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Community Involvement Hours

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Community Involvement Hours

The completion of Community Involvement Hours is a pivotal aspect of high school education. These hours are a mandatory requirement for all students to fulfill before graduating from Grade 12.

Commencing from the summer between Grade 8 and Grade 9, students are encouraged to embark on their community involvement journey, with July 1st marking the official start date for accumulating volunteer hours.

We wish to highlight an important change regarding the flexibility extended during the 2022/2023 academic year. As of September 1, 2023, the Ministry has reverted back to the original guidelines for Community Involvement Activities. However, activities completed before this date under COVID-19 accommodations will still be considered valid.

To ensure smooth progression, we’ve outlined key requirements for the completion of Community Involvement Activities:

Activities must be pre-approved by the school if uncertain about eligibility. Hours should be completed outside of class time. Activities must not form part of a credit course. Engagement should benefit the community and be unpaid. Activities should not replace roles that would otherwise receive wages.

These requirements are designed to uphold the integrity of community involvement while fostering meaningful contributions from our students.

Community Involvement Documents

Why Complete Community Involvement Hours?

Engaging in community involvement isn’t just about meeting graduation requirements; it’s about fostering civic responsibility and making tangible contributions to society. By participating in community activities, students can:

  • Fulfill the 40-hour graduation requirement.
  • Develop civic engagement skills.
  • Make valuable contributions to their communities.
  • Enhance personal skills such as communication and interpersonal abilities.
  • Explore interests and establish connections to potential career pathways.

Your involvement matters, not only for academic fulfillment but also for personal growth and community betterment. We encourage all students to embrace this opportunity to contribute positively to our society.

For further guidance or queries regarding Community Involvement Hours, please reach out to your school’s Student Services Team. Together, let’s continue to nurture engaged and responsible citizens within our HWDSB community.

Type of CIH Parameters Examples
Paid Employment Time learners are working in paid employment and have completed a reflective component (see below) ·              Employment/Part-time job

·              Household chores

·              Babysitting

·              Tutoring

·              Snow/leaf removal

Unpaid Volunteer Work Time learners are participating in an activity for which they are not paid ·     Volunteering for a Non-Profit Organization

·     Household responsibilities

·     Caring for/helping a sibling

·     Participating in a school club/group

·     Supporting school-based initiatives

·     Tutoring

·     Snow/leaf removal

*All Community Volunteer Hours are subject to Principal Approval.

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer opportunities can be found at https://kambeo.io/

What are Community Involvement Hours?

Community Involvement Hours

  • A requirement for an Ontario Secondary School Diploma.
  • A total of 40 hours of unpaid community involvement activities (see eligible activities and COVID adjustments).
  • An activity that benefits the community.

When Can I Complete Community Involvement Hours?

  • Starting on July 1st the summer before grade 9.
  • Outside scheduled class time; e.g., during lunch breaks/during spares.
  • In the evenings, on weekends, during the summer months.
  • Completed community hours can be submitted to the Student Services office in your school as you complete them.

Benefits For Students

  • Enhances self-confidence
  • Enhances self-esteem
  • Reinforces civic responsibility
  • Strengthens the community
  • Allows students to learn new skills
  • Students gain valuable work experience
  • Provides networking opportunities for future employment

Roles and Responsibilities of Students

  • To select an activity or activities that meet the criteria for eligible activities.
  • To obtain approval if the activity is not on the list of eligible activities.
  • To complete the Community Involvement Hours form and return to their Student Services office as the hours are completed.

Roles and Responsibilities of Parents

  • To provide assistance to their child in the selection of his/her community involvement activities.
  • To communicate with the community sponsor and school representative with any questions or concerns.
  • To sign all the necessary forms if the student is under 18 years of age.

Parents are encouraged to purchase Student Accident Insurance. The application forms are available through the schools.

Note: Boards expect that all community sponsors will provide students with appropriate instructions, put in place safety precautions, and train and supervise student volunteers.

Eligible Activities

The following guiding principles are intended to assist students, parents/guardians to determine whether a planned activity is within an approved area. These activities may take place in the community or be school-based.

  • An event or activity designed to benefit the community in general.
  • An event or activity to support a not-for-profit agency, institution or foundation that meets ethical standards of the Board and the Ministry of Education.
  • Any program that promotes tutoring, mentoring, visiting or coaching, or assists others in need.
  • Participation in an event or activity that supports ethical work of a global nature or that promotes positive environmental awareness.
  • Participation in an event or activity that contributes to the health and well-being of others.
  • That is affiliated with a club, religious or political organization, arts or cultural association that seeks to make a positive and ethical contribution in the community.

Note: Where an event or activity does not clearly fall within the previously stated guiding principles, the parent and student may apply in writing to the Principal of his/her Secondary School, who has the discretionary authority to approve or deny such requests.

Examples of Eligible Activities

  • Supporting Sports e.g. timekeeping, managing a team or coaching
  • Fundraising
  • Charity Walk-a-thons or Runs
  • Community Events, Festivals or Fairs
  • Community Projects e.g. tending a community garden
  • Environmental Projects e.g. a community clean-up
  • Youth Programs or Mentorship Programs
  • Volunteer Work with Seniors
  • Camp Leader or Counsellor
  • Office Work for a non-profit organization
  • Committee Work e.g. the Literacy Committee at your local library
  • Advisory Board

Ineligible Activities

The Ministry of Education and Training has developed a list of activities that may not be chosen as community involvement activities and that are therefore Ineligible Activities.

The following defines Ineligible Activities:

  • An activity that is a requirement of a class or course in which the student is enrolled (e.g., co-operative education portion of a course, job shadow, work experience).
  • Any activity that takes place during regular class time on a school day. However, an activity that takes place during lunch breaks or a “spare” period is permissible.
  • An activity that takes place in a logging or mining environment, if the student is under sixteen years of age.
  • An activity that takes place in a factory, if the student is under fifteen years of age.
  • If the activity takes place in a workplace other than a factory, if the student is under fourteen years of age and is not accompanied by an adult.
  • Any activity that would normally be performed for wages by a person in the workplace.
  • Participation in an activity that involves the operation of a vehicle, power tools, or scaffolding.
  • Activity that involves the administration of any type or form of medication or medical procedure to other persons.
  • An activity that involves handling of substances classed as “designated substances” under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
  • An activity that requires the knowledge of a trades person whose trade is regulated by the provincial government.
  • Any activity that involves banking or the handling of securities, or the handling of jewellery, works of art, antiques or other valuables.
  • Any activity that consists of duties normally performed in the home (i.e., daily chores) or personal recreation activities.
  • Any activity that involves a court-ordered program (e.g., community-service program for young offenders, probationary program).


Updated on Tuesday, April 02, 2024.
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