According to the Ontario Ministry of Education guidelines, every student who wishes to graduate with a high school diploma is required to complete 40 hours of mandatory community involvement through a non-profit organization in their own community.

This ruling has been set in place to help develop a greater understanding of community service, community involvement and a sense of community belonging amongst high school students.

Students may complete their community involvement activities at any time during their secondary school program. The type of community activity that they may be permitted to carry out will depend on their age, ability, maturity, environment or location, and personal safety considerations. Students may not be paid or compensated in any way for their community involvement activity.

Students may select more than one organization to carry out these activities for, in consultation with their parents, from a list provided by Sophio or according to the guidelines supplied by the Ministry of Education. A list of ineligible activities according to the Ministry of Education can be found below at the bottom of this page.

Before community involvement begins, Sophio will supply parents, students and community organizations information relevant to the planning and carrying out of your community involvement activity. This includes instructions about submitting a notification of your planned community involvement activity, stating what, when and where the activity will take place. This notification document must be submitted before any community involvement activities take place, and must be signed by the student’s parents if the student is under the age of eighteen (18) years.

On completion of 40 hours of community involvement, the student, parents and community organization will be required to submit a completed form to Sophio, which can be downloaded from our website here.

Ministry of Education list of Ineligible Activities

In the interest of realizing the full value of your Community Involvement Activity as well as to keep students safe from harm or exploitation, the Ontario Ministry of Education has developed a list of activities that are deemed as being ineligible for community involvement.

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 portion of a course; job shadowing; work experience; etc.

  • 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.

  • Takes place in a logging or mining environment, if the student is under sixteen years of age.

  • Takes place in a workplace other than a factory, if the student is under fourteen years of age 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.

  • Involves the administration of any type or form of medication or medical procedure to other persons.

  • Involves handling of substances classed as “designated substances” under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

  • Requires the knowledge of a tradesperson whose trade is regulated by the provincial government.

  • Involves banking or the handling of securities, or the handling ofjewelry, works of art, antiques, or other valuables.

  • Consists of duties normally performed in the home (i.e., daily chores) or personal recreational activities.

  • Involves a court-ordered program (e.g., a community-service program for young offenders, probationary program).