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SC School Council Constitution

ARTICLE I – NAME

1. The organization shall be called South Carleton High School Council, hereinafter referred to as the Council.



ARTICLE II – PURPOSE

1. The purpose of Council is, through the active participation of parents, to improve pupil achievement and to enhance the accountability of the education system to parents. The Council's primary means of achieving its purpose is by making recommendations to the Principal of the school and to the Board.


2. The objectives of the Council are:

  • To develop a strong relationship between home, South Carleton High School, hereinafter referred to as the School, 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 South Carleton High School, 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.

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



ARTICLE III – AFFILIATIONS

1. The Council may seek affiliation with other organizations that have similar purposes.

2. Affiliations with other organizations, including the Ottawa-Carleton Assembly of School Councils, or any subsequent changes in such affiliation, shall require a two-third majority of votes cast by the elected or appointed members present and voting at a meeting for which proper notice has been given to the membership.

3. The elected representative to another organization must be a member of the Council.


ARTICLE IV – MEMBERS

1. The Council shall consist of the following members;

  • The Principal of South Carleton High School,

  • Two student representatives,

  • One teacher representative,

  • One support staff representative,

  • One community representative, and

  • A minimum of seven parents.

If ten parents are elected or appointed to the Council, then the student and teacher representation can be increased by one additional member each, if so decided by their representative group.

In its inaugural year, the Council will operate even though it may not meet the composition requirements specified above.

Parents/guardians shall form the majority of members on Council.

A Board employee cannot be a parent member of Council if he/she works at SCHS, but may serve as a parent member if his/her child attends SCHS, provided he/she declares employment status prior to election.

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.

2. Every year following the first year there will be at least one parent but not more than four parent positions that will be elected for a two-year term.

If a Council member must resign before their term is up, the Council may appoint an individual to complete the term.

3. Eligibility for Election

  • A parent member is one who is a parent or guardian of a child enrolled in the school

  • A Chair or Co-Chair of a school council must be a parent member of the council.

  • A board employee who works at the school his or her child attends is not eligible to serve as a parent member on the council. A board employee who works at the school his or her child attends may, however, be elected as either the teaching or non-teaching staff representative.

  • Board employees who do not work at the school their children attend may be elected as parent members as long as they notify the other parents that they are employed by the school board prior to their election.

  • An employee of the board that established a school council cannot serve as the Chair or Co-Chair of the council.

  • School board trustees are not eligible to be members of councils of schools within their boards.


ARTICLE V – OFFICERS

1. The Officers shall be either a Chair and Vice-Chair or two co-Chairs, and Secretary. The duties of the Officers, and the duties of the Principal in relation to the Council, and the members of the Council at large, are set forth in Appendix A to this Constitution.

2. The Chair of the Council must be a member elected by the parents or guardians. A Board employee may not be Chair or co-Chair of Council. All other Officer positions may be held by any duly elected or appointed member of the Council. The election and/or appointment of Officers shall take place at the first meeting of the Council following the elections to Council, and members shall remain in office until the date of the first School Council meeting after elections in the next school year.

3. No member shall be eligible to serve more than two consecutive school years in the same office.


ARTICLE VI – ELECTIONS

1. Nomination forms shall be sent home with a notice of the upcoming AGM and will also be available at the AGM and will be accepted until the beginning of the AGM. 2. Notice shall be given at least 14 days before the date of the AGM to every parent of a pupil who is enrolled at the school, by sending notices home and/or by posting at the school. 3. The AGM is held during the first 30 days of each school year, on a date fixed by the Chair or Co-Chair, in consultation with the principal. 4. At the AGM, election of parent members shall proceed as follows:

  • Nomination forms will be accepted until the beginning of the AGM. A person may nominate him/herself. All nominations must be seconded.

  • All nominees must declare if they are employees of the Board. A board employee may not be a parent member of a Council at the school where he/she works.

  • If a person is not present, his/her written nomination must be delivered to the Chair of the election meeting by the start of the meeting.

  • The Chair compiles a written list of parent candidates, consisting of all seconded nominations.

  • If an election is not necessary, the Chair announces the acclamation of parent members.

  • If an election is necessary, it is conducted by secret ballot.

  • The parent candidate list is circulated to all voting parents, who indicate with an X the people they are voting onto council.

  • The Chair and the principal are responsible for counting the votes.

  • Only the number of votes cast and the successful candidates are announced.

5. The principal shall ensure that elections of teaching, non-teaching staff and student representatives are carried out each fall by the constituent groups. The principal also gives notice of the elections to the various electoral groups at least two weeks in advance of the election. 6. Election of officers shall proceed as follows:

  • From the elected members of council, the Chair will take nominations for each officer position. Only parent members are eligible to take on the Chair or Co-Chair position. All other positions are available to any elected member of Council.

  • All nominations must be seconded. All persons nominated must indicate their acceptance.

  • Voting is by secret ballot or by show of hands.

  • Voting is open to all members of Council. Voting by proxy is not allowed.

  • For any positions for which only one nomination is received and accepted, the election will be declared to be by acclamation.

  • In the case of a tie vote, names of the tied candidates will be placed in an empty ballot box and the successful candidate will be drawn.


ARTICLE VII – MEETINGS

1. There shall be one Annual General Meeting open to all members of the School’s community, to be held in conjunction with the elections for those positions on the Council held by parents/guardians. This meeting must be held within the first 30 days of the start of the school year.

2. Regular meetings of the Council shall be held at the School (at least four times in each school year). The first meeting shall be within the first 35 days of the school year, after the elections. Notice of Council meetings will be posted on the School's notice boards, and be circulated to parents/guardians in the School's newsletter. In addition, an attempt shall be made to communicate advance notice of meetings and information of School Council activities to the community at large.

3. Special meetings of the Council may be held at the call of the Chair, or at the request of one half of the members given to the Secretary. All Council meetings shall be open to the public.

4. A quorum is established when majority of the current members of the council are present at the meeting and a majority of the present members are parent members. One school representative must also be present.

5. All members of the Council have equal privileges and voting rights, including the Chair, who may vote with other members, with the exception of the Principal who is a non-voting member.

6. Meetings of the Council shall be open to all members of the School's community, and no such member may be excluded from the meeting except for disruptive behavior. Voting privileges will be restricted to members of the Council.

7. If a member misses more than three consecutive meetings without explanation, that individual will be informed in writing that their membership will be discontinued. Reinstatement must be requested by the member and approval obtained from a majority of votes cast by the members present at a meeting which includes an agenda item for reinstatement of a member.

8. In the case of an emergency, the officers of the Council may take action only after contact has been made with all members when reasonable and feasible to do so and concurrence by a majority of the members has been received.

9. Minutes of all meetings and sub-committee meetings shall be kept at the school and made available to the public for a period of four years.

10. Should a regularly scheduled council meeting be cancelled, a minimum of 24 hours noticed should be given.

ARTICLE VIII – COMMITTEES

1. The Council may establish permanent standing committees, ad hoc or other special purpose committees, as deemed necessary from time to time, and appoint the members thereto. Membership on such committees shall not be restricted to members of the Council, except that the Chair of any committee shall be a member of the Council, appointed by the Council.


ARTICLE IX– PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY

1. The rules contained in Robert's Rules of Order shall govern the conduct of meetings of the Council in all cases where they are applicable, and are not inconsistent with any bylaws or special rules the Council may adopt from time to time.


ARTICLE X – CONFLICT OF INTEREST

1. In situations where there may be a conflict of interest, the member who is in conflict shall declare his/her position and abstain from participating and voting on the issue.


ARTICLE XI – CONFLICT RESOLUTION

1. Ground rules will be established for behaviour and parameters will be established for the discussion.

2. Every school council member will be given an opportunity to express his or her concerns or opinion about an issue, and how the issue has affected him or her, within the ground rules.

3. Speakers will maintain a calm and respectful tone at all times.

4. Speakers will be allowed to speak without interruption.

5. 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.

6. The Chair is responsible for taking firm and consistent action to maintain or restore order. This can include directing an individual to leave the meeting.

7. If no common ground can be identified, the Chair will seek to clarify preferences among all members before proceeding further.

8. The Chair may request the intervention of an independent third party to assist in achieving a resolution to a dispute.


ARTICLE XII – AMENDMENTS

1. 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.

Approved by the Council at a meeting held on:


RECORD OF AMENDMENTS
FEBRUARY 2002

 Article/Paragraph Change Reason
II, 1


II, 3
Added definition of purpose of Council

Added focus of Council
Text taken from Ministry regulations

Text taken from Board policy
 IV, 1 Added paragraphs re: majority requirements, stipulations for Board employees, function of Council in special circumstances
 From Ministry regulations
 V, 2 Added stipulations for Board employees and terms of office
 From Ministry regulations
 VI New article on election procedures
 From Ministry regulations and Board policy; text from a variety of other Councils
VII (renumbered), 1


VII, 2


VII, 3


VII, 4



VII, 5


VII, 9
New requirement for scheduling of AGM

New requirement for scheduling of first Council meeting

Added statement about Council meetings being open to public.

Added new requirements for quorum, also suggestion that one school rep be required for quorum

Added new restriction for Principal


New paragraph re: keeping of Council minutes and records
From Ministry regulations


From Ministry regulations

From Ministry regulations and Board policy


From Ministry regulations

From Ministry regulations


From Ministry regulations
 VIII (renumbered)

New number for article

 Reorganization of Articles

IX (renumbered)

New number for article

Reorganization of Articles

 X (new) Added conflict of interest article
Required in all Council constitutions by Ministry
XI (new) Added Conflict resolution article
Required in all Council constitutions by Ministry; text from School Councils: A Guide for Members
XII (renumbered)

 New number for article

Reorganization of Articles

 Appendix A

New duties for Principal

From Ministry regulations

OCTOBER 2002

Article/Paragraph Change Reason
 V, 1 Allow for either a Chair and vice-Chair or two co-Chairs
 Co-Chairs have been elected.
 Appendix A, 1 a  Allow for division of Chair responsibilities when co- Chairs have been elected  

 

APRIL 2007

Article/Paragraph Change Reason
 VII 10. Should a regularly scheduled council meeting
be cancelled, a minimum of 24 hours notice should be given.
 Council recommendation.
V 3. Eligibility for Election
•A parent member is one who is a parent or guardian of a child enrolled in the school
•A Chair or Co-Chair of a school council must be a parent member of the council.
•A board employee who works at the school his or her child attends is not eligible to serve as a parent member on the council. A board employee who works at the school his or her child attends may, however, be elected as either the teaching or non-teaching staff representative.
•Board employees who do not work at the school their children attend may be elected as parent members as long as they notify the other parents that they are employed by the school board prior to their election.
•An employee of the board that established a school council cannot serve as the Chair or Co-Chair of the council.
•School board trustees are not eligible to be members of councils of schools within their boards.
 Text from Ministry

Appendix A

DUTIES OF OFFICERS and MEMBERS

1. The following roles and responsibilities will be upheld:

a) The Chair or co-Chairs:

In the event of co-Chairs being elected, the officers shall agree on the division of the responsibilities

  • Calls School Council meeting;

  • Prepares the agenda for School Council meetings;

  • Chairs School Council meetings;

  • Ensures that the minutes of School Council meetings are recorded and maintained;

  • Participates in information and training programs;

  • Communicates with the Principal;

  • Ensures that there is regular communication with the School community;

  • Consults with senior board staff and trustees, as required;

  • Prepares the annual report of the School Council to the Director of Education.

b) Vice-Chair:

  • Presides at meetings of the Council in the absence of the Chair;

  • Assists the Chair in any of his/her other roles and responsibilities as may be delegated from time-to-time.

c) Secretary:

  • Ensures that adequate notice of meetings, the agenda, and previous minutes are circulated to all members within prescribed time lines;

  • Maintains a full and accurate account of all Council meetings, and ensures that the minutes are signed by the Chair following their adoption by the Council;

  • Prepares correspondence as required;

  • Ensures the safe-keeping of Council records;

  • Provides for inspection of the minute book and records of the Council to any member of Council or members of the School's community, on request.

d) Council Members:

  • Participate in Council meetings;

  • Participate in information and training programs;

  • Act as a link between the School Council and the community;

  • Encourage the participation of the parents from all groups and of other people within the School community.

e) The Principal:

  • 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.

  • See revised regulation 298 for details of the role of principals in School councils.
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