HUMEWOOD COMMUNITY SCHOOL COUNCIL BY-LAWS
Humewood Community School Council (hereinafter “Council”) members include: declared representatives (or in some cases where they are appointed as outlined below); the school principal (or his/her vice-principal designate); (up to) 3 staff positions; (up to) 3 community representatives; and, in some instances, a student representative.
Executive positions shall be drawn from and elected by the parent council representatives alone.
Only parent representatives may move or vote on Council matters but all Council members may participate in all discussions at Council meetings.
All parents/guardians of a student enrolled at Humewood Community School (hereinafter “Humewood”) may attend and participate at all Council meetings. All parents/guardians at Council meetings are however bound by the same code of conduct and behaviour as outlined below for Council members and must follow the direction of the co-chairs as it relates to the conduct and decorum of the Council meetings.
Considerations for the school council election process. In any given year, the term of office for all Council positions is one year. Appeals related to the Council election process or results shall be resolved by the outgoing Council and a ruling by simple majority.
Election of parent/guardian representatives
- Parents/guardians of a student enrolled at Humewood are eligible to declare their intention to act as parent candidates. Candidates for Council should be prepared to summarize their reasons for participating in the Council. They must declare if they are employed by the school board or have any other conflicts of interest with their role as a Council member. They must further declare their commitment to attending Council meetings and to assisting in Council business, initiatives and functions – all to the best of their abilities. Finally, they must declare their commitment to familiarizing themselves with the Council’s by-laws and the relevant Regulations under the Education Act and to govern themselves by these requirements. These will be made available to all Candidates for Council positions by Council by the election.
- Declaration forms shall be filed by all parent/guardian Candidates for positions on the school council. It is encouraged for this to happen prior to nomination, election or re-election, but in any event all declarations must be filed prior or during the first council meeting.
- Candidates shall provide relevant information about themselves and this shall be made available to the school community. It is encouraged for this information to be made available to the school community prior to nomination, election or re-election and before voting is commenced.
- Individuals applying for Council Positions shall not distribute or post campaign literature on school property or use Humewood resources, human or material for support
Election of staff representatives (up to 3 with one primary, one junior/intermediate, one non-teaching position):
The principal, in consultation council representatives, will make the necessary arrangements for the staff representatives to be elected/appointed.
Anyone on staff (full or part-time) other than the principal or a vice-principal may be a candidate.
The principal (or a designated vice-principal) is always a member of Council.
All staff representatives and the principal (or designate) are non-voting members of council whose numbers do not count towards total council positions or quorum.
Appointment or election of the student representative.
Each new school year after Council elections have been concluded, the principal will consult with the newly elected members of the Council to determine if there is to be a student representative. If a positive decision is reached, the principal will appoint a non-voting student representative to the Council. The student representative does not count towards total council positions or quorum.
Selection of community representatives.
All appointments of community representatives to the Council are to be by majority vote at a meeting of the Council. All community representatives are non-voting positions whose numbers do not count towards total Council positions or quorum. Representatives should be prepared to summarize their reasons for joining the Council. They must declare if they are employed by the school board or have any other conflicts of interest with their role as a Council member. They must further declare their commitment to attending Council meetings and to assisting in Council business, initiatives and functions all to the best of their abilities. Finally, they must declare their commitment to familiarizing themselves with the Council’s by-laws and the relevant Regulations under the Education Act and to govern themselves by these requirements. These will be made available to all by Council prior to the first meeting or upon request.
Quorum is either two thirds of the total parent/guardian representative Council positions filled at the beginning of any given year or eight (8), whichever number is the lesser.
The executive members shall be elected re-elected or nominated both from and by the Council. Members of the new Council can be nominated by other members of the new Council or nominate themselves. Should there be no other Candidates or should other Candidates withdraw their candidacy, those who have continued to stand shall be acclaimed. In the event that more Candidates than positions remain for the executive positions, these will be voted on by the members of the new Council by secret ballot supervised by the principal. The ballots will be counted by the principal in the presence of two new Council members who have not stood for an executive position or nominated someone. Winners will be determined by way of simple majority. In the event of a tie and where neither party withdraws, the winner will be determined by lot drawn by the principal.
The positions are:
- Chair/Co-chairs (up to 2)
- Treasurer/Co-Treasurers (up to 2)
- Secretary/Co-Secretaries (up to 2)
The Council shall ensure that written descriptions of the executive positions and their roles and responsibilities are available for review by the parent community preferably 14 days before the election but in any event before the election commences.
Council will adopt at the beginning of the Council year clear and binding procedures for dealing with all financial matters, such as the collection and accounting for all Council money. These procedures will be reduced to writing and will meet or exceed the TDSB recommendations for financial procedures.
ROLE OF COUNCIL MEMBERS
The Council provides a forum through which parents and other members of the school community can contribute to improving student achievement and school performance. The Council can make recommendations to principals and school boards on any matter. It must be consulted on matters which affect student learning by the principal and the school board. The principal and the school board must also consider Council’s recommendations and report back to it on how they plan to act on its advice. The Council provides information to parents and community representatives gets feedback from them and presents those views to Humewood and the school board. The Council involves the community in the discussion of educational issues and helps Humewood identify and respond to the educational needs of the community.
Council members undertake to work to achieve the goals and purposes of Council. Council members are elected to serve the school community and will demonstrate respect for their colleagues on Council at all times.
Council members undertake to provide to Council contact information which will allow them to be contacted easily. This includes but is not necessarily limited to name, residential address, day and evening telephone numbers and email addresses. This information will be kept confidential and used solely for the purpose of Council communications.
Should any Council member, in the opinion of the Council at large, become unable to fulfill their obligations due to continuing absence, conflicts of interest or for any other reason, Council will request in writing that the member answer these concerns to Council’s satisfaction or resign their position. Should Council receive no satisfactory response to its inquiry within thirty days, it will ask the member to resign. All members accept that in these circumstances that they will resign their position in writing. If Council has not received either a satisfactory response to its inquiry or a written resignation within thirty days of it being requested, it may move at its next meeting to remove the member from Council with no further notice.
If any Council positions become vacant because of resignation, inability of a member to fulfill his or her roles and responsibilities, or other cause, the remaining members shall constitute the Council unless the total Council positions fall below the number required to meet quorum. In that case, the Council shall request that interested parents/guardians from Humewood submit their names for consideration. The Council shall then appoint one of those who indicate an interest by dint of a simple majority. Should there be a tie, the winner will be determined by lot drawn by the principal.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
A conflict of interest may be actual, perceived or potential.
Members of Council shall not act in a manner which creates or could be perceived as creating a conflict of interest with that of Council and their role as a Council member. Members in this position shall declare a conflict of interest immediately to the co-chairs in writing or at the very latest at the next scheduled Council meeting.
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 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 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 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.
If a Council member becomes disruptive during a meeting, the co-chairs shall ask for order.
If efforts to restore order fail or the disruptive behaviour reoccurs, the co-chairs may direct the offending member(s) to leave the meeting, citing the reasons for doing so. Council members are bound to leave the meeting if so directed by the co-chairs. This shall be recorded in the minutes.
The removal of a member for one meeting does not prevent the member from participating in future Council meetings.
The co-chairs will make best efforts to resolve the dispute before the next scheduled meeting. Should a resolution to the dispute not be mutually agreeable to the disputing parties, the co-chairs will report to the Superintendent to seek a satisfactory resolution.
GOVERNANCE BY AND CHANGES TO BY-LAWS
It is recommended that these by laws be formally adopted by all new incoming Councils at the beginning of the term. Should a Council fail to formally adopt these by laws, these by laws nonetheless continue to stand until Council elects to change them. Changes to the by laws or adopting new by laws shall be done by way of majority vote, all changes or new by laws will be put into writing and advertised to the Humewood community in advance of the vote. A simple majority vote will suffice to effect a change.