Welcome to the Parent Page of the CPS Service Learning Website. We hope to be
able to address some of your concerns on this page.
Chicago Public Schools defines Service Learning in the following way: Service
Learning is a teaching and learning methodology that connects classroom
curriculum with identified community issues and needs. Service Learning engages
students in projects that service the community and build their social and
Service Learning is a teaching and learning strategy. In that respect,
it goes beyond volunteerism. Service Learning connects the act of service with
rigorous preparation and reflection. The act of service becomes a tool for
learning. Service Learning is hands-on, experiential, authentic learning. Ask
your child what kind of learning he or she prefers and the likely answer will
be hands-on learning. Service Learning also gives students a chance to make a
positive contribution in their community. We all need to feel that there is a
purpose to our work, especially our young people.
Teachers throughout Chicago Public Schools are beginning to integrate Service
Learning into their classrooms. Hundreds of organizations throughout Chicago
are making service opportunities available for students. Spend a few minutes
with your child and discuss some ways that he or she can become involved in
meaningful service opportunities.
The following frequently asked questions will help you better understand
the expectations of the Service Learning graduation requirement.
What is the Service Learning graduation requirement?
All CPS high school students need to complete 40 hours of service between 9th
and 12th grades in order to graduate. Some schools require that students
complete at least 10 hours each year. We recommend that students start earning
hours during their freshman year. The Service Learning Initiative is working
with schools and teachers to develop structured opportunities for students.
What is expected of students beyond the hours requirement?
All students must be involved in preparation, action and reflection-the three
essential components of Service Learning‹in order for hours to be validated by
the school's Service Learning Coach. If students
participate in a classroom project, the teacher will lead students in all three
phases. If students are earning hours on their own, they must complete the
pre-service preparation form and the
post-service reflection form. You can access these forms on this
Where can my child earn hours?
Students can earn hours through a classroom or school project or through an
approved non-profit organization. Currently, more than 200 agencies
throughout the city have been approved by the Board of Education as service
sites. You can view these agencies on this website. Each individual school will
also have a listing of organizations and opportunities for students to earn
Can my child earn money and Service Learning hours?
No. Students cannot be reimbursed financially and earn service hours. Students
may also not work at a business or corporation for free and earn hours. These
activities fall under the category of work experience and internships.
Who should I contact at my child's school?
Each school has identified at least one Service Learning
Coach. The Coach is responsible for developing opportunities for
students to serve in addition to tracking and entering student hours. The Coach
must also pre-approve a student's service plan prior to starting a project.