Service Learning


Service Learning Definition

Chicago Public Schools identifies service-learning as a teaching strategy that connects classroom curriculum with service projects. Service-learning engages students in projects that serve the community while building social, civic, and academic skills. Service-learning is a pedagogical strategy, not an outcome. Service-learning is an opportunity for students to learn 21st century skills through project development, implementation, and reflection: Collaboration, Communication, Critical Thinking/Problem Solving, and Creativity. Research demonstrates when students participate in high quality service-learning we see positive academic, social/emotional, and civic outcomes.

Click Here to download the Service Learning Hours form.

CPS Graduation Requirement – Affects Classes of 2016 through 2019

According to Chicago Public School (CPS) policies, CPS students in the graduating class of 2018 and 2019 are required to complete 40 Service Learning Hours (SLH) in order to graduate from high school.

During the 2012-2013 school year, Chicago Public Schools Office of Social Sciences and Service-Learning launched a new initiative moving from a graduation requirement of 40 hours to three classroom-integrated projects. As of October 28, 2013, the Office of Social Sciences and Service-Learning has adjusted this requirement and has allowed schools to individually decide whether students will complete 1 project + 25 service learning hours, 2 + 15 service learning hours, or 3 projects. Lane Tech has decided to implement the option of 2 classroom-integrated service learning projects and 15 service-learning hours to be completed individually by each student. Please note that students may still be able to complete any of the options provided above, however at least one project must be completed for the CPS graduation requirement. This new requirement impacts all students starting with the class of 2016. All projects must reflect a minimum of 15 hours spent during investigation, preparation, action, and reflection phases of service-learning.

Students in the class of 2018 and 2019 should be advised that they will not be able to participate in senior activities such as Homecoming, Oktoberfest and Prom if they have not completed ALL 40 hours. These hours must be submitted AT LEAST 2 WEEKS prior to the sale of tickets for any of these events. All SLH are verified by the Records Office and this process takes time. Students SHOULD NOT expect that they can hand in SLH and purchase tickets for any event in the same day or week.

All seniors must have their 40 SLH completed and submitted by April 1 to remain on the graduation list. If you have not completed your hours, you are advised to seek opportunities during spring break.


LTAC Students
LTAC students complete their service learning projects in Biology (7th grade) and English I (8th grade). Each respective teacher provides details about the Biology and English I projects. Upon completing each project, the teacher will input a pass or fail grade that is placed on the student permanent transcript.

Class of 2020 and beyond
Freshmen students complete their service learning projects in Biology and English I. Each respective teacher provides details about the Biology and English I projects. Junior year students will complete a Civics project. All classroom projects receive a pass or fail that will be recorded on each student’s transcript.

All Students
In accordance with the CPS service learning graduation requirement policy, students must complete 2 service learning projects and 1 Civics project by their graduating year. Please note all service learning projects and civics project will be recorded on each student's transcript.

Acceptable Activities

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Alison Hildebrandt, Service Learning Coordinator at or 773-534-5546. You can also contact Patrick Davey Service Learning Coach at