Rebound started as a small pilot program at Reality Ministries, when students from their after-school program needed a place to be when they were suspended short-term.
MSW Lizzie Ellis-Furlong had spent time in an internship at Boomerang, an Alternative to Suspension program in Chapel Hill, so during the 2012-13 academic year, she and Licensed Clinical Social Worker Pam Gray decided to pilot a similar program in Durham. The program succeeded at providing strengths-focused interventions for youth on short-term suspension in Durham, and received overwhelming support from participating youth, families, and school and community stakeholders to continue. In 2014, Rebound moved into the Durham Teen Center and served 24 students during a semester long pilot with Durham Public Schools.
Since 2015, Rebound has been the main provider of alternative to suspension day programming in Durham. Over the years, attendance and school buy-in have increased dramatically, especially after the 2016 Durham Board of Education revision of the Student Discipline policy and Student Code of Conduct. In the 2018-19 school year, Rebound assisted 421 students on 565 suspensions.
In 2018, Rebound piloted its first prevention program at Riverside High School. The Rebound ReCenter @ Riverside provided a full time clinically trained social worker to help prevent conflict and stress from leading to out of school suspensions. The ReCenter also helped to welcome students back to school after suspensions, supported the RHS Restorative Practice Center (formerly ISS), and provided after school programming for a small group of students. At the end of the 2018-19 school year, Riverside had the lowest out of school suspension rate of the 5 comprehensive high schools in Durham.
Going forward, Rebound continues to assess the best ways to serve students who are showing signs of disconnection from school by creating a network of support around those who need it.