School Council Information

School Council Constitution

J.M. Denyes Public School - School Council Constitution

Effective: This constitution is effective June 2, 2014 Amended November 2, 2016

The School Council is a group made up of parents and guardians of students of the school; the school Principal; teachers(s); non-teaching staff and members of the community.

Name of Organization The J.M. Denyes School Council (Herein after referred to as "The Council")

Mandate of the Council School Councils are able to make reports and recommendations on any matter to the Principal or to the Board. The council may work on the following:

• Enhancing Communications

• Sponsoring programs not otherwise available

• Supporting and facilitating the implementation of the school growth plan

• Providing advice to the principal on program issues, operational issues, and school budget priorities

• Promoting and creating an atmosphere of mutual trust, openness and collaboration both within itself and the Denyes Community

• Contribute to, and support the school newsletter, and other modes of school community communication

• Partnerships in and out of the school community

• Supporting a learning environment which enhances the achievement of our students

• Providing an opportunity for an equal representation of all constituents within the Denyes community

• Embracing the "family" spirit of J.M. Denyes

• Working together as a team

Membership All parents and guardians of students, the Principal, teachers, non-teaching staff and members of the community are welcome to participate in the Council. The meetings are public and the meeting dates are published in advance.

The voting members of the school council shall consist of parents or guardians, up to 10% of the school population. (Example 200 students = 20 voting members). Of these there will be a Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. An odd number of parent members will always be necessary. Additional voting members include one teaching representative, one non-teaching representative, and a community member with voting privileges that is appointed by the council. The Principal is a non-voting member of the council.

Parents may run for an executive position (Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer) or as a parent member.

Nomination and Election Procedures

• The Principal will provide written notice of the date, time and location of the election at least 14 days prior to the election date.

• Elections for parent members will take place at the first meeting of the new school year (September).

• Elections for EXECUTIVE members (Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer) will take place at the first meeting of the school year. They are voted in by the parent members elected in September.

• The first meeting of the new Council must occur within 30 days of the first day of school.

• There is no restriction on the number of times a member can be re-elected or reappointed.

Terms of Office Each term of office is for a one year term from October 1st to Sept 30th of the following year. Membership on Council will terminate if any of the following conditions apply:

• The parent member no longer has a child enrolled at the school

• A staff member is no longer employed at Denyes

• The member has missed 3 meetings without properly notifying the chair, with just cause

• The member submits a letter of resignation

• The member is in violation of the norms of behaviour

Vacancies that occur during the school year may be filled by appointment or election at the discretion of the Council.

Roles and Responsibilities of Council Members Executive Members Chair

• Arrange for meetings

• Prepare meeting agenda in consultation with the Principal

• Chair council meetings (or designates a chair)

• Ensure minutes of Council meetings are recorded and kept (electronically and hard copy) for 4 years and posted to the school website once they have been approved.

• Report regularly on the status of the Council recommendations

• Communicate regularly with school Principal, Council members, school community

• Act as Council spokesperson

• Facilitate the resolution of conflict

• Must be a parent or guardian

Vice-Chair

• Work closely with the Chair

• Fill in for Chair as necessary

• Take on tasks assigned by Chair

• Take minutes in absence of Secretary

Secretary

• Prepare accurate minutes in a timely manner and submits to chair for distribution/publication

• Maintain minute book and constitution and bring both to every meeting.

Treasurer

• Consult with school secretary to reconcile school funds

• Maintain a record of "commitments", and accurately reflect a working balance

• Present financial statement at meetings

Parent Member and Executive Members

• Attend meetings

• Share experience and diversity with council and help create a culture of sharing, communicating and dealing with issues and challenges

• Welcome to participate on any committees established by the School Council

• Contribute to the discussions of the Council

• Maintain a school-wide perspective on School Council issues and seek to achieve consensus

• Solicit views of other parents and members of the community to share with Council.

Principal

• Attend meetings

• Support mandate of School Council as defined in the constitution

• Assist in development of meeting agendas

• Provide updates on school activities and events

• Seek input from Council in areas for which it has been assigned responsibilities

• Assist the Council in communicating with the School Community

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

• Bring funding requests for educational materials and activity related equipment/materials before Council

Teaching Staff Representative

• Attend meetings

• Represent the views of the teachers in Council planning and discussions

• Bring information regarding classroom and school program to Council discussions

• Report to staff on Council initiatives, decisions and concerns

• Provide input to Council decisions which represent student needs

• Communicate school needs from the viewpoint of the teachers and students of the Council

Sub-Committees

Sub-Committees will be established each year, as necessary, to facilitate the operation of advisory and fundraising activities. The chair and vice-chair will divide up these committees and participate as ex-officio member of all school Council committees. Please see detailed committee responsibilities available in the Council Binder. These committees may include, but are not limited to:

• Snack or Lunch Programs

• Community Festival

• Dance-A-Thon

• Fundraising

• Communications

• Book Fair

• Welcoming Committee

Disbursement of Funds

At the beginning of each school year, Council should consider standing, pre-approved funding requests, such as:

• Angel Fund to provide assistance to students as needed to be used at the discretion of the Principal ($300/year)

• Teacher allowance to spend to enhance learning and/or the classroom experience

• Field trips, which can include offsite visits and/or visits to the classroom by offsite instructors that offer a unique opportunity for learning by students

• $150 start up fund for each special event. Any money above that will need to be approved at a council meeting.

The above disbursement of funds are to be used by the end of the school year or are retained by School Council.

Funds raised will be spent in the year they are raised unless a plan is carried forward for a designated project or allocated for start up disbursement funds.

Meetings and Agenda Items Council meetings will be scheduled a minimum of 8 times a year, with dates, times and locations to be determined by the chair in consultation with the Principal. Meetings may be added or cancelled as deemed necessary by the members of Council.

Any interested parties may attend Council meetings but only elected members of the Council are permitted to vote.

The agenda will be set by the Chair, in consultation with the Principal. Any parent wishing to have an item put on the agenda must notify the Chair or Principal at least 2 weeks prior to the meeting.

Discussion Format and Voting procedures Issues discussed at Council meetings are of a general nature and concern the student body or a larger group of students. Issues pertaining to a single student, a staff member or something of a personal nature are to be addressed to the Principal at a time convenient to the involved parties, and not during Council Meetings.

The decisions of the Council will be made by voting.

At any Council meeting, a quorum will be deemed to be a simple majority of voting parent members. (A quorum of at least 2/3 of the members who must be parents/guardians)

In the event that a quorum is not met at a meeting, or business arising between meetings, an electronic motion will be put forth to all voting members. Members will respond electronically (reply all). Any electronic business conducted between meetings will be recorded on the next meetings’ minutes as Electronic Business.

A vote constitutes a recommendation to the Principal. The Principal may choose to accept or reject the recommendation, and provide a rationale to the Council.

Behaviour Norms During meetings members will endeavour to:

• Respect others and treat them as they themselves would like to be treated

• Be compassionate, honest, fair and respect the confidentiality of Council members

• Participate constructively in the resolution of issues

• Act only on the basis of accurate and first-hand information after thoughtful consideration

• Promote and support the students of the school

• Work as a team

• Hold focused discussions

• Foster open expression of ideas

• Make decisions through consensus, where possible, or via voting

• Address school wide topics only

Conflict of Interest Each School Council member shall avoid situations that could result in inconsistency between the goals and visions of the school Council and a personal or vested interest.

A conflict of interest may be actual, perceived or potential.

Any time a School Council does business with the potential for monetary gain/loss with any person, agency or company, that member shall declare a conflict of interest and shall not discuss or vote on any resolution relating to the matter.

No member of the School Council shall accept favours or receive economic benefits from any individuals, organizations or entities known to be seeking business contacts with the school or school Council.

Annual Report At the end of its term, the Council will prepare a report to the school outlining the following information:

• Council's goals for the previous school year

• Activities and achievements (including recommendations for future events)

• Fundraising activities (including recommendations for future events)

• List of Council members and positions held

• Dates of the previous school year's Council meetings

Amending the Constitution Motions to amend the constitution may be presented at any meeting to be voted on at the following meeting. There must be a quorum in order to hold a vote. A constitutional amendment must have the support of 2/3 plus 1 of those eligible to vote.

The proposed constitution amendment must be published in a newsletter prior to the general meeting at which the vote will occur.