Community Service and Involvement

Students graduating in June 2021 are only required to complete 20 of the 40 hours of community service that are normally required. Community service hours that have been completed will be recorded on the report cards of graduating students.

All high school students (Grades 9-12) in the province of Ontario are required to complete 40 hours of community service as a graduation requirement. This requirement helps young people develop new skills while encouraging them to develop an awareness and understanding of civic responsibility as they play a role in contributing and strengthening their communities. These goals complement academic and work experience programs that are currently taking place in schools. 

All high school students are encouraged to continue to accumulate community involvement hours this summer, provided they adhere to public health guidelines. 

Students are encouraged to think about creative ways to support the community that do not put themselves or others at risk. This may include volunteer activities that can be completed at home or online. Some examples of possible activities are: 

  • A letter-writing campaign to seniors living in a nursing or retirement home
  • Delivering groceries to elderly/immunocompromised neighbours or family members who do not want to go to busy grocery stores
  • Sewing masks to donate to social agencies
  • Virtual tutoring to help students, (including ESL students) practice reading, communication and/or other skills

If you have any questions about Community Involvement Hours, including whether or not an activity is acceptable, please contact your Guidance Counsellor. 

All students must complete community involvement activities as a requirement outlined by the Ontario Ministry of Education Policy/Program Memorandum No. 124a. These activities must be: 

  • a minimum of 40 hours of unpaid service
  • included in the list of the eligible activities
  • completed outside of class time, including community involvement activities completed at school
  • completed by the end of Grade 12 in order to be eligible to graduate with an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)

Complete 40 hours before graduation

Students may begin collecting and documenting community involvement hours in July of the year before their Grade 9 school year. Students should plan to accumulate a minimum of 10 hours each year. However, students are encouraged to complete their hours before the start of their Grade 12 year as this is a busy year which may include part-time jobs which affect one’s ability to do volunteer work. A single activity or a series of short-term activities totalling 40 hours may be completed. A Community Involvement Record should be submitted no later than the first week of January or June to ensure completed hours can be recorded on report cards. 

Request approval for an unlisted activity

In the event that a student would like to participate in an activity or event that is not within the eligible activities, the student will submit a letter to the school’s Principal/Guidance office detailing the proposed activity or nature of the participation and event. 

The activity can not be commenced until permission has been granted. If completed without permission and permission is subsequently denied, the activity or event will not be counted toward the student’s community involvement requirement. 

Eligible community involvement activities

Community involvement activities may take place in a variety of settings, including businesses, not-for-profit organizations, public sector institutions (including hospitals), and information settings. Eligible activities may include an event or activity designed to be of benefit to the community and/or supports a not-for-profit agency, institution or foundation that conforms to the ethical standards of the RCDSB and the Ontario Ministry of Education.