School Council Constitution

Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute

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SUMMARY

The following points summarize some of the more important aspects of the Constitution which governs the actions of the School Council.

  • Council is a not-for-profit organization, and no honoraria will be paid.
  • Parents and guardians of LPCI students are members of the Council.
  • Council is guided by an Executive Committee consisting of parents, the Principal, and teacher, student, staff and community representatives. A majority of the positions are filled by parents who are elected at the September Meeting of Council.
  • There will be regular Council meetings during the school year.
  • Council provides a forum for members of the LPCI community to meet and discussissues and to advise the Principal and District School Board on various matters.
  • Council members are expected to respect the integrity of all members of the school community and encourage a positive atmosphere. Individual contributions will be encouraged and valued.
  • There is a procedure for amending the Constitution.

FULL TEXT OF CONSTITUTION


Table of Contents

Article 1. Name

1.01 The name of this Council shall be the Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute School Council (hereinafter referred to as the “Council”).

Article 2. Not for Profit Organization

2.01 The Council will operate without purpose of financial gain for its members. There will be no honorarium paid to members of the Council or the Executive Committee.

Article 3. Objectives

3.01 The Council is an advisory council to the Principal. It provides a forum for all members of the LPCI community to meet and to discuss issues of mutual interest. Specifically, the objectives, powers, duties and functions are as follows:
(a) To operate in accord with the LPCI Credo
(b) To serve and support the school and promote its interests.
(c) To encourage, facilitate and arrange activities for the school and the students.
(d) To encourage parents, students, administrators, teachers, staff and the community to work together to share information, foster community and parental involvement in the school, and foster a safe environment.
(e) To enhance student learning.
(f) To provide opportunities for members to learn about and discuss topics of mutual interest
(g) To communicate regularly with each of the constituent groups mentioned in (d) to seek their views and report on activities of the Council.
(h) To recognize the diversity of the school population and community and to encourage and support active participation by all.
(i) To establish and maintain contact with other School Councils, and with board committees and the Ministry as they apply to school councils.
(j) To elect members of the Executive Committee pursuant to the provisions of this constitution.

The Council will, where appropriate, provide advice to the School Principal and the Toronto District School Board on any matters including those listed below that the Council has identified as priorities.
(a) school year calendar
(b) school code of student behaviour
(c) curriculum and program goals and priorities
(d) the responses of the school or School District Board to achievement in provincial and Board assessment programs
(e) preparation of the school profile
(f) selection of principals and vice-principals
(g) school budget priorities, including local capital improvement plans and school budget reviews
(h) school community communication strategies
(i) methods of reporting to parents and the community
(j) extracurricular activities in the school
(k) school-based services and community partnerships related to social, health, recreational, and nutrition programs
(l) community use of school facilities
(m) local co-ordination of services for children and youth
(n) development, implementation, and review of Board policies at the local level
(o) local school safety procedures
(p) school reviews
(q) evaluation, exemption policy and report cards.

3.02 The Council recognizes that the ultimate responsibility for the administration and management of the school rests with the Principal.

Article 4. Membership in the Council

4.01 Any parent, guardian or person standing in loco parentis of a student of Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute is a member of the Council.

4.02 The Principal and the appointed representatives of teachers, staff, students and the community who are members of the Executive Committee are also members of the Council.

Article 5. Executive Committee

5.01 The affairs of the Council shall be directed by a committee of the Council known as the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall be composed of:
(a) Chair
(b) Vice-Chair
(c) Secretary
(d) Treasurer
(e) Immediate Past Chair
(f) Ward Forum representative
(g)Newsletter Editor
(h)Commencement Coordinator
(i) Webmaster/Communications
(j) Chairs of all committees
(k) Members-at-large
(l) Principal
(m) One teacher appointed by their colleagues
(n) Student (or 2 students sharing one vote) appointed by the Student Council (o) Staff member appointed by the staff
(p) One community member appointed by the School Council

5.02 Positions (a) to (k) on the Executive Committee shall be filled by parents or guardians of students enrolled in the school.

5.03 The Chair of the Council shall be the chair of the Executive Committee. Meetings of the Executive Committee will be called by the Chair and will take place a minimum of four times during the school year. Meetings will take place at times and places determined by the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee may appoint committees and committee chairs as it may see fit.

5.04 A quorum of six members of the Executive Committee is required to conduct business or to pass motions.

5.05 Members of the Executive Committee shall hold office from and after the end of the September Meeting of the Council, at which they were elected, until the end of the next September Meeting of the Council at which time they shall automatically retire. Except as hereinafter provided, members of the Executive Committee shall be eligible for re-election at the September Meeting, provided that they will be members of the Council until the term of office ends.

5.06 No person shall hold the office of Chair for more than two consecutive terms.

5.07 Any member of the Executive Committee shall resign if a request is made for his/her resignation by the Executive Committee after a vote in which a majority of all the members of such Committee shall approve the making of such a request. In such an event, the Executive Committee shall elect one of its members to fill any office of the Council left vacant by such resignation.

5.08 The annual dues to be paid by each member of the Council shall be set by the Executive Committee, such amount to be determined by the Executive Committee each year.

5.09 Members of the Executive Committee shall serve without remuneration, and no member shall directly or indirectly receive any profit from his/her position as such. However, the Executive Committee may authorize that a member be paid reasonable expenses incurred by him/her in the performance of his duties.

5.10 The Executive Committee shall keep the funds of the Council in a bank account or bank accounts in the name of the Council in a branch of a chartered bank or trust company and by resolution shall appoint the Treasurer and the Chair and the Vice-Chair to have signing authority. Cheques drawn on the bank account shall require the signature of the Treasurer and either the Chair or Vice-Chair.

Article 6. Election to Executive Committee

6.01 A single slate of parent candidates for election to the Executive Committee shall be submitted to the September Meeting of the Council for the approval of the members by any member of the Executive Committee appointed by the Chair for that purpose.

6.02 Any member of the Council is eligible for nomination to the Executive Committee.

6.03 The election of the parent representatives shall be at the September Meeting, to which all parents/guardians have been invited.

6.04 All parents or guardians of students in the school are eligible both to vote for and to run as a parent representative.

6.05 The names of candidates for parent representatives received by the Chair may be published in advance. Nominations will also be accepted from the floor at the general meeting.

6.06 The Chair or Vice Chair shall conduct the election.

6.07 No school resources or personnel may be used to support particular candidates or groups of candidates. No individual campaign literature may be distributed or posted in the school.

6.08 Each eligible voter shall be entitled to vote for one candidate for each position to be filled. 6.09 If there is a tie for a position, the winner shall be determined by lot.

6.10 If all elected positions have not been filled at the end of the election process, or if vacancies occur in mid-term, the Executive Committee shall recruit the necessary number of eligible persons to serve for the balance of the term of office.

6.11 Election of officers of the Executive Committee (Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer) will take place during the general election but, in the event of vacancies, the Executive Committee may appoint such Officers from among the elected parents at the first meeting.

6.12 The election of the teacher representatives shall be conducted at a general meeting of the teaching staff in September of each year or as soon as possible thereafter.

6.13 The election of the support staff representative shall be conducted at a general meeting of the non-teaching staff, held in September of each year, or as soon as possible thereafter.

6.14 The student representative will be appointed by the Student Council immediately after the Student Council elections.

6.15 The community representatives will be appointed in September of each year by the Executive Committee. The community representatives may be chosen from, but not limited to, any of the following and shall reside in the school’s catchment area:
(a) neighbours
(b) local business people
(c) ratepayers’ or other community associations
(d) labour organizations
(e) business organizations
(f) ethnic organizations
(g) seniors groups
(h) service clubs
(i) professional organizations
(j) sports organizations

6.16 If any vacancies on the Executive Committee occur in mid term, the Council may hold an election at its next meeting, or appoint a replacement to complete the term.

Article 7. Role of the Executive Committee

7.01 Chair
(a) Call Council meetings.
(b) Prepare the agenda for Council meetings.
(c) Ensure that the agenda is distributed to Council members or posted in a prominent location prior to the meetings.
(d) Chair Council meetings.
(e) Ensure that the minutes of Council meetings are recorded and maintained by the appropriate persons.
(f) Participate in information and training programs.
(g) Communicate with the School Principal on a regular basis.
(h) Ensure that there is regular communication with the school community.
(i) Consult with senior Board staff and Trustees, as required.
(j) Appoint committees as required.
(k) Hold regular meetings of the Executive Committee.

7.02 Vice-Chair
(a) Chair School Council meetings in the absence of the Chair. (b) Assist Chair as required.

7.03 Secretary
(a) Maintain complete records of all meetings in a timely manner.
(b) Ensure minutes are available for review by Council members present in person at the following meeting and for those not present who request a copy.

7.04 Treasurer
(a) Maintain the bank accounts as designated to the Council.
(b) Provide a current written status report including financial updates and expenditures at the School Council meetings and at other times as requested by the Chair.
(c) Monitor and maintain liability insurance coverage for the Council and Executive Committee.

7.05 Principal
(a) Facilitate and assist in the operation of the School Council.
(b) Assist, advise, co-operate and consult with the School Council as it works towards achieving its goals and purposes.
(c) Support and promote the Council’s activities.
(d) Seek input from the Council in areas for which it has been assigned advisory responsibility. (e) Act as a resource on laws, regulations, Board and school policies, and collective agreements.
(f) Obtain and provide information required by the Council to enable it to make informed decisions.
(g) Communicate with the Chair of the Council on a regular basis.
(h) Assist the Council in communicating with the school community.

7.06 Other Executive Committee Members
(a) Participate in Council meetings.
(b) Participate in information and training programs
(c) Act as a link between the Council and the community.
(d) Attend Council meetings on a regular basis.
(e) Chair committees
(f) Act as liaison with other community and School Council groups as requested.

Article 8. Sub-Committees

8.01 The following standing committees may be maintained and/or developed: (a) Parents’ Liaison Committee
(b) Newsletter Committee
(c) Volunteer Committee

(d) Social Committee
(e) Program Committee
(f) Fundraising Committee (g) Nominating Committee

8.02 Standing Committees will be chaired by Executive Committee members and other committees may be chaired by other Council members.

8.03 Any member of the school community having a special project which would benefit the school community is free to address the Council and may be appointed to head that committee.

8.04 Committees will provide reports to the Council as requested.

Article 9. Expectations of Members

9.01 Executive Committee members should endeavour to be present at every meeting of Council, and be prepared to resign if they miss three consecutive meetings.

9.02 Each Executive Committee member is responsible for consulting with, bringing forward concerns from, and reporting to the group he/she represents on a regular basis between meetings of the Council.

9.03 The Council is an advisory body to the school and the Board. Members shall be guided by the Objectives of the Council and policies of the school and the Toronto District School Board.

9.04 Council members shall recognize and respect the personal integrity of each member of the school community, and encourage a positive atmosphere where individual contributions are encouraged and valued.

9.05 Discussions at Council meetings shall be limited to matters consistent with the mandate of the Council and of concern to the school community as a whole. The Chair will decide if a matter is eligible for discussion.

9.06 Council members shall use the appropriate communications channels when questions or concerns arise.

9.07 Council members shall respect the confidential nature of some school business and respect limitations this may place on the operation of the Council. A member shall not disclose confidential information.

9.08 The Council may not deal with personnel matters or matters that are dealt with under collective agreements.

9.09 Council members must declare any conflict of interest and shall not discuss or vote on any resolution relating to that matter.

Article 10. Fiscal Year

10.01 The fiscal year of the Council shall end July 31.

Article 11. Meetings of the Council

11.01 Meetings of the Council shall be held at such times and at such places as the Executive Committee shall decide.

11.02 There shall be a minimum of four meetings per year, with additional meetings as decided by the Council or the Executive Committee.

11.03 Meetings are open to the public but only members of the Council may vote on issues raised during the meetings.

11.04 Members of the Council shall be advised of all meetings of the Council with notice of the time, place and general nature of the business to be transacted. Notice shall be deemed sufficient if printed in school communications including the LPCI Credo, newsletters, and notices sent home with students or sent out via email.

11.05 Six members of the Council with a minimum of three members of the Executive Committee included in the six shall constitute a quorum. No business shall be transacted at any meeting unless a quorum is present at the commencement of business.

11.06 The Chair of the Executive Committee shall act as the Chair of all meetings of the Council and in the absence of the Secretary shall appoint a substitute. In the absence of the Chair, the Vice-Chair shall act as Chair.

11.07 In the absence of the Chair and the Vice-Chair of the Executive Committee, when this absence is known in advance, the Chair will designate an Executive Committee member to act as Chair. If no member of the Executive Committee has been delegated as Chair, the members present at any meeting of the Council shall choose a member of the Executive Committee as chair of the meeting and if all the Executive Committee members present decline to act as chair, the members present may choose one of their number to be chair.

11.08 A copy of the Constitution of the Council shall be kept on Council’s website and in the records of Council, held in the care of the Chair.

11.09 Each question submitted to any meeting of members shall be decided by a majority of those voting members in attendance by a show of hands. Each member shall be entitled to one vote. In case of a tie in votes, the Chair shall have the casting vote. A declaration by the Chair that a resolution has been carried, or carried unanimously, or by a particular majority, or lost, or not carried by a particular majority, shall be conclusive of the fact.

Article 12. Spring Meeting

12.01 The Spring Meeting of the Council shall be held in May or June before the end of the school year.

12.02 At the Spring Meeting the Executive Committee shall present a report of the affairs of the Council for the current year, a financial statement of the Council and such other information or reports relating to the Council’s affairs as the Executive Committee may determine.

Article 13. Liability Insurance

13.01 The Executive Committee shall ensure that liability insurance coverage suitable for the activities of the members of the Council and Executive Committee is in force.

13.02 The Council shall not undertake activities that are not covered by liability insurance.

Article 14. Procedure for Amending the Constitution

14.01 Any Council member or constituent group may bring forward to the Council a motion for amendment of the Constitution.

14.02 Proposed amendments must be submitted at a Council meeting at least two weeks in advance of the meeting at which they will be considered, to allow representatives to consult with their constituent groups about the proposed amendment.

14.03 Constitutional amendments require a vote of three-quarters of the voting members of Council present at the meeting set for this purpose to succeed.

Article 15. Effective Date

15.01 Originally presented to the members of the Parents’ Association and enacted as the Constitution at the General Meeting of the Association held on the 2nd of December, 1996.

15.02 Revised and presented to Council members as the Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute School Council Constitution on the 29th of November, 1999.

15.03 Amended: 18 June 2001 15.04 Amended October 2010

21 September 2010