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Did you know that you are required to complete 40 hours of community service in order to graduate from high school in Ontario?


Before you jump into completing your 40 hours of community involvement, there are a few things you should know:

  • Your hours cannot be a part of a course you are taking (sorry leadership and coop students!)
  • Your hours cannot take place during class time (you can get credit for hours completed during lunch or spare)
  • You cannot be paid.
  • You cannot 'volunteer' to work for 'free' in a place of business.
  • You must record and submit your hours within a reasonable time to verify that the activity takes place (yes, we need to call your supervisor).
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Why can't I volunteer at a for-profit business?

There are a number of reasons.
  1. It's not providing a service to the community.
  2. It opens students up to exploitation (free labour).
  3. It could prevent a person who needs a job from getting one / reduce shifts for paid employees (because an unpaid student is taking the place of the paid employee).
  4. It is expressly forbidden under PPM124.a, the Ministry of Education policy guiding the 40 hour community service requirement for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma.

If you have any concerns about whether an activity would be eligible, you can ask your counsellor or refer to the list of eligible activities in the program brochure.


Important Documents


Community Involvement Activity Notification and Completion Form

This form is used to record and track your community service hours.  Please ensure that all parts of the form are filled out, including:

  • Your name and student number
  • The dates of all activities
  • The description of your role
  • The supervisor's name and contact information (if we can't contact the supervisor, we can't record the hours!)
  • Your parent/guardian's signature.

You can submit many of these forms as activities are completed, so don't wait too long to turn them in.  


 DMT Community Service Brochure

This document has detailed information on eligible and ineligible activites, a more detailed explanation of the guidelines surrounding the 40 hours, and information on where to find opportunities (including this page!)

You can pick up hard copies in guidance.

Be sure to stop by to view the volunteer opportunites posted on the Student Services bulletin boards as well!



Finding Opportunities 


Finding an organization or service that you feel comfortable with can seem a bit daunting at first, but Student Services is here to help!  Community groups and agencies frequently come to us with opportunities for students, which are posted on the bulletin boards beside the office.  Additional opportunities can arrive at any time, so be sure to check back frequently to get the latest information.

There are also a number of school groups that provide opportunities for you to better your school, and collect community hours at the same time: Breakfast Club, START (Library Volunteers), Prefects, SAC, AV Crew, and TAC (Thomson Athletic Council) are some of the groups that run and assist with activities outside the regular school day to enrich and improve the life of the school.  Speak to the staff advisors for these groups to find out about opportunities to get involved.


Volunteer Toronto

Volunteer Toronto is a great resource for students looking to find opportunities for community involvement.  The website provides a meeting place for organizations looking for volunteers, and individuals looking for opportunities to get involved in their community.  Be sure to talk to your parent/guardian(s) about any opportunity before making a commitment!

Opportunities that come through Student Services will also be added to the document below.  It gets updated as new activities and opportunities become available, so check back often to ensure you don't miss out!


Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 November 2014 09:37
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