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Service Learning Program

Overview

The program for student service-learning will be infused into the curriculum in grades 6, 7, 8 and 9 and will provide multiple opportunities for student participation. In grades 6-8, thematic units developed by grade level teams (language arts, science, social studies and mathematics) or special subject teams (music, band, physical education, consumer science, art, foreign language, and tech ed) will be implemented each school year.

These units will be enhanced with activities conducted by teachers in other subject areas. In the required ninth grade social studies course, formal service learning will continue through units of instruction that include planning, action, and reflection integrated into the government curriculum. This instruction will be supported by interdisciplinary planning with other ninth grade teachers.

Program Requirements

Each year by the end of September, middle school instructional teams will submit to their principal a student service plan that:

  • Identifies a theme and a schedule of service activities;
  • Provides opportunities for students to plan, participate and reflect on service activities;
  • Is integrated into the existing curriculum;
  • Includes a variety of projects spaced throughout the year which involve service to the school and/or community; and
  • Is based on curricular outcomes.

Each year in May, middle school instructional teams will evaluate their service-learning projects. High school students will prepare and implement two individual service projects through their government course.

Role for Special Education Students

Students who receive special education services in Worcester County are scheduled in regular classes and participate in the same curriculum offered to all students. Students in grades 6, 7, 8, and 9 who receive special education services will be directly involved in the service-learning program. This will be noted in their IEPs as needed.

Severely and profoundly disabled students attend Cedar Chapel Special School and receive certificates of attendance. Service activities have traditionally been a part of the curriculum of the school and receive full support of community-based organizations.

Tracking

Infusion into the curriculum over a four-year period provides multiple opportunities for students to plan, participate, and reflect on service-learning. Successful completion (passing grades) of each middle and high school component of the service-learning program will be recorded each year in the student's electronic record. The state service-learning requirement will be fulfilled when the student successfully completes all four years of the service-learning program or its equivalent. High school guidance departments will record the fulfillment of the state service-learning requirement on the student?s permanent transcript.

Provision for Transfer Students

Students who transfer to Worcester County Public Schools after grade 6, but before grade 12, who, after an evaluation of their official record, have not completed the state service-learning requirement will be need to:

  • Enroll in and successfully complete the Government course, or a service-learning elective, and /or
  • Document 25 hours of volunteer time in approved school and/or community service for each year enrolled.

Reference

Service Learning Implementation Plan (2012)