Community Service

Opportunities For Students to Earn Volunteer Hours In the Time of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has created many challenges for students to volunteer safely. Below is a list of suggested opportunities for students to gain community involvement hours at a safe distance.

  • Write a letter to a grandparent or a neighbour.
  • Babysit siblings so that parents/caregivers can work from home.
  • Do chores such as cleaning up, raking leaves or other yard work, prepare family meals to support parents working from home.
  • Using safety precautions pick up litter around your neighbourhood.
  • Play online games with grandparents or elderly neighbours
  • Create an inspirational video to post to social media.
  • Create inspirational/positive messaging to other students using social media.
  • Create a window display to increase community morale.
  • Create a video to entertain children (sing a song, create art) to post on social media
  • Create a video teaching a skill (words from a language other than English, cooking a favourite food, how to play a musical instrument) to children
  • Create a list of resources that could be helpful for families or that could support children during this time and post on social media
  • SPARK Ontario
    • SPARK and the Government of Ontario are connecting volunteers with community response efforts to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Links for More Opportunities

Canadian Independent College students are reminded that they should track their community involvement hours using the Community Involvement Form.
Click Here to download a form that you must used to track your hours.

More Information about Community Involvement

As stated in Ontario Secondary Schools, Grades 9 to 12: Program and Diploma Requirements, every student must complete a minimum of 40 hours of community involvement activities as part of the requirements for an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). Effective July 1, 2011, students are able to start accumulating community involvement hours in the summer before they enter grade 9.

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 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.

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:

In addition to those that the Ministry of Education has listed the following are ineligible:

  • 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 and Canadian Independent College.
  • Simple membership in a school or community club.


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:

  • An event or activity designed to be of benefit to the community;
  • An event or activity to support a not-for-profit agency, institution or foundation that conforms to the ethical standards of Canadian Independent College and the Ministry of Education;
  • Any structured program that promotes tutoring, mentoring, visiting or coaching, or whose purpose is to assist others who require the benefit of that assistance;
  • Participation in an event or activity that supports ethical work of a global nature;
  • Participation in an event or activity that promotes positive environmental awareness;
  • 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;
  • 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.



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