Community Service

MSMHS Community Service Philosophy

Please note that this community service requirement has been adjusted for the Class of 2024 due to the Covid restrictions of the past few years. Those graduates who are able to complete their 40 hours will receive a green honor cord to wear at graduation. This year,  students in the Class of 2024 are required to complete only 30 hours.

One of the major components of the Marine Science Magnet High School learning environment is building a sense of community. It is essential that all students recognize their role and responsibility as part of a larger world. Community service enables students to acquire life skills and knowledge, as well as provides a service to those that need it most. Students are required to have completed a minimum of 40 hours during their tenure at MSMHS. Community service is to be the direct giving of one’s talents, time, and energy to those in need, or for the common good, so as to bring about a shared satisfaction of accomplishment that can be enjoyed by the school, community, and student. The service provided is not for the student’s personal gain, reward, and / or award other than the personal satisfaction of contribution to the welfare of others. Working for pay, completing chores for family members, and service designed to be used for other service commitments are not accepted. This requirement not only helps students learn the rewards of volunteer service but also helps prepare them to assume a meaningful role in an adult society. Through multiple school improvement meetings involving all stakeholders, it was decided that the community service requirement will be embedded within the graduation portfolio. The community service requirement of 40 hours was voted on and approved in May 2014.


Students can begin fulfilling the community service requirements once they have entered high school including during the summer months between 8th and 9th grade. In order to have community service considered towards the 40 hour graduation requirement, students must provide evidence that they completed the service. Students will need to document their hours in an online program called SchoolLinks, which they will have access to once they enter as a student here.  The documentation must include the following information: organization name, dates and hours of service, type of service completed, and contact information of the Service Supervisor (the student’s parent / guardian cannot be considered as the Service Supervisor) for verification purposes (email). 

To help clarify what is and is not acceptable types of community service, please see the list of examples below. These are specific to the Groton area but you may be able to find similar organizations in your hometown.

Examples of Acceptable Activities for Community Service

  • Soup Kitchen (eg: Groton Community Meals)
  • Food Pantries (eg: New London Area Food Pantry, The Salvation Army of New London)
  • Animal Rescue Groups
  • Peer Tutoring - through school or organization
  • Special Olympics/Unified Sports
  • Town Libraries (eg: Groton Public Library)
  • Volunteer coach/counselor for camps (unpaid)
  • Volunteer at a concession stand at a sports game
  • Mystic Irish Parade
  • Horses Healing Humans
  • Youth Group Mission Trips
  • Volunteer at NESS/Mystic Aquarium
  • Volunteering at a conference (attending a conference would not be acceptable)
  • Beach clean ups
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Involvement in a recognized nonprofit philanthropic organizations such as American Cancer society, Red Cross, Cystic Fibrosis, etc
  • Attending events for class fundraisers (non-leadership role)

Examples of Activities that DO NOT Satisfy the Graduation Requirement

  • Working at a job where you get paid
  • Babysitting for pay or babysitting family members
  • House chores at home or for other family members
  • Participation in religious service
  • Campaigning for local candidate or cause
  • Camp counselor (paid)
  • Mowing your grandparents lawn
  • Participating in a school activity that is part of your leadership role


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