Community Service Hours

As part of the diploma requirements, students must complete a minimum of 40 hours of Community involvement activities.  These activities may be completed at any time during their years in the secondary school program.

The community involvement requirement is designed to encourage students to develop awareness and understanding of their civic responsibility and the role they play in supporting and strengthening their community.  The requirement will benefit communities, but its primary purpose is to contribute to students’ development. It will provide opportunities for students to learn about the contributions they can make to the community.

Students are first informed about diploma requirements, including the community Involvement requirement, in Grades 7 and 8.  Students, in collaboration with their parents, will decide how they will complete the community service hours.

Students are reminded to verify with the Guidance Department that the proposed activities are eligible for Community Involvement hours before they begin the activity. Once a group of activity hours are completed (10 hours or more), students can complete the Community Involvement form located in Student Services or preferably bring in a letter from the non-profit organization on letter head.  All completed activities must be signed by the acting supervisor of the activity.  A phone number at which the supervisor can be reached at, an email and complete address of the organization must be provided.  In the letter/form a detailed description of the activity performed must be included as well with the date in which the activity took place and the total number of hours completed by the student. All completed letters/forms can then be handed in directly to Student Services. 

Get started as early as possible!

  • Students will be able to start accumulating community involvement hours in the summer before they enter grade 9 and must complete the 40 required hours before they graduate
  • There are many opportunities to volunteer both inside and outside of the school community.  To get started you can visit Student Services for information or for more volunteer opportunities in your area visit The Halton Social Planning Council and Volunteer Centre at http://volunteerhalton.caor the Halton Community Service Directory at www.hhplon.ca/hcd/hcd.html

Choose an eligible activity

The Ministry and the Halton Catholic District School Board have developed guidelines about which activities are eligible.  To list a few:

  • Supports a non-profit organization
  • Supports an institution that conforms to the ethical standards of Halton CDSB
  • Supports a public sector organization i.e. hospital or elementary school
  • Structured programs to promote tutoring, mentoring, coaching whose purpose is to assist others
  • Promotes environmental awareness
  • Promotes and contributes to the health and well-being of any group
  • Affiliated with a club, religious organization, youth group, arts or cultural association or political organization that seeks to make a positive contribution in the community
  • Benefits the community

Examples of eligible activities

  • Fundraising – includes canvassing, walk-a-thons, celebrity games, gift wrapping, gala events, sales for charitable purposes, marathon events
  • Sports/Recreation – coaching, pool assistance, Special Olympics, helping to organize winter carnivals, parades and summer fairs, Rib Fest events
  • Community Events & projects – participating in food drives, support services for community groups, library and reading programs
  • Environmental Projects – participating in community cleanups, flower/tree planting, recycling and general beautification projects and activities
  • Religious organizations – programming for children, child minding during church services or events, helping with religious Sunday school programs, special events and clerical duties with the church’s office, summer camp activities run by the church, Alter servers
  • Senior Programs – assisting in a senior residence community (i.e. serving snacks, helping with activities and games, portering, participating in visiting and reading programs, preparing and serving meals, Senior Day Care programs
  • Committee Work – includes participation on advisory boards, neighbourhood associations and regional associations
  • Youth Programs – Scouts, Girl Guides, drop-in-centers, breakfast programs, after-school programs, camps, March break programs, Leaders in Training, summer playground activities
  • Office/Clerical Work – activities in reception, computer work, filing and mailing duties for groups providing charitable general community benefits, non-profit organizations i.e. Salvation Army, Good Will, Arthritis Society, Canadian Cancer Society, Multicultural Center, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Heart & Stroke Society, Canadian Diabetes Association, Canadian Mental Health Association, Canadian Red Cross, Good Shepard Centers, Women shelters, Community Living
  • Work with Animals – helping with animal shelters, horseback riding programs, local zoo or petting zoo
  • Activities with Individuals – structured tutoring programs, chronic hospital care visits, Best Buddy programs, working with individuals with special needs
  • School Community Services – service within a school community that provides benefit to others that takes place outside the regular school day.  The school Principal must approve these activities in advance of the commencement of the activity, activities completed on a student’s lunch period or spare are also acceptable

Ineligible Activities

  • Any activity that provides direct financial benefit or gain to the student or student’s family
  • Any organization or activity that does not comply with the ethical standards, policies, procedures and regulations of the Ministry of Education or the Halton Catholic District SB
  • Simple membership in a school or community club
  • Part of a community service day or activity during regular scheduled class time i.e. Terry Fox Walk
  • Displaces paid workers
  • Office work done in an office that is not a non-profit organization or charitable group
  • Any activity where one can be normally paid
  • ‘Take Your Kids to Work’ experiences in grade 9
  • Co-operative education experiences
  • Playing on a sports team
  • Consists of duties normally performed in the home i.e. daily chores, lawn maintenance, shopping
  • Takes place during school hours unless it is during one’s spare or lunch period
  • Takes place in a factory, if the student isunder 15
  • Involves the operation of a vehicle, powertools, or scaffolding i.e. snowblower, power mower, hedge trimmers etc.
  • Administrating any type or form of medication or medical procedures to other persons.

For a complete outline of Ministry Expectations with regards to community involvement and a list of ‘ineligible’ activities visit:  http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/extra/eng/ppm/124a.html?textonly