St. John Vianney High School

Social Service Project / SSP for Juniors

 

Purpose

This Service Project, though it is a requirement for graduation is much more than just a requirement.  This can be a defining moment in our Catholic Marianist education as each student works directly with people in need within our St. Louis community. It is a significant step in fulfilling the mission and philosophy of St. John Vianney High School.  Students will address the call to Educate for Service, Justice and Peace and educate for Adaptation and Change, which are two of the five Characteristics of Marianist Education. Students are given the opportunity to:

  • Broaden the awareness of the many needs in our immediate community
  • Recognize our call and our responsibility as baptized Christians to meet some of those needs
  • Put students in direct contact with people in need
  • Provide opportunities for students to use skills and knowledge they have learned in school, from each other and at home for the benefit of others
  • Offer opportunities for unconditional giving of themselves
  • Promote a deepening of the student’s faith as they come to recognize the gifts they have received and their limitations
  • Become more aware of their dependence on the goodness of God, the example of Jesus and the grace of the Holy Spirit in their lives and in the lives of others
  • Challenge the students to try something they might not have tried had not this opportunity been presented to them
  • Have fun while helping others

Overview

  1. The Social Service Project is designed to take place during regular school hours. Unless the Agency stipulates a different time, students should plan to work a 6 ½ hour day between 7:00am and 3:30pm.  A few agencies have slightly longer hours. Expect to meet the specific agency’s expectations. In addition to the actual service, students are required to complete all the online forms and reflections.  All assignments will be posted and completed through Google Classroom.
  2. In February of the junior year, students must submit a completed the SSP Agency Form to the Vianney SSP faculty supervisor.  This form requires parental permission as well as documentation that the agency has approved the student’s request to volunteer at the site.

Selecting an Agency

  1. Students are encouraged to select an agency that is of interest to them. (Children, the sick, the elderly, disabled, the poor, etc.?)  Students who select an opportunity of personal interest tend to gain much more than a student who selects an agency for convenience or to follow friends.
  2. Students MUST work with PEOPLE directly in NEED.  Students should not be doing clerical, office or secretarial work at an agency. Note: it is appropriate to do these types of service intermittently.  
  3. A list of the agencies that are pre-approved will be handed out in January.   If an agency is not on the “approved list” or if you have any doubt about your site choice, please contact the Vianney SSP faculty supervisor before making inquiries.  
  4. The following are not acceptable locations for this project:  Elementary schools, grade schools or daycare centers unless they are for special needs students, your elementary school or home parish, your parents’ or siblings’ places of work or for profit organizations.

Attendance

  1. This is a school project on school time and it cannot be preempted by your sports, club or work schedule.  Students are expected to work a minimum of 100 hours during this project. Any hours that a student misses, must be made up with the only exception being missed time to take an AP examination at Vianney. It is the responsibility of the student to make arrangements to make up ANY missed time with the agency and to immediately notify the faculty SSP supervisor of those arrangements.
  2. Doctor and dentist appointments should be arranged so that they do not interfere with your SSP schedule.   
  3. If you have a personal time conflict because of an extenuating circumstance, the student must get the approval of the Mrs. Mitchell and the Administration.  (Example: a sibling graduation out of town.)
  4. Illness which requires missing time must be reported immediately to both the agency and to Mrs. Kraus in the Main Office
  5. A student athlete may rearrange work time in the event of tournament play in a school-sponsored MSHSAA tournament. He may not miss for regular season events or practices.
  6. If an agency closes unexpectedly, students will not be required to make up the hours.

Behavioral Expectations

  1. The student must represent Vianney, himself and his family in the same manner that is expected of him as a Vianney student at all other times. Failure to do so will result in appropriate disciplinary action taken under the direction of the Assistant Principal of Student Development and in consultation with the faculty SSP supervisor.
  2. All Vianney rules and policies apply during SSP.  
  3. Students are expected to adhere to the specific rules / guidelines of their particular agency.
  4. Follow the Vianney dress code unless the agency stipulates differently.  
  5. Always be courteous & prompt (in the mornings and returning from lunch).
  6. It is at the discretion of the agency as to whether students will eat at the agency or may go out to lunch.
  7. Cell phone use is permitted if acceptable by the agency but only at appropriate times.  
  8. Attend Mass and/or a service learning experience at Vianney at the designated day / time. Be sure to notify your agency of this requirement in advance.
  9. If a student is asked not to return to the agency at any time during the SSP, the student will be required to serve an additional 100 hours of service on his own time over the summer.  If a student doesn’t complete all 100 hours, he will receive a failing grade for SSP, not be allowed to participate in any co-curricular activities until the project is completed and if he fails to successfully complete the project by the beginning of school in August will not be allowed to return to school as a student.

Final Comments

  1. This project should be a life changing experience for the students. A proper attitude, strong work ethic and attention to details will help assure the positive impact of the project.
  2. Specific details of SSP will be discussed and reviewed in the Theology 300 course and in junior class meetings throughout the year.
  3. If a student or parent has any questions, please contact Mrs. Carrie Mitchell the Faculty Supervisor at cmitchell@vianney.com