High School Community Involvement
Prior to Covid-19, the Ministry of Education required each high school student to complete 40 hours of community involvement (CI) in order to earn their Ontario Secondary School Diploma. However, due to the pandemic, the Ministry of Education has reduced the required volunteering hours from 40 to 20 hours for high school students graduating in the 2020-2021 school year.
Be sure to review the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) Guidelines from the Ontario Ministry of Education before you begin. Below are some important details to note. At the end of the page, we take you to our Volunteer Database where you can search and apply to volunteer opportunities.
About the Requirement:
The purpose of the requirement is to encourage students to develop awareness of civic responsibility and of the role they can play in supporting and strengthening their communities.
Students may begin accumulating hours in the summer between their Grade 8 and Grade 9 year. Students may do as many different volunteer activities as they’d like as long as the total number of hours adds up to the required amount and a signed “Community Involvement Activity Notification and Completion Form” has been received for all activities. This tracking sheet is distributed by the school and students must ensure that they fill it out completely before and after volunteering. In addition, students must ensure that their parents, their supervisor at the volunteer activity, and their school guidance counsellor, or principal, sign the form.
An activity will not be counted towards the mandatory hours of community involvement if it:
- is a requirement of a class or course in which the student is enrolled (e.g., 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 a 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 tradesperson 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 activities for a court-ordered program (e.g., community-service program for young offenders, probationary program).
Remember to check with your guidance counselor, or school principal, before beginning a volunteer activity. Your school may have deemed other activities ineligible so check with them first to ensure that your proposed activities will count.
- More information for Wellington Catholic District School Board students can be found on individual schools’ websites.
- More information for Upper Grand District School Board students can be found here.
Search and apply to volunteer opportunities:
That’s the community involvement requirement in a nutshell. If you are ready to search for youth friendly volunteer opportunities, get started by clicking below and exploring our Volunteer Database.