From the Clarence Bee-
CCSD reviews community service requirements

Students’ community service requirements are being updated in the Clarence Central School District.

The district had a committee revisit the requirements following the introduction of the Seal of Civic Readiness, which was earned by 30 graduating CCSD seniors this year, its first pilot year. Before the pandemic, students had to do 32 hours of community service during high school, at least 16 of which had to be during senior year. The committee’s new recommendation includes service learning projects that integrate with a senior level class, offering a 25-hour project to students interested in the seal and a 10-hour project to students not pursuing the seal. The committee also suggested creating a community service club in the high school with a paid adviser who could help students serve “the community at large.” A Seal of Civic Readiness director would replace a community service position, and an assistant director would also be hired.

Additionally, the term “community service” began changing to “service learning” before the pandemic, since the first denotes simply doing something to benefit the community, while the second brings learning into the equation. In Monday’s school board meeting, a presenter (Mr. Smith) described how community service may involve picking up trash from a stream bed, but service learning would have students reflect after completing that service by analyzing what they found, sharing results and coming up with potential solutions.

For the seal in particular, students must acquire six “points” in the categories of Civic Knowledge and Civic Participation, with at least two points in each of the two categories. Civic Knowledge can be obtained almost by default via social studies courses, Regents exams and projects; depending on the courses a student selects, points can be earned as early as ninth grade. Civic Participation requires a “reflective piece” presented for the school and focuses more on action – for example, civic and service learning projects, a particular elective course, extracurricular programs, work-based learning, and middle and high school capstone projects.

There was also mention of a potential community service day that everyone could participate in – an update of a day that traditionally involved only seniors at risk of falling short on their required community service hours for graduation.
Students interested in pursuing the seal will need to fill out a form that the district calls a declaration. This form will be distributed to 11th and 12th grade students close to the start of the upcoming school year.
It sounds like a very good plan