Skip to main content

Community Service Learning

Community Service Learning Logo

 

Beginning with the 2018/2019 school academic year GFHS will implement a new curriculum elective for grades 9 – 12 titled Community Service Learning (CSL).  A student who completes a documented total of 75 clock-hours of CSL shall be eligible to receive one (1) academic credit that may be applied toward graduation.  This is a credit, not a graded course, and the course WILL NOT be calculated in the students GPA or used for Class Rank.  No ½ units of academic credit will be awarded for CSL.

 

In order for the credit to be granted, evidence of preparation, action, and reflection must be documented in order to receive the CSL credit as outlined in and by the corresponding, approved Arkansas Department of Education Course Approval System (CAS) curriculum plan. Participation in the CSL program is voluntary.  The Green Forest School Board may certify CSL projects when certified staff personnel are in attendance while students are completing the CSL i.e. BETA, FFA, etc.  If school certified staff are not in attendance then the CSL sponsoring organization may monitor student participation if they have been approved by the State Board of Education. 

 

The CSL activities do not have to be in one organization or served consecutively so long as a total of 75 hours are verified between the 9th and 12th grades. 

 

School District:  Green Forest Arkansas

High School:  Green Forest High School

School LEA #:  080300

CSL Coordinator:  John Elmore

1.  Service Learning is more than doing the hours.  It connects the service to a learning experience based on preparation and reflection.  The Green Forest High School district believes that CSL is a combination teaching and learning strategy in which students develop valuable skills through participation in community service that:

a.   Meets the needs of the community

b.   Enables and enhances rigorous academic curriculum

c.   Is aligned with state standards

d.   Teaches civic responsibility

e.   Provides time for student reflection

 

PREPARATION:  GFHS will host educational meetings with both students and parents to highlight the benefits of CSL participation.  In addition the district will publish an ADE- approved plan and guidelines for CSL participation on the district’s web page upon CSL plan approval by the ADE.

To be eligible for the credit, students will document CSL participation by completing a service learning planning form describing the community service that will be completed.  Participation must be approved by the either the building administrator or the CSL coordinator.   The CLS learning activity will be supervised by either a school facility member or by an agency supervisor that has a pre-approved contract with the District to certify CSL hours of service.

State Board of Education and GF District School Board approved CSL Organizations, Agencies or Sites will be listed on the District web page under the CSL link with copies available in the CSL Coordinator’s files.

 

ACTION:  This phase intertwines closely with planning, as students take steps to complete their volunteer service.  During this phase, students and CSL supervisors take steps necessary to complete pre-approved service plans.  Actions include making necessary plan revisions, collecting evidence, and continued development of critical skills to carry out the plan’s goals.  This phase could also include training facilitated either by a faculty member or by a community organization. 

 

Participating students will fill out a Community Service Pre-Planning form, approved by the CSL Coordinator and/or building administrator.  The form will require a short description of the activity and parental consent to participate in the CSL activity.  Students will document their service hours on a Student Time Log and return to either CSL coordinator or building administrator for verification of completed service. 

 

When a student is placed with an organization agency or site to participate in a CSL activity, a Community Service Letter of Agreement, available either from the CSL coordinator or the school web site, must be completed and signed by the student, parent/guardian, local school and the volunteer site.  A participating agency’s volunteer form may be used in lieu of the school’s form provided it meets the same basic intent.

The District will maintain a list of the approved partnership contracts with participating community agencies.  The list will be published on the district’s web site and maintained in the CSL Coordinator’s files.

 

REFLECTION:  Reflection is the process which guides students in making connections between their service experience and learning.  It is a conscious iteration of what was learned or experienced and involves observation, asking questions, and adding new meaning to the overall experience.  Once the CSL activity is complete, the student will complete a CSL Student Reflection Form by answering six reflection questions relative to their completed CSL activity.

 

The following reflection questions will be answered:

1.   How did the experience help you to better understand your responsibilities as a citizen?

2.   What skills and knowledge did you acquire through this experience?

3.   How did your service impact your school or community?

4.   How did this experience help you better understand your school work?

5.   How has this CSL experience changed you?

6.   How will you use your CSL experience in future situations you may encounter?

 

2.  Students who participate in CSL activities will benefit by being involved in their community while they develop social skills.  They will gain self-confidence, self-efficacy, and resilience.  By serving their community in a direct way, they will gain knowledge about a wide variety of tasks outside of the school’s formal curriculum.

3.  Certification of student hours will be by Green Forest District School Board approved school supervisors or State Board of Education approved CSL programs as outlined in Ark. Code ANN. 6-16-120.

4.  If an organization, agency, or site would like to be considered to participate in CSL activities, they may apply by filling out and submitting a Community Service Learning Partner Application located on the CSL Web site.  If approved by the Green Forest School Board and State Board of Education , the agency will be listed on both the school’s and ADE’s list of supporting agencies.  

5.  To ensure student volunteers are effective, a Community Service Learning Site Evaluation Form will be completed by the CSL organization/agency upon student volunteer completion and forwarded to the school CSL representative. The evaluation will be referred to when considering future student volunteers at this site.

6.  WEB LINKs TO DOCUMENTS:

  1. Green Forest Schools Community Service Learning Partner Application for Local and State Board Approval
  2. Green Forest Schools Community Service Learning Student Reflection Form
  3. Green Forest Schools Community Service Learning Time Log
  4. Green Forest Schools Community Service Learning Planning Form
  5. Green Forest Schools Community Service Learning Letter of Agreement
  6. Community Service Learning Site Evaluation Form
  7. Approved Community Service Organizations/Sites by ADE and Green Forest School Board
  8. Community Service Learning Volunteer Form