Community Service Info


Community Service Hours for Graduation

In Santa Barbara Unified, our local graduation requirements include the completion of 60 hours community service hours (BP 6146.1). During the COVID19 pandemic, these requirements have been altered in recognition that many students were unable to participate in community service activities while schools and business were not open for in-person interactions. Please see the requirements for community service during COVID19 below:

12th Grade (Class of 2022) = 45 hours

11th Grade (Class of 2023) = 45 hours

10th Grade (Class of 2024) = 45 hours

9th Grade (Class of 2025) = 60 hours

Community Service Award

Given the community service hours graduation requirement has been prorated for the class of 2022, 2023, and 2024, the eligibility standard for the Community Service Award will also be prorated. The new eligibility standards are:

12th Grade (Class of 2022) = 150 hours

11th Grade (Class of 2023) = 150 hours

10th Grade (Class of 2024) = 150 hours

9th Grade (Class of 2025) = 200 hours

The requirements for both Community Service Hours and the Community Service Award may be subject to further change, based on pandemic conditions. 


How to Record Your Community Service Hours

  1. All students can submit volunteer hours two times a year. 
  2. Once the student has turned in hours for a specific time period he/she may not add any additional hours to that time period.
  3. Any signatures not verified by the non-profit agency will not be accepted.


  • To receive a high school diploma, a minimum of 45 hours must be completed and turned into the Career Center 14 days before graduation day
  • A minimum of 150 hours must be completed to receive the Community Service Excellence Award and turned into the Career Center 28 days before the Senior Awards Ceremony.


  • It must be a safe activity directed by a non-profit organization (those with a 501(C)(3) tax-exempt I.D. number from the IRS).
  • It must be a service for which you are not paid or otherwise given credit.
  • The agency or organization may not profit monetarily from your service.
  • Volunteer Activities which currently do not appear on the Pre-Approved Community Service Opportunities List require approval by a Community Service Coordinator or DPHS Administrator.
  • Community Service maximum hour-per-day guidelines shall be aligned with the CA labor laws specifying that a minor may not work (and receive credit) for more than 8 hours per day.
  • Students may not receive community service credit for volunteer work in private homes due to safety and liability issues.
  • A non-profit supervisor may not sign for hours performed by their own child.
  • Workshops and trainings only qualify for community service credit if it directly leads to a community service activity.
  • Students who are not actively participating during meeting or seminar will not receive community service credit.


  • School Theater, Band, Choir and Cheerleading Performances: Assistance in theater, band, choir and cheerleading-related performances (not part of a cast or class for which credit is given) is limited to the performances, parades, or events, only, not the rehearsals. This applies even if the entire event is a nonprofit fundraiser.
  • Political Campaigns and Elections: A precedent was set by former Assistant Superintendent Michael Couch and former Dos Pueblos Principal David Cash that working on a candidate’s campaign; working for or against a proposition or ballot measure; working for a political party; or registration of voters does not qualify for community service credit. (There is a gray area regarding voter registration when not for a political party, i.e., “Rock the Vote”. Guidance from the district will be sought regarding this issue). Students may assist the County Clerk Recorder in preparing for and tabulating results from an election.
  • Church / Religious Organizations: Students may not receive community service credit for church activities that are strictly of a religious nature, for example, teaching religious classes, proselytizing, active recruitment for a religion, serving as an altar person or communion helper. Although students can be a teacher’s assistant or provide childcare during classes, services, or Vacation Bible School. Students may not receive credit for activities that are required for completion of confirmation classes (no double-dipping). Singing in the church choir does not count unless the performance is at an event open to the general public. The ideal volunteer situation in religious institutions is when students perform community outreach as part of a youth group service project (i.e., serving meals at Transition House; stocking shelves at the Unity Shoppe; beach clean-ups; United Way “Day of Caring”. etc.)
  • Teacher’s aide without units: Students can receive community service as a campus teacher’s aide providing they are not receiving school credit or units. Service hours are to be maintained by the supervising teacher.
  • Boy Scouts: Boy Scout members may not receive community service credit for their own Eagle Scout projects. They may, however, receive credit for hours in which they assist another Boy Scout with his Eagle Scout project.