Photo courtesy of Lisa Irish/AZEdNews

From left to right, Will Gonzalez, GCU Board of Trustees Chairman; Dr. Lupita Hightower, Superintendent of Tolleson Elementary School District; Art Montoya, Director of the Phoenix Restorative Justice Center at Balsz School District; and Giselle Herrera, executive director of curriculum and instruction for Tolleson Elementary School District. 


Phoenix, Ariz. -- Equipping students with the skills to learn how to take ownership for their actions and work at repairing relationships is no easy task, but some school administration leaders in the Phoenix area believe that the journey is worth the effort

The Phoenix Restorative Justice Center (PRJC), a program of West Coast MCC, is working hard training administration, teachers and staff in restorative justice, relationship building, mediation, and how to resolve conflict in the classroom.  PRJC partners with Tolleson School District and Grand Canyon University to provide trainings in various school districts in the Phoenix area.  

With your support, PRJC is able to provide training for peer student mediators and presentations for parents to understand what is happening in the schools with restorative justice practices.  “We get a lot of responses from parents once the program is going that they say, ‘What are you doing with my child? I see a difference in a positive way.’ They start to see the changes,” Montoya said. (click here to learn more about the PRJC trainings)

Art Montoya, Director of PRJC says that he most enjoys collaborating with others to help transform the education system in Arizona. The biggest accomplishments have been being able to reach out and provided resource and trainings in four different school districts. “My one hope is we will be able to reach out to more school districts and provided restorative justice resources to more schools.” 

Recently an article and video was featured about the work of PRJC in The Arizona Education News Service (AZEDNEWS) a statewide source for fair, accurate, balanced and constructive journalism on education policy and practice in Arizona.