Community InvolvementAn Overview for Students and Parents/Guardians
What is Community Involvement?
Community involvement is "students making a positive contribution to the well-being of the community". It is:
- a secondary school graduation requirement;
- a commitment of 40 hours, starting in Grade 9, with completion prior to graduation;
- a set of student self-directed activities;
- activities in which students do not receive remuneration;
- activities in which students do not replace a paid worker.
Our Catholic high schools, through their Christian outreach and Social Justice Programs, already have students involved in the life of the community. These programs:
- encourage students to respond as Christian disciples to the needs of the community
- promote the living out of the gospel values taught in the school curriculum
- are well designed with clear expectations and reporting processes
- are well suited to fulfill the Ministry requirement for Community Involvement
The community involvement requirement is designed:
- to promote Christian values by helping students understand how they can make a positive difference in their community;
- to increase student awareness of community needs;
- to encourage civic responsibility and promote community values;
- to develop a positive self-image and a greater sense of identity in the community;
- to provide a possibility to exploring career opportunities;
Examples of Community Involvement:
Students can seek opportunities to help:
- in the community by offering assistance to charities, service clubs, coaching, environmental projects
- in the parish by helping with children's liturgy, St. Vincent de Paul, choir, lector, server
- in the school by helping in areas such as, tutoring, library,, assistant, student council, fundraising, etc.
- individuals by providing assistance to, seniors, Big Brother / Big Sister, special needs students, yard clean-up, etc
Activities that are unacceptable include:
- paid activities (babysitting, summer job, etc.)
- job shadowing, cooperative education placements
- required activities of a course or program in which the student is registered for credit
- activities that are part of regular family responsibilities (morning chores, doing family shopping, etc.)
- court ordered community service programs
- The student shall complete a minimum of 40 hours of community involvement as part of the secondary school diploma requirements. It may be completed at any time between the start of grade 9 and prior to graduation.
- The student, in collaboration with parent(s)/guardian(s) will determine how the mandatory community involvement will be completed. The student may identify the possible community involvement activities through their annual educational plan.
- Consideration needs to be given to ensure that students with exceptionalities are accommodated to allow them to participate as fully as possible in this requirement.
- Students shall not displace a paid worker.
- Community involvement hours are to be unpaid and completed
- outside normal instructional hours (students' designated lunch hours, evenings, weekends, PA days, school holidays, including summer holidays)
- in blocks of time most suitable to the student and to the individual/agency requesting the help
- preferably by the month prior to the completion of the diploma requirements
- in not for profit, public, private sector and informal settings
Before beginning any community involvement activity, the student must submit a COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT FORM. This FORM will be provided in the board's information GUIDE.
Completion of the hours will be validated by the principal. On each semester's report card, students will receive an update as to the number of hours completed.
A guide for students and parents entitled "COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: A Guide for Students, Parents and Community Sponsors", is being developed to provide further examples of acceptable activities.
A Guide for Students, Parents & Community Sponsors
Students and parents will receive a copy of the board's document "Community Involvement: A Guide for Students, Parents & Community Sponsors" which will be given out by the school early in the new calendar year. Students will also share this document with the sponsor of the community involvement activity.
The GUIDE will include the following:
- Purpose of the community involvement requirement
- Responsibilties of the, School Boards, Students, The Principal, Parents, Sponsors in the Community
- Procedures for getting started
- Information regarding liability insurance
- The Ministry's List of Ineligible Activities
- The Board's List of Ineligible and Eligible Activities
- The COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT FORM Page 1
- COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT FORM Page2
Contact the STUDENT SERVICES DEPARTMENT at our Catholic High Schools.