• Southside Community Service Learning Credit

    Southside High School's Community Service Learning offers students the opportunity to serve the school and the local community, all while earning a credit toward graduation.

    Think of the benefits of serving your community:

    • Greater engagement in the school
    • Increased sense of educational accomplishment 
    • Increased political knowledge
    • Positive impacts on citizenship and civic responsibilities
    • Growth in awareness of community needs
    • Gains self-confidence and resilience
    • Taking on leadership roles
    • Awareness of career options
    • Development of positive work skills and attitudes
    • Impress colleges with your service initiative and high school transcript 

    Graduation Incentive:

    A student who has completed a minimum of seventy-five (75) hours of documented community service, along with the required reflection component, in grades nine through twelve (9-12) is eligible to receive one (1) career focus academic credit that may be applied toward graduation. 

    Act 648 of 1993 states that beginning with the 1996-97 school year, "a student who has completed a minimum of seventy-five (75) clock hours of documented community service in grades nine (9) through twelve (12), at any certified service agency or a part of a service-learning school program shall be eligible to receive one (1) academic credit that may be applied toward graduation." 

    The community service hours must be completed at an approved community organization or as part of a service-learning school program. The maximum amount of credit per student is one (1) unit of credit. No half units of credit may be awarded. The community service learning project is not a graded course.  The community service learning credit may not be calculated in the student’s GPA.


    Does community service matter to colleges?

    Yes! Yes! Yes!

    Colleges view community service in the following ways:

    • It displays the student is a self-starter with leadership abilities
    • It exhibits a student's sense of compassion and creativity
    • It shows the student has an active and thoughtful social life outside the classroom
    • It provides an example of how the student collaborates well with others

    According to IvyWise, an educational consultant firm, many college admissions offices view community service as a 'tie-breaker' between two equally qualified candidates.  

    ---- https://blog.ivywise.com/blog-0/does-community-service-matter-in-the-college-admissions-process


    How do I earn the credit?

    By completing the following steps, you will earn the service learning credit:

    1. Complete the FSPS Community Service Learning Credit Letter of Agreement
    2. Request to join the schoology group "Southside Community Service Learning Credit" using the join code Z288-SQ4Q-Z36JQ.
    3. Through school organizations or approved community service learning sites, complete volunteer community service.
    4. Complete 75 Hours of documented community service and turn in Fort Smith Public Schools CSL Verification and Reflection.
    5. Turn in to CSL coordinator, Joshua Adams, to be verified and signed.
    6. To receive credit for the 2021--2022 school year you must:
    • For Credit on the FALL Transcripts:
      • Complete the letter of agreement and turn it in by Friday, November 5th
      • complete volunteer service and turn in service verification forms by Friday, December 3rd.
    • For Credit on the SPRING Transcript:
      • Complete the letter of agreement and turn it in by Friday, April 1st.  
      • Complete volunteer service and turn in service verification forms by Friday, April 29th.


    Essential Forms - Print off the forms linked above or get a copy outside of room 2217 and return to Mr. Adams.


    List of approved CSL Sites

    The State of Arkansas maintains a lists of approved Partner Sites and Organizations. Volunteer hours done with these Partners can count towards the CSL, along with hours done through school organizations. See the FAQ below if your organization is not on the state approved Partner List




    Q: What if my outside group I want to work with is not on the State Partner List?

    A: If you are a part of a non-profit or community organization and would like to be added to the community partner list above, please click the form link below and fill out the form. Return to Joshua Adams at Southside High School.

    Community Service Learning Partner Application for Local and State Board Approval


    Q: What if I don’t get all of my hours done in one semester?

    A: The hours rollover to the next semester. You can verify hours from any grade 9-12.


    Q: What if I want to include hours that I can’t get verified?

    A: All hours must be verified by a school sponsor or a representative of an approved State Partner. Hours not verified will not be counted.


    Q: This isn’t an AP class. Will this hurt my GPA?

    A: No. This is a NON-Graded course. It counts as an elective credit towards graduation, but is not included in your GPA averaging.


    Q: So if this won’t help my GPA, why do this?

    A: Because it will make you stand out to colleges, you get rewarded and recognition for all the hard work you’ve done in the community, and it allows you to #BeMoreMaverick!



    Joshua Adams, CSL Coordinator