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Virtue Based Restorative Discipline


St. Helen School is committed to helping each child grow in virtue to build a strong, Catholic community. A virtue is a holy habit that imitates God.  Our goal is to help each child develop self-discipline. As a staff we try to model what we expect, supporting children even when he/she has made a mistake. The intention of Virtue Based Restorative Discipline is to encourage a positive learning environment wherein all children have a right to learn and all teachers have a right to teach. Handling inappropriate behavior is essential to help each student grow in self-discipline. We work to help each child: recognize the harm that the behavior causes, discover ways to correct the harm, and grow in virtue. In Virtue Based Restorative Discipline, teachers will use gathering times to:

  • build community and trust in the classroom

  • learn about virtues and create ways to share these with others at home and at school

  • discuss potential problems and discover solutions before they turn into severe problems


These gathering times will be held on a regular basis, but the amount of time set aside for these will vary according to the needs of the children, the situation being addressed, and the schedule of the class.

An atmosphere for growth spiritually, academically as well as emotionally is formed when families and teachers are consistent and united in setting realistic, Christian boundaries.  Virtue Based Restorative Discipline practices will be used as part of the process in handling problems. Virtue Based Restorative Discipline does not take the place of policies outlined in our handbook, but rather supports the school’s efforts.  Inappropriate behaviors lead to harm in our community but we will address it in a Christian way. We will work to mend and restore relationships that were harmed because it is our goal to live a virtuous life, loving God and our community.


We will look at inappropriate behaviors that disrupt the school day.  This includes language, gestures, or actions that physically or emotionally harm, exclude or intimidate another person.  These actions diminish the dignity of another and can include teasing and name-calling.

The guiding principles of Virtue Based Restorative Discipline are:

  1. We will devote ourselves to living virtuously.

  2. We will support others in living virtuously.

  3. We will commit to constructive thoughts, words, and action.

  4. When faced with trials or disagreements, we will find solutions that promote virtue.

Behavior issues will be handled in the classroom first using VBRD practices and the consequences will be based on what has been established by the teacher in the beginning of the year.  Our policies and rules are set up to help students build virtue, self confidence, and the necessary skills to become a problem solving individual.

Families are an essential part of the Virtue Based Restorative Discipline structure.  As we continue to learn and live virtuous lives, the possibility of creating family prayer/discussion groups will be explored for next school year or after.  These gatherings would help families understand restorative discipline practices, offer support to one another, and to build community. It is all of our responsibilities to nurture self-discipline in our children.

Monthly Virtues:

As you may be aware, each month our school community focuses on a different virtue. Below you will find the virtues assigned to each month and what they mean. We encourage you to use these at home.


  • August/September:

    • Kindness,  seeing the best in others and having a considerate and generous spirit.​

  • October:

    • Peace, a calm feeling that all will work out well because God is with us.​

  • November:

    • Thankfulness, showing a heartfelt appreciation for all of God’s gifts.​

  • December:

    • Compassion, a better understanding of the suffering of others and a desire to make it better.​

  • January:

    • Humility, putting others before oneself and holding God as a higher importance than our own desires.​

  • February:

    • Love, selfless service to others by your words and actions.​

  • March:

    • Forgiveness, accepting the mistakes of others and not holding it against them.​

  • April:

    • Gentleness, strength tempered by love; using the power to forgive instead of getting angry.​

  • May:

    • Patience, love that is willing to endure life’s suffering, difficulties and routine.​

  • Overall Theme:

    • Unity, being at one with God and each other.

Updated on September 16, 2021

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