Community Outreach Program Overview
Community Outreach Program Description
It is the mission of Spectrum’s Community Service Program to empower our students to become leaders in their communities through research, service, and reflection.
Essentially, we are growing leaders at Spectrum.
Whether college or career bound, our program seeks to nurture a sense of empathy for others, and develop the skills necessary for graduates to actively engage in society and lead the way toward positive change and development in the world.
We believe that active service helps our students make connections to the lives of others and empowers them to take the lead in further service action that will benefit our community as a whole.
The program consists of an “on campus” element as well as an “off campus” element.
The “on campus” element includes all coursework and group community service related experiences (field trips, guest speakers, fundraising efforts, etc.) facilitated by Spectrum. These service experiences occur primarily within the regular school day. Here students gain an awareness of the various needs within our community through research and acts of service. We refer to this element as Service Learning.
The “off campus” element includes community service initiated and completed by the individual student.These service experiences occur primarily outside of the regular school day. The intention for this component is to extend and enrich the “on campus” element of our community service program by encouraging students to reach out to those in need within their personal sphere of influence. We do not stress the quantity of time spent, but rather the quality of the time spent and the impact to both the student and the person/group being served. We refer to this element as Community Service.
Upon completion of both elements, students are offered an opportunity to reflect on their experiences in an effort to share their perspectives and insights gained.
The culmination of both service learning (on-campus) and community service (off-campus) is the Senior Capstone experience.
The Capstone experience begins in a student’s junior year. At this point, students determine a community need upon which their experience will focus. Then, a partnership is established with a relevant community organization which can act as a support to the student as they plan a way to meet that need. Finally, the student begins to implement their plan.
As seniors, students wrap up the Capstone experience through written reflection and professional presentation. This allows students the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate their community service experience at Spectrum as a whole. Including first, their service learning (on-campus) as well as their community service (off-campus) experience, and finally, their independent partnership with a community organization and how they were able to personally make an impact towards meeting a community need.
Students at Spectrum who go above and beyond the expectations of the Community Service Program also have an opportunity to letter in the area of Community Service. Students who take the initiative to reach out to individuals in need through partnerships with organizations in our community not only gain personal perspective as to how philanthropic actions can have positive results, they are officially acknowledged for their efforts and intentions.
II. Service Learning (On-Campus)
Service Learning takes place on-campus as part of the students’ Service Learning class. Each class in grades 6-9 are connected in some way and work to meet a direct need of a community organization. Students participate in research, connect with the organization directly (field trip or speaker), actively serve the organization, and reflect upon their experience.
Students in grades 6-9 participate in a different service learning opportunity on a quarterly basis. These service learning opportunities expose students to various needs within our community. This is intended to pique students’ interests and passions, ultimately assisting students in choosing an area of community need on which they would like to focus their Senior Capstone experience.
In grade 10 students reflect on their past year’s (in grades 6-9) service learning (on-campus) and community service (off-campus) experiences and begin to determine their senior capstone community service focus area. Coursework in grade 10 facilitates the development of skills and competencies necessary for students to successfully connect, develop, and implement the plan for their senior capstone experience.
In grade 11, student’s service learning experience is transformed into a culminating community service experience. During their junior year students finalize and implement their community service plan for their Senior Capstone experience.
Completion, presentation, and final reflection of the Senior Capstone experience happens in the first semester of grade 12. The Senior Capstone experience serves as the culminating experience and presentation of their service learning (on-campus) and individual commitment to community service (off-campus).
Planning, organizing, and facilitating the Service Learning EXPO during the second semester of grade 12 allows students the opportunity to utilize the knowledge and skills gained through their community service experience and Senior Capstone. Emerging as leaders in the Spectrum community, seniors serve as role models for their peers. By encouraging increased engagement and active involvement in service, they strengthen our students’ capacity to serve others and fulfill this aspect of our mission.
A detailed description of the Senior Capstone can be found in the Senior Capstone Handbook (see reference section below).
III. Community Service (Off Campus)
Community service is intended for students to offer off-campus service to those in need (outside of their family). While community service may include activities such as raking, shoveling, or mowing for a neighbor, students are encouraged to begin volunteering for a community organization, such as the ones they learn about in their Service Learning classes at school or are already involved in as part of their daily lives. This would be a great way to begin networking and preparing for their Senior Capstone experience.
Note: Community service does not include working for a fundraiser from which a student is earning money for an activity or sport in which they participate. Community outreach is not compensated with payment of any kind.
B. Expectations for Time/Hours
Completing community service hours (off-campus) helps students to begin nurturing a sense of empathy for others. It also helps them to develop the skills needed to be active citizens. In addition, working in partnership with a community organization through active service gives them a jump start on their Senior Capstone experience.
Reflection on the community service is included as part of student’s Service Learning class grade.
Independent Community Service hours expectation:
Grade 6-8 students are encouraged to complete at least 3 hours of community outreach (off-campus) per quarter.
Grade 9-10 students are encouraged to complete at least 5 hours of community outreach (off-campus) per quarter.
Grade 11 students will be completing their community service (off-campus) hours by implementing their Senior Capstone plan. (No additional community service hours or reflection are required.)
Grade 12 students are encouraged to continue providing community outreach (off campus) in conjunction with their Senior Capstone experience.
(No additional community service hours or reflection are required.)
While students are encouraged to participate in community service (off-campus) on a regular basis, they can use summer community outreach hours as part of their reflection in their 1st quarter Service Learning class.