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Best Practices for Service-Learning
These best practices are intended to support planning and evaluation efforts at the organizational level.
BEST PRACTICE 1:
Mission, Beliefs and Goals
Service-learning is promoted and systematically practiced as central to the schools mission, beliefs and goals.
EXAMPLE: Put mission statement on letterhead, newslettes, handbook cover. Dialogue takes place regularly among staff around mssion, and the role of service learning.
BEST PRACTICE 2:
School policies support the use of quality service-learning on a systemwide basis.
EXAMPLE: Develop a belief statement about service learning to include in your current Statement of Beliefs.
BEST PRACTICE 3:
Service learning activities and goals are funded through the school and/or district budget.
EXAMPLE: Create visible line items for service learning in your school budget.
BEST PRACTICE 4:
The district provides transportation for service-learning related activities.
EXAMPLE: Create line items for service learning field trips. Give such trips priority over other field trips.
BEST PRACTICE 5:
The school schedule supports service learning.
EXAMPLE: Make schedule flexibility more visible.
BEST PRACTICE 6: Administrative Support
The administration is visibly active in supporting an integrated approach to service-learning.
EXAMPLE: Keep service-learning on agendas for sharing at monthly meetings/year-end summaries; keep an ongoing list of service-learning activities done at the school.
BEST PRACTICE 7:
The school has a risk management plan which covers service-learning.
BEST PRACTICE 8:
Coordination of Practice and Resources
Service-learning practice and resource needs are coordinated and supported by school system. Structural elements and resources exist to sustain quality service-learning practice.
EXAMPLE: Coordinate K-8 service-learning curriculum.
BEST PRACTICE 9:
Service-learning training is made available to staff members.
EXAMPLE: Provide training to help staff access service-learning opportunities, regardless of their entry point level (e.g., provide tools such as this one during in-service meetings, along with time to use them and time for questions).
BEST PRACTICE 10:
There are ongoing professional development opportunities to support service-learning practitioners.
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