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40 Hour Volunteer Requirement


Halton District School Board
Halton Catholic District School Board

...Working toward your Secondary School Graduation diploma...

Effective July 1, 2011, students may now start accumulating community involvement hours in the summer before they enter Grade 9.  This change acknowledges the enthusiasm of some students, with support from their parents, to be involved in their community prior to entering secondary school.


Graduation Requirement:

Every student who begins secondary school during or after the 1999-2000 school year must complete a minimum of forty hours of community involvement activities as a graduation requirement..


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. The community involvement requirement is also an opportunity to celebrate the many contributions that our young people make in their communities.


The work to fulfill this requirement can begin at any time after a student enters grade nine. These activities must be completed outside scheduled class time; they must not be part of a credit course; they must be unpaid activities; they must total a minimum of forty hours; and they must be completed by the end of grade twelve.



Students will plan and select appropriate community involvement activities in consultation with
their parents and complete and submit the required documentation according to Board requirements. Students are also responsible for completing their community involvement hours
to their best ability in a manner that demonstrates a positive work ethic and respect for others.

The following checklist of behaviours is recommended:

  • Punctuality
  • Appropriate dress and grooming
  • The use of good manners
  • A willingness to listen to instructions
  • The ability to follow through on commitments
  • The ability to maintain confidentiality


Parents/guardians should provide assistance to their child in the selection of community involvement activities and are encouraged to communicate with the community sponsor (person or organization) and the school Principal if they have any questions or concerns.

A parent/guardian must sign the required documentation if the student is under the age of eighteen years.

It is important to select activities that will provide for the student’s safety and well being. Parent/guardian involvement is crucial in ensuring that activities take into account the following:

  • Location of activity and hours of operation
  • Health and safety
  • Age appropriateness
  • Hazardous materials or substances
  • Activities that require a police check
  • Nature of Work Force

School Boards:
School boards are required to develop a list of approved activities in consultation with school councils, the Special Education Advisory Committee, and the board’s insurer. Boards must develop the forms on which students list their planned activities and the completed activities. Boards are also responsible for collecting and storing personal information in accordance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

School Principals:
Principals will ensure that the description of the community involvement requirement and an outline of the policies on and procedures for completing the requirements are included in the school course calendar. In the case where a student proposes to undertake an activity that is not on the approved list, the school principal will determine whether the student’s proposed activity is acceptable, in consultation with the appropriate supervisory officer. The principal will also indicate on the Ontario Student Transcript when the student has met the community involvement requirement.

Community Sponsors:
Persons and organizations within the community may be asked by the student to sponsor a community involvement activity. It is crucial that students are able to fulfill their community involvement activities in a safe environment. Any training, equipment, or special preparation that is required for the activity should be provided by the person or organization. The person
overseeing the student’s activity must verify the date(s) and the number of hours completed on the Completion of Community Involvement Activity record.


The Board's liability insurance will protect the students and community sponsors for liability law suits for damages or injuries to a third party that may arise from the student’s volunteer activities.

Please note:

  • Board liability insurance does not cover negligence on behalf of the Community Sponsor’s involvement in the program; sponsors are responsible for ensuring for ensuring that their own liability insurance is in place
  • Students are not covered by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board in the event of an injury
  • Students and parents are encouraged to purchase Student Accident Insurance, available in the schools each September
  • Boards expect Community Sponsors will provide students with safety instructions, safety equipment (if necessary), training and supervision of students.


The Ministry of Education has developed a list of activities that may not be chosen as community involvement activities and that are therefore ineligible activities. An ineligible activity is an activity that:

  • Is a requirement of a class or course in which the student is enrolled (e.g. Cooperative Education, job shadowing, work experience).
  • Takes place during school hours, except during the student’s lunch break or spare periods.
  • Takes place in a logging or mining environment, if the student is under 16.
  • Takes place in a factory, if the student is under 15.
  • Takes place in a workplace other than a factory, if the student is under 14 and is not accompanied by an adult.
  • Would normally be performed for wages by a person in the workplace.
  • Involves the operation of a vehicle, power tools, or scaffolding (eg. snow blower, power mower, hedge trimmers, etc.)
  • Involves the administration of any type or form of medication or medical procedure to other persons.
  • Involves the handling of substances classed as “designated substances” under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (eg. asbestos, lead, dangerous chemicals, toxic materials, etc).
  • Requires the knowledge of a tradesperson whose trade is regulated by the provincial government.
  • Involves banking or the handling of securities, or the handling of jewellery, works of art,
    antiques, or other valuables.
  • Consists of duties normally performed in the home or personal recreational activities.
  • Involves activities for a court-ordered program (e.g. community-service program for young offenders, probationary program).

Additional Ineligible Activities:

The Halton District School Board and the Halton Catholic District Board have determined that the following are also ineligible activities, in addition to those that the Ministry of Education has listed:

Any activity that provides direct financial benefit or gain to the students or to the student’s immediate family.

Any association with an organization or an organizational activity that does not comply with the ethical standards, policies, procedures and regulations of the Ministry of Education, the Halton District School Board, and the Halton Catholic District School Board.

Simple membership in a school or community club.

Part of a Community Service Day or Activity during regularly-scheduled class time e.g. Terry Fox Walk).


The following guiding principles, read in conjunction with the list of the ineligible activities, are intended to assist the student and parents/guardians to determine whether a planned activity is within an approved area for the completion of the community involvement requirement:

1. An event or activity designed to be of benefit to the community;

2. An event or activity to support a not-for-profit agency, institution or foundation that conforms to the ethical standards of Halton DSB, Halton CDSB, and the Ministry of Education;

3. Any structured program that promotes tutoring, mentoring, visiting or coaching, or
whose purpose is to assist others who require the benefit of that assistance;

4. Participation in an event or activity that supports ethical work of a global nature;

5. Participation in an event or activity that promotes positive environmental

6. Participation in an event or activity that contributes to the health and well-being of
any ethical group that conforms to the community standards of morality and conduct, including school-based activities;

7. Participation in an event or activity affiliated with a club, religious organization, arts or cultural association, or political organization that seeks to make a positive and ethical contribution in the community.

Where an event or activity does not clearly fall within the guidelines, the Principal of the student’s school has the discretion to approve or reject any activity or event that does not conform to the guiding principles and ethical standards for approved areas of involvement for students.
Specific Areas of involvement may include:

Fundraising – includes canvassing, walk-a-thons, celebrity games, gift wrapping, gala events
and sales for charitable purposes;

Sports/Recreation – includes coaching, helping to organize winter carnivals, parades and summer fairs;

Community Events – includes helping to organize special meets and games, and volunteering as a leisure buddy or pool assistant;

Community Projects – includes participating in organized food drives, or support services for community groups;

Environmental Projects – includes participating in community clean-ups, flower/tree planting, recycling and general beautification projects and activities;

Volunteer Work with Seniors – includes assisting at seniors’ residences (e.g. serving snacks, helping with activities or portering, or participating in visiting and reading programs);

Committee Work – includes participation on advisory boards, neighbourhood associations and regional associations;

Religious Activities – includes participation as a volunteer in programs for children, child minding, Sunday School assistance, special events and clerical tasks;

Youth Programs – includes volunteer assistance with the operation of youth programs such as 4H, Scouts, Guides, drop-in centres, breakfast programs, March Break programs, Leaders in Training, summer playground activities and camps;

Office/Clerical Work – includes volunteer activity in reception, computer work and mailings for individuals or groups providing charitable or general community benefit;

Work with Animals – includes volunteer involvement with animal care, horseback riding programs, or volunteer assistance at a local zoo or petting farm;

Arts and Culture – includes volunteer assistance at a gallery, performing arts production or program, or in a community library program;

Activities for Individuals – includes any volunteer activity that assists someone who requires assistance for shopping, tutoring, light snow removal (no use of snow blower), housekeeping, writing letters or transcribing, or involves; hospital visitation, voluntary involvement with chronic care, or service as a volunteer reading buddy;

School Community Service – may include service within the school community that provides benefit to others that takes place outside the regular school day.The school Principal in advance of the commencement of the activity must approve these school-based activities in advance.


Students under 18 should plan activity in consultation with parents/guardians. The activity should involve service to others. The activity should fall within the guiding principles and should be identified on the list of Board or School list of examples.

Students should confirm the details of the activity with the organizer who will be responsible for the activity.

Students must complete the Notification of Planned Community Involvement and submit to the school through their teacher adviser.

After students have completed their planned activity. they must have the Completion of Community Activity Involvement signed by the
community sponsor.


For further information about Community Involvement, please contact the following:

Ministry of Education

Halton Catholic District School Board

Halton District School Board

Volunteer Halton

Personal Information provided to the Halton District School Board and the Halton Catholic District School Board as part of the Community Involvement requirement is collected pursuant to the provisions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Individual Privacy in Municipalities and Local Boards and and under the Authority of the Education Act.

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