By Max Bowenfirstname.lastname@example.org
In the fall of 2019, the North Attleborough Schools launched NorthServes, a community service program for students that puts skills learned in the classroom to work helping those less fortunate.
The program calls for 10 hours of community service per year for NAHS students, and is a requirement for graduation. But when COVID hit, the opportunities to complete those hours came to a halt and the program was suspended. With life beginning to resume its normal flow, the decision was made to re-start the program in the third quarter of the academic year.
NAHS Principal Peter Haviland went before the School Committee at its Jan. 13 meeting to seek the program’s reinstatement. Haviland said that current seniors won’t need to fulfill the community service hours, as there isn’t time available, and so the program will apply to those subsequent classes. Haviland said that connecting the students with the community can provide opportunities that they otherwise may not have.
“It fosters a sense of service in the school,” said Haviland.
Community service ideas must be approved by the school in order for the time to count. This can include working with clubs or teams at the school or outside organizations. Doing fundraising or chores for a family member do not count as community service hours.
If a student has outstanding community service hours, an obligation is filed which will prevent them from attending school events. Seniors will not be allowed to attend senior events if community service hours are not complete.
Since the pandemic is still imposing some limitations, current juniors and sophomores will have a year and and a half to complete the service hours. Following this, the program will revert back to the one-year timeframe. To assist students with fulfilling this service, a software platform will be utilized to give a list of roles that they can take, as well as creating a director position to facilitate this process. The committee was entirely supportive of the request and unanimously approved its reinstatement.
“This gives kids an opportunity to experience something they may not experience,” said Committee Member Tasha Buzzell.
For more information, visit https://sites.google.com/naschools.net/northserves/home?authuser=0.