building circles provides opportunities for connection within the whole class. These restorative circles build trust, connection, understanding, respect, empathy and acceptance between participants. This provides the basis for a strong community within the classroom and school and in turn this reduces conflict.
Circles are introduced with MEND support with classroom staff making a commitment to continue. The Circle process is a way of being in your classroom, not a tool to be used on others.
MEND Mediation or Facilitation:
MEND staff are highly trained in a variety of Restorative models and can create a process to address a specific conflict or harm caused.
Mediation or Facilitation are used when a conflict or issue between students is deep rooted, long standing and/or complicated.
MEND services are voluntary.
MEND services are confidential and are not used to investigate, find blame & punish.
MEND fosters a safe space for participants to listen and be heard, reflect on one’s own behaviour and accept responsibility, be accountable for actions by agreeing to specific behavioural changes. MEND also empowers those harmed to feel safe to vocalize what they need.
Our experience has shown that when people truly understand how they have affected someone else, they make personalized, meaningful efforts to repair that harm; and to ensure that the person(s) they have harmed feels safe in the future.
Building Community in your Classroom Training provides any LSDB staff with a framework and understanding to practice community building circles within their classrooms. When community is strengthened, we have a platform to safely address issues that will arise.