The purpose of this organization is “to recognize academic achievement while developing characteristics essential to citizens living in a democracy.” These qualities include leadership skills, good character and commitment to public service. At West, NHS is service-oriented. NHS puts on fall and spring blood drives and does other service projects to improve the West community. They promote service among younger students.
In the spring of each year a new group of members is added at a formal initiation ceremony in the West High Auditorium. All NHS members are expected to follow the NHS honor code, the Madison Metropolitan School District Behavior Education Plan and MMSD Athletic Code. NHS members who have been “active” and have participated in at least two NHS sponsored service projects each semester will have a NHS insignia on their diploma. Membership in the National Honor Society is NOT AUTOMATIC and is not determined by 3.5 GPA alone.
There are several steps in the selection process (outlined below) which is conducted after the end of first semester of the junior year.
STEP #1 Service and Activity Records
One of the requirements for joining NHS is the completion of at least 60 hours of service while in high school. No more than half of the hours can be in any one project. Starting in 9th grade, students should begin to accumulate service records. SERVICE is defined as volunteer work for which a student does not receive compensation. It CANNOT be an activity for which a student receives pay or a grade, is part of a class or club requirement, or is a family responsibility. Membership in a club or on a team, belonging to a scout troop, participation in artistic performances, or work on school projects is NOT considered service. Local volunteer opportunities abound to get students ready for NHS as well as global citizenship! Service forms are available in Guidance or SLC Offices and should be completed for each service activity and should be signed by the activity advisor or sponsor and student’s parent.
STEP #2 Academic Achievement and Self-Nomination
Juniors who have been at West for at least one year, who have a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher at the end of five semesters of high school work and have a clean school record will receive a letter notifying them of their eligibility. A qualifying student interested in NHS will submit a one-page essay addressing the topic of character and leadership in addition to submitting service forms documenting the 60 hours of service. The deadline for submitting completed applications as stated in the letter from the NHS Faculty Committee MUST be adhered to. LATE MATERIALS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED.
STEP #3 Final Selection
Students interested in applying for membership in NHS must demonstrate good character and leadership by complying with school regulations and the school honor code. Any documentation of a violation of school rules, particularly a suspension, may become a factor in a student’s application. West High Faculty will have the opportunity to review the list of students with the appropriate GPA and will provide feedback to the NHS Selection Committee. The Committee will review all materials submitted by students seeking admission to NHS and feedback from the West High School staff. The NHS Faculty Committee will then make the decision on membership and notify all students in writing. Anyone who has questions about the decision should contact the West High School Principal’s office.
STEP #4 Final Acceptance
Once accepted into NHS, members will be honored at the induction ceremony and must continue to adhere to the written NHS Code of Conduct. They will also be responsible for maintaining at least 25 service hours their senior year and committing to NHS club activities.