Board to vote on service rule for graduates

March 02, 1993|By Monica Norton | Monica Norton,Staff Writer

Anne Arundel County school board members are scheduled to vote tomorrow on their staff's proposal to implement the state's public service requirement through classroom work only.

Students in grades four and five would be introduced to the values of citizenship and community membership during their social studies units. In three years of middle school, students would receive 10 hours annually of instruction, building on the elementary school material.

High school students would receive 20 hours of credit through one semester of "American Government" and one semester of "Law and the Individual."

Tenth-graders would pick up an extra 20 hours of credit in their first-semester English/language arts classes and their second-semester science classes.

In addition to their course work, students would be encouraged -- but not required -- to participate in community service projects.

Maryland became the first state to require community service for graduation last year, despite the objections of local school systems. Students in local school systems that did not devise a plan acceptable to the state would have to perform 75 hours of community service.

The state Senate voted last week to uphold the requirement, beginning with students entering the ninth grade this fall.

Board vice president Dorothy Chaney and member Jo Ann Tollenger supported service learning, but had opposed making it mandatory.

"I don't want the [state] school board telling me I have to require students to participate," Mrs. Chaney said at a January board meeting.

Thomas J. Paolino, president of the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County, also opposes making service learning mandatory because of the added burden on teachers' schedules. Mr. Paolino said something will have to be eliminated from the curriculum to make room for the new requirement.

The board will meet at 9 a.m. tomorrow at Board of Education headquarters at 2644 Riva Road.

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