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St. Bernadette Catholic School Parent Council By-Laws
Article I. Regulations
This by-law is made under the authority of Ontario Regulation 612,00. In the case where this by-law is deemed to be in conflict with Ontario Regulation 612,00 or Ontario Regulation 615,00, the Ontario Regulation will supercede this by-law.
Article II. Name of Organization
The name of this organization shall be the St. Bernadette Catholic School Council.
Article III. Mission Statement
The St. Bernadette Catholic School Council contributes to the achievement of St. Bernadette School’s mission with the support of home, church, and community and is dedicated to providing a nurturing and challenging environment, in order to educate students to their fullest potential as life-long learners, confident in the Catholic values.
Article IV. Purpose and Objectives:
The St. Bernadette Catholic School Council continues under the Education Act and Regulations enacted under that Act. In compliance with the Education Act, the School Council will work to improve pupil achievement and to enhance the accountability of the education system to parents. Furthermore, the School Council will, in support of the school’s mission statement, be the voice of its stakeholders (students, parents, staff, administration, clergy and community) by providing a means for active participation and communication. In carrying out our responsibilities as a Catholic School Council we will take established procedures and enhance them to reflect our Catholic community.
Article V. Composition:
The St. Bernadette Catholic School Council shall include:
- a minimum of 6 Catholic parent members
- 0-2 non-Catholic parent members
- 1 Teaching staff member
- 1 non teaching member
- The School Principal
- One Parish Representative from St. Matthews Catholic Church
- One Community member
The two non-Catholic representatives would be in addition to the 6 positions reserved for Catholic parents. The Community Member will be appointed by the Council. The Parish Member will be appointed by the Council in consultation with the parish priest. The Chair of the Council shall be a Catholic parent who is an elected parent and who shall be elected by the Council. Any matters requiring student input will be directed toward student leaders in the school, as selected by the Principal.
Article VI. Election Procedures
Election of parent representatives to the School Council shall comply with Sections 4 and 5 of the Ontario Regulation 612/00 of the Education Act. Nominations for parent representatives will be accepted from September 1st up until September15th. The nominations for parents/guardians interested in holding a position on Council shall be made on a nomination form available in the school office. If deemed advisable, the Principal may call an “all candidates meeting” open to the school community and short bios of each candidate will be made available. If an election is required, voting by parents/guardians will take place from 8:00A.M. to 7:00 P.M. on voting day. Voting day must take place by the last day of September. The Principal and Vice-Principal will be responsible for the counting of ballots after the polls are closed and communicate the results to the school community. Positions available will be filled by the top vote getters. If there are positions still vacant, the Principal will inform the school community of the vacancies and call for further applicants. Applicants who come forward at this time will fill the vacant positions in order of their communication to the Principal until all vacancies have been filled. The installation of the new members of Council shall take place at the first meeting following the election. The initiation ceremony will involve a spiritual commissioning service for all members.
Article VII. Vacancies
When a vacancy occurs, Council will have a “call for nominations”. If there are two or more interested individuals, an election will be held with voting open to the public in attendance at the next School Council meeting. The successful candidate shall serve out the balance of the term of the member being replaced.
In the event no qualified individual steps forward, the Council will appoint a qualified member, staying in compliance with Article VI.
Article VIII. Term of Office
Term of Office provisions shall comply with Ontario Regulation 612/00 of the Education Act. Membership on the Council shall terminate when:
- A member ceases to meet the criteria set out in the Regulation;
- A member has missed three scheduled meetings without proper notice to the Chairperson;
- A member submitted a formal letter of resignation to the Chairperson; or
- A member has breached the Council Member Code of Ethics.
Article IX. Council Responsibilities
St. Bernadette Catholic School Council Chair and Council Members shall carryout the following responsibilities.
The Chair of the St. Bernadette Catholic School Council shall:
- Call school council meeting;
- Prepare the agenda for school council meetings;
- Chair school council meetings;
- Ensure that the minutes of school 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; and
- Consult with senior board staff and trustees, as required.
The Council Members of St. Bernadette Catholic School Council shall:
- Participate in council meetings;
- Participate in information and training programs;
- Encourage the participation of parents from all groups and of other people within the school community;
- Act as a link between the school council and the community;
- Attend meetings regularly;
- Support and promote the decisions reached by council; and
- Be of good will working for the common good of the school community.
Article X. Council Member Code of Ethics
All members of School Council shall be guided by the mission statements of our School Board and St. Bernadette School and shall:
- endeavour to be familiar with school policies and operating practices and act in accordance with them;
- practice the highest standards of honesty, accuracy, integrity and truth;
- recognize and respect the personal integrity of each member of the school community;
- encourage a positive atmosphere where individual contributions are encouraged and valued;
- apply democratic principles;
- consider the best interests of all students;
- respect the confidential nature of some school business and respect limitations this may place on the operation of the school council;
- not disclose confidential information;
- limit discussions at school council meetings to matters of concern to the school community as a whole;
- use the appropriate communication channels when questions or concerns arise;
- promote high standards of ethical practice within the school community;
- accept accountability for decisions;
- declare any conflict of interest; and
- accept no payment for school council activities, except as permitted by Regulation 330/ and Board Policy.
Article XI. Conflict of Interest
If any member of Council has a conflict of interest with any matter to be considered by the School Council that member shall declare his or her conflict. Furthermore, the member shall not participate in any discussion or debate, nor will the member be permitted to vote.
Article XII. Council Procedures
At the first council meeting of the year, the Council shall elect:
- A parent member to serve as the Chairperson or Co-Chairpersons of the Council for the year;
- A parent representative(s) as Secretary(s) to the Council, whose primary role will be to take minutes during the meeting and prepare these minutes for review and approval by Council members; and
- A parent representative as Treasurer to the Council, whose primary role will be to provide a financial report to Council at each meeting and to serve as the liaison between the Council and the Principal.
The Chairperson will direct all council meetings and in the Chairperson’s absence the Secretary, Treasurer or appointed parent member, shall assume the Chair’s duties.
The Council will, at its first meeting of the year, determine the dates for future meetings of which there must be a minimum of six (6). The schedule will be published to the school community. A quorum for a meeting of Council shall require a minimum of five (5) parent representatives present. The Secretary of the Council shall be responsible for the taking of minutes. If no Secretary is elected, the Chair will assign a member of the School Council to take the minutes of the meetings. The Chairperson or Secretary will ensure the distribution of minutes to each member of Council before the next meeting.
Minutes of any Council meeting will be made available to interested parties on request.
A copy of approved minutes will be posted on the school website.
The Council will establish any committee or sub-committee that is deemed appropriate in order to carry out specific functions and report to council as required.
The Council shall keep the school community and interested parties advised of its actions. At the Council’s discretion, members of the school community may be allowed to provide additional input and or engage in debate on the matters before the Council during the meeting. Members of the school community may make a formal presentation to the council in person or in writing, upon giving two (2) days notice to the Chairperson and Principal. Formal presentations shall not exceed ten (10) minutes. The Chair can be reached by contacting the school office. A maximum of 5 formal presentations on any agenda topic will allowed. The order of presentation will be on a first come, first served basis, for people attending the meeting. The Council has the right to limit the number of presentations at any meeting.
The Council (Principal) has the right to know the extent and purpose of the delegation within a 48-hour period before the next Council meeting.
Input on agenda items – or any other issue – can also be provided to the Council by writing a note to the Council and dropping it off at the school office. Unless otherwise requested by the sender, this correspondence will be shared with all members of the School Council.
The Chair will have the right to limit discussion on any particular topic.
Article XIII. Committees
St. Bernadette School Council may maintain standing committees. For meetings of standing committees an agenda will be prepared at least 24 hours in advance of the meetings and a copy provided to all committee members (the Principal) no later than 24 hours before the meeting. Committees will provide an update of their activities at Council meetings.
Membership on a committee will be open to all members of the school community.
The School Council shall provide a written statement to each committee describing its particular role and purpose.
Article XIV. Conflict Resolution
In the event of an internal dispute at a meeting of council, the Chairperson shall establish a procedure that permits each member of council to address the Council on the matter in dispute. At the conclusion of the statements, the Chairperson shall call for a vote on the issue in dispute.
Article XV. Amendments
The By-laws will be reviewed at least every three years and revised when changes are necessary. The By-laws may be amended by a quorum vote.
Article XVI. Finance
All funds raised by the School Council are deposited in the school’s “School Generated Funds” account. A separate “School Council” sub account is located under this umbrella account.
Funds are allocated by Council for specific initiatives in consultation with the Principal each year. The Council will advise the Principal on the form and conduct of the major fundraising activities for the school year and on any additional revenue acquired through fundraising.
The Principal and/or Treasurer of Council will provide a financial report to Council at each meeting. The Principal will publish the annual Financial Statement that will appear in the school June Newsletter or in a separate document to be distributed to all school families before the end of the school year.About Our School Council