Dear Incoming Student,
All Belmont High School students are required to perform 40 hours of community service in order to graduate. As the Community Service Coordinator, I continue to develop the community service program at the high school into one which encourages and facilitates your participation. This letter, which goes along with the Community Service Guidelines (posted on the BHS website under General Information), will hopefully answer some of your questions about community service at BHS.
Community service activities are those performed to benefit at least one other unrelated person and for which you receive no payment.
- The work you do must be under the auspices of an organization (e.g., town government, council on aging, school, hospital, nursing home, newspaper, or charitable organization). Work you do to help a friend or neighbor (e.g., babysitting, shoveling, tutoring) typically does not count toward the requirement.
- Service to benefit for-profit businesses (e.g. many day care and camps, landscaping companies, dance, gymnastics, and martial arts schools, etc.) is not applied to the requirement even if you receive no payment.
- Community service for which you receive academic credit (e.g., independent study or the Community Service course) or which is court-assigned will not be applied to the requirement.
- See Guidelines for further criteria for service through religious organizations and traditional after-school and sports related activities
Community service activities may be performed any time during your Belmont High School career, beginning with the summer vacation before the year you enter. You may perform one activity over a period of time or participate in many different activities. Service activities may be performed after school, evenings, weekends, vacations, summer vacations, and, for in-school projects, during any free blocks you might have during the day.
NOTE: Students must complete 10 hours of service each year and turn in the forms in order to be credited with service hours. HOWEVER, in the world of covid, many things have changed, and we may well make changes in the hours needed and the due dates. We will be sending out any changes via emails and through the school email letters sent to students and parents by Mr. Taylor.
The first step is to select an appropriate community service project either independently, through the Belmontian Community Service Club or many other clubs that focus on particular service opportunities, or through me. During this year, I will be working remotely, but if you send me an email to email@example.com, I will get back to you.
You are encouraged to come up with or create your own placements and projects either individually, with friends, or with a club. In many cases, you will need to telephone the sponsoring organization/contact person to arrange for the performance of your community service. I am always willing to brainstorm ideas with you and to help you find the kind of service which fits best with your interests and schedules. Once you have an idea for a service project, I would encourage you to email me to discuss the activity.) It would be helpful to you to check the guidelines to make sure that your idea for service is allowed by our policies. If you have a question, be sure to email me.
The Belmontian Club at BHS usually meets virtually every other Tuesday evening and works on sponsoring service activities in which members can participate. Many other clubs,(for example, the UNICEF club), also offer service possibilities.
In addition, I work with the community to develop service opportunities. As I learn of potential placements and projects, I email them to all students and post them on the BHS website. You should make a habit of checking these regularly to see what opportunities are available.
Verifying Your Service
No longer will you see a paper form. We are launching a GoogleForm on the new Community Service section on the BHS website. For every different service you do, you must fill out the Community Service Verification Form, You will note that the form requires several things: information about you and the activity and a reflective journal entry. One thing different from the past is that you do not need to have supervisor and parent/guardian signatures. Ideally, you should complete the form no later than two months after the performance of the service activity.
You must complete a form for each different service activity you perform. However, if you do one activity repeatedly during a year, you only need to turn in one form for all of those hours combined.
You will be given credit for your community service activity in the year in which your verification form was received. Your report cards will display the total number of hours of service for which you have received credit. You will not receive a letter grade for community service.
NOTE: SIMPLY PERFORMING THE SERVICE WILL NOT AUTOMATICALLY RESULT IN YOUR RECEIVING CREDIT. YOU MUST TURN IN THE COMPLETED VERIFICATION FORM.
Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to working with you all.
Community Service Coordinator
NOTE: PRESIDENT’S VOLUNTEER SERVICE AWARD
If you complete at least 100 hours of community service between the beginning of this summer and April 30, 2021, you will earn this national award.
Please note that the criteria in high school are different from the younger grades.
The award levels are as follows:
- Bronze: 100-174 hours
- Silver: 175-249 hours
- Gold: 250+ hours
To qualify, you must complete the forms for all of your service activities (even those beyond your required hours) by May 4, 2021. However, because of covid, we may need to make changes in deadlines.