Community Involvement Hours

Due to the difficulty of completing community involvement hours during the pandemic, the Ontario Ministry of Education has reduced the graduation requirement to a minimum of 20 hours for June 2021.

All students in Ontario are required to complete a minimum of 40 hours of community involvement as part of the secondary school diploma requirements. This year, due to the pandemic, the graduation requirement has been reduced to 20 hours for students graduating in June 2021. The OCDSB's Community Involvement Hours website offers insight into the purpose behind this requirement, as well as suggestions for completing this requirement during these challenging times.

Temporary Relaxation of Restrictions

The Ontario Ministry of Education has relaxed some of the restrictions around completing volunteer hours, at the discretion of the principal, for graduating students only:

  • Schools may allow students to earn hours during the time allotted for the instructional program on a school day;

  • Schools may allow students to earn hours through duties normally performed in the home; and

  • Schools may allow students aged 14 years and older to count up to a maximum of 10 hours from paid employment towards their earned hours. Students counting paid employment towards their graduation requirement will be required to complete a reflection exercise indicating how their work contributed to the service for others.


Flexible Ways to Earn Hours

The following list provides some examples of flexible ways students could earn community involvement hours in keeping with the purpose of the policy, which 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, including:

    Providing tutoring and mentorship supports through:

  • Virtual tutoring to help students with reading, communication and/or other skills

  • Teaching online music or dance lessons

  • Hosting art classes for younger students

  • Assisting siblings and/or younger students with online learning and schoolwork


  • Connecting with and supporting seniors by:

  • Conversing with seniors virtually, for example, acting as technology mentors or providing a regular check-in to address isolation and build cross-generational friendships

  • Joining or creating a letter-writing campaign to seniors

  • Delivering groceries to elderly/immunocompromised neighbours


  • Supports for families, neighbourhoods and community initiatives:

  • Supporting a family by walking a younger child to and from school

  • Participating in donation pick-ups for not-for-profit organizations

  • Coordinating a donation event with a local organization such as a shelter

  • Facilitating discussions with newcomer youth or families to help them learn about their new community

  • Sewing masks to donate to social agencies

  • Shoveling snow and/or performing yard work for a family or neighbour’s family due to extenuating circumstances

  • Taking part in neighbourhood litter-pick-up hour


  • Utilizing social media to connect with their community by:

  • Organizing a virtual reading or math activity for their feeder elementary schools

  • Creating a transition support video for Grade 8 students

  • Doing a musical performance that could provide entertainment for seniors

  • Encouraging people to donate through various social media platforms to food banks or other not-for-profit organizations

  • Creating a flyer for promotion on social media for a local cause

Please contact your Guidance Counsellor or Mr. Arden if you want to confirm that your planned activity qualifies for Community Involvement Hours.


Submit Your Hours

Use the Google form on the OCDSB Community Involvement Hours website to submit your volunteer hours. A report will be sent to South Carleton so our records are complete.



Guidelines for Community Involvement

Students are encouraged to complete their volunteer hours early in their high school career. Students are even able to start accumulating community involvement hours in the summer before they enter grade 9.

For those looking for ideas, the SC Guidance department maintains a list of volunteer opportunities; students can also view the postings on the community service board located outside of the Guidance Office.

If you have completed a regular Community Involvement Hours Log Sheet, please email it to Ms Justa in Guidance at jennifer.justa@ocdsb.ca.


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