A suspension from school represents a failure for both the student and the school. Once the school resorts to suspension, it is important to make the time spent away from school an overall success, for both the student and the school.
Alternative Suspension began in Montreal's Mile End district in the fall of 1999, in response to a request from a neighborhood school. It was their experience that students would spend their suspensions on the street, without any kind of supervision. In conjunction with the local school commissioner, the Du Parc YMCA started a pilot project in response to this situation. Quickly gaining credibility, the program has rapidly grown, offering 6 points of service as of 2005 and serving over fifty schools within the Montreal area.
2010 marks the nationwide rollout of the Alternative Suspension program. The YMCA of Regina was selected as the host organization for the province of Saskatchewan. The Regina Alternative Suspension Program will begin accepting students mid-March 2010.
Alternative Suspension is a resource at the disposal of Regina Public Schools, offering them support for students aged 12 to 17 years old, who, for different reasons, are temporarily suspended from the school they attend. The goal of this project is to decrease the number of repeated suspensions by offering young people an opportunity to transform the time they spend on suspension into a positive experience favoring self-development and self-reliance, in an environment that encourages self-esteem, the acquisition of social skills and the promotion of self-respect as well as respect for others; all of which is accomplished through educational workshops, individual interventions and group activities. The project was conceived in such a way that it intervenes in the overall issues that can arise for young people who find themselves temporarily expelled from school (occasionally or repeatedly).
Alternative Suspension focuses on adolescents attending high school who are experiencing difficulties with their school and social development either on a recurring or sporadic basis. These young people often come from difficult socio-economic environments or different cultural communities, populations that are often weakened by the school dropout phenomenon.
For more information on this program, please contact John Bailey at 757-9622 ext. 479