The Community Involvement requirements for an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) present the Catholic student with a valuable opportunity to exercise his/her baptismal call to love and serve others. In the gospels, Jesus calls us to celebrate our gifts and to use them for the building up of the kingdom of God. Community service gives the Catholic student a rich opportunity to be of service to others in unique and valuable ways.
There are distinct expectations for graduates of Catholic schools in the province of Ontario. They are known as the Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations. These expectations were devised by the Institute for Catholic Education (I.C.E.). From the many important expectations identified by I.C.E. the following three particularly fit this initiative:
The Catholic Graduate is expected to be:
- A collaborative contributor who finds meaning, dignity and vocation in work which respects the rights of all and contributes to the common good.
- A caring family member who attends to family, school, parish, and the wider community.
- A responsible citizen who gives witness to Catholic social teaching by promoting peace, justice and the sacredness of human life.
The Community Involvement requirement provides an opportunity for students to successfully meet these graduate expectations. Alongside learning the teachings and traditions of the Catholic faith it is vital that students have opportunities to witness their faith by reaching out to help others through Christian service.
Every student in secondary school must complete a minimum of 40 hours of community involvement activities as one of the requirements for an Ontario Secondary School Diploma. Early completion of the 40 hours is strongly recommended.
- to encourage students to develop awareness and understanding of civic responsibility
- to increase awareness of the role they can play and gain satisfaction from the contribution they can make in supporting and strengthening their communities
- to develop a positive image and a greater sense of identity within the community
NOTE: Students may complete the requirement at any time starting in the summer before they start Grade 9 and finishing before May of their graduation year.
Students may complete one activity of 40 hours, or several activities which add up to 40 hours. The requirement must be completed outside of scheduled class time. Students under the age of 18 years should plan and select their activities in consultation with their parents.
- during the lunch hour
- in the evening
- during the summer
- on the weekends
- during school holidays
- during school suspensions/expulsions