New Richmond Exempted Village School District
Bylaws & Policies
 

2575 - SERVICE LEARNING

General

The New Richmond Exempted Village School District Board of Education recognizes the importance of volunteer service to the community as compatible with the role of schools in today's society. Further, the school district supports the ideal that caring for others and the community are characteristics of responsible adults. Students who perform meaningful community service not only improve the lives of those whom they help but are also instilled with core values of good citizenship and responsibility through practical, hands-on experience.

To this end, all students, beginning in their freshman year, will be required to complete a minimum of twenty (20) hours of unpaid, community service prior to graduation. Community service may be performed at any time during the students' junior or senior years, including the summer between, but in every case must be completed by the third Friday in May of the students' second semester of their senior year.

Students who complete community service hours submit these hours to the Student Program Administrator (SPA) once school begins via the Pre-approval Form for consideration of possible credit for the summer hours. All forms must include the hours worked, the type of work performed, the agency assisted, and signatures of the student, student's parents, and on-site supervisor. The SPA will review all submissions and inform the student as to any and all hours credited to the twenty (20) hour requirement.

Community service is defined as an activity performed to benefit at least one other unrelated person and for which the volunteer receives no pay. Examples of non-profit organizations include the Red Cross, Goodwill Industries, Habitat for Humanity, etc. If an individual or group earns a profit from the students' work, it is not considered community service but simply "free labor." Service hours to benefit for-profit activities or businesses will not be applied to this requirement except under exceptional, pre-approved circumstances.

Curriculum Requirement

Community service work is considered an extension of the senior government class curriculum and a required assignment as described on the course syllabus. Completion of twenty (20) hours minimum will result in successful fulfillment of this assignment. Failure to complete twenty (20) hours will result in an unsatisfactory grade of "F" for the assignment and a "D" for the government course. Grades will not be pro-rated for those students who complete fewer than twenty (20) hours prior to the course deadlines.

Students enrolled in first semester senior government classes must fulfill the twenty (20) hour community service standard prior to the end of the first semester to receive full credit for both the assignment and the class. Those students who do not achieve twenty (20) hours prior to the end of Term 2 will be given a "D" for the course regardless of their overall class grade; however, deficient hours successfully attained during the second semester will be added to the first semester hours, and the first semester government grade will be adjusted accordingly if the twenty (20) hour standard is achieved.

The only exception to the twenty (20) hour standard will be for newly enrolled students who will be required to complete five (5) hours for every semester attended at New Richmond High School. Credit for community service performed at other schools by newly enrolled students will be evaluated for credit after receipt of appropriate ate documentation from the student and previous school district.

Program Administrator

The Student Program Administrator (SPA) supervises this program, defines community service, tallies student hours, suggests volunteer projects, and advises students in planning. The SPA is not responsible for arranging community service nor expected to match students with agencies; however, the SPA will have an on-going list of those activities which seek volunteers and are appropriate to, the community service guidelines.

All community service projects must be approved by the SPA in writing and in advance of the student's starting date via the Pre-approval Form complete with name, phone number, signature, signature of the student's direct supervisor, and signature of the parent or guardian. Forms are available from the internet via the school website. The SPA, in conjunction with the building principal, will have the final authority to approve service projects and can only do so in writing via a completed Pre-approval Form. All forms must be signed by the student, parent, and work supervisor and submitted to the SPA prior to commencing any work.

Limitations

Service through the Judicial System: Community service which is court-assigned will not be applied toward the twenty (20) hour minimum requirement.

Organization-Based Service: In general service performed for profit-making activities is not applicable with the exception of hospitals, nursing homes and other such medical providers. Service performed for an individual must be accomplished under the umbrella of a non-profit organization (e.g., after school tutoring) to be considered applicable.

Service through Religious Organizations: Participation in religious ceremonies, projects that further a religious denomination, or those that improve a particular church do not qualify as community service. For example, serving as an acolyte, reader, usher, earning funds to send missionaries abroad, working to increase church membership, or improving the physical condition of a structure or building do not qualify as community service.

Participation in church-sponsored community projects that benefit non-church members or the community at large may qualify as community service. An example would include a church group building houses with Habitat for Humanity. The test to determine if this type of voluntary effort is appropriate is whether such religious-affiliated community service is for the benefit of a particular church or denomination or if it is for needy individuals of the community who will be the recipient of the volunteer efforts.

Traditional School-Sponsored Activities: School-sponsored events which are traditionally performed after normal school hours are applicable but with a ceiling on the number of hours that can be applied to the two (2) year, volunteer service credit requirement.

After a formal announcement by a school official or sponsor that volunteers are needed for a certain event or activity, students will be permitted to sign-up; however, they will not be given credit for more than ten (10) hours of campus volunteer efforts no matter how many hours are actually worked, Examples include cleaning the campus after sporting events, planting flowers, and other campus-wide cosmetic or maintenance improvements.

Documentation: In order to receive community service credit, verification forms signed by the supervisor, student, and parent should be turned into the SPA within one (1) week of completion of the service. All forms must be submitted to the SPA by the third Friday of May of the students' senior year to receive full credit for all hours worked and successfully complete the government class assignment.

Forms may be picked up in the high school guidance office or downloaded from the Internet via EDLINE. To ensure that credit is available and appropriate for the type of service to be performed, except under very unusual or special circumstances, no one will receive credit for work that is not approved in advance by the SPA. Students should not assume that all community service volunteer efforts will be considered applicable to the twenty (20) hour standard. To insure that credit can be given for community service, students should always complete and submit a pre-approval form prior to commencing any work.

Revised 11/18/13
Revised 7/18/16