Student Volunteering

The School Board of Broward County, Florida has incorporated Service Learning and volunteer service into the high school graduation requirements. Any student who wishes to earn a standard diploma must meet the graduation requirement of forty (40) documented hours in the Student Volunteer Service Program.  The rules governing exactly what will be accepted as service learning/volunteer service hours and what won’t, are listed below.  There are links provided below to download the log sheets necessary to document hours and the Service Application and Approval Form (used when a student is not performing a service as part of a school sponsored organization). If you have Student Service Hour questions please contact Ms. Oltmans at

Volunteer Forms
Volunteer Hours Log Sheet
Service Application and Approval form
New! The Application and Approval form is now required for all service hours submitted except when performing service as part of a PPCHS-sponsored activity.  This form needs to be submitted only once per organization.

Visit for a list of over 200 non-profit organizations.

  • Service Hours must be completed at NON PROFIT organizations.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to maintain a copy of all volunteer records submitted.
  • Submission of hours does not guarantee approval, please review and follow ALL guidelines listed below.
  • Do not Fax or Email student volunteer hour forms.  It is the student’s responsibility
    to provide the school original copies of service hour forms.
  • Students can check their current service hours by logging into Virtual Counselor at  Under the “Student Information” drop-down menu select: “Graduation Information.” Scroll down to the “Quick Check” section and look for: Comm. Serv. Hrs.
  • Due to Child Labor Laws students are only allowed to volunteer up to 10 hours per day.

Student Volunteer Service Program Deadlines

The final date for Student volunteer hours to be submitted for the 2017-2018 school year is Friday, May 11th, 2018 for grades 9-11, and Wednesday, March 21st, 2018 for grade 12 . Seniors interested in receiving the Silver Cord must submit their hours by Friday, February 23rd, 2018. For hours to be reflected on your current report card, the service hour forms must be submitted by these dates:

1st Report Card: September 29th
2nd Report Card: December 1st
3rd Report Card: February 23rd
4th Report Card: Grades 9-11: May 11th

Student Hour submission will resume on the first day of the 2018-2019 school year.

Service Hour forms should be submitted at the Guidance Office before or after school.  Forms should be placed in the black tray (separated by grade level) at the Guidance window.

Incoming ninth graders are eligible to start volunteering after successful promotion from the eighth grade.


Service Learning

Student Volunteer Service Program


The purpose of the Service Learning Graduation Requirement and the Student

Volunteer Service Program is to acquaint high school students with the need to become participating agents of change by providing service to both their school and community.


Service Learning is defined as:

 An educational method by which participants learn and develop through active participation in service that is conducted in and meets the needs of a community.

Service learning is coordinated with a school or community service program and with the community. It is integrated into and influences the lifelong learning of a participant and includes structured time for the participants to reflect on the service experience.

Service learning teaches the skills of civil participation and develops an ethic of service and civic responsibility.  Students can provide service in the community on a voluntary basis to public, nonprofit agencies, civic, charitable and governmental organizations and school campuses.

 Service Learning and Volunteer Service Program is divided into three tiers.

Tier I                   Service Learning Hours required for graduation.

Tier II         Service hours required to meet the Bright Futures Initial Eligibility


Tier III        Volunteer Service Hours required earn a silver cord at graduation.


Community Service Approval Form

 This form is available from the Student Volunteer Service Program Coordinator and should be filled out completely and submitted prior to undertaking any service that is not directly connected or sponsored by with a school recognized club or organization.  (This form can be downloaded from this website) By submitting this form in advance a student can determine if an activity will count before undertaking that activity.

A student does not need this form if he/she is participating in a service activity undertaken by a school-sponsored club, class or organization of which he/she is a member.  Please note, however that not all projects undertaken by school clubs and organizations count for service hours.  There are instances in which Community ServiceApproval Form must be turned in before service hours will be accepted by the school.


Tier I

The Service Learning

Graduation Requirement

Community involvement is critical to success in education.  Student participation in

community service activities builds an awareness of society and a connection between

classroom and real world issues.  Service Learning is a method through which students

learn about and develop a commitment to addressing needs in their communities.

Service Learning hours, as a graduation requirement, provide students with the

opportunity to develop a long lasting sense of responsibility to society.

Students, who wish to earn a Standard Diploma, must meet the graduation requirement of 40 documented service learning hours.  Students should be encouraged to use their service learning experiences as discussion or written topics whenever appropriate as a part of class assignments.



Tier 1-40 Hours

Guidelines Specific to the 40 Hour

Service Learning Requirement

 1.      All high school students seeking a Standard Diploma are required to

participate in the program.

2.      Service performed over the summer or performed as part of an organization that

is not a school sponsored club or organization must meet Service Learning

Guidelines to earn Service Learning hours.

3.      All Service Learning Hours must be documented on the Volunteer Service

Record Log Sheet. Log Sheets can be downloaded from this website.  Log Sheets

must be returned to the Service Learning Coordinator.  Students must retain a

copy of this form for their records.  Students may start earning Service Learning

Hours as soon as they are promoted to ninth grade.


Tier II – 75 Hours

Florida Academic Scholars (part of the

Florida Bright Futures Scholarships)


Volunteer Service is one of the qualifications for the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship

Program.  These hours could include a combination of the Service Learning required

hours and hours earned for the Student Volunteer Service Program.

1.      Hours earned as part of the Student Volunteer Service Program must be

documented on the Volunteer Service Record Log Sheet and must comply with

rules of that program.

2.      The student must give copies of the log sheets required to verify service hours for

the Florida Bright Futures Scholars Program Scholarship to his/her guidance


3.      The number of hours required to qualify for each of the Florida Bright Futures

Scholarship Programs are as follows:


Gold Seal Vocational Scholars – 30 hours (This requirement will be met by

Broward County’s 40 hour graduation requirement)

Florida Medallion Scholars – 75 hours

Florida Academic Scholars – 100 hours


Tier III

The Student Volunteer Service Program

All students who have earned a total of 250 Volunteer Service Hours may receive a

silver cord to wear at commencement.  An adjustment to the 250 total hours required to

receive a silver cord should be made for students who enter the Broward County Public

Schools after their freshmen year.


The Volunteer Service Record Log Sheet

 Hours earned as part of the Student Volunteer Service Program must be documented on

the Volunteer Service Record Log Sheet.  These forms must be submitted to the Student

Volunteer Service Program Coordinator.  Students should turn in Service Records

regularly and should keep a duplicate copy of all forms for their records.


Tier III-250 Hours

Guidelines specific to the

Silver Cord Program

General Guidelines for The Student Volunteer Service Program


1.      All services must comply with the policies of the School Board of Broward

County, Florida.

2.      Student volunteer service hours may be earned in both the school and or the


3.      Services for which a student or an organization that a student belongs to

receives financial/or other substantial compensation will not be counted. This

would include revenues from ticket sales or donations.  For example, participation

in a car wash sponsored by a club would not count as community service.  An

exception to this guideline would be if the organization is donating the profits (less expenses) to a bonafide charity. Another example, the school chorus puts on a

performance at which admission is charged and all of the proceeds less the cost of

cleaning their uniforms is donated to a charitable organization. Volunteer service

that is a “prior condition to employment” will not count.

4.      Participation in and travel to theatrical musical performances, festivals or

community events will count as service hours if both (a) and (b) below are met:


A.      The performance meets an identified community service need.


B.      The performance is not a fundraiser for the organization nor the student is

paid, or receives academic credit.  For example, students participating in

the Florida Youth Orchestra or school bands/orchestras may receive

hours for performing at a retirement home, charitable and civic events or

for a non-profit agency.


5.      A student may earn volunteer hours by helping at an event or performance at

which admission is charged or a donation collected, providing that the student is

not a member of the organization benefiting from the event.  For example,

a student, who is not a member of the Drama Club, may volunteer to usher and

collect tickets at a drama club production and earn service learning hours.


6.      Rehearsal and practice time will count for volunteer service projects to be

performed or conducted specifically to meet a community service need.


7.      Service learning hours documented for community service as part of non-credit

granting workshops, programs or conferences will count as volunteer service.


8.      Fundraising activities for non-profit charities will count as volunteer service

hours as long as the activity complies with Broward County School Board Policies

6206 and 6208 and providing the student is not volunteering for an organization

that benefits the school (i.e. a booster club fundraiser).  For example, a high school

student government may hold a candy sale and donate all of the profits to the

Miami Project to Cure Paralysis.  However, the conduct of the project including

depositing the money in the school account must be in accordance with School

Board policies.  Service hours may not be earned based on the amount of funds

raised or products sold.


9.      Volunteering at events or programs sponsored by governmental agencies will

count.  For example, students serving as an usher at public institutions such as the

Broward Center for the Performing Arts or Coral Springs City Center are eligible

to receive service learning hours.


10.    Activities organized by profit making or non-profit organizations to address a

community service need will count as volunteer service hours.


11.    Services performed for day care centers, retirement homes, and animal hospitals

count for volunteer hours.  A student may earn service hours by volunteering with a doctor, lawyer or dentist only when “pro bono” work is being performed.  For

example, if a doctor volunteers to give physical examinations to school athletes, a

student may assist and earn service hours.


12.    Service performed on staff at non-profit athletic or music camps for no financial

compensation will count as volunteer services hours.


13.    Time out of class may not be used for hours, however a maximum of five (5)

volunteer hours per week can be earned by participation in an organized,

supervised and approved peer tutoring program in which the tutoring takes place

when school is in session.   However, the tutoring sessions cannot take place

during any of the tutor’s academic classes.


14.    Service hours will be awarded for students volunteering on political and issue

campaigns.  To receive service hours, a student cannot be paid for working on the

political campaign.  A student is not eligible to receive service learning hours for

volunteering on the political campaign of a school board employee or in school

board elections.  Students are not eligible to receive service learning hours for

campaigning or being engaged in political activities during the school day and on

school campuses.


15.    Students may receive volunteer hours for helping at religious institutions as

long as those hours do not include participation in a religious service, teaching

religion or proselytizing.  For example, a student is not eligible for service learning

teaching Sunday school, singing in the choir or serving as an altar server.  However

a student may receive service hours for assisting in landscaping, clean up days or

volunteering in the day care center.  In addition, students serving as teen aides

(i.e. copying materials, walking kids to bathrooms, assisting with supervision) are

eligible for service learning credit as long as the student is not teaching religious studies.


16.    In general, service rendered directly to a for profit institution or organization will

not count.  Volunteering at a “For Profit” summer camp does not qualify for service

learning.  Please note that the collection of a fee does not determine the “Not For Profit” status.  The State of Florida issues a 501(c)(3) certificate to “Non Profit” organizations.


17.     Service Learning Hours shall not be granted to students who volunteer at for

profit summer camps. Students who volunteer at governmental sponsored or not for profit summer camps shall be eligible to receive Service Learning Hours for their work.


18.    Service for a student’s family or family business will not count.


19.    Service performed as the result of disciplinary action taken by the school or the

courts will not count.


20.    Participation in campus or competitive activities such as athletics, plays, debate

meets, etc. will not count.


21.     Service performed as an academic requirement, other than that performed as

part of the approved volunteer service learning courses will not count.


22.    Babysitting, or similar services, performed for an individual family, will not

count.  Babysitting services for school related activities will count.


23.    Volunteer hours may not be certified by a family member or fellow student


24.    Service hours will not be awarded for any in kind or monetary donations of any

kind including canned food collections, toy collections, etc.  For example, a service

hour value cannot be established for the donation of a specific number of cans of

food.  The time spent collecting the cans of food (as long as it does not occur during

the school day) can count.


25.     The number of service hours that are earned cannot be doubled or in any way

increased by any agency or school for student participation in a specific project.

Agencies found to be practicing the doubling of hours will be removed from the

list of those agencies approved by the programs.

26.    Participation in self-improvement workshops, clinics, conferences or

conventions will not count for volunteer hours.  If workshops, clinics, etc. have a

specific service component, the hours spent on that activity can count.

27.    Hours spent helping others (not family members) in disaster preparations or

clean up may count.  In this instance the Prior Approval form may be waived.  A

letter from the parent or guardian indicating that the volunteer service was

performed with their permission must be submitted with the log sheet.  For

example, students volunteering their time to assist neighbors in putting up and

taking down hurricane shutters will count towards service learning.


28.    A student may receive service hours credit for the time donating blood at an off-

campus facility or after school.  Donation of blood during the student’s school day

does not qualify for service learning.  However, a student who donates blood at a

church/synagogue blood drive is eligible for service learning credit.

Appeals Process

If a student’s volunteer hours have been denied by the school based Student

Volunteer Service Coordinator the student may appeal that decision to the

Department of Student Activities and Athletics.  The appeal must be in writing and

a copy of the Log Sheet referencing the hours in question must be attached.  The

letter must contain a telephone number and address at which the party initiating the

appeal can be reached.