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The Legislative Service Commission staff updates the Revised Code on an ongoing basis, as it completes its act review of enacted legislation. Updates may be slower during some times of the year, depending on the volume of enacted legislation.

Section 3313.605 | Community service education program.


(A) As used in this section:

(1) "Civic responsibility" means the patriotic and ethical duties of all citizens to take an active role in society and to consider the interests and concerns of other individuals in the community.

(2) "Volunteerism" means nonprofit activity in the United States, the benefits and limitations of nonprofit activities, and the presence and function of nonprofit civic and charitable organizations in the United States.

(3) "Community service" means a service performed through educational institutions, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, social service agencies, and philanthropies and generally designed to provide direct experience with people or project planning, with the goal of improving the quality of life for the community. Such activities may include but are not limited to tutoring, literacy training, neighborhood improvement, encouraging interracial and multicultural understanding, promoting ideals of patriotism, increasing environmental safety, assisting the elderly or disabled, and providing mental health care, housing, drug abuse prevention programs, and other philanthropic programs, particularly for disadvantaged or low-income persons.

(B) The board of education of each city, local, exempted village, and joint vocational school district, the governing authority of each community school established under Chapter 3314. of the Revised Code, and the governing body of each STEM school established under Chapter 3326. of the Revised Code may include community service education in its educational program. A governing board of an educational service center, upon the request of a local school district board of education, may provide a community service education program for the local district pursuant to this section. If a board, governing authority, or governing body includes community service education in its education program, the board, governing authority, or governing body shall do both of the following:

(1) Establish a community service advisory committee. The committee shall provide recommendations to the board, governing authority, or governing body regarding a community service plan for students and shall oversee and assist in the implementation of the plan adopted by the board, governing authority, or governing body under division (B)(2) of this section. Each board, governing authority, or governing body shall determine the membership and organization of its advisory committee and may designate an existing committee established for another purpose to serve as the community service advisory committee; however, each such committee shall include two or more students and shall include or consult with at least one person employed in the field of volunteer management who devotes at least fifty per cent of employment hours to coordinating volunteerism among community organizations. The committee members may include representatives of parents, teachers, administrators, other educational institutions, business, government, nonprofit organizations, veterans organizations, social service agencies, religious organizations, and philanthropies.

(2) Develop and implement a community service plan. To assist in establishing its plan, the board, governing authority, or governing body shall consult with and may contract with one or more local or regional organizations with experience in volunteer program development and management. Each community service plan adopted under this division shall be based upon the recommendations of the advisory committee and shall provide for all of the following:

(a) Education of students in the value of community service and its contributions to the history of this state and this nation;

(b) Identification of opportunities for students to provide community service;

(c) Encouragement of students to provide community service;

(d) Integration of community service opportunities into the curriculum;

(e) A community service instructional program for teachers, including strategies for the teaching of community service education, for the discovery of community service opportunities, and for the motivation of students to become involved in community service.

Plans shall be reviewed periodically by the advisory committee and, if necessary, revised by the board, governing authority, or governing body at least once every five years.

Plans shall provide for students to perform services under the plan that will not supplant the hiring of, result in the displacement of, or impair any existing employment contract of any particular employee of any private or governmental entity for which the services are performed. The plan shall provide for any entity utilizing a student to perform community service under the plan to verify to the board that the student does not supplant the hiring of, displace, or impair the employment contract of any particular employee of the entity.

Upon adoption, a board, governing authority, or governing body shall submit a copy of its plan to the department of education and workforce. Each city and exempted village board of education and each governing board of a service center shall include a copy of its plan in any course of study adopted under section 3313.60 of the Revised Code that is required to be submitted for approval to the department for review. A joint vocational school district board of education shall submit a copy of its plan to the department for review when required to do so by the department. A local board shall forward its plan to the educational service center governing board for inclusion in the governing board's course of study. The department periodically shall review all plans and publish those plans that could serve as models for other school districts, educational service centers, community schools, or STEM schools.

(C) Under this section, a board, governing authority, or governing body may only grant high school credit for a community service education course if approximately half of the course is devoted to classroom study of such matters as civic responsibility, the history of volunteerism, and community service training and approximately half of the course is devoted to community service.

Each board, governing authority, or governing body shall determine which specific activities will serve to fulfill the required hours of community service.

(D) The department of education and workforce shall develop guidelines for the development and implementation of a rubric to evaluate and rate community service education projects for use by districts, governing authorities, and governing boards that adopt a community service education plan.

(E) The department shall adopt rules for granting a student special certification, special recognition on a diploma, or special notification in the student's record upon the student's successful completion of an approved community service project.

The district board, governing authority, or governing body shall use a rubric developed in accordance with division (D) of this section to determine whether a community service project warrants recognition on a student's diploma under this division.

Last updated July 31, 2023 at 5:12 PM

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