PAC Constitution

HERBERT SPENCER PARENT ADVISORY COUNCIL
CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS
Adopted January 22, 1991 Amended June 6, 1996 Amended January 18, 2001
The dates of Elections, Annual General Meetings, the number of Executive Officers and the number for a quorum should be established by the Parent Advisory Council to suit its individual needs.
PART 1: CONSTITUTION
1.0          Name
The name of the Association shall be the Herbert Spencer Parent Advisory Council (PAC) (School District No. 40) herein referred to as “the Council”.
The Council will operate as a non-profit organization with no personal financial benefit.
The business of the Council shall be unbiased towards race, religion, gender or politics.
2.0          Mission Statement
The Council is an organization dedicated to the education and well being of the child and the parent and the strengthening of the community.
3.0          Role
The Council shall:
1             Support and enhance a cooperative working relationship among parents and staff.
2             Take an active advisory role in decisions that affect the school.
3             Encourage parents to participate in meaningful educational activities.
4             Promote effective communication between home and school.
5             Strengthen the role of families in education.
6             Foster a safe, caring and cohesive community within the school.
The Council will endeavor to achieve its mission by:
1.           Reviewing, discussing and advising staff, in accordance with school board regulations, on:
·       policy and procedures
·       programs and services
·       facilities and equipment parent and community education learning resources, and
·       other matters affecting students
2.           Promoting effective communication among parents, students, staff and the community by informing them of school and district activities, programs and services.
3             Promoting a spirit of tolerance and cooperation within the school community and the community at large.
4             Acting as liaison with other Parent Advisory Councils, the District Advisory Council, and the community at large.
5             Providing education opportunities to parents and students that promote the growth of families.
6             Organizing volunteer programs that support the school.
7             Promoting the involved of parents and other community members in the education process.
8             Promoting service to the community by the students and the school.
9             Working with all concerned to provide a healthy, safe and supportive environment.
4.       Dissolution
Upon winding up or dissolution of the Council, the assets which remain after payment of all costs, charges and expenses which are properly incurred in the winding up shall be distributed to such charitable organization or organizations which have a similar charitable purpose. This provision shall be unalterable.
PART II:        BYLAWS
5.        Definitions
The following defitions shall apply:
·       “School” is to be read as Herbert Spencer Elementary School.
·       “Staff” is to be read as all paid persons working in the school.
·       “Parent” is to be read, in accordance with Section 1 of the School Act, as “the guardian of the person of a student, the person legally entitled to custody of a student, or the person who usually has the care and control of the student attending the school”,
·       “Conflict of Interest” refers to a situation in which an individual or his/her immediate family could benefit monetarily from a decision of this Council, which that individual can influence or vote upon.
·       “Perception of Bias” refers to a situation which may exist if an individual who represents the Council is also an employee or elected official of any school district. There may be a perception that he or she is not speaking solely in the interest of parents and this may diminish the power of what is said.
6.     Membership
All parents/legal guardians of student registered at the school shall be voting members.
Administration and staff of the school shall be non-voting members.
Administration and staff (teaching and non-leaching) who are parents and guardians registered at Herbert Spencer shall be voting members of the Council provided they are not perceived to be in a conflict of interest by the membership.
Members of the school community who are not parents of students currently in the system shall be non-voting members.
7.       Term of Office
1             The Executive term shall be for one year commencing on September first.
2             Any elected member of the Council may serve on the executive for as many years as he/she is elected to a position but no person may hold anyone position for more than two consecutive years. Under exceptional circumstances one additional consecutive term, for a total of three terms, may be allowed.
3             No person may hold more than one elected executive position at any one time.
4             The Past-Chair shall hold that office for one year.
8.   Executive Membership
The affairs of the Council shall be managed by a board of elected officers and the immediate Past­ Chair.
The Executive shall consist of the following:
1.      CHAIR
The duties of the Chair are:
·       chair all meetings prepare and present an agenda for each meeting
·       appoint committees as authorized by the Executive or the membership
·       take such action or ensure that others take such action as is necessary to achieve the mission statement set out above
·       liaise with the School administration
·       act as signing officer
The position of Chair may be held jointly by up to two persons (to be known as Co-Chairs) as long as this agreement is mutually agreeable to both individuals and is agreed to by more than 50% of the voting members present.
2.      VICE CHAIR
The duties of the Vice Chair are:
·       assume the duties of the Chair in the absence of the chair
·       assist the Chair in the performance of his/her duties
·       chair the Constitution and Bylaws Review Committee
·       act as the main authority on constitution and bylaw matters
·       act as signing officer
3.      SECRETARY
The duties of the Secretary are:
·       record the minutes of all general, special and Executive meetings
·       shall distribute minutes to Council members
·       issue and receive correspondence
·       have custody of all records of the Council except those required to be kept by the Treasurer – may be a signing officer
4.      TREASURER
The duties of the Treasurer are:
·       manage and report on the financial accounts
·       act as a signing officer
·       prepare an annual financial report and make it available to Council members
·       chair the Budget Committee
·       have custody of financial records of the Council
·       present a provisional budget for the following year at the annual general meeting
5.      DPAC REPRESENTATIVE
The duties of the DPAC Representative are:
·       shall attend DPAC meetings
·       shall report back to the PAC
·       shall seek input from the PAC
6.       MEMBERS AT LARGE
The duties of the Members at Large are:
·       up to 10 Members at Large may serve on the Executive
·       shall serve in a capacity to be determined by Council at the time of their election, and at other times throughout their tenure as the needs of the Council might require
7.         PAST-CHAIR
The duties of the Past-Chair are: shall help smooth transition between Chairs shall assist and advise the Council shall act as a consultant for the Chair
8.1       Executive Meetings
Executive meeting time shall be set by the Executive but are to be held at least 6 times per year.
The Chair may call an Executive meeting by giving reasonable notice to all members of the Executive.
Resolutions passed by the Executive must be approved at the next general meeting. Exceptions are: -approval of expenditures not exceeding $100
8.2        Executive Participation
Executive members are expected to participate in the business of the PAC and the PAC Executive Committee, including attending Executive meetings. Executive members are expected to give advance notice of absence from meetings.
When an Executive member is absent without notice from three consecutive meetings, or does not otherwise participate in the business of the Executive for a period of three months, it is appropriate for the Chair to approach the Executive member to confirm his/her desire to resign in recognition of his/her inability to fulfill an Executive function, or may choose to reconfirm his/her intent to continue in office by attending meetings and participating in the business of the Executive.
An inactive Executive member who has verbally confirmed his/her intent to continue in office, but who does not undertake or resume attendance at meetings or participation in Executive business within one month, may be removed from office by a majority vote of the Executive Committee and will be notified of removal by a letter to his/her home address.
8.3         Executive Vacancies
If a vacancy should occur on the Executive, the Executive may appoint an interim officer until the next meeting of the membership when an officer may be elected by the membership.
9.0        Committees
As deemed necessary, special committees shall be established by the Executive or upon recommendation of the general membership for set purposes.
Standing committees should be established by the first Executive meeting in September.
10.         Elections
Elections of the executive will take place annually at the last general meeting of the year herein referred to as the annual general meeting.
Call for nominations shall be made at the meeting in April.
Elections shall be conducted by the Nominating Committee chairperson.
10.1       Nominations
Nominations will be accepted until declared closed by the Chair at the annual general meeting.
Written notice that nominations are open must be given at least 30 days prior to the annual general meeting.
The Nominating committee is responsible to see that the membership is aware that nominations are open for Executive positions, encourage parents to seek nomination, try to ensure that all elected positions have at least one candidate, and encourage gender parity.
The Committee should consist of no more than three members who are not seeking a position on the Executive.
11.0        General Meetings
The date and time of regular general meeting shall be decided by the Executive at their first Executive meeting and the membership shall be informed.
Not less than 5 general meetings will be held each year.
General and special meetings must be held at a time when the majority of the members are not prevented from attending by virtue of their employment.
Special general meetings can be scheduled by giving 7 days notice.
Meetings can be cancelled by giving 7 days notice.
“Notice given” and other forms of similar meaning are to be interpreted as a “reasonable attempt has been made to give notice”.
11.1        Quorum
Not less than 5 voting members present at any duly called general or executive meeting shall constitute a quorum.
11.2        Voting Procedures
Each family shall have one vote regardless of the number of children they have in the school.
Voting will normally be by show of hands but a vote must be taken by secret ballot if requested by a simple majority of those present at the meeting.
Any procedural conflicts shall be resolved by applying Robert’s Rules of Order unless they are in conflict with the Constitution.
The Chair is obligated to place an item on the agenda of the next general meeting if requested to do so by a member giving notice 10 days or more prior to the meeting. If requested by the member, the membership must be informed of such an agenda item. The Chair can demand that such requests be made in writing.
Voting by proxy will not be allowed.
In the case of a tie vote, the motion will be lost.
11.3     Annual General Meeting
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is the last meeting of the year. All provisions which apply to general meetings apply to the AGM. At the AGM the provisional budget for the following year is presented and the Executive is elected.
12.0     Constitution and Bylaw Amendments
Amendments to the constitution and Bylaws may be made at any regular meeting by a 75% majority of those eligible voting members present at the meeting.
Notice of specific Constitutional amendments proposed must be made available to the
membership not less than 30 days.
Notice of specific Bylaw amendments proposed must be made available to the membership not less than 30 days prior to the meeting at which they will be voted on.
Amendments that are passed shall be submitted to the Board of School Trustees.
13.0      Finances
All funds of the council will be on deposit in a Chartered Bank or Credit Union or Financial
Establishment registered under the Bank Act or the Credit Union Incorporation act. All expenses shall be met by the treasurer for the general running and operation of the PAC. The Chair may approve expenditures not exceeding $100.00. All extraordinary expenses
exceeding $100.00 must be approved by the membership at the general meeting. An independent review of the books by a bookkeeper or accountant will be arranged by the Chair if requested by the members. All financial transactions shall require at least two signatures.
13.1     Budget
A budget shall be prepared by the Treasurer in consultation with the Budget Committee. The annual budget shall be presented to a general meeting not later than the second general meeting of the year.
14.0     Executive Indemnity
Except for such costs, charges or expenses as are occasioned by his/her willful neglect or default, each Executive member shall be indemnified and saved harmless out of the funds of the Council from and against all expenses incurred or lawsuits brought against him/her in his/her capacity as an Executive member of the Council.
15.0     Conflict of Interest and Perceived Bias Policy
1             Conflict of Interest
2             That individuals refrain from discussing, influencing and voting upon any matter before the PAC in which they or their families have a pecuniary interest.
3             Perceived Bias
That individuals who maybe in a situation of “perceived bias” by virtue of another role they hold in the educational system avoid functions within the PAC which involve representation to external organizations and to the general public.
15.1        Code of Conduct
1.            The Herbert Spencer Parent Advisory Council is not a forum for the discussion of individual school personnel, students, parents, or other individual members of the school community.
2            An executive member who is approached by a parent with a concern related to an individual is in a privileged position and must treat such discussion with discretion, protecting the confidentiality of the people involved.
3          A parent who accepts a position as a PAC Executive Member:
a) Upholds the constitution and bylaws, policies and procedures of the PAC
b) Performs her/his duties with honesty and integrity
c) Works to ensure that the well-being of students is the primary focus of all decisions
d) Respects the rights of all individuals
e) Takes direction from the members, ensuring that representation processes are in place
f)  Encourages and supports parents and students with individual concerns to act on their own behalf and provides information on the process for taking forward concerns
g) Works to ensure that issues are resolved through due process
h) Strives to be informed and only passes on information that is reliable and correct
i) Respects all confidential information
j) Supports public education
16.0        Dissolution
The Council shall be dissolved in the event that:
-the school is permanently closed;
-or there are insufficient parents willing to serve in at least 4 Executive positions to include Chair and Treasurer
Disbursement of any remaining funds following payment of all debts will be decided by simple majority vote at the last general meeting. If a quorum cannot be established for this meeting then all funds will revert to the District Parent Advisory Council.
The records of the Council will become the property of the District Parent Advisory Council on dissolution.