strong>Jackman School Council Bylaws
Approved September 2010
The School Council exists to provide a forum through which parents and other members of the school community can contribute to improving student achievement and the student experience. The Jackman community strongly values academic achievement, holistic programming, environmental awareness, equity, diversity and community involvement.
The Education Act, Ontario Regulation 612/00, School Councils (“the Regulation”), sets out the mandate and roles and responsibilities for school councils. This Regulation has therefore been adopted in its entirety as the Constitution of Jackman School Council. The Bylaws of Jackman School Council are informed by the Regulation. Should there be omissions or material divergences herein from the Regulation, the Regulation shall supersede the Jackman Bylaws.
1. Structure of School Council
School Council includes:
Parents/guardians who are members of the school community and who are elected at general meetings of the school community. The number of parent/guardian positions on School Council may be up to 20, but may change based on school and community needs and desires.
Two teacher representatives, one English stream teacher, one French Immersion stream teacher, elected by the school teachers.
A non-teaching staff representative – other than the Principal, Vice-Principal or any other teacher, elected by non-teaching staff.
One or more community representatives may be elected or appointed by Council.
The parent/guardian positions are flexible and meant to reflect areas of focus for the Jackman community and Council.
Some parent/guardian positions will be committee chair roles; these may be shared by two individuals.
Council may establish committees as required.
Council Committees must include one parent member of council but may include parents/guardians, school staff or other community individuals that are not members of council.
2.0 Roles of Council Members
In addition to chairing Committees of the Council and any other duties specifically assigned, all School Council members have the following responsibilities:
Participate in meetings of School Council and activities of Council.
Act as a link between School Council and the school community.
Encourage others within the school community to participate in the activities of Council and work towards removing barriers to the participation of all members of the school community.
2.1 Parent/guardian members
Some parent/guardian representatives on Council will be the chair of a Council Committee.
Parent/guardian members represent all children and families of the community.
2.2 School staff positions
The Principal represents the Administration of the School. As a member and leader of the School Community, the Principal provides the guidance and support necessary to help the Council achieve its goals and be an effective voice for parents. In the event the Principal cannot attend a council meeting, he/she may designate this responsibility to the Vice-Principal.
The 2 teacher representatives represent the interests of all teachers in the School.
The other staff representative represents the interests of all non-teacher staff members at the school.
2.3 Community Representative
A Community Representative is someone who lives or works in the school’s geographic area, but who is not a parent/guardian of a student at the school or an employee of the school.
2.4 Responsibilities of Executive Council positions
Council may designate one co-chair to be the Chair and the other the Vice-chair.
The Co-chairs shall:
Call and chair Council meetings.
Chair meetings of the school community.
Prepare meeting agendas in consultation with the Principal and other Council members, and ensure that appropriate notice of meetings is given.
Meet regularly with the Principal on matters relating to the business of Council.
Ensure democratic procedures for decision making and conduct of the Council.
Encourage maximum involvement of the Council members.
Keeps minutes of meetings of the School Council and the school community or arranges for minutes to be kept, if unable to attend a meeting.
Maintains a complete set of minutes of meetings, Bylaws and any policies passed by the Council or school community. A set of these materials shall be available at the school for examination without charge by any person.
Communicates information from Council to the school community.
Ensures that agendas and minutes are posted in the school and on-line in an area accessible to the school community.
Prepares an annual report. The annual report will summarize the council’s activities.
Maintains the financial records of the Council.
Makes regular reports to Council and the school community regarding financial maters related to the business of the Council.
Chairs the Operating Budget Committee which may consist of Council members and members of the general parent community.
The signatures of any of the following are authorized to sign cheques from the School Council bank account(s): the Treasurer; the two Co-chairs; the Principal.
3.0 Council Meetings
The Principal shall, on behalf of the school council, give written notice of the dates, times and locations of the council meetings to every parent/guardian.
Council meetings shall be chaired by one of the co-chairs.
Each member of council except the Principal shall have a vote at council meetings.
Quorum for a council meeting is 50% plus one of voting council members. A meeting may proceed in the absence of quorum but no decisions may be made.
An agenda for the meeting shall be circulated prior to the meeting. Items for the agenda shall be sent to the co-chairs 5 days prior to the meeting.
All meetings of the Council shall be conducted in accordance with the most recently published Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised except as may be otherwise stipulated in these bylaws and Ontario Regulation 612/00.
Where feasible, council members will try to reach a consensus in decision making.
Motions are carried by council when there is quorum, and a majority of parent members of Council approves the motion.
All meetings of school council are open to the community.
Additional general meetings may take place through the school year as determined by Council.
4.0 Election Process
Elections take place within the first 30 days of each school year at the Annual General Meeting of the school community. This date shall be determined at the last council meeting in June.
Two weeks notice must be given prior to a general meeting. Notice may be given through the weekly school newsletter, electronically or in a School Council document. If the School Council fails to call a general meeting or give appropriate notice, the Principal shall call a meeting with appropriate notice. The notice for the Annual General Meeting will include parent-candidate nomination forms and information about the election date, positions and process.
Completed nomination forms or self-nomination forms may be delivered to the Principal in advance of the election. Individuals nominated in advance do not need to be present at the Annual General Meeting to stand for election.
Nominee bios may be distributed prior to the election.
The election is chaired by a member of the Jackman community who is not standing for election. He/she will count the votes and deliver the results.
Eligible voters at general meetings of the school community include: Parents/guardians of students who are registered and attending Jackman School, Jackman teachers and staff. However, only parents/guardians may vote for parent/guardian positions on council.
Nominations may be made from the floor at the Annual General Meeting. A person nominated from the floor must be present at the meeting in order to stand for election.
Nominees will be given an opportunity to briefly address the meeting.
Term of office is one year from the Annual General Meeting until the next year’s AGM. A Council member may not be elected to one position (i.e. specific chair) for more than two consecutive years. In the event that a position remains vacant after the election, the individual who has already held the position for 2 years may be nominated for an additional term. The position must first be posted as vacant after the general meeting to allow other individuals to be nominated. As with mid-term vacancies, School Council will elect an individual to the position.
Election of School Council members shall take place in the following order:
Education (one French, one English)
Members at Large (2)
If more than one person is running for Treasurer or Secretary, a secret ballot is used to conduct the election. If more than 2 individuals are running for all other positions, a secret ballot is used to conduct the election.
All committees may have one or two co-chairs.
An individual may be nominated for subsequent positions if they are not successfully elected for one position.
If a position is not contested, the position is won by acclamation.
Proxy voting is not accepted for elections.
5.0 Vacancies on Council
If a parent position on school council becomes vacant, council must immediately advertise the vacancy to the school community requesting that nominations be made for the position.
School Council may elect a parent/guardian to a council position and if uncontested may appoint a parent/guardian. A majority of School Council members is required to elect a new member.
6.0 Conflict of Interest
A conflict of interest may be actual, perceived, or potential.
Members of the council shall declare a conflict of interest in matters that they, members of their families, or business entities in which they may have an interest, stand to benefit either directly or indirectly by decisions of the council.
A member shall declare a conflict and exclude him- or herself from discussions in which:
-a conflict of interest is likely to result;
-the member’s ability to carry out his or her duties and responsibilities as a member of the school council may be jeopardized;
-the council member, his or her relatives, or a business entity in which the member may have an interest, may gain or benefit either directly, or indirectly, as a result of actions that may be taken by the principal or board in response to advice that the council provides to the principal or to the board.
A member shall not accept favours, or economic benefits, from any individuals, organizations, or entities known to be seeking business contracts with the school.
7.0 Conflict Resolution
Every school council member will be given an opportunity to express his or her concern or opinion about the issue at dispute and how the dispute has affected him or her.
Speakers to an issue will maintain a calm and respectful tone at all times.
Speakers will be allowed to speak without interruption.
The chair’s responsibility is to clarify the statements made by all speakers, to identify common ground among the points of view raised, and to set out the joint interests of all members.
If no common ground can be identified, the chair will seek to clarify preferences among all members before proceeding further.
If all attempts at resolving the conflict have been exhausted without success, the chair shall request the intervention of a superintendent or other senior administrator to facilitate a resolution to the conflict
Council members are elected to serve the school community and will demonstrate respect for their colleagues on council at all times.
If a council member, or members, becomes disruptive during a meeting, the chair shall ask for order.
If all efforts to restore order fail, or the unbecoming behaviour continues, the chair with the approval of council may direct the individual council member(s) to leave the meeting, citing the reasons for the request.
The removal of a member for one meeting does not prevent the council member from participating in future meetings of council.
The incident shall be recorded and submitted to the Superintendent of Schools within one week of the meeting.
When the chair has requested the removal of a member or members from a meeting, the chair shall request that the disputing members of council participate in a special meeting, the purpose of which will be to arrive at a mutually acceptable solution to the dispute. Such a meeting may be a private meeting, and shall not be construed as a meeting of the council.
The chair may request the intervention of an independent third party to assist in achieving a resolution to the dispute.
An independent third party may be a board official or another individual mutually agreed on by the parties involved in the dispute.
Any resolution reached at the meeting to resolve the conflict shall be signed and respected in full by all parties to the agreement.
8.0 Budget Planning and Finance
8.1 For submissions of requests from JSC Committees for funding:
If the committee requires items or services that will exceed the committee’s allocated budget, members must submit funding requests and proposals to the Co-Chairs no later than the Wednesday preceding a Council meeting.
Co-chairs may include such a request in the meeting agenda distributed to members in advance of the meeting.
8.2 For submissions of requests from JSC Committees for funding of any amounts in excess of their committee budget or from JSC members for funding of amounts not specified in the JSC budget:
For a motion to be given consideration by council, the motion shall be submitted electronically to either of the Co-Chairs no fewer than five business days in advance of a School Council meeting
The motion for consideration must include the name of the sponsoring council member(s) and may include any other declared support from other council members.
A motion that is tabled for discussion may be voted upon immediately after comments from Council, or the vote may be deferred to a subsequent meeting if the motion is to be further researched or emended.
In the case of an emended motion, the revised motion must be resubmitted per the guidelines above.
The Co-Chairs have the right to waive the time-notice required for a motion provided circumstances reasonably warrant. At this point, the motion will require a 2/3rds council majority approval.
8.3 Budget Planning
At the October meeting of the Jackman School Council, council will establish an Operating Budget Committee (OBC).
The chair of the Operating Budget Committee will be the Treasurer and must include the Principal and the Secretary. Membership is open to any member of council and the school community.
Through the school year, the OBC will document initiatives proposed by council committees and debated by council that will require budget funding for implementation in the following school year.
At the latest, the OBC will present a budget framework for debate by the larger school council no later than the April council meeting. Committees submit their budgets to the OBC prior to this meeting.
Budget allocations in the pro-forma budget will be informed by council proposals and request for funding – and by the results of the annual parent survey as well as the structure of the prior year’s budget.
The annual budget shall contain provisions for allocated items (based on needs, proposals, commitments and parent feed-back) and a further discretionary budget to be allocated, as Council decides, during the following school year.
In June, the OBC presents a budget to Council based on the year’s fund-raising totals.
During the final JSC meeting of the school year, the Budget is debated and approved by Council.
9.0 Code of Ethics
A member shall consider the best interests of all students.
A member shall be guided by the school’s and the school board’s mission statements.
A member shall act within the limits of the roles and responsibilities of a school council, as identified by the school’s operating guidelines, the school board, and the Ontario Ministry of Education.
A member shall become familiar with the school’s policies and operating practices and act in accordance with them.
A member shall maintain the highest standards of integrity.
A member shall recognize and respect the personal integrity of each member of the school community.
A member shall treat all other members with respect and allow for diverse opinions to be shared without interruption.
A member shall encourage a positive environment in which individual contributions are encouraged and valued.
A member shall acknowledge democratic principles and accept the consensus of the council.
A member shall respect the confidential nature of some school business and respect limitations this may place on the operation of the school council.
A member shall not disclose confidential information.
A member shall limit discussions at school council meetings to matters of concern to the school community as a whole.
A member shall use established communication channels when questions or concerns arise.
A member shall promote high standards of ethical practice within the school community.
A member shall declare any conflict of interest.
A member shall not accept any payment or benefit financially through school council involvement.
10.0 Amendments to these By-laws
Jackman School Council may add or change these bylaws through a motion submitted by a member and duly seconded at a Council meeting.
In order to add or change a bylaw, a motion must be approved by council during two consecutive school council meetings. The motion will detail the proposed rationale for the change, and require majority approval in both meetings.
The motion and any supporting documents will be posted in the school in an area accessible to the School Community and made available electronically no fewer than 4 business days before both school council meetings (barring no IT issues).
Motions may be amended at the 2nd meeting without requiring further approval at the subsequent meeting.
Bylaws 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 approved June 7 2010
Complete bylaws approved September 27, 2010
Proposed by-law amendment: Proposed JSC by-law amendments – Jan. 6-14<
Proposed by-law amendment: Jackman PC – Motions for by-law amendment – March 3, 2014 meeting – third revised draft.
February 2012 bylaw amendment: Jackman Parent Council ByLaw Amendment 6 Feb 2012