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Community Involvement Hours

The Ministry of Education has suspended the requirement for students to have completed 40 hours of community involvement hours for graduation in June 2020. At this point, the Ministry has not yet confirmed the requirement for the 40 hours for graduating students in June 2021. We know that many students want to volunteer and be of assistance to their community in any way that they can. We support and encourage OCDSB students demonstrating their boundless and selfless generosity towards aiding local and broader community needs. 

During this challenging time, we want to ensure that students are volunteering in a safe way; following directions from Ottawa Public Health.  

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. 

Submitting your hours

Please remember to seek your Principal's approval before beginning any community involvement activity that you wish to use for the 40 hours of volunteer hours required for your OSSD. OCDSB is exploring ways for students to submit hours online. In the short term, we are asking students to submit their hours using this Google 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

We would love you to share your experience supporting your community during this challenging time. Share your experiences on social media by tagging OCDSB and using the hashtag #OCDSBVolunteers as a way to not only document our collective journey, but to give others ideas on how they too can support their friends, neighbours and communities!

Discover Volunteer Opportunities 

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

Ways to engage virtually with your community

  • Sewing masks for front line workers
  • Writing letters of support for front line service worker
  • Writing letters to people in seniors residences
  • Engaging online with seniors residences and child centers
  • Providing virtual academic and/or language development support in an online environment for students
  • Supporting neighbours in need by cutting grass, shovelling snow, running errands
  • Virtually Teaching others a skill you’ve learned during this time at home
  • Online Reading Buddies for younger students or students practicing their English or French language skills
  • Virtual faith-based activities
OCDSB guidelines for community involvement
google form to submit hours
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