Attention 2020-21 Students!
For students graduating in the 2020-21 school year, the community involvement graduation requirement will be reduced to a minimum of 20 hours of community involvement activities. This recognizes that graduating students have had barriers to earning their community involvement hours last school year and there may be continued barriers this school year.
In addition, the ministry is providing increased flexibility in how all secondary students can earn hours in 2020-21.
Students aged 14 years and older can count up to a maximum of 10 hours from paid employment towards their earned hours at the discretion of the principal. Students counting paid employment towards their graduation requirement will be required to complete the Community Hours Reflection for Students.pdf
Students may wish to consider virtual volunteering or ways to support your community while adhering to social distancing guidelines. Examples include:
- Lawn maintenance/snow removal for seniors or others who cannot complete the work
- Writing letters to seniors in Long Term Care Homes
- Knitting, sewing or creating ear guards, masks, or other helpful Personal Protective Equipment
- Acting as a mentor or participating in virtual volunteer opportunities where possible – for example, summer camps, faith based activities, sports/arts, and community movements
- Facilitating discussions with newcomer youth
- Reach out to local hospitals, organizations to connect one-on-one with ways you may be able to support
Students should continue to seek out and accumulate community involvement hours in accordance with school board policies and procedures, keeping in mind local public health unit recommendations.
Students are encouraged to check with your guidance counselor or school principal before beginning a volunteer activity to confirm if the opportunity will be accepted.
Community Involvement Requirements
The Lambton Kent District School Board views the community involvement requirements as one of the many positive experiences young people will have to apply their education to community life in practical ways. The purpose of the community involvement requirement is to encourage students to develop awareness and understanding of civic responsibility and of the role they can play and the contributions they can make in supporting and strengthening their communities.
Secondary school students in Ontario must complete 40 hours of community involvement. This may be completed at any time during their schooling and 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 40 and a signed sheet has been received for all activities. Students are encouraged to seek volunteer opportunities at local not-for-profit organizations.
Students can print the tracking sheet to log completed hours and submit to Student Services. Students must ensure they fill out required paperwork both before and after volunteering and that signatures are received from their parents, their supervisor at the volunteer activity, and their school guidance counselor or principal. Completion of the volunteer hours and submission of the tracking sheet must be done in a timely fashion; preferably immediately following completion of the hours but before the last semester of the graduating year. During COVID, students are encouraged to participate in opportunities that are virtual in nature or that can be completed following the Public Health Covid guidelines.
An activity WILL NOT be counted towards the mandatory 40 hours of community service if it:
is a requirement of a class (e.g. co-op, job shadowing, work experience)
takes place during class time
would normally be a paid position
consists of duties normally performed in the home (i.e. daily chores) or personal recreational activities (i.e. extra-curricular activities)
is an activity to satisfy the requirements of a court-ordered program (e.g. community-service program for young offenders, probationary program).
involves any activity or event where alcohol is served or permitted.
Please consult with the principal in advance before completing volunteer activities during a lunch or spare period.
Remember to always check with your guidance counselor or school principal before beginning a volunteer activity. Please see the eligible activities and ineligible activities for a general starting point.
The information above is adapted from the Ontario Ministry of Education’s policy regarding the Ontario Secondary School Diploma 40 hour community service requirement for graduation. For more information or to view the full policy, please visit the Ministry of Education website.
Use of outside volunteer databases and social platforms for completing volunteer hours are not a mandatory part of the required 40 hours of Community Involvement. Students should always be mindful of the types of data they share online as per the responsible use of technology procedure.
Students are responsible for researching and contacting organizations who offer volunteer opportunities directly. In order to comply with the community involvement guidelines, students should inquire about each community involvement opportunity with school administration before completing their hours.
For local contacts/organizations that accept volunteers please check out: