Community Service Hours
As stated in Ontario Secondary Schools, Grades 9 to 12: Program and Diploma Requirements, every student must complete a minimum of 40 hours of community involvement activities as part of the requirements for an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).
The community involvement requirement provides an excellent opportunity for students to meet specific Catholic Graduate Expectations. Those are:
- Be a collaborative contributor who "develops one's God given potential and makes a meaningful contribution to society"
- Be a caring family member who "ministers to the family, school, parish and wider community through service"
- Be a responsible citizen who "exercises the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship and contributes to the common good".
Students may complete the 40 hours of community service activities at any time during their secondary school program and can begin accumulating hours during the summer following grade 8 (July 1). Activities must take place outside the school day or during the student's lunch breaks or "spare" periods. They may also complete any number of activities, as long as those activities result in the completion of 40 hours of community involvement.
In consultation with their parents/guardians, students will select an activity or activities from the list of eligible activities listed below. If the activity is not on the list of approved activities below (and not an activity specified on the list of ineligible activities) the student must obtain written approval from the Principal before beginning the activity.
Each student maintains a record of the Community Involvement activity, ensuring that the form (fillable PDF) is correct and signed by a parent/guardian, and the Community Sponsor(s).
This form must be completed by the student and the student's parent/guardian, if the student is under eighteen years of age, and the community sponsor. The student must submit the signed and completed form to the principal or other school contact. More than one such form may be submitted when additional activities are planned that were not included on any previously submitted form.
Activities listed here that take place outside the school day or during the student's lunch breaks or "spare" periods is permissible; students may begin activities the summer between grade 8 & 9
Elementary Schools – assist with school events, assist School Councils, coaching, activities for children, tutoring; after school and during lunch
Secondary Schools – organization and leadership of school activities that benefit the community, coaching, tutoring; after school and during lunch
Animal Care – volunteering in an animal shelter (e.g. Humane Society)
Arts and Culture – volunteering in galleries, libraries, community productions
Charitable Organizations – assisting with special events, programs, clerical tasks (e.g. United Way; Development and Peace; Red Cross)
Children/Youth Programs – assisting with children/youth programs, volunteering in a not-for-profit child care centre or camp (e.g. City of Guelph Programs; Big Brothers Big Sisters; Brownies, Cubs, Scouts, Guides; Guelph Community Health Centre)
Community Organizations – assisting with special events, food banks, community support services, shelters, clerical tasks (e.g. Family and Children's Services; Community Committees; Knights of Columbus; Neighbourhood Groups)
Community Service for Individuals – assisting community members in need (e.g. Snow Angels)
Environmental Projects – flower/tree planting, beautification projects, recycling projects
Health Agencies – volunteering in hospitals, hospices, Canadian Blood Services (volunteering to organize or assist with a blood donor clinic), donating blood (time required to donate) (e.g. Guelph General Hospital; Hospice Wellington)
Law Enforcement Agencies – volunteering for activities sponsored by the police
Local Parishes – assisting with programs, special events
Senior Citizens – assisting in seniors' residences, providing services for seniors in the community (e.g. St. Joseph Health Centre; Nursing Home)
Sports and Recreation – coaching, organizing special events, assisting with projects/events
Service-Focused Club Activities – activities that expand community service to others beyond the school day (holiday dinner participation, environmental action activities, etc.) (e.g. Food Bank; Knights of Columbus)
The ministry (as outlined in Policy/Program Memorandum 124) has developed a list of activities that may not be chosen as community involvement activities. These are referred to as ineligible activities. An ineligible activity is an activity that:
a) is a requirement of a class or course in which the student is enrolled (e.g. co-operative education portion of a course, job shadowing, work experience);
b) takes place during the time allotted for the instructional program on a school day. However, an activity that takes place during the student's lunch breaks or "spare" periods is permissible
c) takes place in a logging or mining environment, if the student is under sixteen years of age
d) takes place in a factory, if the student is under fifteen years of age;
e) takes place in a workplace other than a factory, if the student is under fourteen years of and is not accompanied by an adult;
f) would normally be performed for wages by a person in the workplace;
g) involves the operation of a vehicle, power tools, or scaffolding;
h) involves the administration of any type or form of medication or medical procedure to other persons;
i) involves handling of substances classed as "designated substances" under the Occupational Health and Safety Act;
j) requires the knowledge of a tradesperson whose trade is regulated by the provincial government;
k) involves banking or the handling of securities, or the handling of jewelry, works of art, antiques, or other valuables;
l) consists of duties normally performed in the home (daily chores) or personal recreational activities;
m) involves activities for a court-ordered program (e.g., community-service program for young offenders, probationary program).
Students may complete the 40 hours of community involvement activities at any time during their secondary school program and can begin accumulating hours during the summer following grade 8. They may also complete any number of activities, as long as those activities result in the completion of 40 hours of community involvement.
In consultation with their parents/guardians, students will select an activity or activities from the Board's list of approved activities, or choose an activity that is not on the list, provided that it is not an activity specified on the ministry's and the board's lists of ineligible activities. If the activity is not on the board's list of approved activities, the student must obtain written approval from the principal before beginning the activity.
Before beginning any activity, students will provide the Board's information document (available online or at the school) to their parents/guardians and to the person supervising the community involvement activity.
A " Record of Planned and Completed Community Service Activities" form (links above for each high school) must be completed by the student and the student's parent/guardian, if the student is under eighteen years of age, and the community sponsor. The student must submit the signed and completed form to the principal or other school contact upon completion of the 40 hours or at appropriate intervals determined by the principal. More than one such form may be submitted when additional activities are planned that were not included on any previously submitted form.
The Board will develop a list of restricted activities including those activities so specified by the Ministry as ineligible. (listed above)
Students will not be paid for performing any community involvement activity.
The Board will provide to secondary schools an approved form that will document a student's planned and completed activities.
The Board will develop a document that explains the community involvement requirement and the roles and responsibilities of the student, parents/guardians, principal, and Board. It will specify both eligible and ineligible activities and be available at the school and online for the student, parent/guardian, and the person supervising the student's community involvement.
The school board's liability insurance carried with OSBIE will provide coverage for students and the community sponsors from any law suits that may arise from the students' activities in the community involvement program during the 40 hours of volunteer work required.
Training, equipment and any special preparation that is required for an activity should be provided by the person or organization sponsoring the activity.
All personal information involving the student and community involvement activities will be collected and stored in accordance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.