Service Learning

Connecting Classrooms With the Community

Service learning is a teaching method designed to involve students in authentic and meaningful service to their communities.

Service learning makes connections between the classroom and the community and provides structured time for students to reflect on their service experiences. It is intended to instill a sense of civic responsibility by encouraging students to assess their impact on the community as active contributors to society. Service Learning is a Work-Based Learning experience as it provides students with Career Exploration opportunities and supports students with developing career interests.

FCPS is documenting the successful completion of service learning projects for students in grades 6, 8, and 12.

  • Grade 6: 5 hours
  • Grades 7 and 8: 15 hours
  • Grades 9–12: Students should complete 10 service hours per year for a total of 40 hours. Students may choose to complete 50+ hours to qualify for the Virginia Board of Education diploma seal for excellence in civics education or the excellence in science and the environment. See Virginia Department of Education for criteria.

Modifications to Service Learning Cord Criteria for the Class of 2022 due to Pandemic Challenges

  • Class of 2022 seniors who accumulate 20 hours or more of service learning are qualified to receive an FCPS service learning cord as a special recognition at graduation.
  • It is important to note that this 50% reduction in service hour criteria for the service learning cord is for high school seniors graduating in 2022.
  • The service learning cord criteria remains unchanged for future graduating class cohorts.

Elements of Service Learning


  • Meets a real community need.
  • Through investigation, students identify a relevant need in the community and community partners.
icon for the authentic element of service learning


  • Thoughtful and well-planned learning experiences.
  • Students research and make a detailed plan.
icon for the intentional element of service learning

Connects with Curriculum

  • Brings classroom learning to life.
  • Service is connected to the curriculum and helps to foster global and ethical citizenship.
icon for the connects with curriculum element of service learning


  • Supports global and ethical citizenship.
  • Students reflect throughout the process of service learning.
icon for the reflective element of service learning


  • Makes a positive impact in the community.
  • Students provide evidence that, through action, they contribute to solutions that benefit the community.
icon for the impactful element of service learning


  • Aligns with interests and career goals.
  • Students demonstrate how they will use what they have learned in the community and the impact on their career goals and interests.
icon for the applicable element of service learning


x2VOL is the tool that FCPS middle and high schools use to support students with finding, tracking, and verifying service hours electronically. Students login to x2VOL through Naviance Student.
Login to x2VOL

International Service Learning Program

The program provides students with a unique service learning experience that combines knowledge and first-hand experiences to produce globally minded, career-focused citizens.
Learn More about the International Service Learning Program

x2VOL Helps Non-Profits Connect with Volunteers

Fairfax County Government Agencies

Fairfax County online volunteer system
Find and Sign Up for Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer Fairfax

Youth & Family Volunteering Opportunities in Fairfax County
Learn More about the Youth & Family Volunteering Opportunities in Fairfax County

Follow Us @FCPSServLearn