As part of our Boards regular updating of policy and procedures our PIC decided to find out whether a few, some or all of our elementary and secondary schools have developed a constitution and bylaws for their schools, beyond what is written as Board policies. I was wondering if anyone has a constitution for their school and if they would be willing to share it? Also does you school post their constitution for the entire school community? How often do you update it? Who approves it? In the secondary schools, does the student council have their own developed constitution and bylaws? Are they necessary in all schools individually? Some schools are looking for ideas and direction on what should be included. Any direction or documents would be greatly appreciated.
I assume you mean school council by-laws? I have a few templates and examples on file somewhere - I will look and send later.
I think constitutions are important to have and be communicated/shared, but remember, school councils don't have to have them. School boards also do not have to have specific school council policies (but many do). The reason being (for school councils and boards) that school council legislation is very comprehensive, prescriptive, and thorough. In Reg. 612/00 it refers to only 3 areas that a school council must cover in by-laws. I won't rewrite the exact wording, but the areas are election procedures & vacancies, conflict of interest, and conflict resolution process.
If the legislation is being observed/understood/communicated/upheld by councils, schools, and boards, the need for by-laws may be less.
Hope that is helpful for now...
There may be points related to this in other school council discussions here as well, so I may have repeated myself :)
I think I adapted this template from someone else, but I can't remember who. Sorry that I can't give proper credit, but here it is:
Most of the information on ' School Council / Handbook/Constitution are availbale on line; just google ' School Council Constitution Templates' and you will be given a wealth of information. I also found some school boards ( Peel District Public School B.) whose webside have a section devoted to 'school council resources'...do's and dont's. Very useful. As for the need of ' constitution in our schools' I believe that very few of them have them...the TLDSB is not really pro active about parents involvement in schools...and most school have ' school council' in name only...to meet Ministry Requirements. In my opinion much is needed in having parents informed and involved.
My school council has a bylaw - I believe they are incredibly necessary -
We have ours posted on our school council website.
Here is the link - while it may not be perfect it is definitely a work in progress if we discover a need we can always make amendments.
Hope it helps.
Thank you ! I like the simplicity of its format. l As for the usefulness of the 'by-laws" I believe they are important for a number of reasons: Reason-1) They are essential to conduct effective meetings; 2) They are necessary to 'keep a record' of educational issues being debated, of position taken and to keep its members, who are purported to REPRESENT the school community, accountable to the larger school family. Moreover, they are ' legal" documents to which any TAXPAYERS has the right to access, including teaching staff and the Ministry. As a matter of fact, all records of the 'school council' must be kept inside a safe place for public scrutiny if necessary. I take the role of School Council very seriously, more seriously than that of a trustee..unfortunately, not many parents understand the importance of such representation.
many expensive and disparate attempts have been made to study and address the problems of school boards who walk over children and parents. ultimately, serious public accountability is the key in democracy. a new ombudsman could be just another layer with no guarantee of accountability and impartiality. the existing office of the ontario ombudsman is already powerful on an equal footing to the ministry which washes its hands of individual cases to the school boards which, in turn, are corporations answerable only to themselves. sweet deal for them and their salaries and a nightmare for anyone who needs to ask for help.
i hope to collect the facts from families who have and do suffer because of very uncooperative schools and boards to really expose and reform for a simple but essential change: allow the ombudsman of ontario to investigate school boards in individual cases. it is high time. i have watched it personally over generations from sudbury to hamilton and third hand over north america.
please respond if u would like to lend your support.