Service-learning is an essential component of the educational experience in Maryland. Students are required to complete a minimum of 75 hours of service-learning during their time in school. In Caroline County, students complete school-based projects during grades 3-9. In middle and high school, students complete some hours on their own through individual projects.
All students in grades 6-12 who are undertaking individual projects must complete the Service Learning Approval/Verification Form.
Part One must be completed prior to beginning the project. Students should submit it to the service-learning coordinator at their school for pre-approval.
Part Two is to be completed after the project, and requires the signature of the community member who oversaw the project, as well as the student's reflection on the experience.
When selecting service-learning projects, students must adhere to the Maryland State Department of Education's service learning requirements. In order to be called service-learning, a project must meet Maryland's Seven Best Practices of Service Learning (1995):
Meet a recognized need in the community
Achieve curricular objectives through service-learning
Reflect throughout the service-learning experience
Develop student responsibility
Establish community partnerships
Plan ahead for service-learning
Equip students with knowledge and skills needed for service
As a graduation requirement, students must complete 75 hours. Students will start working on their hours in grades 3-5, five (5) hours in each grade (15 hours). Students must complete a service-learning project in grades 6-8, ten (10) hours in each grade (30 hours) and ten (10) hours in 10th grade. Students must complete twenty (20) hours of independent service learning. Students not completing the middle school component in middle school must do so in high school in addition to the high school requirement. Each student is also required to complete the service-learning requirement for high school in order to be eligible to graduate.
Transfer Policy: Transfer policies differ in each Maryland public school system. If a student transfers to another county in Maryland, it will be indicated on the student’s record how many hours have been completed in that system. If transferring into Caroline County Public Schools from out-of-state, non-public school, out of country, or home school, based on their official record, students will need to complete their service-learning requirement according to the following:
For more information on the Service Learning program, please contact your school service-learning coordinator/school counselor for assistance with service learning or to learn about service learning opportunities.