Community Involvement Hours

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

  • a minimum of 40 hours of total service (community involvement may begin in the summer after Grade 8);
  • included in the list of the eligible activities;
  • completed by the end of Grade 12 in order to be eligible to graduate with an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).

We know that many students want to volunteer and support their community in any way that they can. The OCDSB supports our students in their never-ending generosity in supporting local and broader community needs.

Why do we engage in Volunteering?

The purpose of engaging in community involvement is to encourage students to develop an 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. There has never been a time of more need in our community.

Community Involvement hours must fall into one of these categories:

  • Not-for-profit: includes voluntary activities for any not-for-profit institution or foundation that would not displace a paid worker.  
  • For-profit: includes voluntary activities that are charitable-based for any business or organization that would not displace a paid worker. If volunteers are enhancing a product/service being sold/provided by a for-profit business designed to make it more attractive and/or a better experience for clients, then it is not in keeping with the spirit of community service and would not be an approved activity.
  • Other: community support that you feel warrants consideration.  In this case, please submit a brief written summary that explains how this experience meets the spirit and expectations of community involvement as identified above.

If students are considering any of the activities that would fall into the second or third category above, approval by the principal or a designate at your high school is required. 

OCDSB Guidelines for Community Involvement

Discover Volunteer Opportunities

Here are a few organizations that coordinate or are seeking volunteers in the Ottawa area. Please consult your school’s website for your local community's needs.

Submitting your hours!

Please remember to seek your Principal's approval before starting any community involvement activity that you wish to use for the Community Involvement hours required for your OSSD.  Students will still need to submit their hours using this electronic form. This form requires the same information as the traditional paper form.  Volunteer supervisors may be contacted to verify the hours in place of the signature that is required on the paper form.

Sharing your experiences

Share your experiences on social media using the hashtag #OCDSBVolunteers. It might give others ideas on how they can support their friends, neighbours and communities!

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