Students rise above, fall below required community service hours


Half the school year has passed, and in January the counselors will begin graduation preparations.

In order to graduate seniors must complete a minimum of 250 credits and pass the California High School Exit Exam. Another major graduation requirement includes completing a total of 25 hours of community service in addition to the coursework listed according to the Whitney High School Academic Planning Guide and Course Listings.

“[25 hours of community service] was something that was established at Rocklin High [School] long before Whitney opened and was a district policy that carried over to Whitney when we opened,” Class of 2016 counselor Mrs. Roisin Leroy said.

Fifty-eight out of 459 seniors have not completed the required hours, according to a sheet posted in the College and Career Center as of Dec. 16.

Many of those students have their hours completed, but not yet submitted.

“If that’s what the list said then I suppose I don’t have my hours. I still have two pages I need to turn in and I recently donated books to the book drive, so I’m not too stressed about it,” Lavender Sesody said.

Short schedules are used as an incentive in order to have students complete and submit their hours to the college and career center by the end of May during their junior year.

“Technically students had to have their hours completed by the end of their junior year to have a short schedule, but they have until graduation day to submit them,” college and career counselor Mrs. Sally Randazzo said.

While a short schedule is an incentive to reach the bare minimum, the Distinguished Community Service Award is an incentive to go above and beyond. In order to earn this award, students must accumulate 150 hours of community service.

“I’m only the list because I haven’t turn any in, but I’m trying to get the Distinguished Community Service Award. I just turned in 170 hours today and I have 90 more I’m going to turn in tomorrow,” Mellany Wynne said.

Those who earn this award are given a special cord to be worn during the graduation ceremony.

On the other hand, if a student does not have their hours completed by the end of their senior year, administration steps in.

“About a week before graduation, Mr. [Jason] Feuerbach will ask for a list of anyone that doesn’t have their hours and put them to work. They’ll set up chairs or do whatever it is he needs until they complete their hours,” Randazzo said.

In addition to serving their hours the last week, other consequences are put in place.

“The most punitive punishment for not having their hours would be that seniors won’t be able to sit in their graduation row,” Randazzo said.

Students can pick up and turn in community service forms at the college and career center.