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
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 www.handsonbroward.org 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 www.browardschools.com 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 2016-2017 school year is Friday, May 12th, 2017 for grades 9-11, and Thursday, March 23rd, 2017 for grade 12 . Seniors interested in receiving the Silver Cord must submit their hours by Thursday, February 23rd, 2017. For hours to be reflected on your current report card, the service hour forms must be submitted by these dates:
Student Hour submission will resume on the first day of the 2017-2018 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.
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.
The Service Learning
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
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
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
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.
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.