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Service Learning

Service learning is a teaching method that combines meaningful service to the community with curriculum-based learning. Students improve their academic skills by applying what they learn in school to the real world; they then reflect on their experience to reinforce the link between their service and their learning.

As mandated by the Maryland State Board of Education, all Maryland students must complete a student service requirement in order to earn a high school diploma.

Service-learning is not the same as:

Community Service

People engaging in community service do so for a variety of reasons. This is a broad term that can encompass court ordered, stipend or volunteer service. It also does not necessarily link to academic studies.


Volunteers engage in service for a variety of personal reasons. They do not necessarily link their service to academic studies nor do they receive academic credit for their efforts.


Student interns frequently work at for-profit business to benefit the financial standing of that business. They are not necessarily working to improve their communities through these internship experiences. There can be overlap between internships and service-learning. Students are engaged in service-learning if through their internship experiences they work to improve the health or welfare of their community while linking this to their academic studies.

Service Learning Requirements

Transfer student?

View specific requirements: Middle School | High School


Service Learning Coordinators

  • Coordinator of Secondary Science, Mary Weller – 410-313-6616

School-Based Staff

  • School Counseling Staff
  • School Service Learning Point of Contact

Implementation Plan

The HCPSS has a Student Service Advisory Committee consisting of parents, community agency representatives, students and school system personnel to recommend a local implementation plan to meet the state’s requirement.