Community Service

All students are encouraged to become involved in our school and our community through volunteer opportunities and 40 hours of Community Service, a requirement for achieving the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).

Current opportunities are posted in the Guidance office.  Additional information can be found on the School Board's 40 Hours of Community Service.

Blue Community Involvement Activity Record 
(This form is to be handed into Guidance)



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.


As Catholics, we are called to the service of others. Volunteering offers many personal benefits and builds a healthy community. By volunteering, you can:
  • Contribute to your community
  • Gain valuable work experience
  • Learn new skills or create new interests
  • Meet new people and make new friends
  • Lend your talents to a cause or initiative that is important to you


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 involvemen t 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.


Approved Activities

Where an event or activity does not clearly fall within the guidelines, the principal has the discretion to approve or reject any activity or event that does not conform to the guiding principles. The following list provides examples of activities that are suitable for completion of the community involvement requirement. Students may not be paid for these services:

  1. FUNDRAISING FOR NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS
    Includes canvassing, organization of walkathons for community benefit, daffodil sales, gift wrapping at malls, gala events and sales for charitable purposes. Volunteering at local hospital, library, or getting involved in democratic political campaigns.
  2. SPORTS/RECREATION FOR NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS (PLAYING ON A SPORTS TEAM IS NOT ELIGIBLE)
    Includes coaching and assisting any not-for profit sports team, park and recreation groups, "Y".
  3. COMMUNITY
    Includes helping to organize winter carnivals, parades and summer fairs.
  4. COMMUNITY PROJECTS/AGENCIES
    Includes participating in organized food drives or support services for community groups or community service clubs i.e. United Way, Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity.
  5. ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECTS
    Includes participating in community clean-up, flower/tree planting, recycling and general beautification projects and activities. (Students must not use power tools, lawn mowers, hedge trimmers or wood chippers)
  6. VOLUNTEER WORK WITH SENIORS (NOT FAMILY MEMBERS)
    Includes assisting in a seniors' residence. i.e. serving snacks, helping with activities, shopping, or participating in visiting and reading programs or taking them for walks. Help rake leaves, shovel snow and meal preparation. (Snow blowers are not permitted)
  7. COMMITTEE WORK
    Includes participation on advisory boards, neighbourhood associations and regional associations.
  8. RELIGIOUS ACTIVITIES
    Includes participation as a volunteer in programs for children , child minding, Sunday School assistance, altar-serving, special events and clerical tasks.
  9. YOUTH PROGRAMS
    Includes volunteer assistance with the operation of youth programs such as 4H, Boy Scouts, Girls Guides, breakfast programs, March Break programs, Leaders in training, summer camps.
  10. OFFICE/CLERICAL WORK FOR NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS
    Includes volunteer activity at reception, computer work and mailings for individuals or groups providing charitable or general community benefit.
  11. WORK WITH ANIMALS
    Includes volunteer involvement with animal care, horseback riding programs or volunteer assistance at a local zoo. Volunteering at Humane Society, Shelter of Hope or other animal welfare agencies.
  12. ARTS and CULTURE
    Includes volunteer organizational assistance at a gallery, performing arts production or program, or in a community library program.
  13. ACTIVITIES FOR INDIVIDUALSóCANNOT CONSIST OF DUTIES NORMALLY PERFORMED IN THE STUDENT'S HOME, I.E. DAILY CHORES/FAMILY RESPONSIBILITIES (BABYSITTING IS NOT ELIGIBLE)Includes any volunteer activity that assists someone who requires assistance with shopping, tutoring, light snow removal (no use of snow blower), writing letters or transcribing, voluntary involvement with chronic care, or service as a volunteer reading buddy.
  14. SCHOOL COMMUNITY SERVICE
    May include service within the school community that provides benefit to others that takes place outside the regular school day. These activities must be approved at a local level by the school principal or designate in advance of the commencement of the activity.

PLEASE NOTE:
Activities not identified on the School Board's list of approved activities must obtain approval from the principal or designate before starting the activity. 
If completed without permission and permission is subsequently denied, the activity or event will not be counted toward the student's community involvement requirement.

PLEASE NOTE: ACTIVITIES THAT ARE FAMILY RESPONSIBILITIES (CHORES) AND PERSONAL RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED.


Parent Involvement

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.


Sponsor Involvement

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 fulfill 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).