The Superintendent will implement a process to recognize student accomplishment in service learning projects and activities at the high school level.
Service learning has many definitions, and for our purposes means integrating
meaningful community service with reflection, planning and purpose in order to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility and strengthen our communities. It both gives back to the community and also strengthens student learning; it is more than being a volunteer.
- An example from the National Service-learning Clearinghouse and other resources explains the difference: If students help clear out an urban streambed, they are providing a valued service to the community as a volunteer. If, however, a student identified the need for this project, analyzed the findings to determine possible sources of pollution, and shared the results with the community, he/she is engaged in service learning.
In some cases, service learning also includes alignment to the school curriculum and practical application of what is taught in school to a service learning project. While this is an option, this is not a formal part of the Highline definition. However, students continue to be encouraged to develop service learning projects as part of their senior project.
Certificate of Merit and Recognition:
A certificate of merit will be issued to students who complete a service learning project that meets the definition above and involves substantial effort, leadership, and learning on the part of the student.
·Each year, a high school student may apply for a certificate of merit that awards a silver or bronze level of accomplishment. These certificates will be decided by a team at each school based on the general guidelines below
a) Silver: This level of merit is available for students who take on a leadership role in a community or neighborhood service learning project and whose project shows clear impact above and beyond the
b) Bronze: This level of merit is available for students who complete a service learning project that is efficient in scope and depth to meet the definition above.
c) Gold level: In the spring, each high school may submit the name of one student to the school board for recognition at the Gold level. This student is one who in the view of the school, has made an exceptional level of impact on the community through his/her service learning project. The board will recognize such students in spring of each year at an annual board meeting or other event.
· High school principals will publicize the availability and qualifications of a service learning project for those wanting to participate.
·Nothing precludes younger students (middle school or elementary school) from submitting a project for consideration of a Certificate of Merit.
Highline School District 401
Adopted by the Superintendent: February 2014