School Council By-Laws

  • School Council members at each school adopt their own set of bylaws that govern the operations of school council. The information below is an example of model bylaws provided by the Georgia School Councils Institute.

    (Enter School Name) School Council Bylaws

    Article I: Name

    A school council has been established in the (Enter School Name) School in the (Enter School District) on (Enter Date). The name of this school council shall be the (Enter School Name) School Council, hereinafter referred to as the school council, organized under the authority of state law (O.C.G.A. § 20–2–85 – 20–2–86).

    Article II: Purpose

    The establishment of school councils is intended to help local boards of education by bringing parents and the community together with teachers and school administrators to create a better understanding of and mutual respect for each other’s concerns and share ideas for school improvement. School councils shall represent the community of parents and businesses.

    The members of the school council are accountable to the constituents they serve and shall:

    1. Maintain a school-wide perspective on issues;
    2. Regularly participate in school council meetings;
    3. Participate in information and training programs;
    4. Act as a link between the school council and the community;
    5. Encourage the participation of parents and others within the school community; and
    6. Work to improve student achievement and performance.

    Article III: School Council Authority

    The school council shall advise and make recommendations to the principal, local board of education and local school superintendent on matters relating to school improvement and student achievement.

    The school council shall participate in the selection of the school principal in accordance with the written policy of the local board of education.

    The school council shall review and approve the school improvement plan.

    The school council shall review school site budget and expenditure information, and class sizes by grade.

    The school council has the authority to appoint committees, study groups, or task forces for such purposes as it deems helpful and may utilize existing or new school advisory groups.

    The school council shall have the same immunity as the local board of education in all matters directly related to the functions of the school council.

    Article IV: Role of the School Council

    The school council provides advice and recommendations to the school principal and, when appropriate, the local board of education and local school superintendent, on any matter related to student achievement and school improvement, including but not limited to, the following:

    1. School board policies;
    2. School improvement plans;
    3. Curriculum and assessments;
    4. Report cards issued or audits of the school conducted by the Office of Student Achievement;
    5. Development of a school profile which shall contain data as identified by the school council to describe the academic performance, academic progress, services, awards, interventions, environment, and other such data as the school council deems appropriate;
    6. School budget priorities, including school capital improvement plans;
    7. School-community communication strategies;
    8. Methods of involving parents and the community;
    9. Extracurricular activities in the school;
    10. School-based and community services;
    11. Community use of school facilities;
    12. Student discipline and attendance;
    13. Reports from the principal regarding progress toward the school’s student achievement goals, including progress within specific grade levels and subject areas and by school personnel; and
    14. The method and specifications for the delivery of early intervention services or other appropriate services for underachieving students.

    Article V: Membership

    Membership on the school council shall be open to principals, teachers, parents, business representatives and other such members as the school council may specify in its bylaws. Members of the school council shall not receive compensation to serve on a school council. Members of the school council shall include:

    1. (Specify at least 2) parents or guardians of students enrolled in the school, excluding parents or guardians who are also employees of the school;
    2. Two parents who are businesspersons;
    3. (Specify at least 2 but parents [#1 plus #2 above] must be the majority members) certificated teachers who are employed at least four of the six school segments at the school, excluding any personnel employed in administrative positions;
    4. The school principal; and 5. (Specify additional members, such as, but not limited to, students, staff, representatives of school related organizations, representatives of community organizations, and representatives of business entities in the community.)

    Article VI: Terms

    Council members shall be elected for two (or for Another Number) year terms. (Specify how Staggered Terms will be implemented.) Council members (Choose One: May or May Not) serve more than one term.

    Article VII: Elections Elections shall take place in (Enter Month)

    The electing body for the parent members shall consist of all parents and guardians eligible to serve as a parent member of the school council. (Specify Nomination and Election process if desired.)

    The electing body for the teacher members shall consist of all certificated personnel eligible to serve as a teacher member of the school council. (Specify Nomination and Election process if desired.)

    The businesspersons shall be selected in the following manner: (Specify Selection Process). (Specify Selection or Election process of additional members.)

    Article VIII: Vacancies

    The position of a school council member shall be automatically vacated if: 1. A member resigns by delivering a written resignation to the school council; 2. A member no longer meets the qualifications specified by law; or 3. A member is removed by an action of the school council.

    The school council may by a majority vote determine a position vacant if it finds that a member of the council is no longer active in the council due to inactivity (Define) and (Specify Reasons). The effective date of a vacancy shall be determined by the school council.

    An election within the electing body for a replacement to fill the remainder of an unexpired term shall be held within 30 days, unless there are 90 calendar days or less remaining in the term in which case the vacancy shall remain unfilled.

    Article IX: Meetings

    All meetings of the council shall be open to the public. The school council shall meet (Enter Number, Must be at least 4) times annually. The council shall also meet at the call of the chairperson, or at the request of a majority of the members of the school council.

    Notice by mail shall be sent to school council members at least seven days prior to a meeting and shall include the date, time and location of the meeting. School councils shall be subject to the Open Meetings Act in the same manner as local boards of education.

    The school council secretary shall be responsible for notifying, in writing, the local newspaper designated as the legal organ of the county of any and all meetings of the school council at least twenty-four hours in advance of the meeting.

    A quorum must be present in order to conduct official school council business. A quorum is comprised of a majority of school council members. Every question shall be determined by a majority vote of members present. Each member of the school council is authorized to exercise one vote. Proxy votes are not allowed. Members must be present in order to vote.

    Article X: Minutes

    School councils shall be subject to the Opens Records Act, relating to the inspection of public records, in the same manner as local boards of education. A summary of the subjects acted on and the members present at the meeting of the school council shall be made available to the public for inspection at the school office within two business days of the meeting. The minutes shall be provided to the school council members, each of whom shall receive a copy of such minutes, within 20 days following each school council meeting. The official minutes shall be open to public inspection once approved by the school council immediately following the next regular meeting of the school council.

    Minutes at a minimum shall include the names of the school council members present at the meeting, a description of each motion or other proposal made, and a record of all votes. In the case of a roll-call vote, the name of each school council member voting for or against a proposal or abstaining shall be recorded. In all other votes, it shall be presumed that the action taken was approved by each person in attendance unless the minutes reflect the name of the persons voting against the proposal or abstaining.

    Article XI: Officers of the School Council

    The officers of the school council shall be a chairperson, vice chairperson, and secretary. Officers of the school council shall be elected at the first meeting of the school council following the election of school council members. The term of the officers of the school council shall be (Specify Term).

    The chairperson, which shall be a parent, shall develop the agenda for all meetings, preside at all meetings of the school council, and perform such other duties as required by law or as shall be requested by the school council.

    The vice chairperson shall, in the absence of the chairperson, perform the duties and exercise the powers of the chairperson and shall perform such other duties as shall be requested by the school council.

    The secretary shall act as the clerk of the school council, record all votes and minutes of all proceedings, give notice of all meetings of the school council, and shall perform such other duties as may be required by law or as shall be requested by the school council.

    Article XII: Duties of the Principal

    The school principal shall have the following duties pertaining to school councils:

    1. Cause to be created a school council by convening the appropriate bodies to select school council members; setting the initial agenda, meeting time, and location; and notifying all school council members of the same;
    2. Call meetings of the electing bodies after providing public notice at least two weeks before such meetings;
    3. Communicate all school council requests for information and assistance to the local school superintendent and inform the school council of responses or actions of the local school superintendent;
    4. Develop the school improvement plan and school operation plan and submit the plans to the school council for its review, comments, recommendations, and approval;
    5. Provide progress reports regarding the school’s student achievement goals; and 6. Perform all of the duties required by law and the bylaws of the council.

    Article XIII: Board of Education Responsibilities

    The local board of education shall provide all information not specifically made confidential by law, including but not limited to, school site budget and expenditure information and class sizes by grade, to the school council as requested or as required by state law or state board rule.

    The local board shall designate an employee of the school system to attend school council meetings as requested by a school council for the purpose of responding to questions the school council may have concerning information provided to it by the local board or actions taken by the local board. The central administration shall respond to requests for information from a school council.

    The local board of education shall receive and consider all recommendations of the school council, including the annual report, as follows:

    1. Public notice shall be given to the community of the local board’s intent to consider school council reports or recommendations;
    2. Written notice shall be given to the members of the school council at least seven days prior to such local board meeting, along with a notice of intent to consider a school council report or recommendation;
    3. The members of the school council shall be afforded an opportunity to present information in support of the school council’s report or recommendation; and
    4. The local board of education shall respond to each recommendation of the school council within 60 calendar days after being notified in writing of the recommendation.

    The local board of education shall provide a training program to assist schools in forming a school council and to assist school council members in the performance of their duties. Such program shall address the organization of school councils; their purpose and responsibilities; applicable laws, rules, regulations and meeting procedures; important state and local school system program requirements; and a model school council organization plan.

    Additional training programs shall be offered to school council members annually.

    Article XIV: Bylaws

    The school council shall adopt the bylaws as it deems appropriate to conduct the business of the school council. The adoption of bylaws or changes thereto requires two-thirds affirmative votes.

    Article XV: Parliamentary Authority

    Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall be the governing parliamentary authority for school councils in all cases applicable but not inconsistent with these bylaws.