Community Involvement Documents
For the 2020-21 school year, the ministry is revising the 40-hour community involvement graduation requirement so that students will not be adversely impacted by the ongoing challenges related to COVID-19. For students graduating in the 2020-21 school year, the community involvement graduation requirement will be reduced to a minimum of 20 hours of community involvement activities. In addition, the ministry is providing increased flexibility in how all secondary students can earn hours in 2020-21, as follows:
- At the principal’s discretion, schools may waive the restrictions that do not allow students to earn hours during the time allotted for the instructional program on a school day, or duties normally performed in the home (e.g., walking a younger child to and from school, helping younger siblings with school work).
- Students aged 14 years and older can count up to a maximum of 10 hours from paid employment towards their earned hours at the discretion of the principal. Students counting paid employment towards their graduation requirement will be required to complete a reflection exercise indicating how their work contributed to the service for others.
School boards and schools are permitted to develop their own processes for collecting, recording and validating hours, including allowing electronic signatures. Students should continue to seek out and accumulate community involvement hours in accordance with school board policies and procedures, keeping in mind local public health unit recommendations.
What Stays the Same
Schools may continue to use existing in-school processes for collecting, recording, and validating completion of community involvement hours, for example using the Record of Community Involvement Hours form and Hour Republic.
What Is New
Completion of community involvement hours have amended parameters for 2020-2021, including when and how students complete these hours.
|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
· 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
· Snow/leaf removal
|*All Community Volunteer Hours are subject to Principal Approval.|
For a list of volunteer opportunities within your school community, please click on your school name:
What are Community Involvement Hours?
- A requirement for an Ontario Secondary School Diploma.
- A total of 40 hours of unpaid community involvement activities (see eligible activities).
- 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.
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
- 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
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).