We hope you find this tool helpful.

The Community Service Learning Committee asked: "How do we know if our service learning is effective?" In response, we developed this tool for our teachers, modeled after the Service Learning 2000 Center's Service-Learning Dipsticks, as a quick and easy way to assess Needham Public Schools' service-learning project ideas and actual projects. This tool is designed to help teachers see the difference between community service and service learning. The CSL Committee found that this assessment provides a visual picture of the strengths of service-learning projects and the areas that might benefit from more attention. This tool can be used prior to launching a service-learning project and upon completion.

Your responses are confidential.

* 1. Community Service Learning (CSL) is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. Please choose the response below that best reflects your involvement in CSL.

* 2. Are you interested in participating in a district offering of a hands-on workshop that explores best practices for Community Service Learning? (This new workshop will be available in the Spring.)

* 3. At which school do you work?

If you are NOT involved in Community Service Learning, you can exit the survey now or read through the survey to familiarize yourself with the components of effective CSL.

* 4. With a specific service-learning project in mind, please rate the components of INTEGRATED LEARNING.

  Strong Present but weak Missing N/A
The service-learning project has clearly articulated knowledge, skill or value goals.
The knowledge, skill or value goals arise from broader classroom and school goals.
The service informs the academic learning content.
The academic learning content informs the service.
Life skills outside the classroom are integrated back into classroom learning.

* 5. With the same service-learning project in mind, please rate the components of HIGH QUALITY SERVICE.

  Strong Present but weak Missing N/A
The service responds to an actual community need.
The need is recognized by the community impacted by the service.
The service is age-appropriate for the students.
The service is well-organized.
The service is designed to achieve significant benefits for students and community.

* 6. With the same service-learning project in mind, please rate the components of COLLABORATION.

  Strong Present but weak Missing N/A
The service-learning project is a collaboration between the school and community partners on behalf of the people for whom the service is done.
School and community partners are involved in the planning of the service-learning project.
School and community partners contribute to the service-learning project.
School and community partners benefit from the service-learning project.
Roles and expectations of each partner are clearly defined.

* 7. With the same service-learning project in mind, please rate the components of STUDENT VOICE.

  Strong Present but weak Missing N/A
Students engage in a process that leads them to define "community" and "need."
Students are involved in choosing and planning the service project.
Students participate actively in the collaboration among the project's partners.
Students are involved in planning the reflection sessions, evaluation, and celebration.
Student voice is age-appropriate.

* 8. With the same service-learning project in mind, please rate the components of CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY.

  Strong Present but weak Missing N/A
The service-learning project promotes young people's responsibility to care for others and to contribute to the community.
The service-learning project helps students understand the historical and community context of their actions
By participating in the service-learning project, students understand how they can impact their community.
Students use critical thinking skills to analyze their project and the related issues.
The service-learning project provides opportunities for students to connect with adult role models.

* 9. With the same service-learning project in mind, please rate the components of REFLECTION.

  Strong Present but weak Missing N/A
Reflection occurs before, during, and after the service-learning project.
Reflection activities utilize multiple techniques so all students can successfully reflect.
Reflection examines the results, processes and relationships in the service-learning project.
Reflective activities help participants to consider the social and ethical dimensions of their experience.
Reflection establishes connections between students' service experiences and the academic curriculum.

* 10. With the same service-learning project in mind, please rate the components of EVALUATION.

  Strong Present but weak Missing N/A
The evaluation has a clear purpose and target audience.
School and community partners are involved in evaluating the service-learning project.
The evaluation seeks to measure progress towards the learning and service goals of the service-learning project.
The evaluation uses tools that respect the diversity of learning styles.
The evaluation is planned before the project happens, rather than afterward.

* 11. Is this assessment being conducted prior to launching or after completing your service-learning project?

THANK YOU FOR USING THIS TOOL TO ASSESS YOUR SERVICE-LEARNING PROJECT OR TO FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH THE COMPONENTS OF EFFECTIVE CSL. DATA WILL BE AGGREGATED FOR THE DISTRICT. INDIVIDUAL RESULTS ARE CONFIDENTIAL AND ARE AVAILABLE IF YOU CHOOSE TO COMPLETE QUESTION 12 (BELOW).

* 12. OPTIONAL: If you are interested in receiving your individual results, please name your service-learning project and provide your email address in the boxes below. Your results will give you a visual picture of the strengths of your service-learning project as well as the areas that might benefit from more attention.

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