Why does Keystone Oaks require students to complete community service?
The Keystone Oaks School District believes that it is important for students to give back to the community in order to gain a greater understanding of the community and the needs of the people who live, work and visit. Community service also allows students to grow personally and academically and is a great way for students to explore their interests, talents and abilities.
How many hours of community service are required?
Beginning with the class of 2019, students are required to complete 60 hours of community service.
Why did Keystone Oaks reduce the number of community service hours?
There are two main reasons that the Keystone Oaks Board of School Directors approved the reduction in community service hours.
Based on feedback from students, families and staff, the District determined that the community service program could be made more meaningful by eliminating community service activities that were purely social in nature and did not address a real community need or problem.
Additionally, the Pennsylvania Department of Education now requires all students to complete a career plan as part of their graduation requirements. In order to give students time to complete job shadowing and/or internships, the Board of School Directors decided to reduce the number of required community service hours.
My student has earned more than 60 hours of community service. Will they receive any credit for the extra hours?
Students who may have already accumulated an additional 60 hours of community service may earn an additional 0.5 credits towards their elective requirements. This only applies to students who have earned those hours as of the end of the 2017-2018 school year.
When can a student start earning community service hours?
Students can start earning community service hours in May of their 8th grade year.
Who is responsible for approving community service activities and hours?
Currently, High School Principal Mr. Jason Kushak is responsible for approving community service activities and hours. Keystone Oaks School District will have a Community Service and Career Readiness Advisor in place for the 2018-2019 school year.
What types of activities are approved community service?
The Community Service Handbook on the District’s website includes several examples of community service activities, as well as a list of organizations where students have volunteered in the past. The list is not exhaustive, but is provided as a starting point for students and families. Please remember that all activities must receive prior approval.
Additionally, and most importantly, students are encouraged to choose a community service activity that reflects their interests, talents and abilities. For example, if a student is interested in becoming a veterinarian, he or she may want to consider volunteering at a local animal shelter. If a student is considering a career in marketing, there are several small non-profit and community organizations that often utilize volunteers. If a student is interested in studying education, the recreation programs and libraries in Castle Shannon, Dormont and Green Tree provide ample opportunities for volunteers to interact with children and adults.
Do you have examples of activities that would not be considered community service?
Activities that are purely social in nature or do not address a real community need or problem would not be approved. Some examples may include:
- Attending a meeting for a school-approved club or community organization
- Playing a sport, marching in the band, cheerleading, dance team, etc.
- Activities for for-profit corporations or organizations, unless the company is sponsoring a philanthropic project.
If a school club or team sponsors a community service activity, participation in that activity would count as community service. For example, if the varsity football team cleans up litter and debris in the community, that activity would be approved community service.
Is there a form for recording and reporting community service?
The form for recording community service hours is available at the end of the Community Service Handbook.