JTT Council Constitution

School Council Constitution & Bylaws

Revised 2020

History of john T Tuck PS

A new school was built in 1960-1961, originally to be called Pinecove School, but it was decided to dedicate it to the memory of John T. Tuck as the school was built on the back end of his farm. The land was previously owned by Tuck’s son Lawrie, who then sold the land to Mr. John Cowan, who in turn, sold it to the Board of Education for the site of John T. Tuck Public School. John T Tuck PS is currently a Kindergarten to Grade 8 school with approximately 750 students.

Vision and Mission of School Council

To create an effective partnership among students, parents, teachers and the community in order to support the school direction. John T Tuck PS School Council values and respects our community of learners with a commitment to support success for all our students within a safe, positive, inclusive and caring school environment. We are committed to reaching out to our community to build trusting, respectful relationships by embracing new ideas that enhance the quality of our children’s education.

Operating Norms

As a council, we agree to the following operating norms:

● All members participating actively

● Active listening – one voice at a time

● Focused discussions that stay on topic

● All views expressed respectfully

● Teamwork and cooperation

● Make decisions with the best interest of the students in mind

Constitution and By-Laws

Article I

1.0 Name of Organization

1.1 The name of this organization will be John T Tuck Public School Council. (Hereafter referred to as “the Council”)

Article II

2.0 Mandate of the Council

2.1 Working within the policies, mission statement and goals of the Halton District School Board, the Council will:

  • Provide advice to the Principal and the Halton District School Board regarding key matters pertaining to student achievement and well-being

  • Promote opportunities that are available for parents/guardians to be more directly involved in the education of their children (such as volunteering)

  • Foster good relations among parents/guardians, staff and the local community

  • Be a voice for public education within the community

  • Fundraise to support the objectives of the school improvement plan and provide advice to the Principal on decisions to spend funds raised

  • Report on the Council’s activities as requested by the Board

Article III

3.0 Representation and Membership

3.1 The Council may be composed of the following members:

  • The school Principal/Vice-Principal

  • Parents/guardians of students enrolled in the school

  • A teaching member of the school

  • A non-teaching member of the school (e.g., EA, DECE, Secretary, Custodian)

  • A community representative

The Council shall consist of a maximum of 20 with the majority being parent members to a maximum of 15 parent members. At a minimum, the Council will have six (6) members as follows: four (4) parents, one (1) staff and one (1) Principal or designate

Article IV

4.0 Elections and Appointment Procedures

4.1 Timelines and voting

  • An election of parent/guardian 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 a school shall, at least 14 days before the date of the election of parent/guardian members, on behalf of the School Council, give written notice of the date, time and location of the election to every parent/guardian through email.

  • The election of parent/guardian members will occur at the first meeting of the year.

  • Should more than one member apply for a council position, a secret ballot will be held.

4.2 Parent/guardian representatives will be elected according to the following process (Reg 612 s.4)

  • A person is qualified to be a parent/guardian member of a School Council if they are a parent/guardian of a pupil enrolled at the school.

  • A person is not qualified to be a parent/guardian member of a School Council if they are employed at the school.

  • A candidate must declare if they are employed by the Halton District School Board elsewhere in the Board.

  • A person is qualified to vote in an election of parent/guardian members of a School Council if they are a parent/guardian of a pupil enrolled at the school.

4.3 A teacher representative will be determined by the teaching staff of the school.

4.4 Self-Nomination Candidacy Forms will be distributed through email. The Chair/Co-Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer will be elected during the first meeting of the new Council.

  • Co-Chair - must be voting parent representatives on council

  • Treasurer – must be a voting parent representative on the council. Elected for a one-year term, subject to restrictions set by HDSB Board Administrative Procedures, which currently require Treasurers to take one year off between 3 year consecutive terms.

  • Secretary – usually a parent member of council

Article V

5.0 Terms of Office

5.1 A person elected or appointed holds office from the first meeting of the year they are elected until the date of the first meeting of the Council in the following year.

5.2 An elected parent/guardian must submit their Self-Nomination Candidacy Form annually.

5.3 Teaching staff members will be determined annually from their respective groups. This will occur as soon as possible in the new school year.

5.4 The Principal is appointed by the Halton District School Board.

5.5 The Council may establish committees made up of teachers, parents/guardians, business leaders, advisors and other citizens to carry out specific functions, to study specific issues and to make recommendations to the Council. The Council will seek widespread participation in these activities. These committees will have no responsibilities beyond those outlined by the Council when the committee is established.

5.6 Membership will be terminated when:

  • For parents/guardians: When the member no longer has a child enrolled in the school.

  • For teacher/support staff: When the member is no longer employed at John T Tuck Public School

  • When the member has missed two consecutive scheduled meetings without proper notice or regrets to the Chairperson or the school and is recorded as absent in the minutes

  • When the member has missed three consecutive scheduled meetings

  • When the member submits a letter of resignation to the Chairperson

5.7 Removal of a Member of Council - If the council perceives the conduct of one of the members is such that the council has lost confidence in that person, the following guidelines to remove that member will apply:

a. Failure of the member to conduct himself/herself in a manner appropriate to the mission of the council and the Halton District School Board Code of Conduct, as decided by the council

b. Failure of the member to fulfill respective assigned duties

c. Any member absent for (2) consecutive meetings will be asked by the co-chairs to explain their absence and declare their intent to continue contributing to the Council

d. The council may determine by a two-thirds vote of the members present to remove a non-functioning member.

5.8 Vacancies that occur during the term will be determined by Council members. If there is more than one candidate, Council members will vote. Nominations for this appointment may be made by any member of the Council.

5.9 The names of Council members will be published on the school website within one week of the election.

5.10 The name, email address and phone number of the Chairperson will be forwarded, as requested, to the Halton District School Board.

Article VII

6.0 Duties of the Officers

6.1 The Chair/Co-Chair is responsible for:

  • Residing at all meetings, providing leadership to the Council and general supervision of activities of the Council

  • Working in cooperation with the Principal to prepare a written agenda in advance for all Council meetings

  • Distributing the agenda to Council members at the time of each scheduled meeting

  • Appointing temporary or standing committees as needed, in consultation with the Council

  • Expressing consensus or accepting a motion from the floor, as reached by Council

  • Keeping a speaker’s list to ensure only one person at a time is speaking

  • Serving as the spokesperson for the Council

  • Monitoring the implementation of Council decisions

6.2 The Secretary is responsible for:

  • Keeping a full and accurate account of the proceedings and transactions of Council meetings

  • Providing a copy of the complete minutes of the meeting to the Principal and all voting Council members

  • Assisting the Chair in introducing an executive summary of the Council’s activities, as required by the school board, after the final School Council meeting of the academic year, and communicating the executive summary in its entirety to the John T Tuck Public School community.

6.3 The treasurer is responsible for:

  • Working with the Principal to prepare a budget of projected revenues and expenditures that support the School Improvement Plan

  • Obtain monthly transaction reports from the head secretary for presentation at School Council Meetings

  • Monitor the revenues and expenditures of the School Council and report a financial summary at each meeting

6.4 The Principal/Vice-principal is responsible for:

  • Planning programs and providing materials that will assist the Council in fulfilling its responsibilities.

  • Notifying the school community regarding the dates, times and location of all regular Council meetings through the John T Tuck Public School sign or email newsletter

  • Sharing information on school activities, successes and concerns with the Council members on a variety of matters

  • Assisting, advising, supporting, cooperating and consulting and informing Council on how their recommendations have been taken into account when decisions related to their recommendation have been made

  • Providing administrative support for Council activities

  • Attending the meetings of the Council

  • Cooperatively setting the agenda with the Chair/Co-Chair of the Council

  • Maintaining the authority, responsibilities and obligations of the principalship as mandated by Board Policy and the Acts and Regulations of the Province of Ontario.

Article VIII

7.0 Council Procedures and Meetings

7.1 The Council has the responsibility to regularly inform the parent/guardian community of their activities through the School electronic Newsletter. Parents/guardians have access to present and previous minutes which are posted on the school website. A request for information may be made at the office. All Council minutes are kept at the school for four years before they are discarded.

7.2 All Council meetings shall be open to the public.

7.3 A Council meeting cannot be held unless:

  • A majority of the current members of the Council are present

  • A majority of the members of the Council who are present at the meeting are parent/guardian members (Reg 612/00 s.12).

7.4 The Council will meet within 30 days of the start of the school year on a date fixed by the Principal and at least three other times per year (Reg 612/00 s. 12).

7.5 The agenda of each Council meeting (set by the Chair/Co-Chair and Principal) shall include:

  • Welcome, introductions and attendance of members (present, regrets)

  • Approval of the minutes of the previous meeting

  • Business arising from previous minutes

  • Chair’s report

  • Treasurer’s report

  • Principal’s report

  • Committee reports

  • Agenda items for next meeting

  • New business/presentations

  • Adjournment

7.6 Persons interested in presenting at a Council meeting may request, in writing, to the Chair/Principal to be put on the agenda no later than seven (7) days before the next Council meeting date. Request will be discussed by the Principal and Chair at the agenda meeting.

7.7 Although normal decision making will be achieved through consensus, at times a voting process will be required. Absentee ballots or proxy voting will not be permitted. Members of the Council having one vote each are:

  • Parent/guardian members

  • Teaching staff representative

  • Non-teaching staff representative

7.8 A simple majority will carry a vote. The Council may not vote unless the meeting conditions of section 7.3 are met.

Article IX

8.0 Constitutional Change

8.1 The constitution/by-laws may be amended at any regular meeting of the Council by a 51% majority vote of those present, provided there is advance notice to the stakeholders. Specific amendments must have been introduced at a prior meeting and have been published in the Council minutes and listed on the agenda for the current meeting. Council members may do this by serving a Notice of Motion at the Council meeting.

8.2 A copy of the constitution will be made available on the John T Tuck Public School website or to any person upon request.

Article X

9.0 Financial Practices

9.1 The Board is required to ensure that School Council funds are properly administered and transactions are accurately recorded.

These obligations are met by:

  • Administrative guidelines for the collection, recording and control of student funds

  • Annual financial reporting requirements for each fund, and

  • Financial review of funds by central Board staff.

9.2 School councils shall adhere to the following Halton District School Board Administrative Procedures when fundraising:

  • Fundraising in Schools

  • School Generated Funds and School Council Funds

  • Student Fees

  • Donations and Charitable Receipts

9.3 School Council Funds refers to funds raised by members of the School Council to benefit students in the school. School Council funds are governed by the Education Act, Board Policies and Procedures, and donor requests. Revenue and expenses can come from different sources including fundraising and donations. These funds are under the direction and control of the Principal (HDSB Administrative Procedures School Generated Funds and School Council Funds and Reg. 612/00 s.22).

The School Council should prepare an annual budget. Surplus funds not specifically earmarked should be applied to other school priorities as identified in the school’s improvement plan.

9.4 The School Council Funds are part of School-Generated Funds, however, separate categories in School Accounting Software are used to keep track of the funds. Record keeping is done by the Senior Secretary and monthly transaction reports are provided to the School Council Treasurer for presentation at School Council Meetings. Signing authorities are any two of the following people: Principal, Vice-principal, or Senior Secretary. School Council Funds are included as part of School-Generated Funds on the annual report prepared by the Senior Secretary.

9.5 Theft of funds is covered by the Board’s insurance policy as long as the funds are in the school in a locked safe. Parents/guardians and staff may not take School Council Funds home as these funds would not be covered by the Board’s insurance policy. The HDSB forms should be accessed from the Board’s internal website by the school Principal or designate for use by the School Council when handling funds.

Article XI

10.0 Conflict of Interest

10.1 A conflict of interest may be actual, perceived or potential. 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 the decision of the Council.

10.2 A member shall not accept favours or economic benefits from any individuals, organization or entities known to be seeking business contracts with the school.

Article XII

11.0 Dispute Resolution (A by-law addressing dispute resolution is required. Reg.612 s. 15) (The Council will create a set of norms specific to their school. The following is an example.)

11.1 Every School Council member will be given an opportunity to express their concern or opinion about an issue.

11.2 Speakers to an issue will maintain a calm and respectful tone at all times.

11.3 Speakers will be allowed to speak without interruption.

11.4 The Chair’s responsibility is to clarify statements made by all speakers, to identify common ground among points of view raised and to set out the joint interest of all members.

11.5 If no common ground can be identified, the Chair will seek to clarify preferences among all members before proceeding further.

11.6 If all attempts at resolving the conflict have been exhausted without success, the Chair shall request the intervention of an independent third party to assist in achieving a resolution to the dispute.

11.7 An independent third party may be a Board official or another individual mutually agreed upon by the parties involved in the dispute.

11.8 Any resolution reached at the meeting to resolve the conflict shall be respected in full by all parties to the agreement.

Article XIII

12.0 Communication

12.1 Council members should encourage the participation of parents and other people within the community in school events

12.2 Council members should establish and maintain effective communications with all stakeholders in quality education, including administration, staff, students, parents and the broader community such as;

  • One to one, face to face (interacting on the playground or at school events);

  • Small group discussions, meetings;

  • Speaking before a large group;

  • Phone conversations;

  • Written personal notes/letters/email;

  • Mass produced non-personal letters; and/or Brochure or pamphlet