Community Involvement Graduation Requirements - Removal of Requirement for Paper-based Forms
Bill or Act:
Supporting Recovery and Competitiveness Act, 2021
Summary of Decision:
In an effort to reduce administrative burden on the school system during COVID-19, the ministry revised the policy to allow school boards the flexibility to develop their own processes for collecting, recording, and validating hours, including allowing electronic/digital processes and electronic signatures.
Since the community involvement graduation requirement was introduced in 1999, students have been required to fill out their information and obtain signatures on paper-based forms. This is out-of-date with the realities of today.
That is why the government is permanently removing the requirement for students to submit paper-based forms when reporting their community involvement hours and allowing for schools and boards to develop their own processes, including electronic processes for students to report completed hours.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
There are no anticipated administrative costs for school boards.
Summary of Proposal:
The community involvement graduation requirement is mandated by PPM 124a (for English-language schools) and PPM 124b (for French-language schools). Every student must complete community involvement activities as part of the requirements for an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). The required minimum number of hours is 40, but this was reduced to 20 hours for students graduating in the 2020-21 school year, because of COVID-19.
Included in the policy is the requirement for school boards to develop paper-based forms in which students list their planned and completed activities, for principals to receive these forms, and for students to complete a notification form and a notice of completion form with their signature, along with that of their parental and volunteer sponsor.
With this change (which has been in effect since October 2, 2020 due to the pandemic), school boards and schools are now allowed to develop their own electronic/digital processes for collecting, recording and validating community involvement hours, including allowing electronic signatures that validate students' hours.
Ministry of Education
Student Achievement Division
315 Front St. W, 14th Floor
Toronto ON M7A 0B8
April 15, 2021