Rebound works with Durham schools to end the detrimental impact of out of school suspensions. We provide alternative programming that focuses on the inherent strengths and potential of each student to help them successfully engage with their schools and communities:
- convert suspensions from a time of exclusion and setback to a time of connection and growth.
- reduce the negative impact of suspension on students and schools.
- provide safe and productive space for high school students currently on suspension.
- prevent future suspensions from happening.
- build students’ personal assets and resilience through connection to school and community resources.
- examine personal and systemic root causes of suspension.
- provide alternative program resources that support schools in their move away from punitive discipline.
Rebound envisions a community in which:
- behavior issues do not prevent students from learning or teachers from teaching.
- students are met with connection rather than exclusion
- corrective actions consider the whole child.
- students have meaningful opportunities for restoration and responsibility when they have made a mistake.
- we reject the false dichotomy that we must either suspend students or accept poor behavior.
- alternative discipline practices make schools a safe place to learn, but also a safe place to make a mistake.
- responses to undesirable behaviors transform systemic inequities of race and poverty rather than re-inscribing them.
Rebound is a community-based program that helps young people build resilience during a time of stress. Together, students and staff work through three key program phases:
We provide a calm, non-judgmental space where students and families can sort things out. Our first goal is to attend to the immediate safety and logistical questions of the family and to connect with the school about coursework.
Suspensions are a result of a combination of factors, some of which a student can control, and some that they cannot. Strengths-based program activities help students to identify their own areas of responsibility, as well as areas in which they may need to advocate for themselves to create the school environment that they need. We look to find the underlying root of the behaviors that have led to a suspension, providing short and long term strategies for overcoming obstacles.
Young people need a variety of supportive adults around them in order to succeed. As a student’s time at Rebound ends, we focus on helping them reconnect with trusted adults at school. Some students will also be referred for longer term follow up. Some, such as mentoring, mental health, substance use treatment, give students tools to overcome specific. obstacles. Others help them build on their strengths by taking advantage of school teams and clubs, college planning, arts programs, or summer opportunities.
At Rebound, we believe that changing high and racially disparate suspension rates requires sustained effort on the part of leaders who control policy and resources. As a community organization working alongside a large system, we are committed to use our position to help schools meet their goal of creating behavioral change in positive ways. The roots of racial disparities in suspensions are deep, formed by a history of racial injustice that has extends itself through every aspect of our community’s present. As such, we support schools, parents, community groups, and leaders whose commitment to social and economic justice leads them to name inequities and work toward solutions.