The Suspension Alternative Program (SAP) was developed by the Delaware County Juvenile Court in 1989 as a community-wide response to out of school suspensions


SAP is a unique collaboration of many local non-profit agencies, local schools, and the juvenile court.


The Suspension Alternative Program (SAP) was developed by the Delaware County Juvenile Court in 1989 as a community wide response to out of school suspensions. SAP is a unique collaboration of many local non-profit agencies, local schools, and the juvenile court.

The program is open to middle and high school students who have been assigned an out-of-school suspension, have satisfactory physical health, and are physically capable of participation in an outdoor community service program. Participation in the program is in lieu of out of school suspension and is voluntary with parental consent.  The program is a positive alternative for youth who face out-of-school suspension. Too often these students view removal from school as a reward rather than a punishment. Removal affords them an opportunity to avoid schoolwork and responsible behavior, while allowing them to be out of school often unsupervised and without limits. Meanwhile, the same students fall further behind academically and socially. This negative pattern becomes a reinforcing and self-fulfilling prophecy for failure.

This program is designed to break the negative cycle by providing a rigorous, supervised and structured daily work program for out-of-school youth. Through this program, we hope to lower the number of school suspensions, and dropouts. Students will be helped to be more successful in school while receiving vocational and social skills. Another aim is to enhance their self-esteem. SAP emphasizes the importance of the whole community—the schools, court system, parents, and community agencies—working together to solve a common problem. Such a coordination of efforts will provide a side benefit of a stronger school, court, and community relationships

Hours of Operation

The workday will be from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm with a break for lunch. Students may provide their own lunches. Lunch will consist of a drink, a prepackaged food item and chips or crackers.  The supervisor will determine whether or not additional breaks will be given according to the amount of work to be accomplished, the group’s cooperation, and weather conditions.

SAP Admission Criteria

The following criteria should be considered in selecting appropriate participants:

  • The youth attends one of the participating schools or is a court referral.
  • The youth has been suspended out-of-school.
  • Youth has submitted authorization for treatment and liability forms signed by a parent or guardian to the Supervisor.
    **If a youth is 18 and not presiding with ones parents or previous guardian, then the youth is authorized to sign the necessary forms for the program.**
  • The parents are supportive of the program.
  • The student is 12 years old or at least in the 6th grade.

If the program is full, special consideration for participation shall be at the discretion of Juvenile Court.

Signing up for the program

Program participants may be referred from Buckeye Valley, Olentangy Local Schools, Delaware City Schools  and Delaware County Alternative Schools immediately upon assignment of out-of-school suspension. Additionally, youth may be referred by the Juvenile Court at disposition or violation of probation hearings. The program coordinator will review each referral for appropriateness according to established admission criteria. Any youth who does not meet the guidelines will not be accepted for the program. The referring school will provide a referral information packet. The referring school is responsible to schedule the youth for SAP and to notify both the student and parent/guardian(s).

Youth can be referred to the program by contacting the Delaware County Juvenile Court by phone at 740-833-2630 between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm. SAP follows the Delaware City Schools schedule and will be closed when Delaware City Schools are closed.

**A referral packet must be completed and turned into the Suspension Alternative program supervisor in order for a youth to participate. This packet will contain the release of liability, permission for treatment and the rules; additional forms for free or reduced lunch will be turned if the youth is eligible for assistance. Without said forms the youth will not be permitted to participate.


The referring school will be responsible to bus the youth to the pick-up point, which is the Delaware Area Career Center North Campus. The student’s failure to report will result in further consequences from the school and may result in a court referral. Youth will be returned to the Delaware Area Career Center School by 2:20 pm to return to their home school by bus. Students who are not eligible to ride the bus may be picked up at the Delaware County Juvenile Court (140 N. Sandusky Street, Delaware, Ohio 43015.) by 2pm. Students who usually drive to school will also need to take the DACC bus to and from their home school. They may leave their cars at the home school and pick them up on the way home.


Contact Community Service

Ken Ward
Community Services/Restitution Coordinator
140 N Sandusky Street
Delaware, Ohio 43015