What is Learning Through Service?
It is a teaching and learning approach that integrates community service with academic study to enrich learning, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.
ALL students at Waterford High School must complete and document a total of 80 hours of service over the course of four years as part of the Waterford High School diploma requirements. Students failing to complete the service requirement will NOT be permitted to graduate. It is suggested that students perform and document at least 20 hours per academic year. Required total hours are pro-rated for students entering after the first semester of the freshman year per agreement with Ms. April Cairns, Learning Through Service Program Coordinator. Students are responsible for having a thorough familiarization with and understanding of all LTS rules, procedures and practices. Ms. Cairns is available to answer any questions students may have about the program.
Each student is provided with a Learning Through Service folder as part of his/her cumulative record file. The folder will contain copies of finalized proposals and self-evaluations for each project that is counted toward the requirement. All forms may be obtained in the main office and outside the College and Career Center (A-11).
What is an acceptable LTS project outside of the classroom?
The following are some of the criteria which will be used by Ms. Cairns, Learning Through Service Coordinator, when determining “meaningful” service. The service must:
- be provided to a non-profit organization (not a business)
- be provided free of any remuneration (no payment)
- be consistent with the Waterford High School philosophy as approved by the Waterford Board of Education
- be an active experience that measurably benefits another person, the school community, or the community at large. Performing tasks for family members, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. does NOT count as a service project. Attending meetings, training or rehearsals does NOT count toward your LTS hours.
Any project that does not clearly meet the above criteria MUST receive pre-approval from Ms. Cairns or the hours will be denied. Please note that under most circumstances, LTS credit for the Relay for Life event will be limited to a maximum of 4 symbolic hours.
What is the policy on volunteering in a private residence or for a private individual or family?
Performing tasks not limited to but including babysitting, shoveling snow, raking leaves, mowing lawns, home maintenance, tutoring, music lessons, dance lessons, karate lessons, and so on, in someone’s home or for a private individual or family does not constitute a service project. Exceptions to this rule are sometimes made for individuals or families with extraordinary special needs but only with prior approval from Ms. Cairns. Do not submit this type of project without having received prior approval; approval will not be granted after the fact.
How do students find out about opportunities?
Notices of various service opportunities are available on the LTS bulletin board across from the main office, outside the College and Career Center (A-11), and on the school announcements. Explore the LTS web pages labeled “Upcoming LTS Opportunities” and “Ongoing LTS Opportunities” located on the WHS website under the Departments tab. These can be accessed on the menu to the left of the web pages. Students are also encouraged to develop their own projects. These projects must receive pre-approval. For consideration, it is necessary to submit a green, independent LTS project form with Part A fully completed.
When can students conduct service projects?
Independent LTS Projects may only be performed outside of regular school hours. Students may begin service projects during the summer following completion of middle school.
How do students document service projects?
Students must document all service with official Learning Through Service paperwork and submit it to the Program Coordinator for final approval. Please note that direct supervision of the project must be provided by someone who is not related to the student volunteer. Documentation will only be accepted for the current academic year or prior summer. Strict adherence to published deadlines will be expected. Once school is dismissed at the end of the school year, no outstanding documentation will be accepted without prior arrangement with the Program Coordinator. All LTS forms may be obtained in the main office and the College and Career Center (A-11).
Questions concerning LTS may be directed to
April Cairns, LTS Coordinator
Phone: 437-6956 ext. 7126
Learning Through Service