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Heuvelton Central mulls over community service requirement

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HEUVELTON – The Heuvelton Central School Board of Education is considering incorporating a community service component into its high school graduation requirements.

Board member Darcy L. Backus, who brought up the idea at Wednesday’s meeting, said she thinks students would benefit from the experience.

“I would really like to see our kids doing that,” Mrs. Backus said. “I think it improves the quality of our graduates.”

Mrs. Backus proposed the amount of service requirements be based on age or grade level. Some community service activities would be suggested by school staff.

“The idea is that some kids are required to have so many credits to graduate, and they would also have so many hours of service to complete,” Mrs. Backus said. “I know some schools require up to 40 hours.”

There are other advantages, too, board members said.

“Colleges look at that, also,” board President Michael J. Davis said.

“It also would get them involved in local activities and give good PR to the school,” Mrs. Backus said.

Board members said they would have to consider students’ extracurricular activities and homework loads.

“Kids used to be more active, involved in Scouts and 4-H, so they did that automatically,” board member Dennis G. Durant said.

Superintendent Susan E. Todd said she would “start a conversation” with staff and discuss ideas for the program at the next school board meeting.

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