DPAC Bylaws and Constitution
The Bylaws and Constitution of any organization is the guiding structure for the overall operation. Supplementing this is the internal policies.
Note: DPAC’s bylaws are not suitable for an individual PAC to adopt. We have some suggestions, and generic bylaws, available through this post: http://sd57dpac.ca/2016/05/importance-of-bylaws-for-pacs/
Article 1: Name
The name of the association shall be the “District Parent Advisory Council No. 57 Prince George” (hereafter known as “the Council” or “DPAC”).
Article 2: Purposes of the Council
The purpose of the Council is:
- To be the collective voice of parents in the District.
- To advise the District on any matter relating to education in the District.
- To communicate with parents and Parent Advisory Councils (PACs) on District policies, programs, and activities, and other educational matters.
- To promote a spirit of co-operation between PACs in the School District.
- To assist parents in forming, maintaining, and further developing Parent Advisory Councils at the School level within the District.
- To provide leadership in developing and understanding the rights and responsibilities of parents within the education system.
- To provide a link between Parent Advisory Councils and all educational stakeholders and rightsholders, the Board of Education, the BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils, the Ministry of Education, and other organizations with an interest in education.
- To advise and participate in the activities of the BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils.
- To operate as a non-profit organization with no personal financial benefit accruing to members.
- To ensure the business of the Council will be unbiased in respect of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or politics.
Article 3: Dissolution
- In the event of the dissolution of the Council and following the payment of any and all debts and costs of dissolution, any charitable gaming funds received from licensed charitable gaming and/or direct charitable access and all gaming monies or assets purchased with gaming funds held at the date of dissolution, shall be distributed by the Council to such a charitable organization or organizations in British Columbia having a similar charitable purpose. Such a charitable organization or organizations shall be decided by the membership of the Council at the final general meeting. This provision is unalterable.
- Any remaining funds, not received from gaming, shall be distributed to each Parent Advisory Council in the District, based on the full time equivalent student enrollment at each School at the time of dissolution. This provision is unalterable.
Bylaw 1: Terms
- District is the School District No. 57 Prince George.
- School is any public educational institution as defined in the School Act administered by the District.
- Parent(s) is the parent or guardian of a child or children registered at a School in the District according to the School Act.
- Parent Advisory Council (PAC) is the parent organization for a School.
- DPAC Representative is the member that has been elected or appointed by a PAC to represent them at this Council. A PAC may elect or appoint more than one representative to DPAC, but only one representative may vote during a Council meeting.
- BCCPAC is the British Columbia Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils.
- DPAC Executive is the elected positions of Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, and up to five (5) other Directors.
Bylaw 2: Membership
- Each Parent Advisory Council in the District is a voting member of the Council.
- Council members are each entitled to one (1) vote per PAC.
- A Parent Advisory Council will be represented on the Council by their DPAC Representative(s).
- There will be no other members of the Council.
- Representatives from students, the school board, District administration, principals, teachers, school support staff and other community organizations may be invited to attend Council meetings as non-voting attendees.
- Parents who are not PAC representatives may also attend as non-voting attendees.
- Non-voting attendees may provide information, regarding issues on the floor for discussion, at the discretion of the Chairperson.
Bylaw 3: Meetings
- General meetings shall be held a minimum of eight (8) times per year, one of those being the Annual General Meeting (AGM).
- Special purpose meetings shall be held at the discretion of the Chairperson, or within 30 days of receipt by the Executive of a petition representing at least 10% of the voting membership requesting a general meeting for a purpose stated in the petition.
- The only business of that special meeting shall be the purpose for which the meeting is called.
- Members may attend General meetings in person or through web-conference when web-conferencing services are available.
- Council meetings are not a forum for the discussion of personnel matters or personal and confidential information about students, parents, teachers and other employees or members of the School community.
- Throughout these Bylaws, notice is considered to be given if posted on the Council’s website.
- Executive meetings may be held at the discretion of the Chairperson or by request of at least 50% of the Executive.
- The purpose of executive meetings is to carry on business between general meetings.
- The Executive may permit any or all executive members to participate in a regular or special Executive meeting through the use of any means of communication by which all people participating may simultaneously hear each other and contribute during the meeting.
- Meetings shall be conducted efficiently, fairly, and with respect for all participants.
- Procedural problems should be resolved using Robert’s Rules of Order unless they are in conflict with clauses in the Constitution or these Bylaws.
Bylaw 4: Voting
- A quorum shall consist of at least of 20% of the voting membership, represented at a duly called general meeting.
- A quorum of the Executive Committee is a majority of the current Executive Committee.
- Questions, unless otherwise provided in this Constitution, shall be decided by a simple majority vote of votes cast.
- Members vote through their DPAC Representatives. A DPAC Representative must be present at a meeting to vote.
- A DPAC Representative attending by web-conference is considered to be present at the meeting.
- Voting by proxy will not be permitted.
- Each member PAC has one vote, regardless of the number of DPAC Representatives at a meeting.
- If a PAC has more than one DPAC Representative in attendance at a Council meeting, it is the responsibility of that PAC to provide direction as to which Representative may vote.
- A DPAC Representative may represent more than one PAC and will be allowed to cast a vote for each PAC represented.
- Voting is by a show of hands, or where requested by two voting members present, or for elections, by secret ballot.
- A vote may be taken to destroy the ballots after ballots are used.
- ln the case of a tie vote, a motion shall be deemed defeated.
Bylaw 5: Election of Executive Officers
- The DPAC Executive shall consist of a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, and up to five (5) other Directors. The positions on the Executive shall be elected from the DPAC Representatives or current executive officers of the Council in attendance at the Annual General Meeting.
- A DPAC Representative or current executive officer, nominated for election but unable to attend the AGM, shall be accepted as a candidate if the AGM is presented with a written letter of acceptance from the candidate.
- To be eligible for election or appointment to the Executive an individual must be a parent or guardian of a child, who is registered either in StrongStart or in grades K-12 for at least the following five (5) months in the School District.
- No employee or elected official of the School District or Ministry of Education shall hold an executive position on the Council.
- A nominating committee of one or more DPAC Representatives and/or current executive officers shall be elected at or before the general meeting two (2) months prior to the Annual General Meeting.
- The current Chairperson is ineligible to serve on the nominating committee.
- Members of the nominating committee are eligible for election as an executive officer.
- The nominating committee shall make their report to the general meeting at the meeting before the Annual General Meeting.
- Before the election takes place, the Chairperson must call for further nominations from the floor.
Bylaw 6: Term of Office
- The term of office of the Executive shall commence at the end of the Annual General Meeting and terminate at the end of the following Annual General Meeting.
- In event of a vacancy on the Executive, the Executive may appoint a replacement or may hold an election to fill the vacancy, at a general meeting.
- A person may only hold a particular position on the Executive for a maximum of four (4) consecutive years.
- A person may only serve on the Executive for a maximum of eight (8) consecutive years.
- No person may hold more than one (1) elected Executive position at any one time.
- An executive officer who has served more than half a term in an office is considered to have served a full term.
- The membership may, by a majority of not less than 2/3 of votes cast, remove an executive officer before the expiration of his or her term of office.
- Written notice specifying the intention to make a motion to remove the executive officer shall be given to the membership not less than 14 days before the meeting.
Bylaw 7: Executive Officers and Leave of Absence
- An Executive member may request a leave of absence. This leave of absence may be granted by a majority vote of members at an Executive meeting.
- During the leave of absence, the duties of that Executive member will be divided between the Executive members as the remaining Executive members deem appropriate.
- If any Executive member is nominated as a candidate for political office (e.g., school trustee, city councilor, MLA, MP) they must take leave from their position in order to maintain the integrity and political neutrality of the Council.
- As terms of their leave of absence, the Executive member shall:
- Turn over to the Chair their list of PAC chairs/addresses. They will not use information from this confidential list in any way in their campaign.
- Turn over to the Chair any equipment or other records belonging to Council.
- Withdraw from all Council functions during their leave (e.g., attendance at PAC meetings as a Council representative, attendance at Council meetings, etc.).
- Refrain from using their title as Council member in any way during the campaign; they may only indicate as background information that they are a Council member on leave.
Bylaw 8: Duties of Officers
- Executive Members shall jointly be responsible for:
- Ensuring notice of meetings is given.
- Ensuring an agenda is prepared and presented for general and executive meetings.
- Knowing the Constitution and Bylaws, internal policies and procedures, and meeting rules.
- Ensuring that Parent Advisory Councils are consulted regularly.
- Assuming specific tasks or responsibilities as assigned.
- Ensuring a minimum of three (3) signing authorities.
- The Chairperson shall:
- Call and chair general and executive meetings.
- Ensure notice of meetings is given.
- Ensure an agenda is prepared and presented for general and executive meetings.
- Know the Constitution and Bylaws and meeting rules.
- Understand internal committees and communicate with internal committee chairs.
- Be familiar with external committees and responsibilities and ensure there is an active external committee representative.
- Act as spokesperson for the Council.
- Ensure that the Council is represented in School District activities.
- Liaise with stakeholders and rightsholders, the District and the Superintendent.
- Provide a monthly written chair report.
- Submit an annual report at the AGM report.
- The Vice-Chairperson shall:
- Assist the Chairperson.
- Understand the role of the Chairperson and fill that role when the Chairperson is unavailable.
- Know the Constitution and Bylaws and meeting rules.
- Assume specific tasks or responsibilities assigned by the Chairperson.
- Submit a monthly report and/or contribute to the monthly Chair report.
- The Secretary shall:
- Record minutes of all general and executive meetings of the Council.
- Keep a copy of the Constitution and Bylaws and have them available for all meetings.
- Take attendance (including if they are a DPAC Representative for a PAC).
- Keep records of minutes on file.
- Ensure reports from committees are filed.
- Ensure that unapproved (draft) minutes are posted to the website within fourteen (14) calendar days after each general meeting.
- Ensure that all member of the DPAC Executive have an annual signed copy of the Code of Conduct on file.
- The Treasurer shall:
- Maintain the bank account and keep financial records.
- Prepare written reports regularly and present an annual financial report.
- Make the books available for viewing by a voting member, upon request.
- Make the books available for annual audit or review.
- Other Duties, Responsibilities and/or Roles to be delegated amongst Directors such as:
- Technology Director,
- PAC and Parent Advocacy Director,
- Communications and Social Media Director,
- Or other positions as decided by the Executive as a whole.
Bylaw 9: Code of Conduct
- The Code of Conduct consists of rules for maintaining high standards of conduct for DPAC Executive Officers.
- The outgoing Secretary shall ensure that elected executive officers shall agree, in writing at or before the first general meeting after their election, to abide by the Code of Conduct.
- The Code of Conduct can be changed by a simple majority vote of the General membership.
Bylaw 10: Internal Committees
- Standing and ad hoc committees shall be formed when necessary.
- The General membership shall approve a standing committee’s mandate, which shall include the committee’s responsibilities, reporting procedures and any delegated decision-making authority.
- The Executive shall review committee mandates annually.
- The General membership shall approve an ad hoc committee mandate which, in addition to above, will include the term of the committee and procedures for a final report.
- Committees are accountable to both the Executive and General membership.
Bylaw 11: External Committees
- By majority vote, the Executive shall elect representatives to external committees.
- Preference will be given to Executive members with at least one year’s experience on the Executive. All DPAC representatives are eligible for election, unless the external committee has a specific requirement for their representative.
- A person may only represent the Council on an external committee for a maximum of four (4) consecutive years.
- Members representing the Council on external committees shall provide a written report to the general membership.
Bylaw 12: Finances
- A budget shall be drawn up by the Executive or a Finance Committee and presented for approval by the membership.
- The Executive shall present, for approval at a general meeting, all proposed expenditures above and beyond the budget.
- The Executive has a discretionary spending limit of up to a certain amount, as approved annually by the General Membership, for extraordinary expenses above and beyond the budget where time does not allow approval by the general membership. The Executive shall report on all discretionary spending at the next general meeting.
- All funds of the Council shall be kept on deposit in a bank or financial institution registered under the Bank Act.
- The Executive shall name at least three (3) signing officers for banking and legal documents. Signatures of two (2) signing officers shall be required on all cheques written on the Council’s accounts.
- A written Treasurer’s Report shall be presented at each general meeting, and a year-end report will be presented at the AGM or first meeting of the following School year.
- The general membership shall annually elect a financial review committee to examine the books of the Council, to consist of at least two DPAC representatives and/or Executive members without signing authority on the Council’s accounts. The committee shall be given a date to report back to the general membership.
- Executive officers shall not be remunerated for being or acting in their elected position but shall be reimbursed for all expenses necessarily and reasonably incurred by the officer while engaged in the affairs of the Council.
- The Council shall not exercise borrowing powers.
Bylaw 13: Amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws
- Amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws may be made at any general meeting at which business is conducted.
- Written notice of the meeting and the amendment(s) shall be given at least 14 days prior to the meeting. The written notice shall include the specific amendment(s) and the purpose(s).
- A three-quarters (75%) majority of the voting membership present shall be required to approve amendments to the Constitution and the Bylaws.
- A current copy of the Constitution and Bylaws shall be readily accessible to all members.
Bylaw 14: Property in Documents
All documents, records, minutes, correspondence or other papers kept by an Executive officer or committee member in connection with the Council shall be considered property of the Council and shall be turned over to the Chairperson when the Executive officer or committee member ceases to perform the task to which the papers relate.
Bylaw 15: Parliamentary Authority
The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Council in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these Bylaws and any special rules of order the Council may adopt.