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SBDM By-Laws

Calvary Elementary School

By-Laws

 

Council Composition and Terms

 

KRS 160.345(2)(a) says:

    Each participating school shall form a school council composed of two (2)

parents, three (3) teachers, and the principal or administrator.  The membership of the council may be increased proportionately.

 

KRS 160.345(2)(b)1 says:

    A school council, once elected, may adopt a policy setting different terms of

    office for parent and teacher members subsequently elected.  The principal

    or head teacher shall be the chair of the school council.

 

KRS 160.345(7) says:

    A school that chooses to have school-based decision making but would like

to be exempt from the administrative structure set forth in this section may develop a model for implementing school-based decision making including, but not limited to, a description of the membership, organization, duties, and responsibilities of a school council.  The school shall submit the model through the local board of education to the chief state school officer and the State Board for Elementary and Secondary Education, which shall have final authority for approval.  The application for approval of the model shall show evidence that it has been developed by representatives of the parents, students, certified personnel, and the administrators of the school and that two-thirds (2/3) of the faculty have agreed to the model.

 

By-Law 1

 

The council shall consist of the principal, three teacher members, and two parent members.  If the minority enrollment at the school was eight percent or higher on the October 1 preceding the start of a new council term, the council shall also include at least one minority member.

 

The terms of parent and teacher members shall begin on July 1 and end on June 30 of the next year.  Between the date of the elections and July 1,  members-elect are urged to attend all council meetings.  Members are eligible for reelection to consecutive terms.

 

The principal shall be chair of the council.    In addition to presiding at council meetings, the chair of the council shall:

  1. provide all members of the council with copies of all school-wide test results within three school days after those results are delivered to the school.

  2. keep a file of all correspondence addressed to the council and remove items from that file, only after they have been brought to two regular council meetings.

  3. report on all school spending, other than staff salaries and benefits, through the last day of the previous calendar month, at each regular council meeting.

  4. be the official custodian of council records.

  5. exercise any other responsibility specified in these by-laws.

 
 

Parent Members

 

KRS 160.345(1)(a) says:

    “Parent” means: 1.  A parent, stepparent, or foster parent of a student; or 2.     

A person who has legal custody of a student pursuant to a court order and with whom the student resides.

 

KRS 160.345(2)(b)1 says:

The parent members shall be elected by the parents of students preregistered to attend the school during the term of office in an election conducted by the

parent and teacher organization of the school or, if none exists, the largest

organization of parents formed for this purpose.

 

KRS 160.345(2)(a) says:

    A parent representative on the council shall not be an employee or a relative

of an employee of the school in which that parent serves, nor shall the parent representative be an employee or a relative of an employee in the district administrative offices.  A parent representative shall not be a local board member of a board member’s spouse.  

   

By-Law 2

 

Parent Qualifications.  Parent members must be the parent, stepparent, or foster parent of a child who will be enrolled at the school during one’s term of office.  Legal guardians are also considered parents if the child lives with them.  Three groups of parents may not serve on the council:

  1. employees of our school or their parents, children, siblings, spouses, aunts, uncles, sons-in-law and daughters-in-law.

  2. employees in our district administrative offices or the parents, children, siblings, spouses, aunts, uncles, sons-in-law and daughters-in-law

  3. members of the district school board, or spouses of district school board members

 
 
 

Parent-Elections shall be conducted by the PTO not later than the second parent teacher conference.  The parents of all children enrolled at the school or preregistered to attend next year may vote.  The principal shall assist the PTO in alerting parents to the election schedule.  The PTO shall notify the current council of the names of those elected not later than the evening of the election.

 

Teacher Members

 

KRS 160.345(1) says:

    “Teacher” means any person for whom certification is required as a basis of employment

    in the public schools of the state with the exception of principals, assistant principals,

    and head teachers.

 

KRS 160.345(2)(b)(1) says:

The teacher representatives shall be elected for one (1) year terms by a majority of the teachers.  A teacher elected to a school council shall not be involuntarily transferred during his or her term of office.

   

By-Law 3

 

Teacher Qualifications.   Teacher members must hold a position at the school that requires a state certificate and must not hold the position of principal, assistant principal, or head teacher.

 

Nomination.  Any teacher may nominate himself, herself, or another teacher for the office of teacher member by signing a letter of nomination and submitting it to the principal on or before the date determined by the election packet.

 

Sample Ballot. The principal shall ask each person nominated to sign a letter stating that he or she is willing to serve on the council if elected and that he or she meets the qualifications listed above.  The principal shall then prepare a sample ballot form that lists alphabetically the names of all those nominated, willing and eligible to serve and distribute that sample ballot to all teachers at the school not later than May 15.

 

Voting.  Teacher members shall be elected by the last day of the current school year.  At that time, all teachers shall convene in a room designated by the principal.  Each teacher shall be given a ballot listing the same names as were found on the sample ballot and shall vote for the number of seats that are then vacant.  The principal shall collect the ballots and count them in the room, announcing the results before the teachers adjourn. Any person or persons receiving a majority on this ballot shall serve as a council member in the coming year.

 

Procedure If A Majority Is Not Received.  If fewer candidates receive a majority of votes than the number needed to fill the open seats, the person getting the smallest number of votes shall be removed from the ballot, and the teachers shall vote again for the number of persons needed to fill the remaining vacancies.  Any person receiving a majority of votes shall be deemed elected.  This process of removing one name shall be repeated as often as necessary to elect candidates by majority to all open positions.

 

Minority Parent Members

 

KRS 160.345(1)(a) says:

“Minority: means American Indian; Alaskan native; African-American; Hispanic, including persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban and Central or South American origin; Pacific islander, or other ethnic group underrepresented in the school.

 

KRS 160.345(1)(d) says:

“Parent” means: 1. A parent, stepparent, or foster parent of a student; or 2. A person who has legal custody of a student pursuant to a court order and with whom the student resides.

 

KRS 160.345(2)(a) says:

A parent representative on the council shall not be an employee or a relative of an employee of the school in which that parent serves, nor shall the parent representative be an employee or a relative of an employee in the district administrative offices.  A parent representative shall not be a local board member or a board member’s spouse.

 

KRS 160.345(2)(b)2 says:

School councils in schools having eight percent (8%) or more minority students enrolled, as determined by the enrollment on the preceding October 1, shall have at least one (1) minority member.  If the council formed under paragraph (a) of this subsection does not have a minority member, the principal, in a timely manner, shall be responsible for carrying out the following:

 
  1. Organizing a special election to elect an additional parent member.  The principal shall call for nominations and shall notify the parents of the students of the date, time, and location of the election to elect a minority parent to the council by ballot.   

           `(b)  Allowing the teachers in the building to select one (1) minority teacher to serve as a                                                      

                   member on the council.  If there are no minority teachers who are members of the

                    faculty, an additional teacher member shall be elected by a majority of all teachers.

                    term limitations shall not apply for a minority teacher member who is the only

            minority on the faculty.

 

By-Law 4

 

When Required.  If the school had eight percent (8%) or more minority enrollment on October 1, we must have at least one minority member after our next elections.  If the principal is a minority member as defined above or if any elected parent or teacher member is a minority member as defined above, no further election is required.  Otherwise, a minority parent and an additional teacher shall be elected.

 

Minority Parent Members.  Minority members must be American Indian; Alaskan native; African American; Hispanic, including persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Central or South American Origin; Pacific Islander; or other ethnic group underrepresented in the school.  Parent minority members must meet the other qualifications for parent members listed above.

 

Minority Parent Election.  By May 20, the principal shall notify all parents in writing of the date, time and place he or she has selected for an additional election.  At that time, those parents shall nominate candidates and elect one additional parent minority member by plurality.  In the event of a tie vote for the highest vote-getter, a run off will be held between the people who were tied.

 

Minority Teacher Members

 

KRS 160.345(1)(a) says:

“Minority” means American Indian; Alaskan native; African-American; Hispanic, including persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Central or South American origin; Pacific Islander, or other ethnic group underrepresented in the school.

 

KRS 160.345(1)(c) says:

“Teacher” means any person for whom certification is required as a basis of employment in the public schools of the state with the exception of principals, assistant principals, and head teachers.

 

KRS 160.345(2)(b)2 says:

School councils in schools having eight percent (8%) or more minority students enrolled, as determined by the enrollment on the preceding October 1, shall have at least one (1) minority member.  If the council formed under paragraph (a) of this subsection does not have a minority member, the principal, in a timely manner, shall be responsible for carrying out the following:

 
  1. Organizing a special election to elect an additional parent member.  The principal shall call for nominations and shall notify the parents of the students of the date, time, and location of the election to elect a minority parent to the council by ballot.

  2. Allowing the teachers in the building to select one (1) minority teacher to serve as a

teacher member on the council.  If there are no minority teachers who are members of the faculty, an additional teacher member shall be elected by a majority of all teachers.  Term limitations shall not apply for a minority teacher member who is the only minority on the faculty.

 

***Please do notice that under the second sentence of the last paragraph above you can elect a non-minority teacher only if your school has no minority teachers.  If you have minority teachers but they all decline to serve, your council must operate with three parents and three teachers.

 
 
 
 

By-Law 5

 

When Required. If the school has eight percent (8%) or more minority enrollment on October 1, our council must have at least one minority member after the next elections.  If the principal is a minority member as defined above or if any elected parent or teacher member is a minority member as defined above, no further election is required.  Otherwise, a minority parent and an additional teacher shall be elected.

 

Minority Teacher Qualifications.  Minority Teacher members must be American Indian; Alaskan native; African American; Hispanic, including persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Central or South American Origin; Pacific Islander; or other ethnic group underrepresented in the school. They must also meet the qualifications for teacher members listed above.

 

Minority Teacher. If the school has one or more minority teachers, an election for the minority teacher member shall be held on the last school day in March.  Nominations shall be due the preceding Thursday, and all other steps in the process shall be carried out according to the teacher election procedure described in the teacher election section of these by-laws. If no minority teacher is willing to serve, no teacher member shall be added to the council.

 

Additional Non-Minority Teacher.  If the school has no minority teachers, an election for an additional teacher member of the council shall be held on the last Monday in March. Nominations shall be due the preceding Thursday, and all other steps in the process shall be carried out according to the procedure described elsewhere in these by-laws.

 

Vacancies on the Council

 

LEGAL REQUIREMENTS:

The rules that apply to your regular elections also apply to filling any vacancies.  Two ways to meet those requirements are:

 
  1. To hold new elections each time a vacancy occurs.

     2.   To elect alternates at the same time you elect your regular members, and provide that

      alternates take over if a regular member must resign.

 

By-Law 6

 

Notice of Vacancy.  When a council member resigns, is removed, or dies, a new member shall be elected to complete that term.  The principal shall post a notice in the staff lounge and in a place readily accessible to parents stating that there is a vacancy and including the text of this subsection of the by-laws.  The principal shall also communicate this information to the president of the parent-teacher organization.  These steps shall be taken within one school week after the principal learns of vacancy.

 

Replacement teacher member election. Nominations shall be submitted to the principal within ten school days after vacancy occurs, and the election shall be held five school days after that, following the procedure described in the teacher election section of these by-laws.

 

Replacement parent member election.  The president of the parent-teacher organization shall call an election to be held not less than ten or more than twenty school days after the vacancy occurs. The principal shall cause notices of the election to be sent home with each student at the school and sent to the local paper or papers.

 

Replacement minority parent member election.  The principal shall implement the procedure described in the appropriate minority election section of these by-laws.

 

Replacement additional teacher member.  The principal shall implement the procedure described in the minority election section of these by-laws.

 

SBDM TRAINING

 

KRS 160.345(3) says:

The policy adopted by the local board to implement school-based decision making shall also address the following:  (a) School budget and administration, including: discretionary funds; activity and other school funds; funds for maintenance, supplies, and equipment; and procedures for authorizing reimbursement for training and other expenses;

 

KRS 160.345(6) says:

The Department of Education shall provide professional development activities to assist schools in implementing school-based decision making.  School council members elected for the first time shall complete a minimum of six (6) clock hours of training in the process of school-based decision making, no later than thirty (30) days after the beginning of the service year for which they are elected to serve.  School council members who have served on a school council at least one (1) year shall complete a minimum of three (3) clock hours of training in the process of school-based decision making no later than one hundred twenty (120) days after the beginning of the service year for which they are elected to serve.  By November 1 of each year, the principal through the local superintendent shall forward to the Department of Education the names and addresses of each council member and verify that the required training has been completed.  School council training required under this subsection shall be conducted by trainers endorsed by the Department of Education, and school council members shall complete the required training no later than thirty (30) days after the beginning of the service year for which they are elected to serve.  School council members elected to fill a vacancy shall complete the applicable training within thirty (30) days of their election.

 
 
 

By-Law 7

 

New Members.  Members elected for the first time shall complete at least six hours of training in the process of school-based decision making no later than 30 days after the start of their terms.  They can get that training anytime between the date they are elected and the 30 day deadline.  This training must be provided by a person endorsed by the Kentucky Department of Education for new member training.

 

Veteran Members.  Members who have served on a council before shall complete at least three hours of training in the process of school-based decision making no later than 120 days after the start of their terms.  They can get that training up to one year before the 120 day deadline.  This training must be provided by a person endorsed by the Kentucky Department of Education for experienced member training.

 

Mid-Year Vacancies.  Members who are elected to fill a vacant position in the middle of the year shall complete the required training no more than 30 days after they are elected, from a person with appropriate endorsement from the Kentucky Department of Education.

 

Reimbursements.  Requests to be reimbursed for training costs shall be made according to board policy requirements.

 

Reporting.  By November 1 each year, the principal shall give the superintendent the names and addresses of each council member and verify that the required training has been completed.  The superintendent will forward that information to the Department of Education.

 

Standards of Conduct and Removal of Members

 

KRS 160.345(9) says:

  1. No board member, superintendent of schools, district employee, or member of a school council shall intentionally engage in a pattern of practice which is detrimental to the successful implementation of or circumvents the intent of school-based decision making to allow the professional staff members of a school and parents to be involved in the decision making process in working toward meeting the educational goals established in KRS 158.645 and 158.6451 or to make decisions in areas of policy assigned to a school council pursuant to paragraph (i) of subsection 2 of this section.

  2. An affected party who believes a violation of this subsection has occurred may file a written complaint with the Office of Education Accountability.  The Office shall investigate the complaint and resolve the conflict if possible, or forward the matter to the State Board for Elementary and Secondary Education.

  3. The State Board for Elementary and Secondary Education shall establish by administrative regulation a hearing process for complaints referred by the office of Education Accountability.

  4. If the State Board determines a violation has occurred, the party shall be subject to reprimand.  A second violation of this subsection may be grounds for removing a superintendent or school board member from office or grounds for dismissal of an employee for misconduct in office or willful neglect of duty.

 

KRS 156.132(1) says:

The chief state school officer shall recommend, by written charges to the proper school authorities having immediate jurisdiction, the removal of any superintendent of schools, principal, teacher, member of a school council, or other public school officer as to whom he has reason to believe is guilty of immorality, misconduct in office, incompetency, willful neglect of duty, or nonfeasance.  In the case of a member of a school council, the written charges shall be provided to the local board of education.   

 

By-Law 8

 

REGARDING STANDARDS OF CONDUCT:

 

Attendance.  Members of the council shall attend all council meetings unless the absence is excused.  Absences may be excused by consensus of the council for good cause.  A member who has three unexcused absences from council meetings shall resign.

 

Conflict of Interest.  No member shall enter into any business dealing that creates a conflict   of interest under KRS 45A.340, and any member who discovers the existence of such a conflict of interest shall resign.

 

Ongoing Eligibility.  Any member who ceases to be eligible to serve on the council shall resign.  Examples include teachers who transfer to other schools, parents whose children transfer to other schools, and any other change that makes a person ineligible for their position.

 

Improper Meeting.  No combination of one half or more of the members of the council shall meet to discuss council business without following the procedures for scheduling a meeting of the full council listed elsewhere in these by-laws.

 

Intentional Interference with School-Based Decision Making.  No member of the council shall intentionally engage in a pattern of practice which is detrimental to the successful implementation of or circumvents the intent of school-based decision making to allow the professional staff members of a school and parents to be involved in the decision making process in working toward meeting the educational goals of the Kentucky Education Reform Act or to exercise the powers granted to councils by state law.

             

 
 
 
 

REGARDING STANDARDS OF CONDUCT:

 

A member who violates the standards of conduct and does not submit a written resignation from the council could be reprimanded or removed.  There are two ways that could happen:

  1. The Commissioner of Education can recommend removal for immorality, misconduct in office, incompetence, willful neglect of duty, on nonfeasance, and then the local board of education holds a hearing into the charges to decide whether removal is warranted.

  2. The Office of Education Accountability can investigate claims of intentional interference with school-based decision making.  If OEA cannot resolve the issue, it is forwarded to the Kentucky Board of Education, which holds a hearing to determine whether the charges are valid.  The first time the Kentucky Board finds a person guilty of such interference; the person will receive a reprimand.  The second time, the person can be removed from office.

 

Council Responsibilities

 

KRS 160.345, the SBDM Law, requires councils to perform most of the functions listed in the by-laws with the following exceptions:

   

Safety planning, required by KRS 158.445

    Organizing the primary, required by KRS 158.031.

The only “optional” function is the committee's policy, and that is required if you have committees.  Ideally, you will use each of these roles to help learning flourish at your school.

 

By-Law 9

 

Policy Responsibilities.  The council shall set policy on:

 

1.  Determination of curriculum, including needs assessment and curriculum development.

2.  Assignment of all instructional and non instructional staff time.

3.  Assignment of students to classes and programs within the school.

4.  Determination of the schedule of the school day and week, subject to the beginning and ending times of the school day and school calendar year as established by the local board.

5.  Determination of use of school space during the school day.

6.  Planning and resolution of issues regarding instructional practices.

7.  Selection and implementation of discipline and classroom management techniques, including responsibilities of the student, parent, teacher, counselor, and principal.

8.  Selection of extracurricular programs and policies relating to student participation based on academic qualifications, attendance requirements, program evaluation and supervision.

9.  Procedures for determining alignment with state standards, technology utilization, and program appraisal.  Council policy on this issue must be consistent with board policy.

10.  Procedures to assist the council with consultation in the selection of personnel by the principal, including but not limited to, meetings, timelines, interviews, review of written applications, and review of references.  Procedures shall address situations in which members of the council are not available for consultation.

11.  Facilitating participation of interested persons, including, but not limited to, classified employees and parents and shall include the number of committees, their jurisdiction, composition, and the process for membership selection.

12.  Other issues to provide an environment to enhance students’ achievement and to meet the goals set by KRS 158.645 and 6451.  If the council makes a policy that fits this area but not any of the areas listed in 1-11 above, that policy must be consistent with board policy.

   

Other Responsibilities.  The council shall also:

 

1.  Determine the number of persons to be employed in each job classification at the school.

2.  Determine which textbooks shall be used at the school.

3.  Determine which instructional materials shall be used at the school.

4.  Determine what student support services shall be provided in the school.

5.  Determine the professional development to be paid for out of the council’s allocation.

6.  Adopt a school improvement plan that meets the requirements set in board policy.

7.  Determine the organization of our ungraded primary program.

8.  Select a new principal for the school.

9.  Consult with the principal before he or she selects persons to fill other school vacancies.

10.  Each school council shall annually review state wide assessment data on its students’ performance and adopt a plan to ensure that each student makes progress toward Kentucky’s Learner Goals

11.  Carry out any other responsibilities assigned to the council by board policy or state law.

 

Limitations.  The council shall not:

1.  Recommend the transfer or dismissal of any member of the school staff.

2.  Violate federal or state law or regulations.

3.  Take any action that unreasonably risks the health or safety of students, staff, or others.

4.  Take any action that exposes the council or district to unreasonable risk of legal liability.

5.  Authorize any purchase that exceeds the financial resources available to it.

6.  Take any action that violates contractual obligations already made by the district or the council to personnel and other providers of goods and services.

7.  Exceed the responsibilities given to the council by state law or board policy.

 

Calling Meetings

 

KRS 160.345(2)(d) says:

The school council and each of its committees shall determine the frequency of and agenda of their meetings.

 

KRS 61.820, part of the Open Meetings Law, says:

All meetings of all public agencies of this state, and any committees or subcommittees thereof, shall be held at specified times and places that are convenient to the public, and all public agencies shall provide for a schedule of regular meetings by ordinance, order, resolution, by-law, or by whatever means may be required for the conduct of business of that public agency.  The schedule of regular meetings shall be made available to the public.

 

KRS 61.823, also part of the Open Meetings Law, says:

(2) The presiding officer or a majority of the members of the public agency may call a special meeting.  

(3) The public agency shall provide a written notice of the special meeting.  The notice shall consist of the date, time, and place of the special meeting and the agenda.  Discussion and action at the meeting shall be limited to items listed on the agenda in the notice.

  1. (a) As soon as possible, written notice shall be delivered personally, transmitted by facsimile machine, or mailed to every member of the public agency as well as each media organization which has filed a written request, including a mailing address, to receive notice of special meetings.  The notice shall be calculated so that it shall be received at least twenty four hours before the special meeting.  The public agency may periodically, but no more often than once in a calendar year, inform media organizations that they will have to submit a new written request or no longer receive notice of special meetings until a new written request is filed.

  1. As soon as possible, written notice shall also be posted in a conspicuous place in the                                                         

building where the special meeting will take place and in a conspicuous place in the building which houses the headquarters of the agency.  The notice shall be calculated so that it shall be posted at least twenty-four hours before the special meeting.

 
 

By-Law 10

 

Regular Meetings.  At the first meeting of each council term, the council shall select at least one regular meeting date in each month through July of the next calendar year.  The principal shall post a copy of the schedule in the teachers’ lounge and in a place readily accessible to parents, and he or she shall notify the local news media at least one week in advance of each meeting.

 

Special Meetings.  If the council needs to meet before its next regular meeting, the principal may call a special meeting. A special meeting may also be called by a majority of members of the council. Once the decision is made to call a special meeting, the following steps must be taken:

1.  Content of Written Notice.  The person or persons calling the meeting must prepare and sign a written notice that states the date, time and place of the special meeting and the agenda for the meeting. No issue not listed on that agenda can legally be discussed at the special meeting.

2.  Delivery of Notice.  The person or persons calling the meeting must arrange for the notice to be delivered to every council member and to any media organization that has asked to be notified of council meetings.  The delivery can be made by hand, facsimile machine, email, or mail, but the method must be one that allows the notice to arrive at least 24 hours before the time set for the meeting.

3.  Posting of Notice.  The notice must be posted conspicuously at the school, and also at the building where the meeting will be held if the meeting will not be held at the school.  These copies must be posted as soon as possible after the meeting is called, and definitely not less than 24 hours before the meeting will be held.

 
 

Holding Open and Closed Sessions

 

KRS 61.810(1), part of the Open Meetings Law, says:

All meetings of a quorum of the members of any public agency at which any public business is discussed or at which any action is taken by the agency, shall be public meetings, open to the public, except the following:

  1. Discussion of proposed or pending litigation against or on behalf of the public agency…

  1. Discussions or hearings which might lead to the appointment, discipline, or dismissal of an individual employee, member, or student without restricting the employee’s, member’s, or student’s right to a public hearing if requested.  This exception shall not be interpreted to permit discussion of general personnel matters in secret.

 

KRS 61.815, also part of the Open Meetings Law, says:

    1. Notice shall be given in regular open meeting of the general nature of the business to be discussed in closed session, the reason for the closed session, and the specific provision of KRS 61.810 authorizing the closed session;

    2. Closed sessions may be held only after a motion is made and carried by majority vote in open, public session;

    3. No final action may be taken at a closed session; and

    4. No matters may be discussed at a closed session other than those publicly announced prior to convening the closed session.

 

By-Law11

 

Open Sessions.  

Anyone who wants to attend a council meeting may do so, except for those portions that are conducted as closed sessions.

 

Closed Sessions.

When Closed Sessions Are Allowed.  A closed session is a portion of a regular or special meeting of the council during which the members meet in private. Within the realm of council responsibilities, the allowed subjects at closed meetings are proposed or pending litigation by or against the council, allowed by KRS 61.810(1)(c), or selection of a new principal or other new staff member, allowed by KRS 61.810(1)(f).

 
 

Required Announcement.  The chair or another council member must make an announcement in the open session. The announcement must state:

1.  that the council needs to discuss business involving a topic that the law allows to be discussed in closed session.

2.  the general nature of business that needs to be discussed in closed session, and

3.  the specific section of the law that allows the session to be closed (KRS 61.810(1)(c) or KRS 61.810(1)(f), described above).

 

Required Motion and Vote.  The chair or another member of the council must make a motion to go into closed session to discuss the business mentioned in the announcement, and a majority of members must vote for that motion.

 

Conduct of the Closed Session.  During the closed session, only the business stated in the announcement can be discussed, and no final decision can be made.

 

Return to Open Session.  After full discussion, the council must return to open session and make any official decision needed on the matter, and the decision must be recorded in the minutes of the open session.

 

AGENDAS

 

KRS 160.345(2)(d) says:

The school council and each of its committees shall determine the frequency of and agendas for their meetings.

 

You should also note that KRS 61.823(3), part of the Open Meetings Law, says:

 

    Discussion and action at the special meeting shall be limited to items listed on the agenda     in the notice.

 

By-Law 12

 

Required Elements On Every Agenda.  Every agenda for council meetings shall include:

    1. Deciding who will take the minutes for this meeting.

    2. Reviewing, amending, and approving minutes of previous meeting.

    3. Reviewing, amending and approving agenda for this meeting.

    4. Receiving reports from committees.

    5. Opportunity for public comment.

 

Submitting Agenda Items.  Anyone may submit items for inclusion on the agenda to the principal, and he or she shall maintain a complete file of those items.

 

Preliminary Agenda.  One week before each regular council meeting, the principal shall prepare a preliminary agenda for the council meeting, including all items that he or she believes need council attention at that session.  The principal shall post copies of the preliminary agenda in the staff lounge and at a location frequently passed by parents.  The principal shall also mail or hand deliver copies to each member of the council.  At the discretion of the principal, copies may also be sent to the local news media.

 

Final Agenda.  Setting the final agenda shall be the first order of business at each council meeting.  At special meetings, the council may not add items to the agenda listed in the special meeting notice, but may subtract items if it chooses to.

 

Consensus

 

No Kentucky law requires councils to operate by consensus.

 

By-Law 13

 

Steps to develop consensus:

 

1.  The council will assign each new issue to an appropriate committee, which will be responsible for researching the issue, gathering input, and developing a formal proposal with broad support.  The council will act without a committee recommendation only on issues that have urgent time deadlines or very limited impact on the school.

2.  When the committee brings the council a proposal, the council shall discuss it in enough detail to be sure that all members fully understand it and have had an opportunity to provide input.

3.  People who are not members of the council may show that they want to comment or to ask questions by raising their hands, and the chair will call upon them to speak.  When a significant number of persons wish to speak or when discussion of an issue has taken more than half an hour, the chair may set limits on the number of persons who may speak and the length of time each may speak.

4.  If discussion reveals substantial concerns or unclear points in a proposal, the council’s normal practice will be to return it to a committee for further work, taking up any subsequent committee recommendation as a new proposal when it is received.  The council will only attempt to decide significant revisions without first asking a committee to address the issue in cases where action is urgently needed.

 

Formal decision by consensus:

 

l.  Two-thirds of the members of the council, including at least one parent member and one teacher member, constitute a quorum.  A quorum must be present for the council to take action.

2.  Any member may make a motion to accept a proposal for a first reading.  When the proposal is in writing, the motion to adopt may be made verbally.  If the proposal is not in writing or if the person making the motion wants to propose one or more amendments, he or she shall write down the motion, read it to the council, and hand the written motion to the secretary for inclusion in the minutes.

3.  The chair shall then ask if there is further discussion.

4.  When the chair believes that discussion is complete, the chair shall ask if there is consensus.  Any member who is not willing to support the motion is obligated to say so at this time.  Members who support the motion shall indicate by word or other sign that they believe there is now a consensus.

5.  If no member states unwillingness to support, the chair shall direct the secretary to record that consensus has been reached and the motion has passed.

6.  After a motion is accepted for a first reading, it shall be considered again at the next regular council meeting, or at a special meeting if necessary.  If it is approved at that second meeting, the secretary shall note that it has been officially adopted as a council decision.

 

Consensus Failures

 

No Kentucky law requires councils to operate by consensus, but KASC and many others strongly recommend its use.

 

By-Law 14

 

Initial Failure to Reach Consensus:

 

1.  When a motion for consensus fails, the council may continue to discuss the issue until two more motions for consensus have been made and have failed.

2.  If two further motions on the same issue at the same meeting fail, the chair shall direct that the proposal be taken up again at the next meeting.  If the issue is filling a vacancy other than principal, the chair may instead ask each member to make a final comment on the issue and then declare that consultation has been completed.

3.  If the council takes up an issue at a second meeting and is still unable to reach consensus, the council shall consider alternative steps, including but not limited to:

    a) Asking a committee to bring the council a new proposal on the issue.

    b) Scheduling a fact-finding session, at which all members of the school community    

are invited to present factual information about the issue and such information is recorded on a flip chart.  Opinions without specific factual basis are not recorded, because the point of this session is to get a common focus on the knowledge base for deciding the issue.  After the fact-finding session, the council may take the issue up again to attempt consensus, or it may choose by vote to try one of the other options listed in this subsection.

c) Seeking the help of a trained mediator to find a consensus solution to the issue.

d) Considering the matter again at the next meeting, and if consensus there fail, decide the matter by majority vote.

4.  The council will only make decisions by vote:

a) when the council will otherwise be unable to meet a legal deadline by which the council is required to have made a decision, or

b) when the council has agreed at a second meeting about an issue to discuss it at a third meeting and decide by majority vote if consensus fails them (as allowed under provision 3-d above)

5.  If the council cannot agree on what further steps will be taken, and the issue does not meet the requirements for voting, the chair shall announce that no action will be taken on the issue, and the secretary shall note that announcement in the minutes.

Minutes

 

KRS 61.835, part of the Open Meetings Law, says:

The minutes of actions taken at every meeting of any such public agency, setting forth an accurate record of votes and actions at such meetings, shall be promptly recorded and such records shall be open to public inspection at reasonable times no later than immediately following the next meeting of the body.

 

By-Law 15

 

First Draft Minutes.  The secretary shall take minutes that state accurately each motion made and the action taken on it by the council.

 

Typed Minutes.  Within seven (7) days after each meeting, the secretary shall:

    1.  prepare a typed copy of the minutes.

    2.  sign his or her name at the bottom of the minutes.

    3.  attach copies of any policy, budget, by-law, amendment, or other document `    approved by the council.

4.  send copies to each member of the council.

5.  post a copy in the teachers’ lounge and another on the SBDM bulletin board.

6.  place the original in the official binder of council minutes.

 

Approval of Minutes.  At its next meeting, the council shall review the minutes.  If amendments are needed, they shall be recorded in the minutes of that next meeting.  After amendments, the council shall approve the minutes, which will then become available for public inspection.

 

Open Records.  The school office is open from 7:45 am until 3:30 pm each day.  During those hours, any person who wishes to see the binder of council documents kept there may do so immediately.  Persons who want copies of documents in the binder or to see or get copies of documents that are not kept there shall give the principal a written statement of the items they wish to see.  The principal, as official records custodian shall make the documents available within three business days after the request unless the records are subject to a specific exception of the Open Records Law. The fee for copies shall be 3 cents per page.  The principal shall post a copy of this section of the by-laws in the school office where it can easily be seen by citizens visiting the office.

 

Amendments and Appeals

 

KRS 160.345(3) says:

The policy adopted by the local board to implement school-based decision making shall also address the following  . . . (i)  A process for appealing a decision made by a school council.

 
 

By-Law 16

 

The Board of Education has established a process of appeals of council decisions, and a copy of that process is attached to these by-laws.

 

Amendments to By-Laws.  All motions to amend the by-laws of the council shall be submitted in writing.  No decision on a motion to amend the by-laws shall be made until after the topic has appeared twice in the preliminary agenda for council meetings and the proposed amendment has had two readings during those meetings.

 
 
Revised September 12, 2016