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 after 8th grade, this year it is June 18. 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.
Students must complete 10 hours of service each year and turn in the forms in order to be credited with service hours.
The first step is to select an appropriate community service project either independently, through the Belmontian Community Service Club or various other clubs that focus on particular service opportunities, or through my office. (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.)
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.
The Belmontian Club at BHS meets twice a month in the evening (usually Tuesdays), and sponsors monthly service activities in which members can participate. (Dues are currently $5.) Other clubs, such as Working to Help the Homeless (WTHH) and PALS (similar to Best Buddies), Gardening and Food Justice, and the UNICEF club also offer service possibilities. You will be attending the Activity Fair, usually at the end of September, where you can learn about the vast array of clubs and sign up for those in which you are interested.
In addition, I work with the community to develop service opportunities. As I learn of potential placements and projects, I post them on the bulletin board outside the Social Studies office. You should make a habit of checking the board regularly. Announcements are frequently placed on the daily bulletin and the BHS website, and I have initiated emails with lists of opportunities distributed frequently.
Once you have an idea for a service project, I would encourage you to stop by my office to discuss the activity. At that time, you should pick up a Community Service Verification Form, which you should take with you to your service activity. (These forms are also available in Guidance or, in a printable version, through the Belmont High School website. You will note that the form requires several things: information about you and the activity, signatures of both your supervisor and a parent, and a brief reflective journal entry (to be completed on the reverse side of the form). The completed form should be returned to me as soon as possible, preferably no later than two months after the performance of the service activity.
You must turn in 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.
My desk is located in the Social Studies office (617) 993-5981. I am available to students during the school day or, often, after 2:30. If I am not at my desk when you stop by, please leave me a note so that we can arrange to discuss your community service project. You may feel free to email me as well at firstname.lastname@example.org
FORMS ARE ALWAYS AVAILABLE ON MY FILING CABINET IN THE TOP STACKING BASKET, IN GUIDANCE, OR ONLINE AT THE BHS WEBSITE. YOU MAY ALWAYS LEAVE A COMPLETED FORM IN THE MIDDLE BASKET ON MY FILING CABINET.
I will be talking with all 9th graders during their history classes at some point in the fall.
Please feel free to stop by. 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, 2019, you will earn this national award (certificate, letter with the President's signature, and a pin).
The award levels are as follows:
- Bronze: 100-174 hours
- Silver: 175-249 hours
- Gold: 250+ hours
To qualify, you must turn in forms for all of your service activities (even those beyond your required hours) by May 1, 2020.