KINGSTON, ON: Beginning February 2024, the academic suspension program managed by Youth Diversions, formerly known as SNAP (Student Non-Academic Program), will move to its new home at the YMCA of Eastern Ontario.
The ultimate goal of SNAP, now called the Student Impact Program, is to assist students who would benefit from alternative programming to be able to successfully re-integrate into an academic setting. This is done by helping students develop the skills necessary to better engage with the world around them and to keep pace academically with their peers.
The Student Impact Program is a partnership between the operating agency and local school boards.
“We are deeply thankful to Shawn Quigley and his team at Youth Diversion for their dedication to this program that has supported hundreds of students in their learning journeys over the past 20 years of our 30-year program,” said Patty Gollogly, associate superintendent of Safe and Caring Schools and Program with the Limestone District School Board. “Because of the work they have done, the program is robust and ready to align with the Y’s successful Alternative Suspension Program, a program for students with short-term suspensions.”
Carey Smith-Dewey, superintendent of education with the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board added: “The program is a natural fit with the Y’s existing student suspension program, so it made sense to bring the programs under one roof.”
In addition to the Alternative Suspension Program, the YMCA is a major employer of youth in the region and has worked with LDSB through its Focus on Youth program to hire several youth last summer.
“With the work we are doing with youth, including the Alternative Suspension Program for short-term school suspensions, it made sense to bring both suspension programs under one roof,” said Rob Adams, CEO, YMCA of Eastern Ontario. “We have been working with Youth Diversion over the past several months to ensure the integrity of the program during the transition. Youth Diversions selected the Y based on the synergy we have with our existing programs, our expert team that goes beyond our region and our organization that offers a variety of healthy extracurriculars for students to take advantage of.”
Under amendments to the Education Act (Bill 212) school boards are required to provide programming to expelled and suspended students. These programs must contain both academic and, when suspension is greater than 10 days, non-academic components. The Student Impact Program is staffed by a direct care worker, and teachers from both school boards. The day is structured into academic and non-academic (cognitive skill) activities. The YMCA of Eastern Ontario will take over the program on February 5, 2024 when the new semester begins.
About the YMCA of Eastern Ontario
The YMCA of Eastern Ontario is a charity that provides programs and services to improve health and health outcomes, develop leaders, help build social connections and provide safe, inclusive spaces for people of all ages. The Y is Ontario’s largest provider of childcare with trademarked curricula and offers fitness and other specialized programs including, Work Hard Eat Well, Teen Night, Teen Drop-in and the Alternative Suspension Program. www.eo.ymca.ca
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Director, Marketing & Communications
YMCA Eastern Ontario