SC School Council Constitution

South Carleton High School - School Council     Constitution and By-Laws


MISSION STATEMENT

The SCHS School Council is made up of parents/guardians of students enrolled at South Carleton High School (SCHS) and members of the larger school community whose common goal is to make SCHS the best it can be for its students.

PURPOSE OF SCHOOL COUNCIL

The purpose of School Council is, through the active participation of parents, to improve pupil achievement and to enhance the accountability of the education system to parents. School Council’s primary means of achieving its purpose is by making recommendations to the principal of SCHS and the Board.

 The overall interests of SCHS and students are the School Council’s priority.  The objectives of council are:

  • To develop a strong relationship between home, SCHS, and the wider community served by the School, to enhance educational opportunities for all students;
  • To seek the views and opinions of the School’s community on the operations of the School and the programs and services provided;
  • To provide advice to the Principal of SCHS, hereinafter referred to as the Principal and, as appropriate, to the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board and its senior staff, on the development and implementation of policies, programs and services affecting the School;
  • To be an effective voice for promoting the interests of the School and students, and to actively support the School in meeting the educational, social and recreational needs of students.

The Council maintains a school-wide focus. Council meetings are not the appropriate forum for discussion of individual teachers, students or issues.

GOVERNING AUTHORITY

These by-laws should be read and interpreted with the purpose of facilitating and making the operations of School Council more transparent without derogating from School Council's rich history and the spirit of volunteerism.

These bylaws were created in accordance with and subject to existing regulations and policies .

SCHOOL COUNCIL BY-LAWS

 

ARTICLE I - INTERPRETATION


Any reference to the “school” or “SCHS” herein shall mean South Carleton High School. Any reference to “School Council” or “Council” herein shall mean the SCHS School Council;

The school community is defined as persons living within the attendance boundaries of SCHS, parents/guardians with children attending SCHS, SCHS staff, students and guests invited by the Council.

Any reference to “parents” or “guardians” herein shall mean parents or guardians of students enrolled at South Carleton High School.

A standing committee is defined as a committee duly constituted by the Council which has a continued existence and is not related to the accomplishment of a specific, once-only task as are ad hoc or special committees.

Any reference to the “Board” herein shall mean the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board.

Any reference to “OCASC” herein shall mean the Ottawa-Carleton Assembly of School Councils.

Any reference to “Ministry” herein shall mean the Ontario Ministry of Education.

In all by-laws and resolutions of the SCHS School Council:

  • the singular includes the plural and the plural the singular;
  • the masculine includes the feminine and the feminine includes the masculine; and
  • “parent” includes guardian and “guardian” includesparent.
  • “meeting” does not include a training session or other event where Council does not discuss or decide matters that it has authority to decide.

ARTICLE II - GENERAL

These by-laws supplement and are subject to the terms and requirements of the regulations made under the Education Act (Ontario), as amended from time to time and the policies and procedures of the Ottawa- Carleton District School Board. Where there is a discrepancy between these by-laws and the regulations or policies, the regulations and policies shall take precedence.

ARTICLE III - COMPOSITION

Council shall be composed of the following members:

  1. Ten parent members elected in accordance with ARTICLE IV – ELECTION OF PARENT MEMBERS. The outgoing Council may choose to fix a different number of parent member positions prior to elections, such number to be no less than five.
  2. The outgoing chair of Council shall be automatically given a seat on the next council in the role of “past chair” until replaced by a future outgoing chair or is otherwise ineligible to serve as a parent member.
  3. The principal of SCHS.
  4. One teaching staff representative who is a teacher employed at SCHS, other than the principal or vice-principal elected in accordance with ARTICLE V – OTHER ELECTIONS.
  5. Up to two student representatives currently enrolled at SCHS who are appointed by the principal of SCHS, if the principal determines, after consulting the other members of Council, that Council should include a pupil.
  6. One community representative appointed by the other members of Council.

At a minimum, Council must consist of no less than nine members, with parent members outnumbering other members by at least one.

If the Council does not have a full complement of members, it may still function as an interim Council for the current school year, as long as parent positions form the majority.

A person who is employed by the Board cannot be appointed as a community representative on Council unless, he or she is not employed at SCHS; and the other members of Council are informed of the person’s employment before the appointment.

A member of the OCDSB Board of Trustees cannot be a member of Council.

ARTICLE IV – ELECTION OF PARENT MEMBERS

A person is qualified to be a parent member of Council if he or she is a parent of a pupil who is enrolled at SCHS, except where he or she is employed at SCHS or is employed elsewhere by the Board, unless he or she takes reasonable steps to inform people qualified to vote in the election of parent members of that employment.

A person is qualified to vote in the election of parent members of Council if he or she is a parent of a student who is enrolled at SCHS. Each parent of a student enrolled at SCHS shall be entitled to one vote for each vacant parent member position on the Council.

The election of parent members of Council shall be held during the first 30 days of each school year, on a date that is fixed by the chair of Council after consulting with the principal.

Each parent seeking election must be nominated or self-nominated in writing, must have a child registered at SCHS, and must declare if he or she is employed by the Board.

All individuals standing for election shall be notified of the results before the results are released. The Council shall help the principal ensure that the names of new members are publicized within thirty days of the election. Only the names of the successful candidates shall be made public.

An elections schedule will be followed for the elections of parent members to Council. For more information, see APPENDIX B: COMMITTEES.

ARTICLE V - OTHER ELECTIONS

The election of members of Council referred to in Items 4 of ARTICLE III – COMPOSITION, shall be held during the first 30 days of each school year.

A person is qualified to vote in an election of a member of Council referred to in Item 4 of Article III – COMPOSITION if he or she is a teacher, other than the principal or vice-principal, who is employed at SCHS.

ARTICLE VI - TERM OF OFFICE

A person elected or appointed as a member of a Council holds office from the later of, the date he or she is elected or appointed; and the date of the first meeting of the Council after elections are held, until the date of the first meeting of the Council after the elections held in the next school year.

ARTICLE VII - OFFICERS

Council shall have a chair, vice-chair, past chair, treasurer (if applicable), secretary, OCASC representative and members at large.

The officers of Council must be parent members of the Council and shall be elected by the members of the Council at the first meeting of the newly elected Council.

A person who is employed by the board cannot be the chair of Council.

The officers shall fulfill their duties in accordance with, but not limited to, the respective job descriptions found in APPENDIX A: SCHS COUNCIL POSITIONS.

ARTICLE VIII - VACANCIES

A vacancy in a parent member position of Council, or a community representative position of Council, shall be filled by appointment by the parent members of Council. A vacancy in any other position of Council shall be filled by appointment by the principal in consultation with Council.

Vacancies in any of the officer positions of Council shall be filled by appointment by the parent members of Council.

A vacancy in the membership of Council does not prevent Council from exercising its authority.

ARTICLE IX - MEETINGS

The first meeting of the Council shall be held within 35 days following the elections, and subsequent meetings shall be held from October through June on the first Tuesday of the month at 19:00 hours. Location, date and time subject to change by resolution of the Council and shall be set for the year. The times and dates of school council meetings must be published and made available to all parents/guardians. A minimum of 4 meetings must be held per year. 

To form a quorum, a majority of the current members of the council are present at the meeting, and a majority of the members of the council who are present at the meeting are parent members.

All meetings of Council shall be open to the public and held at a location that is accessible to the public. The principal shall, on behalf of Council, give written notice of the dates, times and locations of the meetings of Council to every parent of a pupil who, on the date the notice is given, is enrolled at SCHS.

The secretary will take accurate minutes of all Council meetings, including the attendance and the recording of any motions introduced and motions passed by Council. Minutes shall be available on the Council website and at the SCHS office for examination without charge for no less than six years. The secretary will also attempt to distribute the minutes to all the people present at each meeting.

Parents are encouraged to attend Council Meetings.

ARTICLE X - IN CAMERA

The chair can choose to hold an “in-camera” session on an issue that requires privacy. This portion of the meeting would be restricted to those asked to participate by the chair.

In-camera discussions items will not be listed on the agenda but noted as “In- Camera Discussion”. The chair will decide if a portion of the discussion should be recorded in the official minutes.

No resolution can be passed during an in-camera discussion. Any information pertaining to this discussion should be circulated in camera and collected at the end of the discussion.

All in- camera meeting participants are required to keep in confidence matters discussed in- camera until the item is discussed at a regular Council meeting.

ARTICLE XI – COMMITTEES

Council may establish standing, ad hoc or other special committees to make recommendations to and manage activities for Council. A committee may include persons who are not members of the Council; however, every committee of Council must include at least one parent member of the Council.

Council shall appoint the chair of any committee and approve the terms of reference for each committee. The Council treasurer (if applicable) will act as treasurer for all committees or sub-committees, as needed.

All committee meetings shall be open to the public and held at a location that is accessible to the public.

The principal shall, on behalf of Council, give written notice of the dates, times and locations of the meetings of Council to every parent of a pupil who, on the date the notice is given, is enrolled at SCHS.

Parents are encouraged to participate on committees.

ARTICLE XII – VOTING

The preferable decision-making model for the Council is consensus. However, it is recognized that voting

may be required from time to time. Except for the principal, who is not entitled to vote, each member of Council is entitled to one vote in votes taken by Council.

Council shall consult with parents of pupils enrolled at SCHS about matters under consideration by Council. Before voting on any resolution, the chair shall, wherever practicable, allow all parents attending a Council meeting to express their opinions.

Resolutions of Council shall be passed by a simple majority of the votes cast by voting members of Council.

 

Should the need arise for an immediate decision before the next council meeting, a vote may be completed by email as long as the following conditions are met:

  1. Quorum is met in the same manner as outlined above in ARTICLE IX in the number of members voting by email rather than being present
  2. A majority of ‘Yes’ votes is required from the voting members as outlined in a) above
  3. A record of the email votes must be retained with the Financial Records and Minutes

These by-laws may be amended by a vote of not less than two-thirds of the full voting membership of Council in favor of such amendment.

The removal of a Council member from Council, shall be approved by a vote of not less than three-fourths of the full voting membership of Council in favor of such removal. The removal of a Council member shall only be sought in extreme situations, and where a resignation cannot be obtained.

ARTICLE XIII - CONFLICT OF INTEREST

Each Council member shall avoid situations that could result in an inconsistency between the overall goals and vision of the Council and a personal or vested interest, that arise in connection with his or her duties as a Council member.

A conflict of interest may be actual, perceived or potential. Should an issue or agenda item arise during a Council meeting where a Council member is in a conflict of interest, directly or indirectly, that member shall declare his or her interest immediately and the Council will vote if he or she can continue to participate in the discussion and resolution of the issue or item.

ARTICLE XIV - CONFLICT RESOLUTION

Every Council member will be given an opportunity to express his or her opinion about the issue at dispute. Speakers to an issue will maintain a calm and respectful tone always. Speakers will be allowed to speak without interruption.

It is the chair’s responsibility to clarify the statements made by all speakers, to identify common ground among the points of view raised, including making rulings on conflict of interest issues and to set out the joint interests of all members.

If no common ground can be identified and all attempts at resolving the conflict have been exhausted without success within a reasonable period, the chair shall, as soon as practicable, 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.

Council shall not tolerate harassment, including that which is sexual, by a member or office in circumstances that is likely to cause offence or humiliation to a member including incidents that occur beyond the meetings, on social media, email or any of the Council events.  The Council has an obligation under the Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC) to investigate incidents and complaints of alleged harassment and/or discrimination within the Council that are contrary to law.

This applies to all members of the school council, including but not limited to trustees, student members, employees, parents, including Parent Involvement Committee members, visitors, volunteers, contractors supporting social events and employees of service organizations who work on or are invited onto SCHS property.

Council chair shall ensure that allegations of harassment and sexual harassment are dealt with promptly.  Alleged incidents of harassment will be investigated in a fair, consistent, thorough, and confidential manner by an investigation team constituted by election in a council meeting.

ARTICLE XV - FINANCIAL PROCEDURES

Council shall keep records of all its financial transactions for no less than seven years, such records to be available at the SCHS office for examination without charge by any person.

A person shall not receive any remuneration for serving as a member or officer of Council.

Members of Council shall be reimbursed for approved and budgeted expenses they incur as members of Council.

The fiscal year end is August 31.

ARTICLE XVI – BUDGET

The second meeting of the Council will include a budget component to make recommendations on allocating Council generated funds into appropriate spending line-items including operating expenses of Council and its committees. A budget is to be voted on and approved by Council and a year-end reconciliation will be included in the Annual Report.

Prior to the meeting, Council will provide effective communication to ensure that maximum parent participation is achieved. Interim budget discussions may take place as required to make recommendations to allocate additional revenue or modify spending. Any changes will be discussed and voted on at subsequent Council meetings.

ARTICLE XVII – FUNDRAISING

All fundraising activities and expenditures must be conducted in accordance with Board policies and all funds raised by the Council will be used in accordance with Board Policy.

Council may choose to contribute to other schools, charities, or to other causes.

ARTICLE XVIII – AMENDMENTS

The Constitution may be amended by approval of a motion by two-third majority of members of the Council present at a meeting, provided that all members have been given sufficient notification of the proposed amendment.


These by-laws were approved at school council meeting on June 1, 2021.


APPENDIX A: SCHS COUNCIL POSITIONS

Chair

The chair of Council performs the following:

  • arranges for meetings
  • acts as chair at Council meetings
  • ensures the minutes of Council meetings are recorded and maintained
  • ensures communication between Council and the school community
  • facilitates the resolution of conflict and participates as an ex-officio member of all committees established by the Council
  • acts on behalf of all parents of students at SCHS, by liaising with the principal, staff and Board representatives to work with them to enhance the quality of life for all students.

Vice Chair

The  vice-chair:

  • works closely with the chair to assist in the day-to-day operation of the Council
  • stands in for the chair as to chair meetings or to undertake other duties of the Council on the chair’s behalf

Past Chair

The past chair will remain an officer of Council until replaced by a new past chair. The past chair:

  • acts as a resource to the current chair, to maintain continuity and assist in planning the budget and implementing programs
  • stands in for the chair, vice-chair or secretary to assist in the smooth operation of Council meetings and programs

The past chair automatically has a seat on Council and does not stand for election.

Treasurer

The treasurer is:

  • responsible for developing and implementing the budget, subject to approval byCouncil and overseen by the chair
  • ensures all monies collected and expenditures paid are completed according to Board policy and procedure
  • provides a report on the Council’s account activities at each meeting
  • submits a budget for approval by Council each year
  • provides a financial report of all Council revenues and expenditures at the end of each school year

Secretary

The secretary of the Council is

  • responsible for the administrative activities of Council ensuring that adequate notice of meetings is provided and documentation is circulated to all members within prescribed time lines
  • prepares meeting agendas
  • takes, distributes and maintains accurate minutes of all Council meetings, including the recording of any motions introduced or resolutions passed by Council
  • required to attend all Council meetings, or appoint another Council member as a designate to undertake secretarial responsibilities

OCASC Representative

Council sends one representative to the Ottawa-Carleton Assembly of School Councils. The OCASC Representative is

  • responsible for representing the views of SCHS’ Council to the larger body of school councils, and pursuant to their meetings, reporting back to, or seeking input from, Council regarding the activities of OCASC
  • is required to attend approximately ten OCASC meetings a year or appoint other Councilmembers as designates.

Members at Large

Parents wanting to become Council officers but not wanting to hold an office may do so by becoming elected as Members at Large. These Members at Large are responsible for:

  • attending Council meetings
  • participating in information and training programs
  • acting as a link between the School Council and the community
  • encouraging the participation of the parents from all groups and of other people within the School community.

 

Principal

This is a non-voting position.  For additional information, see the Principal Profile developed by Council and on file with the Board.

  • Supports and promotes the Council's activities and operations
  • Seeks input from the Council in areas for which it has been assigned advisory responsibility
  • Acts as a resource on laws, regulations, board policies, and collective agreements
  • Obtains and provides information required by the Council to enable it to make informed decisions
  • Communicates with the chair of the Council, as required
  • Ensures that copies of the minutes of the Council's meetings are kept at the School
  • Assists the Council in communicating with the School community
  • Encourages the participation of parents from all groups and of other people within the School community, in the life of the School and the activities of the School Council
  • Notice of all school council meetings is the responsibility of the Principal
  • A copy of the council’s annual report must go to every parent, through delivery by child or by posting
  • Must distribute to each member of school council any materials received by the principal by the ministry which are identified for such distribution
  • Must post any such materials in the school in a location accessible to parents
  • Must provide for a meeting of the council not later than 5 days following election of parent members in the fall
  • Must attend every meeting of the school council unless ill or for reason beyond his/her control (though may designate the VP)
  • Shall solicit the views of the council regarding a range of matters, e.g. local code of conduct, dress code etc. and develop with the council implementation plans for such matters
  • Shall provide to the council the school action plans for improvement, and communicate these plans to the public.

Teaching Staff Representative

The teaching staff representative is an essential link between Council and teaching staff. This member of the Council must not be a parent.

Community Representative

The Community Representative represent the interests of SCHS to the community and likewise, the interests of the community to SCHS. Community Representative(s) of Council must not be a parent.

 

APPENDIX B: ELECTIONS SCHEDULE

An elections schedule will be followed for the elections of parent members to Council.

 

For any positions for which the exact number of candidates required, or fewer, are nominated, the election will be declared to be by acclamation. In the case of a tie vote, the tied candidates will draw lots to determine the election.  The principal shall resolve any appeals related to the election process or results as soon as practicable following the election.

 

ELECTIONS SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

  • May to mid-June: A plan is put in place to deal with how the Council election will occur. By the last Council meeting of the school year, the date, time, and location of the election are determined, as well as how the election will be advertised in the fall. The necessary information must be provided to the principal well in advance of the election.
  • Late August to Early September: In the welcome-to-school or separate communication, the principal includes parent-candidate nomination forms and information about the date by which nominations must be received, who is eligible to stand for election, the date of the election, and other information about the election. The communication must be delivered to parents’ at least fourteen days prior to the election.
  • Early September: At least fourteen days prior to the elections, the principal posts Council election information in an area of SCHS that is easily accessible to parents. Parents return nomination forms.
  • Early to mid-September: A list of parent nominees with brief biographies is sent home or mailed out, with a reminder of the election date and information on the election process.
  • Mid- to late September: The ballot box is prepared for the election of parent representatives, and arrangements are made for volunteers to help voters at the voting areas. The election of the teacher, non- teacher, and student representatives may take place at the same time or shortly after the election of parent representatives.
  • Late September to early October: The first meeting of the new Council takes place, and meeting dates, times, and locations for the upcoming year are determined. The first meeting of the new Council must take place within thirty-five days of the start of school.

The names of the new Council members are publicized within thirty days of the election, as are the dates, times, and locations of future meetings.

 

APPENDIX C: SCHS SCHOOL COUNCIL PARENT MEMBER NOMINATION FORM

 

Nominator’s Information

 

Name:                                                                                                                                                                                              

 

Address:                                                                                                                                                                                          

 

 


Home Phone:                                                 


Cell Phone:                                              


Email:                                             


 

I am the parent/guardian of                                                                                                                                          , who is

Name of Student

currently registered at South Carleton High School.

 

Nominee’s Information

  • I wish to nominate myself as a candidate for parent member of the SCHS School Council.

  • I wish to nominate                                                                                  , who is the parent/guardian of

Name of Nominee

                                                                                   who is currently registered at South Carleton High School,

Name of Student

as a candidate for parent member of the  SCHS school council.

 

Name:                                                                                                                                                                                              

 

Address:                                                                                                                                                                                          

 

 

 


Home Phone:                                              


Cell Phone:                                              


Email: _                                               


 

The person I have nominated is an employee of the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board:

    Yes     No

Signature

 

 


   Nominator’s Signature                                                                                                         Date

 

Include a brief biography of the candidate on the back, or on a separate sheet attached to this form.

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2021 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.