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).
200-RICR-20-10-1.3.1 Academic Supports and Interventions
E. Multiple Opportunities for Achieving and Exceeding Proficiency Standard
- Each LEA shall provide all students with multiple learning opportunities that support meeting proficiency. Each LEA shall: a. Establish pathways that represent a set of courses and other programs within its guaranteed and viable comprehensive course of study and that provide students with the means to meet their academic and career goals. These pathways shall include Advanced Placement (AP) courses, career and technical programs, dual enrollment, and opportunities for extended applied learning (e.g., internships, job shadowing, and community service learning).
200-RICR-20-10-1.3.2 Supportive and Nuturing School Community
H. Expanded Learning Opportunities, Academic Enrichment and Adult Education
- Each LEA shall develop a system for the provision of a broad array of high quality expanded learning opportunities that will that strengthen school engagement, support academic success, and expand all students' educational experiences. Academic enrichment opportunities shall address diverse learning needs and capabilities, individual interests, connections to the community, and engagement in activities beyond what is provided during the regular school day. These opportunities shall include strategies that differ from those in the regular program either in use of material, instructional strategies or concentration of time on skills. Therefore, each LEA shall: a. Develop and implement policies and protocols that allow out-of-school time for activities that meet rigorous criteria to fulfill academic, graduation, or credit requirements; b. Provide students with opportunities for experiential learning, community service, and skill building.
State of Rhode Island General Laws § 16-22-21. Community service learning.
(a) The legislature recognizes the importance of community service learning as a means of enhancing life in the community and as a way of enlightening young people about the needs of others. Whenever young people are led through teaching and example, the likelihood of their becoming productive citizens in society is increased a thousandfold. (b) The department of elementary and secondary education shall encourage the establishment of community service learning programs in local school districts by developing a model program and appropriate guidelines for implementation of the model program. Any local school district may petition the commissioner of education for approval of its community service learning program, which may be used in partial fulfillment of the requirement for obtaining a high school diploma. The commissioner shall develop criteria that local school districts may use as a means of determining and recognizing community service learning activities for credit towards a high school diploma. Local school districts that elect to establish community service learning programs pursuant to this section shall submit community service learning program plans for approval by the commissioner every five (5) years.