Service Hours Program


Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School maintains a service hours program under which each student is required to perform a certain number of service hours in each year of the student’s tenure here at KMC. Consistent with its mission to educate and form the total person in the image of Jesus Christ, KMC’s service hours program stretches the student to look beyond his or her direct needs or wants and beyond his or her family and immediate community to put into service the gifts that God has given him or her for the benefit of others. This “total formation” aspect of the student’s high school experience at KMC is designed to ingrain in the student the virtues necessary to carry on a service-filled life after high school. As is spoken in prayer regularly within the halls of KMC, we recognize that our namesake, Fr. Emil Kapaun, “spent himself in total service to Jesus Christ on the battlefields and in the prison camps of Korea until his death at the hands of his captors.” The KMC service hours program, modeled on this excellent example of service, carries on the spirit of Fr. Kapaun in a very personal way for each KMC student.


Students are required to complete a total of 80 hours during their 4 years at KMC. Each year they should focus on the area indicated in the table below. They may work ahead, but they must complete the required number of hours for the prescribed category in each academic year. 

Class Focus First Semester
Second Semester
Total Yearly
Freshman    Family 5 Hours 5 Hours 10 Hours
Sophomore   School 7.5 Hours 7.5 Hours 15 Hours
Junior Parish 10 Hours 10 Hours 20 Hours
Senior Community   20 Hours 15 Hours 35 Hours

To assure consistent application of the desired formational benefit of the Service Hours Program, KMC requires students to complete one half of their annual service hours requirement in the first semester of each academic year, with the exception of seniors, who must complete 20 out of 35 hours of community service by the end of the first semester of their senior year.  No service may be granted “double hours,” as in for school hours and community hours, for example.  The service hour requirement is worth 10% of the grade of the current religion class in which the student is enrolled during each semester.  

If any portion of the required service hours are not completed by the assigned due date in each semester, then the student risks the loss of 10% of the student’s earned grade within their religion class for that semester and for any following religion class until the hours are complete (for example, if a first semester freshman does not complete his/her family service hours by the assigned date, then he/she will lose 10% of his/her cumulative religion class grade for that semester and any remaining semester such hours remain incomplete). If a student has not completed all 80 required hours by the due date in the second semester of his/her senior year, then the student risks not being able to participate in Convocation or Commencement ceremonies with his/her class.  

KMC tracks the accumulation of service hours only on an approved Service Hours Program Confirmation Form, appropriately filled out and signed by the supervisor of the service and the student's religion teacher.  Non-approved forms or forms signed by individuals who were not the supervisor for the service performed cannot be accepted to prove the performance of the hours.  Each separate service hours activity must be delineated on a separate Confirmation Form.  The KMC administration will input the progress of hours towards the student's requirements into the PowerSchool student management database as soon as possible after the approval of the Confirmation Form.  

General Guidelines
• Parents or legal guardians are not permitted to sign off on any hours other than Family Service Hours.

• The KMC Administration has the final say on all service hours; if there are any questions they should be addressed to the KMC Administration.

• It is preferable that students seek the approval of the KMC Religion Department and KMC Chaplain before performing service hours that might be questionable.

• Only students should hand in service hours forms. Forms will not be accepted from third parties, including parents, friends and siblings.

• Pet sitting or adopting in any form, for any organization or family does not count for any type of service hours. 

Specific Guidelines

• Family hours are completed by serving anyone to whom the student is biologically or legally related.

• Family service hours do not include one's ordinary household chores but must go beyond what one's parents normally expect, and may not include work done as a punishment or for which one is paid.

• School hours are completed by service to the KMC community.

• School hours may not include work done in class unless approved in advance by the student's current religion teacher or by the KMC Chaplain.

• School hours do not include work done as a punishment.

• School hours may include work done as a school sponsored organization, and all organizations are encouraged to complete service projects together. Projects done with organizations are not necessarily counted toward school hours, but are counted toward the area receiving the service.

• General school fundraisers, such as the phonathon and capital campaign, count toward school service because they are of less direct benefit to the individual student. Fundraisers for school organizations do not count, as these are of a more direct benefit to the students unless the fundraiser is to support someone outside the organization, such as an organization raising money for a charity. Students may count work done at a fundraiser for an organization to which they do not belong and from which they do not directly benefit. Second semester seniors who participate in fundraisers for organizations from which they will no longer benefit may seek permission from the Chaplain to count those hours. 

• Parish hours are completed by Catholic students by service to the parish to which one is registered. For non-Catholic students, parish hours are completed by service to the congregation one normally attends. If a non-Catholic student does not normally attend any congregation, or that congregation does not offer service opportunities, the student must speak with the Chaplain about the particular situation.

• Prayer (including time spent in adoration) does not count toward service hours.

• Since everyone is expected to participate in Sunday Mass (or, for non-Catholics, some other form of worship), participation in Mass does not count as service even if one is carrying out a specific function. What does count in these regards is the time spent preparing and working. For example, a lector only spends a few minutes reading during Mass, so this does not count as an hour. However, the lector should spend about an hour preparing by meditating on the readings and practicing them. Those who sing in the choir would count the time spent at rehearsal, practicing on their own, and warm-up before Mass, but not the time spent during Mass itself.

• If someone attends a second Mass on a Sunday to perform a liturgical function, then the entire Mass counts.

• Participating in parish classes or activities is not service, but leading classes and working at them is.

• Working at general parish fundraisers counts toward parish service, but work at fundraisers for groups from which one benefits does not count, unless those funds are used to support someone else. For example, a fundraiser to support the activities of one's own CYO does not count. One can count work at a CYO fundraiser that supports a charity or work done at a CYO fundraiser for a different parish as long as that person does not regularly participate in that parish's CYO activities, but this would be considered community service.

• Community hours are completed through service to a person or group other than one's family, parish, or KMC.  Community service is not counted towards a student's hours requirements if the student or another person on whose behalf the student is working receives compensation or other benefits for performing.

• To aid in the assurance that community service is being performed for the benefit of the greater community, KMC requires that the agency or group for which a student performs the service and the service that the student performs be approved in advance by a member of the the KMC Religion Department who teaches Senior-level classes or the KMC Chaplain.  If a student performs a service for a person or community organization without receiving prior approval from a member of the KMC Religion Department who teaches Senior-level classes or the KMC Chaplain, then the student accepts the risk that such service will not be counted toward the student's community hours requirements.

• A student who attends a mission trip with his or her parish may be allowed to count the actual hours worked (not preparing, traveling, praying, playing, eating, socializing and other attendant activities) as community service hours; provided, however, the student must notify a member of the KMC Religion Department who teaches Senior-level classes or the KMC Chaplain prior to departing for the mission trip to assure that such hours actually worked will count towards their community service hours requirement.  

• A student should not complete his/her service hours at one organization but should venture out to have a broader experience of what the true community needs are.

• Volunteering at summer camps held on the campus of Kapaun Mt. Carmel must have prior approval of a member of the KMC Religion Department who teaches Senior-level classes or the KMC Chaplain in order to be classified as community service hours.  Regardless of approvals, a student may only count up to a total of 15 hours of service at such camps towards the student's community service hours requirement.   

• Service hours performed at Parish other than the student’s own parish will not be counted as Community Service Hours unless they have been approved prior to the activity. 

• In addition to the community service hours requirement, each student is required to serve at The Lord's Diner at least once sometime during his or her senior year.  To prepare students for their work at The Lord's Diner, KMC will arrange for a food handler's course to be given to the students in the first semester of the students' senior year.  If a student misses that training for any reason, then the student will be responsible to receive the training and certification for the handling of food prior to working at The Lord's Diner in order to fulfill this requirement.  

• To aid in the efficiency of pre-approvals for community service work, KMC has pre-approved several agencies within the Wichita community at which community service hours may be performed for credit against the community service hours requirement.  The following is a list of such organizations, which list may be modified and updated at any time by KMC:  

American Cancer Society, Ammedisys Hospice, American Heart Association, American Red Cross, Anthony Family Shelter, ARC, Better Choice, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Botanica Gardens, Catholic Care Center, Catholic Charities, Cornerstone, Communitie and Schools, Cowtown, Dear Neighbor Ministries, Erin is Hope, Faith Home and Health Hospice LLC, Food for the Poor, Good Shepherd Hospice, Guadalupe Clinic, Habitat for Humanity, Harbour House, Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice, Holy Family Camp, Heart Spring, Heartland Home Health Care and Hospice, Home Healthcare Connection, Hospice Care of Kansas: Wichita, Interfaith Ministries, K.E.T.C.H, Kansans for Life, Kansas Children Service League, Kansas Food Bank Warehouse, Kansas Humane Society, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Levy Special Education Center, The Lord's Diner, Maude Carpenter Children’s Home, Meals on Wheels, Prairieland Food Distribution, Ronald McDonald House, Salvation Army, Starkey, Inc., Sedgwick County Zoo, Special Olympics, Spiritual Life Center, Step Stone, United Way, Via Christi Hospital, Wesley Volunteen, Wichita Children’s Home, Wichita Public Schools, Y.E.S.S, Y.M.C.A (nothing for which the student receives payment or benefit) and Youthville.