New way to track community service hours in SchooLinks

Elise Goulding, Staff Writer

This year, ETHS has moved the platform that students track community service hours on from myETHS to SchooLinks, which is used primarily for College and Career readiness. Students can submit by clicking the school option, then going to the Experience Tracking section. There, SchooLinks will show a student’s community service transcript. Hours can be added by clicking add experience.

“It makes sense for service hours, which are a big part of current college readiness to be housed [in SchooLinks],” said Erin Claeys, an ETHS staff member at the Community Service Office.

In SchooLinks, before hours are confirmed, an email is sent to the service supervisor asking for approval. A signature from the supervisor is no longer necessary. 

“It’s easier for students who have done stuff in the past to record [service hours] because they don’t have to go back and get a physical signature. They can just get a virtual approval,” Claeys said.

When service hours were logged in myETHS, everything was recorded on paper and turned into the Community Service Office. There, they were processed and put into students’ transcripts. By using SchooLinks, hours can be recorded faster and digitally. 

“Hopefully students will see less of a delay of having their service recorded…especially during the time of year when honor society is kind of starting up,” Claeys said. “We’re getting like 300-plus pages of service hours every day, and it can take us a week or so to put those hours in.”

Unfortunately, some students think the tracking hours on SchooLinks will raise new difficulties because if a supervisor doesn’t confirm the service hours, they won’t be logged. Students see this challenge with a relatively new system at ETHS as a major drawback to the new way to track service hours.

“I hate SchooLinks. It’s a website that’s hard to navigate. It was really easy in myETHS, now it’s a pain, and we have to wait for approval on SchooLinks,” Junior Maeve O’Connor said. 

Although some students may need time to adjust to the new way to track hours, it may not be such an obstacle to get supervisor confirmation. 

“If you can’t find another way to validate it… there is a way for us, [the Community Service Office], to overstep, if you’re really in a crunch,” Claerys said.

However, the biggest issue to arise from switching the way to track service is that many students do not know that their community service hours have been moved. The school has done little to notify students of any changes. 

“I don’t remember ETHS telling us they changed it [from myETHS],” ETHS junior Johanna Di Gioia said.

Only once students know and understand SchooLinks’ more accessible way to track hours, will results be seen in terms of how students feel about the platform, but for now, the Community Service Office has improved the efficiency of the process overall.