CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS
HOLY SPIRIT CATHOLIC SCHOOL COUNCIL
(Amended November 2005)
The Catholic School Council is an advisory group, whose primary means of achieving its purpose is by making recommendations in accordance with pertinent legislation to the Principal of the school, providing Catholic Schools with a dynamic opportunity to strengthen the home/school/parish/community partnership.
The purpose of the Catholic School Council is, through the active participation of parents, to improve pupil achievement and to enhance the accountability of the education system to parents.
Council members are to maintain a school wide focus on all issues. Council meetings are not a forum for discussion about individual parents, students, teachers and auxiliary staff, trustees, or other Council members.
School principals, senior administration and trustees will seek advice from the Council as part of the process of making decisions with regard to a variety of matters.
Recommendations generated by the Council, which are broader in scope than the local school, should be referred to the school principal for directions (Refer to the York Catholic District School Board, Policy on School Councils or School Councils: A Guide for Members, 2001).
ARTICLE 1 - NAME
The name of this Council shall be â€śHoly Spirit Catholic School Council of Aurora, Ontarioâ€ť.
This Catholic School Council is being established as per the requirements set out in the Education Act, Ontario Regulation 612/00, and as per the policy and procedures established by The York Catholic District School Board.
ARTICLE 2 - ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE CATHOLIC SCHOOL COUNCIL
The Council will provide advice to the school principal, and where appropriate, to the school board on any of the matters listed below:
- parental communication and participation in their childâ€™s education
- faith development of the school community
- identification of local issues that need to be addressed in the schoolâ€™s efforts to educate its students
- the school in the community
- parent education
- curriculum and program goals and priorities
- linkages with community resources
- school calendar of events
- school code of conduct policy
- school/board response to achievement results in provincial and board assessment programs
- criteria to assist the Board in the appointment of the principal
- methods of reporting to parents and the community
- extracurricular activities in the school
- school-based services and community partnerships related to social, health, recreational and
- nutritional programs and other services for children and youth
- community use of school facilities
- development, implementation and review of board policies at the local level
- learning partnerships as well as corporate sponsorships
- school/council budget priorities, including local capital improvement plans
- SMART Goals (S=Strategic and Specific; M=Measurable; A=Attainable; R=Results Based; T=Time-bound)
school fund raising activities
preparation of a school profile
ARTICLE 3 - MEMBERSHIP
Membership of the Catholic School Council shall include, but not be limited to, parents/guardians who are separate school ratepayers and have children in the school (where possible, one parent should be the parent/guardian of a student who has special needs).
All members on the Council are equal partners.
Catholic School Councils are deemed to be formed for the sole purpose of providing advice to School Boards; they fall within the definitions of â€śinsuredâ€ť under OSBIE Policy. Therefore, members of School Councils are protected by the Boardâ€™s liability policy, while they are working within the scope of their duties.
The elected parent members will form the majority of the Council.
ARTICLE 4 - OFFICERS
The officers of this Council shall be: Chairperson (or Co-Chairpersons), Treasurer, and Secretary elected yearly as per Ontario Regulation 612/00.
The position of elected officers must be filled by one of the parent/guardian representatives and will be for a one-year term as outlined in Ontario Regulation 612/00.
BY-LAW 1 - MEMBERSHIP
a) Elected Members
- a minimum of 6 parents/guardians with a maximum of 15 parents/guardians as per Board policy; ideally representing Primary, Junior and Intermediate Division
parents elected by parents/guardians of students enrolled in the school
minimum of 1 teacher elected by the teaching staff
minimum of 1 non-teaching staff elected by non-teaching staff
b) Designated Member
- school principal
- school vice-principal (if applicable)
c) Appointed Members
- the pastor, or member of the parish council
- up to 2 community representatives
d) Student Member(s) (optional)
BY-LAW 2 - TERM OF OFFICE
The term of office for elected and appointed positions shall be one year in accordance with Ontario Regulation 612/00.
In case of a resignation, the Council will appoint an individual to complete the term provided that the term is less than one year.
There will be no honorarium paid to members of the Council
BY-LAW 3 - MEETINGS
There will be a minimum of 4 meetings per year. All meetings are open to members of the school community. Only members of the Council have the right to participate in decision-making; however, the general input of the parent community will be taken into consideration. The majority of decisions will be arrived at through consensus. Voting will be used when deemed necessary by the Chair through the process of a formal motion recorded in the minutes of the Council meeting.
As per Ontario Regulation 612/00 the School Council shall meet within the first 35 days of the school year, after the elections held on a date fixed by the Principal of the school.
The agenda will be distributed a week in advance to the school community. Relevant information will be communicated and sent to Council members in advance (example: curriculum issues) so that members have time to prepare for the meeting. New business may be brought forward for discussion by any member of Council or any member of the school community. The Chair will decide if there is adequate time to discuss the item of discussion, depending on its nature, or may defer the discussion item to the next Council meeting. Time will be allotted at every meeting for open discussions by members of the school community at large. Items will be prioritized by the Council.
Meetings will be held at the school and will be two hours in duration. Meetings will start and end on time. All Council and Committee meetings will have recorded minutes that are available to the school community.
As per Ontario Regulation 612/00 a meeting of the Council cannot be held unless,
- 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.
BY-LAW 4 - MEETING QUORUM
Two-thirds of the members of the Council shall form a quorum.
BY-LAW 5 â€“ VOTING
As per Ontario Regulation 612/00:
Each member of the Council is entitled to one vote in votes taken by the council.
Each member of a committee of a School Council is entitled to one vote in votes taken by the committee.
The Principal of the school is not entitled to vote in votes taken by the School Council or by a committee of the School Council.
BY-LAW 6 - ROLES OF COUNCIL MEMBERS
The Chairperson (or Co-Chairpersons) of the Council shall:
- call Council meetings
- prepare the agenda in conjunction with the principal
- chair Council meetings
- ensure that the minutes of Council meetings are recorded and maintained
- participate in information and training programs
- communicate with the school principal
- ensure that there is regular communication with the school community
- consult with senior board staff and trustees, as required
- act as official representatives of the Council
- designate an acting chair if absent
The Treasurer shall:
- maintain appropriate records
- receive all monies of the Council
- deposit monies to the credit of the Council in a bank approved by the Council
- complete the Transfer of Funds form and submit to the Principal for disbursement of Council funds through the Boardâ€™s banking system after authorization by the Executive members of the Council has been given
prepare all cheques with the signature of two appointed officers of the Council, one of which must be the Treasurer
present a statement of accounts at every meeting
present a full account at the final meeting of the year
- have the associationâ€™s financial accounts audited as directed by the Council/Board
The Secretary shall:
- keep records of all proceedings of Council meetings
- attend to all official correspondence and communication
- ensure that annual records are kept at the school
- post minutes of each Council meeting on the Parent Information Board for examination by any person
The Teaching/Non-Teaching Staff shall:
- assist the principal in communicating the activities of the Council to respective staff
- act as a link between the Council and respective staff
The Student(s) shall:
- act as a link between the Council and student body
The Council Members shall:
- participate in Council meetings
- participate in information and training programs
- act as a link between the Council and the community
- encourage the participation of parents/guardians from all groups and other people within the school community
- where possible, participate in liturgical events
The Principal shall:
- prepare the agenda for Council meetings in conjunction with the chairperson
- ensure communication and act as a link to the school staff
- facilitate the maintenance of the Council and assist in its operation
- support and promote the Councilâ€™s activities
- seek input from the Council in areas for which it has been assigned advisory responsibility
- act as a resource on laws, regulations, board policies, and collective agreements
- obtain and provide information required by the Council to enable it to make informed decisions
- communicate with the chairperson of the Council as required
- ensure that copies of the minutes of the Councilâ€™s meetings and financial reports are kept at the school
- assist the Council in communicating with the school community
- encourage the participation of parents/guardians and other people within the school community
The Vice-Principal (if applicable) shall:
- be an observer and information provider
- will represent the principal in his/her absence
BY-LAW 7 â€“ ELECTIONS
The chairperson of the Council, in consultation with the principal, will announce the date and time of the election.
For elected positions, a slate of candidates shall be established by:
- declaration of interest
- recruitment by a pre-established cut-off date
As per Ontario Regulation 612/00 a person is qualified to be a parent member of a School Council if he or she is a parent of a pupil who is enrolled in the school.
An election of parent members of a School Council shall be held during the first 30 days of each school year, on a date that is fixed by the Chair or Co-chairs of the School Council after consulting with the Principal of the School.
The Principal of the school shall, at least 14 days before the date of the election of parent members, on behalf of the School Council, give written notice of the date, time and location of the election to every parent of a pupil who, on the date the notice is given, is enrolled in the school.
The election of parent members shall be by secret ballot.
A person is qualified to vote in an election of a member of a School Council referred to above if he or she is a teacher, other than the Principal or Vice-Principal, who is employed at the school.
A person is qualified to vote in an election of a member of a School Council if he or she is a person, other than the Principal, Vice-Principal or any other teacher, who is employed at the school.
A person elected or appointed as a member of a School 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 school council after the election held in the school year,
until the date of the first meeting of the school council after the elections in the next school year.
For appointed positions, it is desirable that membership be determined by consensus of the body they represent.
BY-LAW 7 - COMMITTEES
Standing and Ad hoc committees will be formed as required, and will include a Council member who will report back to the Council on a regular basis.
BY-LAW 8 - EXPENDITURES
All expenditures shall be based on the approved budget and recorded through a motion included in the minutes of the Council meeting.
The Transfer of Funds Form should be signed by two appointed members, one of which is the Treasurer and submitted to the Principal for signature and remittance to the school Secretary for processing.
BY-LAW 9 - AMENDMENTS
The Constitution may be amended as follows:
- The proposed amendment shall be submitted to the Chair or to any of the Council.
- The notice of motion can come from the full parent/guardian body.
- The amendment shall be read by the secretary as new business.
- After such notice it shall become part of the Constitution if at the next meeting of the Council it is approved by the members of the Council.
BY-LAW 10 â€“ ANNUAL REPORT
As per Ontario Regulation 612/00 every School Council shall annually submit a written report on its activities to the Principal of the school and to the board that established the Council.
The Principal shall, on behalf of the School Council, share the Annual Report with every parent of a pupil who is enrolled in the school either by giving the report to the parentâ€™s child for delivery or by posting the report in the school in a location that is accessible to parents.