Student Life

Community Service



Program Overview

In keeping with the school’s mission to “assist students of promise in becoming lifelong learners who will productively serve a world in need of their gifts,” Priory puts a strong emphasis on students participating in Community Service.   Students will learn that being involved in one’s community means service without expectation of reward, and that privilege bestows responsibility. The Priory challenges students to live a life of integrity and find purpose larger than the self. Our hope is that students will build life-long relationships within the communities served, thus fostering a sense of extending themselves beyond the Priory.

If you have questions about Service, please contact our Community Engagement Director, Gulliver LaValle, at glavalle@prioryca.org.

List of 3 items.

  • Graduation Requirements

    Every high school student is required to participate in at least three Service Opportunities each year between the beginning of the summer prior to that school year and the end of the school year.  We encourage students to do more, though!

    A Service Opportunity is any activity that benefits others who are in need of assistance. They should be opportunities to do significant work, and as such must be at least 2 hours long. Students may work with different organizations or do repeated work with the same organization throughout the school year, especially as students get older and begin to identify their own interests. Consistent participation often leads to more meaningful relationships and impacts. 

    Of the three Service Opportunities:
    • A maximum of one of the three opportunities may involve service to the Priory community.  For example, working in the garden, coaching or working with the Middle School, serving at a fund-raiser, or helping with an Open House.  This supports our school community.
    • The remainder must be in service to an underprivileged group or a group in particular need outside of the Priory community.  This encourages Priory students to step out of their comfort zones and to challenge themselves to learn from those who are less fortunate.
    Here are some examples of types of Service Opportunities:       
    • Direct Service - Students’ service directly affects and involves the recipients. The interactions are person-to-person and face-to-face, such as tutoring younger children or working with elders.
    • Indirect Service - Indirect activities do not provide service to individuals, but benefit the community or environment as a whole. Examples include restoring a wetland area, constructing park benches, or sorting food at a Food Bank.
    • Advocacy - The intent of advocacy is to create awareness of or promote action on an issue of public interest. Related activities include writing letters, sponsoring a town meeting, or creating a Public Service Announcement video.                                  
    Community Service Verification Forms are posted on the Community Service Haiku Page and can be submitted online.  The forms are due no later than the first day of second semester finals each year.  Seniors must have them done by the Senior Chapel day.  If a non-senior does not complete their requirement, they will have double the missing Service Opportunities added on to the following year’s requirement.  Seniors must complete them in order to graduate.
  • School-organized Service Opportunities

    Our goal is to build service into many of the activities our students already do.  To that end, sports teams and student clubs are required to organize one Service Opportunity for their members each season/year. 

    We also recognize that Service Opportunities may be harder for underclassmen to accomplish for logistical reasons, so many of theirs will be accomplished in other school-organized activities:
    • Freshmen - all three Service Opportunities will be completed during the Freshman Service Week; freshmen are encouraged to do more on their own, but not required.
    • Sophomores - two Service Opportunities will be completed during the Sophomore Service Week; sophomores are responsible for one additional one.
    • Juniors - Junior Retreat will account for one Service Opportunity; juniors are responsible for two additional ones.
    • Seniors - Seniors will account for one Service Opportunity during their Senior Service Days; they are responsible for two additional ones.  Many students choose to do a service-themed Senior Project which can satisfy the remaining two.
  • Service Week

    The Freshman and Sophomore Class will spend one week during the school year dedicated entirely to community service.  Freshmen will work with a different organization each day during the week so that they gain exposure to different types of service.  Sophomores will be given a list of organizations to choose from and will select one to work with the entire week.

    During the same week, Juniors participate on the Junior Retreat, a service-themed immersion trip in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco.  Seniors participate in their Senior Service Days, which include hosting a Special Olympics events on campus.

Woodside Priory School