TCPS Service Learning Program
It is the intent of Talbot County Public Schools to implement a Service-Learning program that will address the needs of students and fulfill the Maryland State Department of Education graduation requirements of 75 hours. In order to meet the state requirement that all students plan, participate and reflect in service to others, Talbot County established a locally designed service learning program which provides opportunities for students to; 1) further develop intellectually and socially and 2) apply their skills and knowledge to real life situations in the community.
1. When are students allowed to start earning service hours?
Starting in pre-kindergarten, students will be made aware of service-learning. Then in third grade through tenth grade, students will begin to earn hours for service-learning in specific classes that have approved service-learning infused projects. These projects will apply toward fulfilling the 75-hour graduation requirement.
In addition, students will be required to earn a minimum of 15 independent hours to complete the 75-hour requirement. There are multiple possibilities for students to fulfill their service-learning independent requirement starting in the sixth grade. Students may wish to be involved in group activities or students may wish to do individual projects. As a part of the sixth grade curriculum, a Service-Learning Unit will be taught which a) addresses the components necessary for quality service, b) provides students with knowledge to choose appropriate service projects, and c) introduces students to needs in the community. Upon successful completion of this unit, students may earn up to 8 hours toward the graduation requirement.
Students may begin to accumulate independent service-learning hours beginning the first day of their sixth-grade school year. The building service-learning coordinator must approve all projects before service can be started.
2. How is credit awarded for service?
All service projects need to be pre-approved by the student’s service-learning building coordinator. Talbot County Public Schools is not responsible for supervising community-based projects. It is the responsibility of the students and parents to select opportunities that are appropriate and adequately supervised. No court-mandated community service hours will be accepted toward fulfilling the service learning graduation requirement.
Credit for service-learning is given on a year-by-year basis; i.e., first day of summer vacation through the last day of the school year. Students need to submit hours obtained during that time period to their building coordinator by the last student day of each school year. Each student will maintain a service-learning cumulative record of his/her service hours. Upon completion of any service, the number of hours will be computed in a central location. Students and teachers will submit validation of hours to their school Service-Learning Coordinator. The student’s report card will reflect the current number of service hours completed.
3. In what ways may students earn hours?
Ways in which students may earn hours include completion of integrated units in content areas, participation in student-organization service projects, completion of the service-learning course, and pre-approved community-based projects.
4. Are there a minimum number of hours required at each grade level?
There is no minimum. However it is suggested that students complete a minimum of 30 hours of service learning by the end of their freshman year, a minimum of 50 hours of service learning by the end of their sophomore year, and a minimum of 70 hours of service learning by the end of their junior year.
5. Are there special guidelines for seniors?
Seniors, who need to complete the remaining hours, must do so by May 15th of their senior year. Seniors who fail to submit their final approved hours by the May 15th deadline will jeopardize their participation in graduation ceremonies.
For transfer students, at the time of registration, the service-learning building coordinator and a school counselor can help the student make an action plan for completing his/her hours.
6. What other responsibilities do students have?
It is the student’s responsibility to plan and complete the 75-hour service-learning requirement, preferably by the end of eleventh grade. It is the student’s responsibility to provide transportation to and from service sites. If a student has not completed 60 hours of service learning by the end of the junior year and 75 hours by the end of first semester senior year, the student will not be eligible to participate in the dual enrollment or work release program until this graduation requirement is completed. A student will not be able to participate in the work experience or the internship program until all 75 hours of service learning are completed.
7. Are students with disabilities who receive special education services required to participate in service learning?
All students with disabilities who receive special education services will participate in earning service-learning hours. Most students with disabilities, who are working toward a high school diploma, will complete their hours as a part of their regular education requirements. Students who are on a certificate program will participate in earning hours based on their IEPs, which will reflect the degree of their participation and any necessary modifications.
- James Redman, TCPS Coordinator, Talbot County Education Center, 410- 822-0330
- Linda Brown, Team Leader, Easton High School, 410- 822-4180
- Rachel Baron, Building Coordinator, Easton High School, 410-822-4180
- Tina Confair, Building Coordinator for Easton Middle School 410- 822-2910
- Jennifer Brown, Building Coordinator, St. Michaels Middle/High School, 410-745-2852
- Kimberly Beers, Building Coordinator, St. Michaels Elementary School, 410-745-2882
- Angie Asmussen, Building Coordinator, Tilghman Elementary School, 410-886-2391
- Jeff Bell, Building Coordinator, Moton Elementary School, 410-822-0686
- Debbie Dyott, Building Coordinator, White Marsh Elementary School, 410-476-3144
- Tiffany Joseph, Building Coordinator, Chapel District Elementary School, 410-822-2391