As part of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) requirements, students must complete a minimum of 40 hours of community involvement activities during their secondary school years. Accumulation of community involvement hours may begin in the summer after grade 8 and must be completed by December of grade 12.
Volunteering is about of oneself to make a difference for others and for the greater food of the community. Getting involved in meaningful community work helps to build character, a sense of purpose, and belonging.
The purpose of the community involvement requirement is to encourage students to develop awareness and understanding of civic responsibility, the positive role they can play in society, and the contributions they can make in supporting and strengthening their communities.
TWS is responsible for communicating to students, parents and guardians the requirements for community involvement and the nature of eligible activities. The High School Administrator is responsible for verifying and tracking students’ service hours and for sending out annual notices about the accumulation of hours. Activities that are ineligible will not count towards meeting the requirement.
A Community Service Activity Log should be filled out for each volunteering experience. Logs are available in the High School Administrator’s office and can be requested electronically. When a student completes the requirement, the High School Administrator makes note on the student’s Ontario Student Transcript (OST) and reports the completion of the requirement to the Ministry of Education.
All students must complete a minimum of 40 hours of community service in order to qualify for the OSSD, but students are encouraged to go beyond the 40 hours. When choosing an activity, students should consult the list of eligible/ineligible activities, and consider their interests, and possible career paths, as well as the needs of the community.
Students need to submit a Community Service Activity Log to the High School Administrator when they have completed an activity. The log needs to be signed by the parent/guardian, and the employer/supervisor needs to sign, date and complete the mid-section with information about the organization and the nature of activity completed.
When participating in a community involvement activity, students should demonstrate a positive work ethic and a sense of responsibility. Students need to be aware that they are ambassadors of the school and should behave in a manner that is in accordance with school policies and the code of conduct. Students should be willing to develop new skills, strive to follow directions, and comply with workplace rules and regulations. Community sponsors will expect punctuality, appropriate dress, respect for others and common courtesy. Students may also need to adhere to confidentiality of workplace information and privacy considerations.
It is the student’s responsibility to have the employer/sponsor complete and sign the Log at the end of the activity, and submit the completed form to the High School Administrator.
Parents and Guardians play a vital role in helping to encourage students to find placements, and to support the value of community involvement. Parents/Guardians should provide assistance in the selection and monitoring of the activities. However, it is important to not that parents/guardians may not act as formal community activity sponsors for their own children.
Parents/Guardians must sign the Community Service Activity Log and make themselves aware of what types of activities are considered eligible and ineligible.
Employers/supervisors/sponsors should provide suitable training or instruction for the student to be able to carry out the activity safely, responsibly and appropriately. The person overseeing the activity must verify the date(s) and the number of hours completed on the Community Service Activity Log. The supervisor should also describe the nature of the work, and may wish to provide feedback to the student in the description section.
The employer should be aware that TWS does not supervise its students during community involvement activities.
Eligible activities are those which provide service to improve the community or well-being of its members and which should take place at not-for-profit organizations. All activities must take place outside of scheduled class time and must be performed without pay. Activities may also be performed outside of Ontario, provided that appropriate documentation is provided by the organization and that the activity is approved by the High School Administrator.
TWS, as a charitable organization, has several volunteer opportunities for students to perform on the premises, including volunteering at the TWS summer camp, after school program, and keeping score for the competitive sports program.
There are many local organizations that can help find volunteer placements. Generally, you will find plenty of opportunities with charitable organizations, community agencies, community centres, government offices, service clubs (e.g. Rotary Club) and volunteer centres.
In short, an ineligible activity is an activity that would normally be performed by a paid employee. An ineligible activity:
TWS is committed to helping students find rewarding and meaningful ways to volunteer. Below you will find a list of organizations where students may be able to find interesting, challenging and satisfying work. This list is by no means exhaustive. Students are encouraged to seek out community involvement opportunities that are meaningful to them. TWS Summer Camp is a great way for students to earn their volunteer hours. We can help connect students with the Camp Director to secure a volunteer position.
Art Gallery of Ontario, Youth Opportunities
AGO Youth programs are designed to provide opportunities for youth to connect with artists, designers, programmers and administrators within the context of a public gallery.
An affiliate of Toastmasters International, the Gavel Club empowers youth to become more effective communicators and leaders.
Students must be 16 years old to volunteer on construction sites.
Posting from Volunteer Toronto:
Find short term and long-term volunteer opportunities.
Love the arts? High school students between the ages of 14-18 are eligible to join. You’ll gain community service hours and build skills in the areas of customer service, leadership, communication, and collaboration, all while being part of one of the city’s most exciting multi-arts festivals.
Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall
Toronto-area secondary school students are invited to join Call & Response, a unique volunteer experience at Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall. Meet music and cultural professionals, enjoy arts workshops, gain leadership skills and volunteer experiences, while surrounded by some of the best music in the city!
Learn about food rescue and help feed hungry seniors, adults and children.
Surf the list of charitable organizations in Vaughan (key word non-profit) to find something that moves you: includes Mackenzie Health Foundation, Run for Vaughan, Ontario Soccer Centre, Tennis Canada, and much more!
TIFF: Toronto International Film Festival
Be a part of the world’s leading public film festival, bringing the best in Canadian and international cinema to Toronto every September.
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
Do you love the outdoors? Help Toronto wildlife and parks.
Secondary students are invited to enhance visitors’ experiences at special events throughout the year and at our Zoo Kids camp during the summer months.
YMCA of Greater Toronto
The YMCA offers a wide range of programs which address community needs and as a charity we rely on thousands of volunteers to help. We offer many benefits to our volunteers, including learning new skills, meeting new people and making friends while helping people improve their overall health.
Youth Volunteer Program at Baycrest. Ages 13-24 for youth who want to brighten up someone’s day and assist with programs and fun for residents.
York Region District School Board Website, Community Involvement Pages
Ministry of Education, Policy and Program Memorandum 124a, Community Involvement