As part of their independent study agreement, students are required to have a given number of service hours by graduation. Service hours are completed in increments of 5 hours per semester beginning in 9th grade. Service hours cannot be “banked” and must be completed each semester. There is an additional 5 hours of service required during a student’s senior year while enrolled in government. The total number of service hours required is contingent upon in what grade a student is when he/she enrolls at Las Flores:
9th grade-----45 hours
10th grade---35 hours
11th grade---25 hours
12th grade---15 hours
Service hours are earned in a variety of ways such as participation in service clubs, volunteering at various organizations, attending BUSD board meetings, tutoring younger students, supporting staff at Las Flores Home Education Independent Study Academy, participating in outreach projects, etc. Students should seek approval for service hours prior to completion to ensure that the service is appropriate for credit. To receive credit, students will submit a service hour log (see appendix) with signatures and an official stamp from any organization that is not Las Flores Home Education Independent Study Academy (attendance at BUSD board meetings will require the signature of the principal or designee.) Supervising teachers will keep a file of the service hours for students to submit their last semester of high school. Students who do not complete their service hour requirements each semester will cause their placement in independent study to be evaluated and possibly terminated.
During a student’s senior year, he or she is required to do 5 additional service hours that take place outside the community of Bellflower Unified School District. These hours may take place over the course of the year within either semester. To receive credit for these hours the student must have a letter of verification with official letterhead from the institution and/or an attached business card.
A final component to the service hour requirement will be a reflection project submitted two weeks prior to graduation. Please see the Appendix for more information about the “Reflection Project.” Please note that while reflection projects are not due until senior year, students are strongly encouraged to select their project early and use their wide array of experiences to develop the project as they progress through their years a Las Flores.
Senior Year Service Hour Reflection Project
An important component to service learning is reflection. Think about the service learning that you have done over your years at Las Flores Home Education Independent Study Academy using the following prompts
What were some of your favorite memories?
What was something challenging that you faced?
What happened as a result of your work for others?
What impact did serving others and/or your community have on you?
How did doing service hours compare to your expectations?
Do you feel like you made a difference?
What did you learn from your experiences?
What are you going to do as a result of these experiences?
What learning occurred for you through your service hours?
What information can you share with your peers or the community?
Upon reflecting with the preceding questions select one of the following to convey your overall experience participating in service hours within and beyond your community of Las Flores Home Education Independent Study Academy:
- Many schools in the United States require students to participate in service projects in order to graduate. Do you think community service should be mandatory for students? Write an editorial for your school newspaper.
- Create a video diary of your community service experiences. Diary entries can span your time at Las Flores or take place during your senior and final year of service.
- Create a scrapbook of memories of your service experiences.
- Design a brochure, flyer, or advertisement that describes your experience with service learning.
- Write a letter to yourself, a relative, a historical figure, a political figure, etc. describing the service learning experiences as a whole and what it means to them, or ask for some piece of advice, etc.
- Draw a cartoon that teaches something important regarding the service hours.
- Make a collage or write a poem or song to express your community service experiences.
- Write an informational essay about the benefits and challenges of participating in community service.