State law requires districts to implement community service education or service learning programs, or encourages and offers student incentives for participation (e.g., recognition programs or course credit).
New Jersey Administrative Code 6A:8-5.1 Graduation requirements.
(a) For a State-endorsed diploma, district boards of education shall develop, adopt, and implement local graduation requirements that prepare students for success in post-secondary degree programs, careers, and civic life in the 21st century, and that include the following:
Participation in a local program of study of not fewer than 120 credits in courses designed to meet all of the NJSLS, including, but not limited to, the following credits:
- i. At least 20 credits in English language arts, aligned to grade nine through 12 Standard, effective with the 2009-2010 grade nine class;
- ii. At least 15 credits in mathematics, including algebra I or the content equivalent effective with the 2008-2009 grade nine class; geometry or the content equivalent effective with the 2010-2011 grade nine class; and a third year of mathematics that builds on the concepts and skills of algebra and geometry and that prepares students for college and 21st century careers effective with the 2012-2013 grade nine class;
- iii. At least 15 credits in science, including at least five credits in laboratory biology/life science or the content equivalent effective with the 2008-2009 grade nine class; one additional laboratory/inquiry-based science course, which shall include chemistry, environmental science, or physics effective with 2010-2011 grade nine class; and one additional laboratory/inquiry-based science course effective with 2012-2013 grade nine class;
- iv. At least 15 credits in social studies, including satisfaction of N.J.S.A. 18A:35-1 and 2; five credits in world history; and the integration of civics, economics, geography and global content in all course offerings;
- v. At least 2.5 credits in financial, economic, business, and entrepreneurial literacy, effective with 2010-2011 grade nine class;
- vi. At least 3 3/4 credits in health, safety, and physical education during each year of enrollment, distributed as 150 minutes per week, as required by N.J.S.A. 18A:35-5, 7 and 8;
- vii. At least five credits in visual and performing arts;
- viii. At least five credits in world languages or student demonstration of proficiency as set forth in (a)2ii(2) below;
- ix. Technological literacy, consistent with the NJSLS, integrated throughout the curriculum; and
- x. At least five credits in 21st century life and careers, or career-technical education;
The 120-credit requirement set forth in (a)1 above may be met in whole or in part through program completion of a range of experiences that enable students to pursue a variety of individualized learning opportunities, as follows:
- i. District boards of education shall establish a process to approve individualized student learning opportunities that meet or exceed the NJSLS.
- (1) Individualized student learning opportunities in all NJSLS areas include, but are not limited to, the following:
- (A) Independent study;
- (B) Online learning;
- (C) Study abroad programs;
- (D) Student exchange programs; and
- (E) Structured learning experiences, including, but not limited to, work-based programs, internships, apprenticeships, and service learning experiences.
- (2) Individualized student learning opportunities based upon specific instructional objectives aimed at meeting or exceeding the NJSLS shall:
- (A) Be based on student interest and career goals as reflected in the Personalized Student Learning Plans;
- (B) Include demonstration of student competency;
- (C) Be certified for completion based on the district process adopted according to (a)2ii below; and
- (D) Be on file in the school district and subject to review by the Commissioner or his or her designee.
- (3) Group programs based upon specific instructional objectives aimed at meeting or exceeding the NJSLS shall be permitted under this section and shall be approved in the same manner as other approved courses.
School Climate Strategy Resource Guide
Document addresses service learning and youth participatory action research.