by Erin C '14

Understanding Community Service Hours

From the time students enter as seventh graders up until the day that they graduate, they are constantly reminded that extracurricular activities are extremely important. As students in the middle years program, they are required to complete community and service hours. These community and service hours can be completed through a range of activities. School clubs, such as The BACCRag or Helping Hands, allow students to earn their hours. Other activities that offer these hours to students are volunteering at parent-teacher conferences, helping teachers organize their files, and other extracurriculars that are not involved with the school. There are some restrictions as to what constitutes an activity that gives a student hours. The activity cannot be religiously affiliated, and it cannot be paid work. However, most students have no trouble getting all their hours in.

From seventh to tenth grade at BSGE, a student is in the Middle Years Program. As a requirement of the program, they must have completed 100 hours by the time they finish tenth grade in order to receive a certificate of completion for the MYP. These hours fall under “community and service.” Unlike the hours needed for the IB Diploma Program, this term for hours is very general. For community and service hours in the first four years of their BSGE career, a student can join newspaper, volunteer at an event, or join other extracurriculars. There are a large number of activities that can be completed and still count toward community and service hours for the MYP. Once an activity is completed, a form must be filled out by the student, which asks them to describe the activity and what they learned from it. After, the form must be handed in to Peter Wilson, as he documents hours for every student in the school.

The IB Diploma Program has a different set of requirements for the hours that need to be completed by students. There are specific hours that need to be completed, and certain activities will only count for certain types of hours. When working for their IB Diploma, students must acquire CAS hours. CAS stands for the three types of hours that students must participate in activities to fulfill the requirements of IB: Creativity, Action, and Service. Creativity activities included teaching someone to play the guitar or dancing, Action activities include joining a sports team, and Service hours include volunteer activities. Students need to complete 150 hours, with a minimum of 20 hours in each section. Once the activity is completed, another form needs to be completed. However, in contrast to the form for the MYP Program community and service hours, this form is more detailed and needs to be typed. However, it is also given in to Peter Wilson.

While the task may seem daunting, hours are easily completed. It is helpful to plan activities ahead, especially in junior and senior year when IB classes and standardized tests take up a lot of a student’s time. It is also helpful, and much more enjoyable, if the activities are fun or interesting. It would not do to give up on an activity because it is completely unbearable. Acquiring hours is easy if a student is organized.


For more information about Community and Service and CAS requirements and opportunities, check out the BSGE site.