Community Involvement Hours
Our Catholic Tradition
Community involvement has always been at the core of the culture of Catholic schools. Catholic schools reach out to the community through school and class projects, and often as a component of Religious Education courses. While students are required to complete 40 hours of community involvement to obtain their OSSD, the requirement complements what has always been our tradition and is viewed as a minimum expectation of a student in a Catholic school.
Facts about the Community Involvement Requirement
- Forty hours of community involvement is a graduation requirement for all secondary students.
- Hours can be completed in small amounts each year or all 40 hours at once.
- Students will not be paid for performing any community involvement activity.
- Activities must take place outside of scheduled instructional class time. Students may complete an activity during a spare, lunch or during non-instructional time at school.
- Activities that are normally requirements towards earning a credit are disallowed.
- Community involvement during the summer is eligible.
- Students who complete the 40 hours of community involvement by the end of their grade 10 year will be awarded a Community Involvement Certificate.
- The community involvement hours will be recorded on the students' Ontario Student Transcript when completed.
- A parent is not required to sign a form if the student is 18 years of age or older although it is desirable.
- A "Notification of Planned Community Involvement Activities" form must be submitted to the school prior to the activity for approval. A student's Teacher Adviser or Principal must sign this form before the activity. This form will be stored in the student's Annual Education Plan (A.E.P.).
- The student must submit the "Completion of Community Involvement Activities" form to the principal or school contact person upon completion of the 40 hours or at appropriate intervals as determined by the school. This information will be stored in the student's Ontario Student Record (O.S.R.).
- Record keeping is ultimately the responsibility of the student.
Examples of Catholic Community Involvement
Within the Community
- Assisting charities, service clubs, and other not-for-profit organizations
- Participating in liturgical ministry (lector, server, choir)
- Assisting with children's liturgy
- Volunteering service with parish/church organizations (e.g., Share Lent, youth group)
- Assisting with Brownies, Guides, Cubs, and Scouts
- Coaching sports teams
- Helping organize community events (e.g., winter carnival, Canada Day)
- Participating in environmental projects (e.g., cleanup, recycling programs)
- Assisting in a seniors' residence
- Participating on committees (e.g., advisory boards, school committees)
- Participating in community services (e.g., United Way, local food banks, Meals on Wheels, 4-H Club, Big Sister, Big Brother)
Within the School
- Participating on the student council
- Organizing school activities (e.g., Grade 9 welcome, school arts show, sports meets)
- Assisting in school activities (e.g., guide for Parents' Night, technical crews for productions, student ambassador for feeder school)
- Participating in environmental projects
- Participating in school/community activities (e.g., Terry Fox Run)
- Tutoring students or being a reading buddy
- Being a peer mediator
- Participating on yearbook committee
- Organizing a dance
Examples of Ineligible Activities
Some ineligible activities include:
- Handling of securities
- Household chores
- Operation of motor vehicles and power tools
- Court-ordered programs
Parents should provide assistance to their child when selecting one or more community involvement activities. Selection of activities should take into account the age, maturity, and ability of the student, the location and environment of the proposed activity, and the need for any special training, equipment, and preparation. The safety of the student is paramount.
Parents should communicate with the community sponsor and the school principal if they have any questions or concerns.
Persons and organizations within the community may be asked by the student to sponsor a community involvement activity. Any training, equipment, or special preparation that is required for the activity should be provided by the person or organization. Students must be able to fulfil their community involvement requirement in a safe environment. Our School Board expects community sponsors to ensure that student volunteers are provided with safety instructions, and are trained and supervised to ensure a safe and mutually beneficial volunteer experience.
The person overseeing the student's activity must verify the date(s) and the number of hours completed on the "Completion of Community Involvement Activities" form.
Because the program is mandated by the Ministry of Education, our School Board's liability insurance will protect the students and the community sponsors. However, our School Board's insurance does not cover lawsuits that occur from injury in the workplace arising from sponsor negligence. Though not required, it is recommended that students involved in the program purchase Student Accident Insurance.
For additional information on community involvement, you can read the Ontario Ministry of Education's Ontario Secondary School Diploma Requirement: Community Involvement Activities in English-Language Schools (April 27, 1999).