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The Community Service Program is coordinated by Melissa Hill. She can be reached at (928) 669-8203, extension 3109, or via e-mail: emoore@parkerusd.org

Parker Unified School District: ‘Giving Back’

What is the Community Service Program?                                                  

The Community Service Program was created for and directed at students that behave inappropriately in one way or another and are candidates for off-campus suspension. This program allows for the student to provide Community Service in lieu of being suspended off-campus. The student may attend school while completing Community Service; therefore, their attendance record is not affected.

Who is eligible to participate in the Community Service Options Program? Students from 7th thru 12th grade are eligible to participate in the program. Students that are suspended for the use of drugs or alcohol will not be eligible for the program. Students involved in fighting will also not be eligible. Each student referred to our program must be in complete agreement to follow all rules and be cooperative while involved in the program. The parents of each student must also be in complete cooperation during the students’ involvement with the program.

How is the program beneficial to the students? It is our belief that students can benefit by being in the program, as they are able to acquire job and life skills as opposed to being at home “sitting out” the suspension. The student’s ability to communicate with others, including the elderly and young children, is promoted. The students will learn the meaning of responsibility and begin to realize that ultimately, we are all responsible for the well-being of our community. They will gain the knowledge that one person can truly make a difference.

We have come to find that at certain given placements, students also develop leadership skills. Of the students referred to the Community Service Program, there have been several that have not yet had a disciplinary infraction since the time service was completed. Once again, the students’ attendance is not affected by the student participating in Community Service as they are documented at this time as being at a school function.

What is the Procedural Process? Once a student is referred to the principal for disciplinary action, the principal will discuss the occurrence with the student and make a determination of whether or not Community Service is a good option for that particular student. He will determine the amount of days the student should be suspended off-campus and whether or not the student will be cooperative if referred to the program. If the principal decides the program would be beneficial for the student, he then refers them to the Community Service Coordinator who then has several forms for the student to complete. The program guidelines are explained and the student is to complete a rules agreement, along with a contract agreeing to complete the number of hours assigned. A placement, date, and time are then assigned to the student. Transportation is arranged between the student and Community Service Coordinator on the day of the referral.

Whenever possible, the Community Service Coordinator will try to arrange for the student to complete the service outside of school hours. This can include any day after school and on Saturdays. This is so the student does not miss too much of his/her classes and also to demonstrate to the student that his/her behavior will be held accountable on his/her time rather than the school’s time.

The Coordinator will then meet with the student’s parent/guardian to obtain signatures on the liability release and the release of information form. For the duration of the student’s involvement with the program, the Coordinator keeps in close contact with the parent/guardian, letting them know of the student’s progress.

When the Community Service is completed, a written statement is issued by the Coordinator releasing the student from any further obligation to the Community Service Program. This form is released to the principal and parent/guardian. The student is also obligated to fill out a three-page survey that somewhat perceives how the student evaluates the effectiveness of the program. The agency at which the student was placed is also required to fill out an evaluation of the student. Copies of these forms are given to the parent/guardian and principal, along with the service agency.