Community Service

At Ashland High School we believe in the importance of giving back to one's community and assisting those in need.  Aside from the direct benefits garnered by the recipients of community service, our students benefit in many ways.  Offering support to others brings personal satisfaction, helps to develop a healthy sense of self worth, and instills compassion for those less fortunate. 

Graduation Requirement

To this end, we ask each student to complete a minimum of 25 hours of community service during their high school career, although many choose to do more.  Note, National Honor Society (NHS) has additional community service requirements.  See the "Guidelines for Acceptance to the Socios Chapter of National Honor Society" on the NHS website.

While we hope helping others will become a lifetime commitment, we begin counting community service hours toward the graduation requirement after the first day of freshman year. The minimum requirement of 25 hours must be completed by the first day of senior year.  Students who are new to Ashland High School in their senior year will be given the whole year to complete this requirement.

Reporting Community Service Hours

Students are to fill out the Community Service Project Completion Form, have the service supervisor sign the form, and the student is to submit the form to the Guidance office. We recommend students keep a copy of their form(s) in a personal folder at home should there ever be a question over hours served. 

Please know that tracking community service hours takes significant staff time, and tracking down students who have not met the requirement takes additional valuable staff time.  We ask that students and parents work together to ensure at least ten community service hours are turned in by the beginning of senior year.  Those who do not submit their completion forms by then will lose the opportunity to enjoy senior privileges (students in good standing are given the ability to arrive to school late or leave early if they have a study hall their first or last class of the day).

Community Service Guidelines

Community service is generally considered to be those actions which are done with or on behalf of others outside the immediate family without any direct financial or material compensation to the individual performing the service. Students may perform one single type of service or many different kinds, and service may be performed all during the same period or over an extended time.  Note, however, that colleges favor consistent experiences that demonstrate a student's passion for a given charitable organization or type of service that really interests the student.

Examples of the kinds of service students currently perform include: assisting at senior facilities, soup kitchens, food pantries, hospitals and PTO events; mentoring at Ashland elementary schools; and participating in or organizing sponsored walks. For a full list, check out the community service board in Guidance, or see the Community Service Resource Booklet.

Please be aware of the following guidelines as you plan community service activities:
  1. Community service for which academic credit is given cannot be accepted.

  2. Community service which is assigned by the court cannot be accepted.

  3. Activities to help a family member cannot be accepted.

  4. Community service performed through profit-making companies is not accepted, with the exception of hospitals and nursing homes. Students may not be compensated.

  5. Community service may not be associated with the practice or promotion of any religion. Educational activities and non-religious activities which benefit the religious community or the community-at-large are acceptable, eg. teaching Sunday school or CCD (unless required for Confirmation, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, etc.), unpaid babysitting during religious services, painting buildings, clothing drives, youth group work with shelters or food pantries, mission trips whose goal is community service.

  6. Fundraising to support a student's own activities cannot be accepted (eg. class or club activities). Fundraising for charitable purposes will be accepted.

  7. Participation in youth groups will not be accepted, unless it is in the capacity of leadership and community service is performed through these groups.

  8. Participation or leadership in school-related activities will not be accepted (eg. time-keeping and managing for sports teams), unless the activity specifically involves community service.

  9. Charity walks (time spent walking) will be accepted provided the student raises money through pledges. Completing the Walk for Hunger (20 miles) will earn a standard 10 hours. Completing half the Walk for Hunger will earn a standard 5 hours. In the Relay for Life, ONLY those hours spent walking the track will count, not the hours spent sleeping or socializing.


Questions Regarding Community Service

For further questions regarding community service, please speak to the Community Service Coordinator, Ms. Jennifer Pavia-Shiels, jpaviashiels@ashland.k12.ma.us.  Her office is located in the guidance office.  If you have questions about the community service requirements for the National Honor Society, contact the NHS Advisor, Ms. Marybeth Gallant, at mgallant@ashland.k12.ma.us.