ÉCOLE BRANTFORD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
PARENT ADVISORY COUNCIL
CONSTITUTION & BYLAWS
(Revised August 3rd, 2016)
I. Name of the Organization
The name of the organization shall be the École Brantford Elementary School Parent Advisory Council, herein after referred to as the Council or as PAC.
II. Purpose of the Organization
The purpose of the Council shall be to promote and support education, and to contribute to the sense of community at École Brantford Elementary School in Burnaby.
The objectives of the Council are:
a. To facilitate communication, understanding and cooperation between École Brantford Elementary School and the Brantford community with respect to the education and well-being of Brantford students.
b. To contribute to school effectiveness by promoting the involvement and participation of parents in the School.
c. To work with the school staff to promote and provide intellectual, cultural, social and recreational opportunities for the students and families of École Brantford Elementary School.
d. To provide a formal means of consultation between parents and the school administration.
e. To organize approved volunteer activities and fundraising events that will provide additional resources and funds for Brantford Elementary School. The funds will be dispersed by a decision of the PAC in consultation with school staff.
f. To act as a liaison between the Burnaby District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC) and the parents of École Brantford Elementary School maintaining communication between both committees and relaying information received at scheduled PAC meetings via Email and/or written communication to the PAC executive and school principal.
g. To confer with representatives of other PAC’s at the district level.
- The council shall be dissolved at such time as the Board of School Trustees, District #41 (Burnaby) closes École Brantford Elementary School.
- In the event of dissolution and following payment of all outstanding debts, disbursement of remaining funds will be decided upon by the membership at the final General Meeting.
- All records of the organization will remain under the jurisdiction of School District #41 (Burnaby) and in the possession of the principal of the school.
Section 1: Membership
1.1 Membership and voting privileges extend to all parents/guardians of children in attendance at École Brantford Elementary School.
1.2 The school administration and staff, as well as other members of the school community, shall also be non-voting members.
1.3 There will be only one (1) Parent Advisory Council at École Brantford Elementary School.
1.4 Every member will uphold the constitution and comply with these bylaws and any policies adopted by the PAC.
1.5 A copy of the current constitution will be distributed at the beginning of every year to all newly elected executives. It will be posted on the PAC website, school website and a hardcopy attached to the PAC Notice Board. Copies will also be distributed to executive nominees at the AGM.
Section 2: Meetings
2.1 A general meeting is a meeting where any parent or legal guardian may attend with a minimum quorum of executives present.
2.2 An executive meeting is a meeting of the PAC executive officers and invited guest(s).
2.3 A meeting (general or executive) may be called to order without quorum, however, voting shall not take place until a quorum of executive members is present.
2.4 A quorum is considered to be at minimum 50% +1 executive member of the total current executive at the time of such meeting. JC
2.5 General meetings will be held not less than five times in each school year.
2.6 Times for general meetings will be established annually and will be advertised in the monthly school calendars and newsletters.
2.7 Executive meetings will be arranged as needed by the PAC executive officers.
2.8 The annual general meeting (AGM) will be held in May of each year.
2.9 Meeting minutes will be posted on the PAC bulletin board and copies brought to the next general meeting for review and formal approval.
2.10 Brantford general PAC meetings shall be held at the school at a day and time decided by the executive.
2.11 Brantford PAC meetings shall follow the objectives set out in our constitution and will not be a forum for the discussion of individual school personnel, students or parents.
2.12 All meeting(s) agenda’s will at a minimum contain the following: approval of past minutes, a treasurer’s report and new business.
Section 3: Voting
3.1 Voting at any meeting (general or executive) shall only take place when a quorum is present. All parents/guardians of students registered at Brantford Elementary School may vote at general meetings.
3.2 A PAC general meeting is a meeting where any parents/guardians of students registered at Brantford Elementary School may attend, comment and/or vote at.
3.3 The council shall act and make decisions by a simple majority vote by those parents or legal guardians present at a general PAC meeting except as provided elsewhere in these bylaws.
3.4 Voting shall be done by a show of hands. The council may decide that a matter of sensitive nature may be dealt with by secret ballot at a general meeting.
3.5 In specific executive decisions, with prior agreement, voting can be done via email to all members of the executive. Majority vote from executive required for adoption of motion.
3.6 Proxy voting is not permitted.
3.7 Adoption of a motion requires a majority vote accept where otherwise specified in this constitution.
3.8 A majority vote is defined as 50% plus 1.
3.9 Only in the case of a tie vote shall the chair exercise their right to vote.
Section 4: Executive Officers
4.1 The Executive is made up of the Executive Officers and shall provide leadership and efficient management of the affairs of the Council.
4.2 A minimum of 50% +1 executive member of the current Executive Officers present at an Executive Meeting shall constitute a quorum.
4.3 The Executive Council is comprised of the following 10 positions:
e) 2 District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC) Representatives
g) Fundraising Coordinator
h) 1 Member at large
i) 1 Canadian Parent’s for French (CPF) Representative
4.5 The number of officers comprising the Executive shall be a minimum of four officers.
4.6 The position of Chairperson and Treasurer may be shared with a maximum of one other person, whereby the position will be deemed Co-Chair and/or Co-Treasurer.
4.7 Orientation of the newly elected Executive shall be the responsibility of the outgoing Executive at or after the June PAC Executive meeting. The outgoing Executive shall remain available in an advisory capacity until the commencement of the new school year in September.
Section 5: Election of Executive Officers
5.1 A nominating committee chaired by the past chair will present a proposed slate of officers at the Annual General Meeting.
5.2 Elections for Executive positions will be conducted at the Annual General Meeting in May of each school year, except with respect to the position of Past-Chairperson.
5.3 If there is more than one nominated candidate for an Executive position, then the vote with respect to that Executive position will be conducted by secret ballot.
5.4 The Executive Officers must be parents or legal guardians of registered students at Brantford Elementary School.
5.5 A parent/guardian must disclose that the parent is an employee; contractor, appointed or elected official of the School Board or of the Ministry of Education prior to being elected to the Executive or their election will be null and void. PB/COI
5.6 At the General Meeting prior to the Annual General Meeting, notice must be given to Parents with respect to the call for nomination of Executive Officers.
5.7 The elected officers constitute the executive of the council. This is to include the Past Chairperson position who is automatically appointed to that position at the AGM. In the event that the past chair position is vacant, a non-voting, member at large position may be appointed by the incoming executive, to assume the duties tasked with the Past Chairperson position.
5.8 If there is a vacancy on the Executive during the year, the council shall elect a new Executive Officer at a general meeting and that Executive Officer shall remain in the Executive position until the next Annual General Meeting is held.
5.9 All PAC Executives shall have a criminal record check and legal clearance. Upon election at the AGM, the new Chairperson will ask the school to issue letters to newly elected PAC executive members enabling them to request a criminal record check at no charge. At the first PAC Executive meeting of the school year, all executive members must submit a formal criminal record check to the PAC Chairperson.
Section 6: Term of Office
6.1 The Executive shall be elected at the May Brantford PAC Annual General Meeting and shall hold office for a minimum period of one year commencing after the June PAC general meeting until the following June PAC general meeting.
6.2 An Executive Officer may not hold the same Executive position for more than two consecutive years except for District Parent Advisory Committee Representative (DPAC) who may serve any number of years.
6.3 With the exception of the District Parent Advisory Council Representative (DPAC), pursuant to 6.4, no person may hold more than one Executive position at any one time.
6.4 The Chairperson who steps down at the AGM from that current year shall automatically hold the position of Past-Chairperson in the next year, unless they hold another Executive position, step down by their own choosing or no longer have children registered at the school. In that event the past chair position would be forfeited.
6.5 If the Chairperson is unable or ineligible to fulfill the duties of Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson shall be declared the Chairperson.
Section 7: Finances
7.1 All funds raised by the Council will be held in a designated account. This account is named “Brantford Elementary School Parent Advisory Council Account.” Funds from this account will be used in accordance with the budget approved by the Council.
7.3 Funds from this account will be used in accordance with the budget approved by the Executive.
7.4 Funds received from the Gaming Commission will be held in a separate account. This account is named “Brantford School Parent Advisory Council Gaming Account.”
7.6 Allocation and prioritisation for spending of PAC monies will be decided in consultation with the staff and administration of Brantford School.
7.7 Expenditures less than $50 may be approved by two PAC Executive members before a purchase can be made.
7.8 Recurring expenses (i.e. popcorn supplies) that were initially approved at the beginning of the school year and who’s costs do not increase above the prior approved amount, may be expensed as necessary for the remainder of that school year.
7.9 Expenditures between $50 – $300 must be voted on and approved at an executive PAC meeting before a purchase can be made. Expenditures >$300 must be voted on and approved at a general PAC meeting.
7.10 Original or copies of detailed receipts are required for expenditure reimbursement.
7.11 Receipts not submitted within 90 days of the date of purchase will not be accepted or eligible for reimbursement.
7.12 The monthly Treasurer’s financial report must be signed and dated by the Treasurer and approved at the General PAC meetings.
7.13 Signing Officers have authority to execute banking necessities for the Council. However, at least two Signing Officers must execute any banking documents to have legal effect.
7.14 The Chairperson, and one or two other appointed executive members – exclusive of the Treasurer – (to be decided upon by the newly appointed executive committee) shall have signing authority. No two signatories can be related or from the same family.
7.15 All monies collected through fundraising must be counted by two individuals, exclusive of the Treasurer and a PAC Event Form must be filled out and signed by them and initialed by the Treasurer upon receipt & count confirmation.
7.16 All money must be counted and the count initialed on site by at least two people.
7.17 All invoices are to be paid by cheque only
7.18 Whenever possible signing officers must not sign cheques which are to be issued to them. Any cheques made payable to an individual must be signed by two other account signatories.
7.19 Any statements and/or records pertaining to all Brantford PAC accounts must be readily available upon request for viewing by any registered Brantford family.
7.20 The PAC Executive will attempt to collect bank charges and fees for all NSF cheques.
7.21 As per Receiver General’s requirements, all financial documentation is to be stored for a period of seven years. Previous years’ documentation is to be stored at the school.
7.22 It is recommended that the Council have a financial review once per year by at least two individuals who are not the Treasurer (generally in June) with full access to the deposit book, cheque book, bank statements, receipts and invoices.
Section 8: Code of Conduct, Code of Ethics, Perceived Bias & Conflict of Interest
8.1 Code of Conduct
8.1.1 The council is not a forum for the discussion of individual school personnel, students, parents or other individual members of the school community.
8.1.2 All PAC Executive members will sign a ‘Statement of Understanding’ with respect to a Code of Ethics at the first executive meeting of the school year.
8.1.3 The Chairperson has the authority to ask an attendee who is not following appropriate etiquette to leave a meeting.
8.1.4 The Chairperson has the authority to immediately adjourn a meeting should the conduct of attendee`(s) prove disruptive, inappropriate or contravene the Meeting Rules of Order.
8.1.5 An executive member who is approached by a parent with a concern related to the school is in a privileged position and must treat such discussion as confidential and refer the parent to the school administration.
8.2 Code of Ethics
A parent who accepts a position as a Council executive member, committee member, or representative will:
8.2.1 uphold the constitution and bylaws, policies, and procedures of the electing body
8.2.2 perform his or her duties with honesty and integrity and in the interests of the Council
8.2.3 work to ensure that the well-being of students is the primary focus of all decisions
8.2.4 respect the rights of all individuals
8.2.5 take direction from the membership and executive
8.2.6 encourage and support parents and students with individual concerns to act on their own behalf, and provides information on the process for taking concerns forward
8.2.7 work to ensure that issues are resolved through due process
8.2.8 strive to be informed and only passes on information that is reliable
8.2.9 respect all confidential information
8.2.10 supports public education, in both the French and English Programs
8.3 Perceived Bias
8.3.1 Any parent/guardian attending an AGM, general or executive meeting must disclose prior to the meetings commencement any additional role(s), employment or affiliation(s) within the public education system and or if they are an elected official of the school district or Ministry of Education. Disclosure is required to ensure that he or she is acting solely in the interests of the PAC.
8.3.2 If a parent/guardian holds a position in the education system, or owns a business that supplies goods or services to the school or district, the parent is not precluded from participating fully as a council member. The parent can vote on issues that affect all parents in the same way, including elections in which they are a candidate, and can participate in all activities that do not involve decision-making.
8.3.3 When the parent has a financial interest not common to other members of the council, they should refrain from voting. When a parent may be seen to be biased, PAC Executive members should exercise caution in electing or appointing the parent to a committee, or representative position.
8.4 Conflict of Interest
8.4.1 A parent has a conflict of interest if he or she or their immediate family could benefit financially from a decision of the PAC that the parent can influence or vote on. This is true whether the parent is an executive member, committee member or a member at large. A parent in this position should refrain from participating in any discussion or vote on the issue. At the executive’s discretion, that person may be asked to leave the meeting for the duration of the relative discussion.
Section 9 Meeting Rules
A parent who accepts a position as a Council executive member, committee member, or representative and or attends any general or executive meeting(s) will:
9.1 Refrain from using electronics. If your phone rings or buzzes, don’t take it unless it’s an emergency. If you have to take the call, step out of the meeting room.
9.2 Be an active listener and concentrate on what is being said. Make an effort to understand what is being said, and don’t repeat the same comments or information.
9.3 Focus on ideas and issues, not people. Never make any personal comments about someone.
9.4 Keep your comments concise. You may only speak to the same agenda item twice.
9.5 Speak in turn. When asking a question or when you want to speak, raise your hand. The chair will acknowledge speakers in order, and those who have not spoken yet on the topic will have priority.
9.6 Keep on topic and to the agenda. Stick to the discussion topic and the agenda. If you have items you would like to discuss that are not on the agenda, either wait for the New Business Section, or ask that it be added to the end of the agenda. If there is not time during the meeting, request that the item be put on a future meeting agenda.
9.7 Remember a discussion is not an argument. If you wish to disagree, do so politely. Don’t lose your temper or shout. Use a moderate tone and be aware of your body language.
9.8 Do not talk during the meeting. Hold your comments until you have been acknowledged by the chair. Conversation during a meeting is disruptive to other attendees and inconsiderate of the speaker.
9.9 Be respectful while others are speaking and be willing to compromise. Although members’ views may be divided, we need to accept that compromises need to be made. Although the minority will be heard, the majority will make the decision.
9.10 Disorderly conduct will not be tolerated. At the Chair’s discretion, or by a proposed and or tabled motion which passes by vote, a member acting or speaking inappropriately will be asked to leave the meeting.
Section 10: Amendments to Constitution and By-Laws
10.1 The Constitution and By-laws shall be examined annually by the Brantford PAC Executive to ensure that they continue to meet the needs of the Brantford PAC by a committee chaired by the Past Chairperson. In the event the position of Past Chairperson is vacant, the executive will appoint an executive member to act as committee chair.
10.2 Any amendments deemed necessary and/or appropriate shall be proposed at a general meeting providing that:
10.3 A minimum of 14 calendar day’s written notice to all parents before a general meeting that such change(s) will be voted on.
10.4 The notice includes the specific amendments proposed or indicates the sections where changes will be proposed. Proposed changes must be made available to parents/guardians in at least 2 of the following ways:
- Written copy to be posted on the PAC bulletin board
- Written copy made available for pick up from the school office
- Written copy sent home
- Email sent via listserve
- Copies made available on the PAC and school website
10.5 Majority vote of at least two thirds of parents/guardians present at the general meeting is required to pass vote in favour of the proposed amendment(s).