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What Is Student Service Learning (SSL)

Service-learning is a teaching method that combines meaningful service to the community with curriculum-based learning. Students improve their academic skills by applying what they learn in school to the real world; they then reflect on their experience to reinforce the link between their service and their learning.

1.The minimum total number of hours students must engage in service-learning activities before they successfully complete the service-learning graduation requirement. Prince George’s County Public Schools students must engage in a minimum of 75 student service-learning (SSL) hours in order to successfully meet the service-learning graduation requirement.  To ensure that students are able to meet this requirement, service-learning has been infused into the science and social studies curricula for grades 5-10 for a total of 51 hours.  Social Studies courses provide a total of 28 curriculum-infused hours and Science courses provide a total of 23 curriculum-infused hours.  Additionally, students must complete 24 independent hours of service-learning.

2. List of courses and/or grade levels that include infused service-learning activities and the number of hours or level of involvement with service-learning in each course.

Infused hours – the service-learning hours that students earn while participating in curriculum-based activities during classroom instruction; hours that do not require a verification form; hours that are automatically entered into School Max upon passing the science and/or social studies course.

                             CURRICULUM-INFUSED SERVICE LEARNING

GRADE

DEPT.

COURSE NAME

HOURS EARNED

5

Science

Grade 5 Science

 

4

6

Science

Grade 6 Science

4

6

Social Studies

World Cultures and Geography I: The Western Hemisphere

4

7

Science

Grade 7 Science

4

7

Social Studies

World Cultures and Geography II: The Eastern Hemisphere

4

8

Science

Grade 8 Science

4

8

Social Studies

United States History I: The Revolution to Reconstruction

4

9

Social Studies

United States History II: Reconstruction to the Present

7

9

Science

 Biology

7

10

Social Studies

Local, State, and National Government

9

                                                                                                                      Total 51 infused hours

3. The chart below lists expected hours earned by grade for independent student service-learning projects.

 

 

INDEPENDENT SERVICE-LEARNING HOURS

GRADE

EXPECTED HOURS

6

4

7

4

8

4

9

6

10

6

                                                                           Total 24 hours

Independent hours – the service learning hours that students earn while exclusively participating in local community service learning projects; hours that require students to submit a signed verification form.

  • Graduating Classes of 2010- 2013, students must earn 36 independent hours.
  • Graduating Classes of 2014 and beyond, students must earn 24 independent hours.

DEADLINES for submission of the Student Service-Learning Verification Form are as follows:

  •  October 15 (for any independent hours obtained between July and August 30)
  •  January 31 (for any independent hours obtained between September 1 and January 31)
  •  July 15 (for any independent hours obtained between February 1 and June 30)

Student Service Learning Best Practices

All Independent Service-Learning Activities Must Meet These Best Practices

  • The Student Meets a Recognized Need in the Community.
    • Examines pressing community needs.  (preparation)
    • Strategizes to address problems associated with community needs.  (preparation)
    • Provides direct, indirect and/or advocacy service.  (action)
  • The Student Achieves Curricular Objectives.
    • Uses academic standards to establish mastery objectives.  (preparation)
    • Applies academic learning to recognized community needs.  (preparation, reflection, action)
    • Assesses progress towards and attainment of mastery objectives.  (preparation, action)
  • The Student Gains Necessary Knowledge and Skills.
    • Explores citizenship and career options.  (preparation, action)
    • Understands expectations associated with participation.  (preparation)
    • Cooperates with team members and community partners.  (action)
  • The Student Plans Ahead.
    • Identifies tasks, timelines and outcomes. (preparation)
    • Assesses own skills and interests.  (preparation)
    • Takes leadership opportunities.  (preparation, action)
  • The Student Works with Existing Service Organizations.
    • Identifies nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations with which to partner.  (preparation)
    • Creates collaborative, reciprocal relationships through involvement.  (action)
    • Respects the human dignity and contributions of others.  (action, reflection)
  • The Student Develops Responsibility.
    • Evaluates own performance.  (reflection)
    • Strengthens character through civic engagement.  (action)
    • Participates in a range of service opportunities.  (action)
  • The Student Reflects Throughout the Experience.
    • Evaluates overall impact of service and learning.  (reflection)
    • Analyzes what was learned from multiple perspectives.  (reflection)
    • Explores next steps to continue service-learning involvement.  (reflection)

Steps for Earning SSL Independent Hours

FIRST: (PREPARATION) Consider what activity you want to do or what specific organization you want to work with.

SSL activities can be done with nonprofit, for-profit, tax-exempt, private, and faith-based organizations/facilities.

NEXT: Check the M-NCPPC (Maryland -National Capital Park and Planning Commission) Volunteer Office for a list of sites.

NEXT:  (ACTION) If the organization and activities are....

Pre-Approved

Not Pre-Approved

Contact the organization and volunteer to serve. Complete a Service Learning Site Approval Form and submit it to your SSL Coordinator for approval PRIOR TO BEGINNINGservice.
Participate in the SSL activity. Upon receiving approval from the SSL Coordinator, participate in the SSL activity

 

Next: (REFLECTION) Complete a SSL Verification Form to document service performed in the summer or within each semester service is done.

Last: Turn completed Verification Form into School-Based Service-Learning Coordinatoby September 30 for summer service or by the end of each semester in which service is done for SSL hours to be reflected in SchoolMAX or on your official transcript.

If you need help, contact the School-Based Service-Learning Coordinator at your school!

MSDE Service Learning

MSDE Service-learning is a teaching method that combines meaningful service to the community with curriculum-based learning. Students improve their academic skills by applying what they learn in school to the real world; they then reflect on their experience to reinforce the link between their service and their learning.Student Service Learning Opportunities