School Council By-laws

Approved September 2010 (last revision September 2019)

Mission statement:
The School Council exists to provide a forum through which parents and other members of the school community can contribute to student and staff well-being. The Jackman community strongly values high levels of educational achievement, holistic programming, environmental sustainability, equity, diversity, physical and mental well-being and community involvement.

Governance
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.

 

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 22, but may change based on school and community needs and desires.
The Principal.
A teacher representative, 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 teacher representative represents 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
Co-chairs
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.

Secretary
Keeps minutes of meetings of the School Council 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.

Treasurer
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.

Signing Authority
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. At the discretion of the co-chair and principal a decision can be made to restrict the number of people with signing authority.

3.0    Council and Committee Meetings
The Principal and communications co-chairs, shall, on behalf of the school council, give written notice of the dates, times and locations of Council and committee 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 by the secretary 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  voting members of Council present at the meeting approves the motion.

Where a particular expenditure motion has been approved during a Council year, the substantially same motion cannot be brought forward and voted on again in the same Council year.
All Council and committee meetings are open to the community.
Additional general meetings may take place through the school year as determined by Council.

Any voting member who is absent more than 3 consecutive meetings will be removed and their position will be posted as vacant.  This is to ensure quorum is achievable. This decision can be reversed by council through a vote, depending on the member’s rationale for being absent.

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 committee 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 of treasurer is exempt from this process. As an accountability measure, members who have held this position for two years cannot seek  a third 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.

The parent members of the School Council will be elected by secret ballot (if not acclaimed), with no proxy voting, beginning with one or two co-chairs [and] each of the following committees in the following order:

  1. Co-chairs
  2. Treasurer
  • Secretary
  1. Fundraising
  2. Outdoor Environment
  3. Volunteer / Social
  • Education (one French, one English)
  • Equity / Curriculum
  1. Strategic Planning
  2. Communication
  3. Members at Large
  • A nominee may stand for as many elections as he or she likes, until elected

If more than one person is running fora council position, 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 Code of Conduct

 

The Provincial Education Act supersedes Jackman’s Code of Conduct.

It can be found here as reference: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/extra/eng/ppm/128.pdf

The parent guide to the code of conduct can be found here: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/safeschools/parent-guide-code-conduct.pdf

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     The budget planning cycle is from October to September in order to give time for the new Council to be constituted at the start of the school year. The budget reflects plans from August to July in order to align to the school year and the Toronto District School Board fiscal cycle.

  • Prior to the October Council meeting, the Treasurer requests detailed revenue and expenditure plans from JSC Committees for their activities during the school year and no later than July. The Treasurer compiles responses and tabulates plans in a pro-forma budget. The Treasurer, either directly or through the Co-Chairs, distributes the complied plans and pro-forma budget to all Council members at the time of notice of the meeting and agenda are given.
  • At the October Council meeting, the budget planning discussion starts with the Treasurer providing an initial assessment of whether all the unapproved revenue and expenditure plans, considered together, represent a financially sound budget plan. The Co-Chair or Treasurer then moderates a line-by-line discussion. The Treasurer reflects the discussion on the pro-forma budget, and at the end of the line-by-line review provides a summary and an updated assessment. Council members may motion to approve the budget at this time. The process above is repeated until there is a successful motion and the budget plan is approved.
  • Throughout the school year, JSC Committees may have requests for funding of amounts in excess of their committee budget. The reallocation of funding between budget lines is approved without the requirement to hold a vote at a Council meeting if the following conditions are met:
    • The amount is in excess the approved budget is less than 20% or $500, whichever is less -and-
    • A funding source has been identified -and-
    • The chair of the JSC Committee overseeing the funding source agrees to offset the amount -and-
    • The Principal, Co-Chair and Treasurer unanimously approve

Note: The Treasurer must inform Council at the next Council meeting at latest. In all other cases, a vote in Council will be required to amend the budget.

  • If at any time during the school year the Treasurer determines that the approved budget is no longer financially sound (due to unforeseen circumstances, for example), then if the Principal, Co-Chair and Treasurer unanimously agree, any remaining JSC Committee expenditures may be suspended until a new budget plan is approved by Council.
  • At the June Council meeting, the Treasurer will provide an interim final report on the actual revenues and expenditures and a statement of financial position. The Treasurer will also open the membership of the Operating Budget Committee to any interested Council members.
  • The Operating Budget Committee will meet before the end of July. The Treasurer will provide a final report on actual revenues and expenditures and an updated statement of financial position. The Operating Budget Committee will consider approving any expenditures during the period between August and the budget plan approved by the following year Council, particularly any financial contributions that are required from Council at the start of the school year.

9.0 Code of Ethics

All members are expected to:
Consider the best interests of all student Be guided by the school’s and the school board’s mission statements.
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. Become familiar with the school’s policies and operating practices and act in accordance with them.
Maintain the highest standards of integrity.
Recognize and respect the personal integrity of each member of the school community.
Treat all other members with respect and allow for diverse opinions to be shared without interruption.
Encourage a positive environment in which individual contributions are encouraged and valued.
Acknowledge democratic principles and accept the consensus of the council.
Respect the confidential nature of some school business and respect limitations this may place on the operation of the school council.
Not disclose confidential information.
Limit discussions at school council meetings to matters of concern to the school community as a whole.
Use established communication channels when questions or concerns arise and promptly offer input or respond to council communications through these channels.”.
Promote high standards of ethical practice within the school community.
Declare any conflict of interest.
Refuse any payment or benefit financially or in-kind 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: Jackman PC – Motions for by-law amendment – March 3, 2014 meeting – third revised draft.  Motions 1 and 3 carried on April 7, 2014.

Proposed bylaws amendment:  Wednesday September 11th

Sent to all council members: Sunday, September 15th

Complete bylaws approved: