In addition to the 30 credits and literacy requirement, students must complete a minimum of 40 hours of unpaid community involvement activities in order to earn the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).
Students who are the sole responsibility of Christian Virtual School will be able to choose their own community involvement activities, within guidelines that will be provided by Christian Virtual School. According to the Ontario Ministry of Education, any student who attends a regular day school other than Christian Virtual School must complete the community involvement requirement at their regular day school.
Students who are completing their community involvement activities with Christian Virtual School are responsible for keeping a record of their activities on a tracking booklet supplied by the school. Students are required to submit this tracking booklet yearly, and the documentation will be kept in the student’s Ontario Student Record (OSR). Students can begin completing their community involvement hours in the summer before they enter Grade 9 through to the end of Grade 12. The tracking booklet can be found in the Student Handbook or by downloading the PDF.
To strengthen communities and encourage civic responsibility, students must complete 40 hours of unpaid community involvement activities. Students are to select activities appropriate to their age, maturity, and ability. Students may begin accumulating community involvement hours in the summer before they enter Grade 9.
While selecting an activity, Christian Virtual School encourages students to choose activities that do not put themselves or others at risk. The student is not to partake in any activity in which personal safety will be compromised. Students are encouraged to reach out to the Guidance Department (firstname.lastname@example.org) to submit their documentation, and if they have any questions about selecting activities.
Any activity not listed as eligible, must receive written approval of the principal of Christian Virtual School. The activity cannot be commenced until the Christian Virtual School principal has granted permission. Ineligible activities are activities not approved by Christian Virtual School or the Ministry of Education.
Ineligible Activities Include:
- any activity that would normally be performed for wages by a person in the workplace (e.g., childcare);
- any occurring in an unsafe or unsupervised environment;
- when it is a requirement of a class or course in which the student is enrolled (e.g., cooperative education portion of a course, job shadowing, work experience);
- when it takes place during the time allotted for the instructional program on a school day. However, an activity that takes place during the student’s lunch breaks or “spare” periods is permissible;
- any taking place in a logging or mining environment, if the student is under sixteen years of age;
- any taking place in a factory, if the student is under fifteen years of age;
- any taking place in a workplace other than a factory, if the student is under fourteen years of age and is not accompanied by an adult;
- if it involves the operation of a vehicle, power tools, or scaffolding;
- if it involves the administration of any type or form of medication or medical procedure to other persons;
- if it involves handling of substances classed as “designated substances” under the Occupational Health and Safety Act;
- any requiring the knowledge of a tradesperson whose trade is regulated by the provincial government;
- if it involves banking or the handling of securities, or the handling of jewellery, works of art, antiques, or other valuables;
- when it consists of duties normally performed in the home (i.e., daily chores) or personal recreational activities (e.g., playing on sports teams);
- if it involves a court-ordered program (e.g., community-service program for young offenders, probationary program).
Eligible Activities Include:
- fundraising for non-profit organizations;
- volunteering related to animal care (e.g. an animal shelter, or on a farm);
- coaching or assisting sports at the community level;
- a structured program that promotes tutoring (i.e. in person or virtual), mentoring, or whose purpose is to assist those who require it;
- church activities (e.g. youth leadership, assisting with Children’s Liturgy, nursery work);
- assisting community members in need (e.g. assisting seniors with chores, letter writing to seniors living in a nursing home, delivering items to immunocompromised individuals);
- mission/service trips;
- involvement in community organizations (e.g. assisting with special events, committees, food banks, homeless shelters, fairs);
- participation in arts and culture activities (e.g. volunteering in libraries, sewing masks to donate to local agencies, community productions);
- involvement in health organizations (e.g. volunteering for Canadian Blood Services (assist at blood donor clinic or time required to donate blood), volunteering in hospices);
- participation in environmental projects (e.g. picking up litter, garden planting, recycling projects).
Roles and Responsibilities
Everyone involved in a student’s education plays a key role in the community involvement requirement. These roles and responsibilities are outlined below.
Christian Virtual School is responsible for the implementation of community involvement activities through their secondary school. A list of approved community involvement activities has been developed by the school in conjunction with the school’s Board of Directors and Advisory Board. This list is included in this information package, along with a list of activities the Ministry of Education has stated are ineligible. The school will not approve student participation in any activity that is on the list of ineligible activities. Christian Virtual School ensures that all participants, including students and community sponsors, are adequately covered by the school’s insurance.
The principal of Christian Virtual School is required to provide information about the community involvement requirement to parents, students, and community sponsors. The principal is also required to provide students with the information and forms they will need to complete the community involvement requirement, including the list of approved activities from which to choose. After a student completes the 40 hours of community involvement and submits all documentation to the school, the principal will decide whether the student has met the community involvement requirement and, if so, will record it as completed on the student’s official transcript.
In consultation with their parents, students will select an activity or activities from the list of approved activities, or choose an activity that is not on the list, provided that it is not an activity specified on the list of ineligible activities. If the activity is not on the school’s list of approved activities, the student must obtain written approval from the principal before beginning the activity.
Before beginning any activity, students will provide the principal with a completed “Notification of Planned Community Involvement Activities” form indicating the activity or activities that they plan to do. This form must be signed by the student, and by their parent if the student is under eighteen years of age. More than one such form may be submitted when additional activities are planned that were not included on a previously submitted form.
A “Completion of Community Involvement Activities” form must be completed by the student, the student’s parent (if the student is under eighteen years of age), and each of the community sponsors (that is, the person or organization that provided the community involvement opportunity for the student). The student must submit the form to the principal upon completion of the 40 hours or at appropriate intervals determined by the principal.
Parents/Guardians should assist their child in the selection of his or her community involvement activities. Parents/Guardians are also encouraged to communicate with the community sponsor and the school principal if they have any questions or concerns. A parent/guardian must sign the “Notification of Planned Community Involvement Activities” form and the “Completion of Community Involvement Activities” form if the student is under the age of eighteen years. The parents/guardians are fully responsible for ensuring that the student has accident insurance or Workplace Safety Insurance as this is not the responsibility of Christian Virtual School.
One of the purposes of the community involvement requirement is to develop strong ties between the students and their communities, fostering valuable and long-term relationships. Persons and organizations within the community may be asked by the student to sponsor a community involvement activity. Any training, equipment, or special preparation that is required for the activity should be provided by the person or organization. It is crucial that students can fulfill their community involvement requirement in a safe environment. The person overseeing the student’s activity must verify the date(s) and the number of hours completed on the “Completion of Community Involvement Activities” form. Community sponsors will be responsible for ensuring that their liability insurance will protect them for their involvement in the program. The community sponsor should be aware that the students do not have accident insurance nor Workplace Safety Insurance through Christian Virtual School. The community sponsors should ensure that the students are provided with adequate safety instructions, trained properly for their work, and supervised to ensure a safe volunteer experience.