Community Service Specific Guidelines

Service Through the Judicial System

Community service which is court-assigned is NOT applied toward the 40-hour requirement.

Organization-based Service

In general, service performed for profit-making organizations is NOT applicable, with the exception of hospitals, nursing homes, and newspapers. Unpaid work done at for-profit businesses such as most landscaping companies, dance, gymnastics, and martial arts schools, and daycares is not applicable. Service performed for individuals should be performed under the umbrella of an organization (e.g., tutoring a student through a school, helping the elderly through the Council on Aging). Activities such as babysitting, tutoring, or yard and housework to help a friend or neighbor typically do NOT count toward the requirement.

Service Through Religious Organizations

In order to be applicable, an activity may not be associated with the rituals, services, or ceremonies of any specific religion, proselytizing, or fundraising to support a specific religion or religious institution.

Thus, participation in religious services (e.g., choir membership, altar service, reading from the Torah), while a worthy endeavor, is NOT counted. However, educational activities and non-religious activities which benefit the religious community (in non-financial ways) or the community at large ARE applicable.

Examples of applicable religious-sponsored service activities include (but are not necessarily limited to):

  • Teaching Sunday school or CCD
  • Babysitting during religious services
  • Painting church or temples and classrooms
  • Clothing drives
  • Work in shelters
  • Participation in Belmont Religious Council or church mission trips to Habitat for Humanity or Community Volunteers

Selling Christmas trees/wreaths or helping with church or synagogue rummage sales is applicable only if the proceeds are used for charitable purposes and are not for the benefit of the sponsoring religious institution.

Participation (as members or officers) in religious youth groups is NOT generally applicable unless the groups are organizing and/or performing specific community service activities.

Traditional School-Sponsored Activities

Activities performed which are traditional after-school activities are NOT applicable. Thus, participation (as officers or as members) in student government, marching band, National Honor Society, and clubs and teams are NOT applicable unless the groups are organizing and/or performing specific community service activities. Fundraising for your own sport or team is NOT applicable.

Examples of applicable traditional school-sponsored activities include (but are not limited to):

  • Belmontian Community Service Club activities
  • PALS
  • UNICEF Club
  • Other clubs which include service

Summer Camps

If other community service guidelines are met (related to compensation, type of organization, religious practices) CIT hours spent in the actual organization and performance of specific community service activities ARE applicable. NOTE: Traditional counselor-in-training positions in for-profit camps are NOT applicable. Be sure to check with the camp director before you sign up to determine whether it will count

Activities Not Eligible for Service Credit (Recap)

  • Service for which academic credit is earned
  • Court-ordered service
  • Service for individuals (e.g. friends, neighbors) without an umbrella organization  (This includes, for example, tutoring, yard work, babysitting, etc)
  • Service at for-profit businesses (e.g., law firms, landscape companies, dance & gymnastics, martial arts schools, daycares, even if you are not paid). However, there are some dance and gymnastic schools ARE non-profits, and the daycares in school (think about the before and after cares at the Belmont schools. Again, before you start, be sure to check them out!
  • Participation in religious rites, services or ceremonies (e.g. , altar service, choir, Torah reading)
  • Proselytizing
  • Fundraising to support religious institutions (e.g., most rummage sales and carnivals)
  • Traditional after-school activities, unless service activities are performed
  • Fundraising for your athletic team or sport or to fund your group’s participation on a service trip
  • CIT positions at for-profit camps

Charity Walks

Each charity walk is assigned a specific number of service hours for completing the walk, provided the student solicits pledges. Walking in solidarity without raising money for the cause will not earn hours. In addition, extra hours may be earned by fund-raising; for every 10 pledges or $100 (whichever works more to the student’s benefit) raised, a student earns an extra half-hour of service. Copies of the pledge sheets or pictures of your web page will serve as verification, and the regular forms must be completed.

Notes

Documenting your Hours: We are ONLINE - NO PAPER!

Use this link for Verification Form You must use your @belmontschools.net account to access the GoogleForm.

Online Verification Forms must be submitted for EVERY activity in order to receive credit. 

No signatures are needed from supervisors or parents/guardians. However, you will put in the name of your supervisor with either the email or the phone number, and we may occasionally and randomly be in contact with them.

Instead, students will certify (with their signature) that they did the number of hours without compensation. 

In order to receive community service credit, Verification Forms (with a reflective journal) MUST be submitted online, preferably within 2 months of completion of the service. This applies to EVERY service activity, even if organized by the Coordinator.

Exceptions to Guidelines

Any exceptions to the definitions and guidelines can only be made with the knowledge and approval of the Community Service Coordinator.

President’s Volunteer Service Awards

Any student may earn this national award by completing at least 100 hours a year of verified community service according to the following schedule:       

9th Graders & New Students: Service must be performed between June 19, 2020 and June 9, 2021 if you will not have 100 hours of service.  If you expect to get a “presidential” award, you may submit all forms as late as June 17, 2021,

Sophomores & Juniors: Service must be documented by June 9, 2021 , unless you will have at least 100 hours for the “presidential” award.  If  you will have the 100 hours, you could submit all forms as late as June 17, 2021.  

Seniors (Class of 2021): To have your hours on the report card, the deadline for submission is in May.  If you are going for the presidential, you, too, will be able to submit up until June 17.

“PRESIDENTIAL” AWARD LEVELS for all BHS students:

  • Bronze 100-174 hours
  • Silver 175-249 hours
  • Gold 250+ hours

Verification forms must be turned in for EVERY activity counted toward this award, even those performed after your required hours.

Deadline for submission of forms for the presidential awards is Thursday, June 17, 2021

Questions

Any questions should be directed to Ms. Alice Melnikoff, Community Service Coordinator, by email (AMelnikoff@belmont.k12.ma.us). 

If you are not sure whether something you might like to do will count, please email Ms. Melnikoff through June 30, 2021. It is always better to find out before you commit to your activity!