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*REVISED - Ministry of Education – Community Involvement Graduation Policy

Wednesday, March 24, 2021
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
697
Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Ministry of Education – Community Involvement Graduation Policy

To reduce barriers students may face during the Covid 19 pandemic, the total number of community involvement hours have been reduced for students in their graduating year - 20 Community Service Involvement Hours (reduced from 40)

In addition to this, the ministry has proposed changes to wave a number of policy restrictions.

    This year these will include:

    1. Schools may allow students to earn hours during the time allotted for the instructional program on a school day;
    2. Schools may allow students to earn hours through duties normally performed in the home; and
    3. Schools may allow students aged 14 years and older to count up to a maximum of 10 hours from paid employment towards their earned hours. Students counting paid employment towards their graduation requirement will be required to complete a reflection exercise indicating how their work contributed to the service for others. 

     

    In addition, the ministry has waived the requirement that schools use paper-based forms and is permitting school boards to develop their own processes for collecting, recording and validating hours, including allowing electronic signatures.

     

    Students should continue to seek out and accumulate community involvement hours in accordance with school board policies and procedures, keeping in mind local public health unit recommendations.

     

    Students are encouraged to consider virtual volunteering. There are a number of organizations that provide virtual volunteer opportunities for students. Some of these volunteer opportunities can be found through agencies such as https://www.sparkontario.ca/.

     

    The following list provides some examples of flexible ways students could earn community involvement hours in keeping with the purpose of the policy, which is to encourage students to develop awareness and understanding of civic responsibility and of the role they can play and the contributions they can make in supporting and strengthening their communities, including:

    • Providing tutoring and mentorship supports through:
      • Virtual tutoring to help students with reading, communication and/or other skills
      • Teaching online music or dance lessons
      • Hosting art classes for younger students
      • Assisting siblings and/or younger students with online learning and schoolwork

     

    • Connecting with and supporting seniors by:
      • Conversing with seniors virtually, for example, acting as technology mentors or providing a regular check-in to address isolation and build cross-generational friendships
      • Joining or creating a letter-writing campaign to seniors
      • Delivering groceries to elderly/immunocompromised neighbours

     

    • Supports for families, neighbourhoods and community initiatives:
      • Supporting a family by walking a younger child to and from school
      • Participating in donation pick-ups for not-for-profit organizations
      • Coordinating a donation event with a local organization such as a shelter
      • Facilitating discussions with newcomer youth or families to help them learn about their new community
      • Sewing masks to donate to social agencies
      • Shoveling snow and/or performing yard work for a family or neighbour’s family due to extenuating circumstances
      • Taking part in neighbourhood litter-pick-up hour

     

  • Utilizing social media to connect with their community by:
  • Organizing a virtual reading or math activity for their feeder elementary schools
  • Creating a transition support video for Grade 8 students
  • Doing a musical performance that could provide entertainment for seniors
  • Encouraging people to donate through various social media platforms to food banks or other not-for-profit organizations
  • Creating a flyer for promotion on social media for a local cause
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