Improving K-12 education for students on the autism spectrum in Montgomery County, MD

Student Service Learning (SSL) Organizations

Does my child need to complete Student Service Learning hours?

In the state of Maryland, all students earning a high school diploma are required to complete 75 hours of student service learning (SSL), including students who are placed in private schools at public expense. Each middle and high school in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) has an SSL coordinator to help students identify SSL opportunities and to accept and monitor their paperwork. You can find the contact information for the SSL coordinator at your child’s school here

Where can I find SSL opportunities for my child?

The Montgomery County Volunteer Center partners with MCPS to provide information about organizations and volunteer opportunities that have been reviewed by MCPS and meet MCPS guidelines for SSL. You can learn more and search for opportunities at the Montgomery County Volunteer Center website.

Are there organizations that grant SSL hours that are a good fit for a student on the autism spectrum?

In 2014, xMinds surveyed parents about positive SSL experiences their children have had. This information is dated, but available for xMinds members to view under the SSL topic in our members-only discussion group. Members are encouraged to add current feedback they have about local SSL-granting organizations and opportunities.

Does xMinds grant SSL hours?

Yes, xMinds has been reviewed and approved to grant SSL hours to middle and high school students. We currently have opportunities for students who are proficient in Internet research and using Microsoft Office suite to compile specific datasets. Contact Laura Gordon for more information.

What else is xMinds doing to help our kids meet this requirement?

Periodically, xMinds hosts SSL events in partnership with other local non-profit organizations. If you know a good organization with whom xMinds can partner, please contact Laura Gordon.

xMinds is working to bring inclusive volunteer clubs to some MCPS middle schools. Thanks to a grant from the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council, xMinds wrote a curriculum to train neurotypical students to support their autistic peers in volunteer settings. If you think your child’s school would be a good candidate for launching one of these clubs, please contact Monica Martinez.

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