Bill Rees

Grades 7–12

Funded by the United Way of the Alberta Capital Region, the YMCA of Northern Alberta, and other community partners.

A useful resource for public or catholic junior and high schools, is for temporarily suspended students as referred from school to the YMCA.

Project Purpose and Scope: The Alternative Suspension program has been designed as an out-of-school intervention, which establishes bonds of trust and creates a support network of groups of students that assists them in addressing suspension and/or temporary expulsion issues while supporting a consistent and strong academic focus. The initiative is intended to successfully reintegrate suspended and/or temporary expelled students back into the classroom, as well as to address, at the same time, other behavioural difficulties (such as exhibiting aggressive, impulsive, disruptive, and antisocial behaviours, having delinquent peers or poor parental supervision) that place these youth at risk of delinquency.

Research has well established that systematic expulsions from school are highly related to both dropping out of school and subsequent delinquency. In effect, youth who are systematically expelled (i.e., numerous times in a given school year) are known to also present with other conditions that are related to crime, including school bullying.

Alternative Suspension has been shown to be a successful tool given that individual components of the intervention have been evaluated and proven effective in a range of contexts. The program promotes personal development and independence through educational activities and appropriate interventions, as are required, depending on the nature of the particular problems the youth experiences.

  • Personalized action plans.
  • Personal management tools.
  • Lists of personal and educational resources.
  • Complete reintegration to school strategy.

The project will address the following risk factors: disruptive social conduct, lack of educational commitment, academic difficulties, negative attitudes and values among the target population in relation to school, association with deviant peers resulting from lack of supervision during suspension and expulsion, anti-social behaviour related to self-esteem and lack of parental involvement in their child’s education.

Key Activities

  • Student referrals to the program to be administered by school authorities.
  • Individual assessment of participating youth.
  • Personalized profile of participating youth drafted by youth worker.
  • Intervention sessions lasting an average of 5 days (minimum of 3 days, maximum of 15 days).
  • Mornings entailing focus on academic achievement and afternoon sessions on thematic workshops aimed at reducing identified risk factors.
  • Recreational activities.
  • Reintegration of student back into the school/community and follow up to determines the impact of the Alternative Suspension program.
  • Regular communication with parents.

Project Results and Expected Measurable Outcomes:

Short term

  • Create awareness of problematic behaviour among at-risk youth.
  • Develop self esteem and respect.
  • Improve academic performance and motivation levels.
  • Expand network of social support for youth.
  • Decrease participants associations with delinquent peers.

Medium term

  • Decrease aggressive, impulsive, disruptive and antisocial behaviour in participants.
  • Encourage academic aspirations and motivations.
  • Decrease in-school suspension by reducing tardiness, absenteeism, and drug and alcohol usage and violence towards other youth.
  • Increase the rate of school year achievement.

Long term

  • Decrease in school drop outs

For more information about the Alternative Suspension program click here to download the Program Information Sheet

Castle Downs Family YMCA
11510 153 AVE NW
780 476-9622
William Lutsky Family YMCA
1975 111 St
780 437-8494

Bill Rees

View Larger Map 10211 105 ST NW
Edmonton, AB T5J 1E3
Phone: 780-429-9622
  • Education and Training
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