Hilda A. de Leon

Hodge Road Spanish Language Dual Immersion Magnet Elementary School
Knightdale, North Carolina

Best Practices

1) Restorative Justice: Four years ago, I began to study Restorative Justice practices that I used at the high school during my 5-year tenure as an Assistant Principal. I came to Hodge and began using the RJ model and saw a significant decrease of OSS and ISS with the use of Restorative Practices. Our children became self-advocates and verbalized concerns to teachers, admin., and parents. Through Restorative Justice practices we have created a culture of understanding the behavior through communication in spoken and written form. Students use
“think sheets” and “journals” when they find themselves in a negative situation whether as the person being harmed or as the person doing the harm. The use of RJ is seeking to understand, apologize, forgive, and co-exist peacefully. RJ is a best practice that teaches students to repair the harm they’ve caused. The use of RJ also minimized the rate of recidivism. I whole-heartedly believe in RJ and I witnessed how it can change the way students communicate and treat other. When a child receives consequences for a discipline issue, that narrative we write follows them throughout high school. RJ allows the narrative to change. We can write what was done to repair harm, to help others, and that the behavior wasn’t repeated. At Hodge we increased communication, built relationships with students and parents, and allowed students to use “think sheets” and journals. Restorative Practices worked to teach students how to discuss their feelings and when they felt heard, understood why they reacted in certain ways, and sought to understand the other person, the behavior decreased to disappeared. Restorative Justice is a structure and process I will continue to use when I lead a school as a Principal.

2) Capturing Kids’ Hearts: Is a philosophy that I wholeheartedly believe helps children succeed in school and will help them throughout their lives. It is based on the belief that if you have a child’s heart you have their mind. I began using CKH’s in 2015. When used consistently it builds long-lasting mutual respect, with agreed upon contracts of how we want to be treated and how we will treat others. Capturing Kid’s Hearts is a BEST PRACTICE that creates successful school experiences for all staff, teachers, and students. I will use CKH at the school I will eventually lead because I know it positively impacts a schools’ culture and leads to social and academic success.