Service Learning & CAS
(Creativity, Action, Service)
A Core Component of International’s Curriculum
Service learning is an integral and important part of student life at International High School. By extending the learning experience beyond the limits of the classroom, we encourage our students to share their time, talents, and energies with others in the process of becoming active, committed, and compassionate members of their local, national, and international communities.
In November 2016, students from the Class of 2017 volunteered at the polls and donated the stipends they earned to our international service project, Project Senegal. Watch the story featured by the San Francisco Department of Elections.
All 9th- and 10th-graders at International are required to complete a minimum of 50 Service Learning hours over the two-year period beginning the summer before freshman year. These hours must be recorded in their Service Learning Books and verified by the signature of a supervising adult. When the students have completed an activity or series of activities, they are expected to write a reflection on their experience, which enables them to process and articulate what they have learned about themselves and others in the course of completing this important requirement.
IB students in grades 11 and 12 are required to complete a total of at least 150 CAS hours, including a minimum of around 50 hours in each area of CAS—Creativity, Action, and Service. In addition, each student is expected to engage in a long-term CAS Project incorporating at least two of the areas of CAS and involving teamwork. Over the course of their CAS experience, students are expected to demonstrate that they have fulfilled eight learning outcomes, such as:
- increased awareness of your strengths and areas for growth
- undertaken new challenges
- planned and initiated activities
- worked collaboratively with others
- shown perseverance and commitment
- engaged with issues of global importance
- considered ethical implications
- developed new skills
The Community Service Steering Committee, made up of 8 students from different grades, is responsible for encouraging and organizing student involvement in community service activities and projects. They are assisted by CAT (Community-Service Action Team) advisory representatives who make announcements in advisory, attend the monthly CAT meetings, and help with grassroots organizing and school-wide service projects.
The goal of the Service Learning and CAS Coordinator is to foster and support both Service Learning and CAS at International. The Coordinator is available to meet with students to help them locate volunteer opportunities, discuss projects, and answer any questions they might have. Monthly CAT (Community-Service Action Team) meetings and field trips are organized, as well.