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JRPS School Council Constitution 448
JRPS School Council Constitution




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JRPS School Council Constitution

Article 1: Name and Constitution

The name of this organization shall be the James Robinson School Council or Council. The Members of the Council shall be responsible for maintaining the constitution. 

Article 2: Mission Statement

Our Council believes in a collaborative partnership between the school, families, and the community, which is essential to improving student achievement and well-being, and that communication among all stakeholders is of paramount importance.

Article 3: Purpose and Objectives

The purpose and objectives of the Council include, but are not limited to: 

  • Fostering and encouraging effective parental involvement in the education of their children

  • Providing a means for regular communication and dialogue between all stakeholders in the school community

  • Participating in the School Improvement Process 

  • Providing input into decisions made by the school administration, the Board, and the Ministry 

  • Fundraising to enhance the school experience for our students 

Article 4: Membership 

4.1: Parent/Guardians (Voting Members)

The number of parent/guardian members on the Council shall be a minimum of six (6) and a maximum of twenty (20) elected parents/guardians.  These are defined as parent/guardians of children enrolled at JRPS. There shall be no more than one parent/guardian member on Council from any one household. 

4.2: Community Members (Voting Members)

The number of Community Representatives shall be a maximum of two (2) (no minimum requirement).  Community Representatives must have skills and/or experience that adds value to Council and JRPS.  

Prior to their appointment to Council, proposed Community Representatives need to explain their intended contributions to the newly elected/acclaimed parent/guardian Members of Council.  Then parent/guardian Members of Council can vote on said community members’ inclusion as Community Representatives, based on the above criteria.  Exceptions to the criteria may be considered with the agreement of the new elections/acclaimed JRPS Members of Council. Upon appointment, Community Representatives are considered Members of Council and will have voting privileges.

4.3: Staff and Student Representatives  (Non-Voting Members)

There may be one staff member and one student representative who may be designated by the principal. 

4.4: General Membership (Non-Voting)

All parents/guardians of students who attend JRPS, all staff of JRPS, and all public school ratepayers within the area serviced by the school boundaries, have the right to be recognized as members of the JRPS community and are welcome to attend Council meetings as non-voting members. 

Article 5: Elections, Voting, and Term of Office 

5.1 Non-Council Election Committee

If an election is required (because the number of nominations exceeds 20), the Council/Principal shall appoint a Non-Council Election Committee to plan the election process, gather nominations, and run the election. No one standing for election or the spouse of anyone standing for election shall be a member of the election committee.

The election committee shall

  • distribute the list of nominees to the school community with notification of election procedures, election date(s), location, and time, at least fourteen days in advance of election

  • nominees will have a chance to introduce themselves in writing, have these introductions emailed out to the community, and go home in the form of a letter to families

  • Forms of Voting:

  1. Make ballots and a ballot box available in the school office for parents who want to vote, but cannot attend the School Council Elections Meeting meeting; ballot box voting shall be offered for seven (7) days prior to the School Council Elections Meeting

  2. offer an electronic option, whereby parents/guardians can vote (eg. Google Form); ensure that each parent/guardian only gets one vote electronic voting shall be offered for seven (7) days prior to the School Council Elections Meeting

  3. conduct the elections (at the School Council Elections Meeting) through secret ballot

  • after the School Council Elections Meeting, count all ballots cast 

  • help the principal notify all candidates of the results

  • keep all the results and related information confidential

  • release only the names of successful candidates

  • notify all individuals standing for election of the results before the results are released to the school community

A list of candidates and the vote results will be kept on file for use in the event of vacancy on the council.

 5.2: Date

Elections for Council Membership shall take place annually, no later than within the thirty school days for that academic year. At least fourteen (14) days notice shall be given to the general school population that the election process will take place on the designated date.

 5.3: Election Procedures for Parent Members

Each parent/guardian seeking election must be nominated or self-nominated in writing (through the Opening Day Book of Forms or a Google Form), must have a child registered at James Robinson Public School, and must declare if they are employed by the Board.

Each parent/guardian of a student enrolled in James Robinson Public School shall be entitled to one vote for each vacant parent/guardian member position on the Council.

 5.4: Acclamation

Parent elections shall be by acclamation when the number of candidates is equal to or less than the number of parent member positions on the Council (twenty [20)].

 5.5: Election of the Executive

Once the parent members are elected, the newly elected Council votes on its Executive for the year.  Members can nominate/self-nominate for Executive positions.   A show hand vote will take place to confirm nominees and appointments to Executive potions.

If there is more than one nominee for each position, a vote (by show of hands or secret ballot) will take place.  Each nominee will have a chance to address Council before the vote.  The nominees with the most votes, will be elected to said position.  (See Article 8 for a detailed list of positions.)

5.6: Appointment of Coordinators

The Chair/Co-Chair/Vice-Chairs have the option to appoint Coordinators at the Elections Meeting or at the first General Council Meeting after the Elections Meeting.

The Executive can appoint Council Coordinators made up of Voting Council Members and Community Members.  Community Members, who are not parents/guardians cannot be Voting Members, but can serve Council as Coordinators.  Appointments can be based on the current and future needs of Council, and not previous history, but to serve the work and vision of the Council.  Coordinator positions can include, but are not limited to:

  • Fundraising Coordinator

  • OPAL Committee Coordinator

  • Equity and Diversity Coordinator

  • Volunteer Coordinator

  • Communications Coordinator

5.7: Terms of Office

Council members serve a one-year term of office. There are no restrictions to the number of times a member can be re-elected.

 5.8: Resignations

Anyone who is a Council member, except the principal, may resign by writing a letter of resignation to the Chair. If someone resigns, the Council will fill the position according to Article 5.10: Vacancies.

 5.9: Removal

The Council may choose to remove from the Council any member who misses three (3) consecutive meetings and shall undertake to replace that person according to Article 5.10: Vacancies.

 5.10: Vacancies

A vacancy in the membership of Council does not prevent the Council from exercising its authority.

The Council should fill positions that become vacant due to resignation or removal as soon as possible by

  • offering the person with the next largest number of votes who was not elected the opportunity to accept the position,

  • notifying all parents of the vacancies and requesting application by interested volunteers,

  • calling an election if there are more applications than positions,

  • appointing a parent member when no more candidates are available, or

  • choosing not to replace the vacancy if Council membership continues to exceed a minimum of six (6) members.

The Council will fill vacancies only until May of the current year, after which time Council will fill the vacant positions through the annual election.

Article 6: Voting on Motions

While decisions of the Council are best decided through consensus, when voting is necessary, each Voting Member of the Council is entitled to one vote.   

When raising a motion, a Member of Council will make a motion to vote on the current issue.  The motion needs to be seconded by another Member.  Then the Chair will state the question to be voted on and then conduct the vote.  Voting may take place on motions via a show of hands.

Voting can take place via email if necessary.  The Chair will email out the motion question and Members.  Members will be given a set number of days (minimum of 3) to respond with questions/comments to the group.  Then The Chair will make a motion to vote.  Members will be given the chance to vote by return email.  A reasonable deadline shall be given for response, no less than 3 days.  The Chair shall report the outcome of the vote via email and report on it in the next Council Meeting, so it can be recorded in the Minutes.

Article 7: Remuneration 

A person shall not receive any remuneration for serving as a member of School Council.  Reimbursement for expenses incurred as members or officers of the Council shall be in accordance with school policy.

Article 8: Member Responsibilities

8.1 Members of Council

Members of the Council are accountable to the school community they represent and shall: 

  • Maintain a school-wide perspective on issues 

  • Regularly attend School Council meetings 

  • Participate in information sharing and training programs 

  • Act as a communication link between Council and the community 

  • Encourage the participation of parents and others in the school community 

  • Participate on Subcommittees as required and assist with tasks of the Council 

  •  Be a willing and active Member on Council and share in the duties and initiatives undertaken by the Council 

  • will act in a professional manner at meetings, in emails, on the telephone, and while using social media, as well as not abuse tenure or position on Council in anyway

  • Adhere to the Code of Ethics 

8.2: The Executive

Chair/Co-Chair/Vice-Chair shall carry out the following tasks in accordance with the Board’s School Councils policy and procedures:

  • Call a minimum of 4-8 meetings per year

  • Consult with Council and Principal prior to scheduled meetings regarding the agenda

  • Share agenda with Council members prior to the scheduled meeting 

  • Chair Council meetings following the agenda 

  • Ensure minutes of meetings are duly recorded by Council Secretary

  • Communicate on an ongoing basis with school administration 

  • Communicate with Trustee and Board staff as required 

  • Assist and act on behalf of the other Co-Chair/Vice-Chair

  • Ensure the Council Constitution is reviewed annually 

  •  ensure that there is communication with the community

Treasurer shall:

  • Manage Council finances 

  • Present written financial reports and statements, including those required for each School Council meeting

Secretary shall:

  • Conduct formal attendance and take notes during meetings

  • Notes shall include topics under discussion, motions, and all decisions rendered 

  • Prepare written minutes for distribution to Council members prior to the next meeting

8.3 The Principal 

  • supports and promotes the Council’s operations and activities as an equal member of the Council

  • seeks input from the Council in areas which it has identified as priorities and is prepared to provide a rationale for decisions made 

  • provides or gathers resources on laws, regulations, Board policies and collective agreements required by the Council to enable it to make informed decisions 

  • ensures that copies of the Council constitution and by-laws, financial reports, and minutes of meetings are kept at the school and available for everyone to see 

  • ensures all contacts and information are forwarded to the Chair 

  • assists the Council in communicating with the school community 

  • encourages the participation of parents from all groups and of other people within the community 

  • lends support to school community organizations which operate separately from the Council, and serves as an effective liaison between the Council and such organizations

8.4 Coordinators

  • All positions are under the direction of the Chair/Co-Chair/Vice-Chair and work products need to be approved by them (and possibly the Principal) prior to distribution to the school community.  

  • Positions will be decided upon by the Chair/Co-Chair/Vice Chair each year, based on the needs and visions of Council for that year.

Article 9: Meetings 

9.1: Timetable of Meetings 

  • Council shall meet a minimum of four (4) times throughout the school year

  • Established dates shall be shared with the school community via paper and/or electronic communication.  It is recognized these dates may change at any time 

  • All meetings shall be open to the public (in the school community) 

  • A meeting will have a quorum* if a majority of voting members are present.  A meeting may be held in the absence of a quorum, but all voting must be deferred to a later date

  • In the absence of a Chair or Co-Chair, another Officer of the Council may chair in their stead 

*A Quorum is the # of voting members / 2 +1 ( ie. 13 voting members /2 +1 = 7)

9.2: Electronic Participation in Meetings

Based on the needs of Council, meetings can be hybrid (online and in-person participation), or in some cases, totally online.  The Principal will provide a video link to go out in the Agenda and to the School Community prior to the meeting.

Those participating online are reminded that meeting decorum and the Code of Ethics apply to their participation.

9.3: Decision-Making 

The preferred method of decision-making is through consensus, a collective opinion or general agreement by all Council Members.  In the absence of consensus, the Chair may decide by way of a show of hands, or secret ballot vote, by those present, with a 51% majority carrying the vote.  Prior to a vote, each Member of Council can ask a question or make a statement.  Each Member is entitled to speak once, and then wait their turn for another opportunity after everyone has had a chance to speak.  Members are not required to speak.  Members are encouraged to only share new questions or statements, and not repeat previous points.  

9.3: Conflict of Interest

Anytime the Council does business with the potential for monetary gain/loss with any person, agency, or company, and a member of the School Council has a vested interest in any way with that particular person, agency, or company, that Member shall declare a conflict of interest.  If any individual Council Member perceives themselves to be in conflict of interest, they are required to declare it and recuse themselves from voting.

Article 10: Behaviour and Practice (not new, just added as an article)

10.1: Code of Ethics

  • A member shall consider the best interests of all students. 

  • A member shall maintain the highest standards of integrity. 

  • A member shall treat all other members with respect and allow for diverse opinions to be shared without interruption. 

  • A member shall limit discussions at school council meetings to matters of concern to the school community as a whole.

  • A member shall recognize and respect the personal integrity of each member of the school community. 

  • A member shall encourage a positive environment in which individual contributions are encouraged and valued. 

  • A member shall acknowledge democratic principles and accept the consensus of the council. 

  • A member shall conduct themselves in accordance with the Board’s Equity and Inclusive Education policy and procedure.

  • A member shall promote high standards of ethical practice within the school community.

10.2: Responsibilities

  • A member shall act within the limits of the roles and responsibilities of a school council, as identified in the Education Act, its regulations, and the applicable constitution and/or by-law(s) and procedures.

  • A member shall become familiar with the school’s policies and operating practices and act in accordance with them.

  • A member shall act in accordance with relevant laws, including Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA), and relevant Board policies and procedures.

  • A member shall use established communication channels when questions or concerns arise.

  • A member shall declare any conflict of interest.

  • A member shall not accept any payment or benefit financially through School Council involvement. 

10.3: Privacy & Confidentiality

  • A member shall not disclose confidential information. 

  • A member shall respect the confidential nature of some school business and respect limitations this may place on the operation of the School Council.

  • A member shall advise the Principal immediately if the member believes that there may have been a privacy breach. 

A member shall abide by applicable laws and policies with respect to access, use or disclosure of Board data and information.The Council shall maintain and regularly review a Code of Ethics.

Council Chair/Co-Chairs/Vice-Chairs have the option of having Council Members sign-off on their agreement to the Code of Ethics (Article 10) and Position Responsibilities (Article 8 and Appendix A) at the first Council Meeting after the Elections Meeting.  This is not a requirement.

10.4: Conflict Resolution

The Council will undertake to resolve all internal conflict within its mandate in a timely, open and respectful manner.  If conflicts arise, Council will follow the following procedure:

  1. Every person present at the meeting (not just Members) will be given an opportunity to express their concerns or opinion about the issue under dispute and how the dispute has affected them.

  2. Each person is entitled to speak once, and then wait their turn for another opportunity after everyone, who wishes to, has had a chance to speak.  

  3. Speakers will maintain a calm and respectful tone at all times. 

  4. Speakers will be allowed to speak without interruption. 

  5. The person chairing the meeting will clarify the statements made by all speakers, to identify common ground among the points of view raised, and to set out the joint interests of all members. 

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

  7. If all attempts at resolving the conflict have been exhausted without success, the Chair shall request the intervention of the Principal, Superintendent or other senior administrator to facilitate a resolution to the conflict.

If members of a meeting become disruptive:

  1. Council members are elected to serve the school community and will demonstrate respect for their colleagues on council at all times. 

  2. If anyone at the meeting becomes disruptive, the Chair shall ask for order.

  3. If all efforts to restore order fail or the unbecoming behaviour continues, the Chair may direct the disruptive Council Member(s) to leave the meeting, citing the reasons for the request.

  4. The removal of a Member for one meeting does not prevent the Council Member from participating in future meetings of Council. 

  5. The incident shall be recorded in the Minutes.

  6. When the Chair has requested the removal of a Member(s) from a meeting, the Chair shall discuss the issue with the Principal and decide on a course of action (which could include a request that the disputing Members of Council participate in a special meeting, the purpose of which will be to arrive at a mutually acceptable solution to the dispute. Such a meeting may be a private meeting, and shall not be construed as a Meeting of the Council.)

  7. Any resolution reached at the meeting to resolve the conflict, shall be signed and respected in full by all parties to the agreement.

When conflicts arise between individuals on Council, impeding their ability to do the work of Council, the Principal may support the resolution of conflicts between members.

If attempts to resolve the conflict have not worked, the Chair, with the support of the Principal, has the right to remove Council Members and strip them of their voting rights.

If Members of Council do not adhere to the Code of Ethics or their agreed upon Job Responsibilities, The Chair/Co-Chair/Vice-Chair may intervene with the help of the Principal.

Article 11: Subcommittees

From time to time the Council may decide to create a subcommittee to conduct more in-depth work than is possible at a regular Council Meeting. Subcommittees shall make recommendations to the Council and keep Council apprised of issues and developments in this area.

(Should we create standing subcommittees?  Fundraising, Fun Fair…)

Article 12: Finances 

All fundraising activities must be in accordance with the Board’s School Fundraising and Administration of School Generated Funds policy and procedure. 

As per the Board’s School Fundraising and Administration of School Generated Funds policy and procedure, the school is to have one school-generated funds account through which all school-generated funds flow, the allocation of said funds being under the responsibility of the Principal. 

Fundraising must take place in accordance with the School Fundraising Plan and Administration of School Generated Funds policy and procedure. 

Article 13: Agendas and Minutes 

The Chair will put out a call to Council for Agenda items one week prior to a meeting.  This is an invitation to put items on the Agenda.

The Chair will set the agenda with the Principal or Vice Principal prior to the meeting and it will be forwarded to Council by the end of the school day prior to the meeting. 

After the Agenda has been distributed to Council, any other items that a Voting Member or Non-Voting Member wishes discussed can be added to “Other Business” at the end of the meeting, if time permits.  If there isn’t enough time, the person suggesting the item can submit a brief explanation in writing, to the Secretary, to be included in the Minutes.  Said item can be resubmitted for the Agenda at the next meeting, if relevant or necessary.

Minutes shall be made available for the school community prior to the next meeting of Council. The minutes shall include motions, decisions, and actions to be taken. 

Article 14: Amendments to the Constitution

The Constitution must be revisited yearly, in compliance with the School Council Handbook.  Members of a subcommittee will review the Constitution, propose amendments (if necessary), and present the amendments to Council.  Amendments will be presented at one Council Meeting and then voted on at the following meeting, to give Members a chance to consider the amendments.  

Constitutional amendments need a 2/3 majority to be passed.

Approved amendments will then be made and sent out to Council via email and updated on the School website.

Article 15: Seeking Input From the Community

Council should seek the input of the community regarding fundraising, initiatives, learning opportunities, events, and other concerns.  Surveys can be used to get feedback.  It is suggested that Council reviews the year’s activities in June to assess their effectiveness and make recommendations for future years.

Article 16: Protection of School Advisory Council Members 

The York Region District School Board holds liability insurance undertaken on behalf of all Councils and, as such, members of the James Robinson Public School Council are not personally liable for decisions and activities undertaken in relation to the Council, with the exception of any willful, destructive or dishonest act or neglect, performed by a particular Council member for which that person will be held accountable.

Appendix A:

Possible Coordinator Job Descriptions

Responsibilities are not limited to the following and can change as needed.

Fundraising Coordinator shall:

  • Take on a leadership role regarding the investigation, implementation, and coordination of fundraising initiatives;

  • Communicate fundraising advertising needs to Chair/Co-Chair and Communications Coordinator;

  • Monitor ongoing fundraising initiatives for effectiveness and their ability to meet School and Council goals;

  • Have mass communication vetted by Chair or Vice Chair prior to dissemination.

 Communications Coordinator shall:

  • Prepare communication items regarding Council activities;

  • Communication items can include, but are not limited to: 

    • advertising Council fundraising initiatives

    • advertising Council events

    • website articles/updates

    • social media posting

    • bulletin board posting

  • All communication items must be approved by the Chair/Co-Chair (and perhaps the Principal) prior to sharing them with the school community.

 Volunteer Coordinator shall:

  • Create and maintain a list of potential volunteers that can contribute to School Council events (including names, contact information, and other useful information: like how they would like to contribute or special skills);

  • Contact potential volunteers via phone and/or email regarding volunteer opportunities;

  • Adhere to privacy rules regarding the names and contacts of volunteers (be sure to protect the contact information by using BCC in emails);

  • Only contact potential volunteers for the specific purpose of volunteering for specific Council and school related tasks;

  • Remove names and contacts from the list when requested;

  • Have mass communication vetted by Chair or Vice Chair prior to dissemination.

 Equity Coordinator shall:

  • Consider all Council business through an “Equity Lens”, informed by the YRDSB “Equity and Inclusive Education” strategies, YRDSB Equity Action Plan, and Ontario’s education equity action plan;

  • “Champion” equity and inclusivity by recommending adjustments to current and future plans and procedures;

  • Recognize, create, and promote opportunities for learning about equity; 

  • Help Council to conduct business in an equitable way, sensitive to all points of view, by sharing their observations with the whole Council and/or the Chair/Co-Chair.

 OPAL Coordinator shall:

  • Be link between Council and the OPAL team;

  • Promote and educate others in the use of OPAL and the Eco Schoolyard;

  • Champion and coordinate extra gardening in the Eco Schoolyard and throughout the grounds as necessary;

  • Have mass communication vetted by Chair or Vice Chair prior to dissemination.


Elections Meeting: the meeting during which Members are elected or acclaimed to Council and the newly formed Council elects/acclaims their executive.  Usually the first Council Meeting of the year.

JRPS: James Robinson Public School

Executive: made up of the Chair/Co-Chair/Vice-Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer

Updated: Apr. 2023

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