YMCA Alternative Suspension Logo

A mentor and student work together on homework.YMCA Alternative Suspension was created in response to a request from a high school concerned that its suspended students were spending their time on the streets without any supervision. This kind of suspension proved to be counter-productive, putting students at greater risk of repeat suspensions, of having contact with the juvenile justice system and ultimately dropping out of school.

YMCA Alternative Suspension offers young people an opportunity to turn their suspension into a positive experience that prepares for their eventual reintegration into social and academic life.

How the program works

  • Offers a 3 to 5 day stay
  • Provides a neutral location outside of school
  • Allows the student to take some time to reflect
  • Provides individual supervision and a chance to build a meaningful and trusting relationships
  • Alternates between one-on-one meetings and group workshops
  • Provides educational continuity and tutoring
  • Communicates regularly with parents
  • Supports and follows-up with the student when he or she returns to school. 

Through partnerships with school boards, community organizations, municipalities and the YMCA, the YMCA Alternative Suspension program is delivered at over 35 service sites across Canada and works with over 3000 participants and their families every year.

To learn more about this program or how to implement it in your community, visit the YMCA Alternative Suspension website.