In order to graduate, students must complete a minimum of 40 hours of community involvement as a requirement of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. These 40 hours may be completed at any time during the student’s high school years and may take place in a variety of settings, including not-for-profit organizations, businesses, public sector institutions, and informal settings. Students, in collaboration with their parents, will decide how they will complete the community involvement requirement. Students may complete any number of eligible activities as outlined on the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board Community Involvement webpage.
Students can begin to complete their community hours as soon as they've graduated from grade 8.
40 hours of Community Service
Secondary school students are required to complete 40 hours of community involvement throughout their high school years as part of the secondary school diploma requirements. Hours may be completed in small amounts each year, or in larger amounts in selected activities over a shorter period of time. Students may begin to accumulate community involvement hours beginning in July of their Grade 9 year. The community involvement requirement is designed to encourage students to develop awareness and understanding of civic responsibility and the role they can play in supporting and strengthening their communities. Support is available for finding appropriate community involvement opportunities. Students must provide the required documentation of eligible hours.
Within the student’s school
- student council/sub committees: eg. Christmas sharing, student trustee, terry fox run
- school committees: eg. yearbook, student crime stoppers
- organizing/assisting in school activities: eg. grade 8 orientation, fundraising, coaching sports, parent’s night, science fair, art shows, technical crew or school productions
- ecoprojects: eg. school/community clean-up, school/community restoration and beautification
- school/community initiatives: eg. food drives, Christmas sharing
- non-credit peer assistance: eg. scribing, tutoring
- participation in conferences/training programs outside of school hours: eg. leadership/peer mediation
- church related volunteer activities
- community agencies/service clubs, volunteer opportunities which would be appropriate to student volunteers assisting in: fund raising, community event organization, environmental projects, sports coaching, scouting, guiding, friendly visits: eg. community services, local food banks, United Way, 4-H Clubs, Meals on Wheels, hospitals, etc.
- supporting elementary school activities such as school yard clean-up, equipment room organization, reading buddies, coaching
The Ministry has developed a list of activities that may not be chosen as community involvement activities.
An ineligible activity is an activity that:
- is a requirement of a class or course in which the student is enrolled (eg. cooperative education portion of a course, job shadowing, work experience)
- 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
- takes place in logging or mining environment, if the student is under sixteen years of age
- takes place in a factory, if the student is under fifteen years of age
- 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
- would normally be performed for wages by a person in the workplace
- involves the operation of a vehicle, power tools, or scaffolding
- involves the administration of any type or form of medication or medical procedure to other persons
- involves handling of substances classed as “designated substances” under the Occupational Health and Safety Act
- requires the knowledge of a trades person whose trade is regulated by the provincial government
- involves banking or the handling of securities, or the handling of jewellery, works of art, antiques or other valuables
- consists of duties normally performed in the home (i.e., daily chores) or personal recreational activities
- involves a court-ordered program (eg. community-service program for young offenders, probationary program)
Activities which are normally classroom or credit requirements are disallowed and all activities completed must be unpaid. Activities may not take place during class instructional time; however, an activity that takes place during lunch, a spare, or during non-instructional time is eligible. Activities completed in the summer are eligible as long as the student has entered grade nine and has completed the notification of planned activities form.
Please note: Duties normally performed in the student’s home and those which are court ordered are also ineligible.