Succeed Boston @ the Counseling & Intervention Center (Succeed) serves a range of BPS students through counseling and support services, facilitates professional development, and leads the district’s Bullying Prevention and Intervention work including reporting protocols and policy development. Our student support programming cultivates student growth by planting SEEDS: Social, Emotional, Educational, and Decision-making Skills that promote the ability to assess risk, consider consequences, and repair harm.
Since 1987 Succeed has provided support to more than 37,000 students through restorative alternatives to out of school suspension including opportunities to connect with caring adults, reflect and develop coping strategies through individual and group counseling. Research shows that by promoting student voice and breaking the cycle of blame, shame, isolation and punishment that often accompanies suspensions, students are less likely to repeat high risk behaviors that feed the school to prison pipeline. In a report from the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, Succeed Boston was identified as one of a few national programs that provide effective alternatives to out-of-school suspension. The report states that these programs and reforms have contributed to a decrease in the District’s suspension rate.
Self-reported data, at the beginning and end of programming, shows that 92% of students who attend Succeed Boston respond positively to the intervention are more engaged at school and have increased pro-social skills. Students also report feeling less shame, isolation and stigma following a suspension because they are not “being punished and labeled as bad.”
Succeed’s holistic approach is aligned with the superintendent’s priorities and addresses educational inequities by providing support to students who have made decisions that impact the safety and well-being of themselves and others at school. There is clear data showing the improvement of academic achievement and healthy relationships when students get support through trauma-informed practices, community circles, restorative practices, social emotional learning (SEL) skill development such as anger management, stress reduction, empathy building, individualized academics, and substance use education.