PCO By-Laws

AMENDED BYLAWS OF THE PARENT COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL CHARTER SCHOOL AT FRICK PARK

ARTICLE I – GENERAL

Section 1. Name.
This organization shall be known as the Parent Community Organization of the Environmental Charter School at Frick Park (hereafter given as “PCO”).

Section 2. Eligibility.
All persons who are employees and members of the Board of Trustees of, or are parents or legal guardians of children (hereafter, “parents”) currently enrolled as students in, the Environmental Charter School at Frick Park (hereafter given as “the School” or “ECS”) shall be members of the PCO. No corporations, incorporate persons or other organizational entities, who are not employees, members of the Board of Trustees, or parents of children currently enrolled in the School, may be members of the PCO. No further requirements for membership shall be made or imposed.

Section 3. Mission.
The mission of the Parent Community Organization is: to represent the views and concerns of parents to the school administration and staff; to serve the greater Pittsburgh community and to maintain a positive presence therein by being a model and advocate of sound environmental practice; to engage in innovative and effective fundraising and development activities; and to enhance the educational experience and personal growth of students, teachers, and families.

Section 4. Standing Committee of the School.
The PCO is a standing committee of the School, whose operations and functions are governed by these Bylaws, as amended from time to time. As a committee of the School, the PCO and its representatives shall act in accord with the School’s non-profit mission, shall review and coordinate the PCO’s business, operations, and functions with the Principal of the School as needed, shall be covered by the School’s liability insurance, and shall disclose its financial affairs to the Principal of the School to be consolidated with the financial reporting of the School.

Section 5. Voting and Procedure.
Meetings of the PCO shall be conducted according to the ordinary rules of parliamentary procedure. Except where determined to be confidential in nature by a vote of the Executive Committee pursuant to Article II, Section 9 hereof, the business, actions, and affairs of the PCO shall be determined and conducted pursuant to the one half (1/2) majority vote of those members of the PCO (as defined in Article 1, Section 2 hereof) who are present and participating at the regular meeting of the PCO at which such business, actions, and affairs are determined or conducted. Each member of the PCO present and participating at a meeting of the PCO shall be entitled to one vote upon each matter submitted to a vote at such meeting, provided, however, that no member of the PCO may vote on an issue in which such member has a direct individual, professional, financial, or other uniquely personal interest.

ARTICLE II – EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Section 1. Purpose and Function.
In accordance with the mission of the PCO, the Executive Committee (hereafter, “Executive” or “Executive Committee”) shall:

  • direct and plan the activities of the PCO in general;
  • co-ordinate the specific efforts and activities of PCO committees and initiatives;
  • facilitate communication within the school community (Board of Trustees, employees, and parents);
  • carry out all routine tasks necessary for the fulfillment of the PCO mission.

Section 2. Composition.
a. Executive Committee
The Executive Committee shall consist of no less than nine and no more than thirteen seats. Three of the members shall be the Chair, Secretary and Treasurer of the PCO. All Members of the Executive shall be parents or legal guardians of children currently enrolled as students at ECS. In addition, the Principal of the School and a designated representative to the Board of Trustees of the School selected by a vote of the Executive (the “PCO Representative”) shall have the ex officio right to participate, but not vote, in meetings of the Executive.

Executive Committee members are expected to:

  • attend and participate in monthly PCO business meetings throughout the school year;
  • respond to or acknowledge all PCO related communication within 48 hours and regularly check the PCO message boards;
  • demonstrate willingness to participate in committee work;
  • volunteer at schoolwide events and fundraisers;
  • follow the bylaws of the PCO;
  • abide by the will of the majority;
  • respect the privacy of all business and members of the Executive Committee;
  • meet deadlines and fulfill commitments;
  • resign if unable to perform these responsibilities as a member of Executive Committee.

A member’s failure to regularly attend meetings and fulfill the responsibilities of membership will be deemed a voluntary resignation at the discretion of the Executive Committee and confirmed by a majority vote of the Executive Committee.

b. PCO Representative
The PCO Representative on the Board of Trustees is expected to:

  • attend two meetings each month (PCO and Board of Trustees meetings);
  • submit a PCO report to the Board of Trustees monthly;
  • provide the PCO with agenda, minutes and other public documents from the Board of Trustees meetings;
  • commit to this role for two years;
  • fulfill the Board of Trustees’ membership requirements.

The term of the PCO Representative term shall be for two years; however, there is no limit to the number of terms an individual may serve in this role. The PCO’s Nominating Committee shall identify candidates for the PCO Representative position as the end of each two-year term approaches (see Nominating Committee, below). The Executive may, by majority vote, remove from office the PCO Representative.

Section 3. Tenure and Rotation of Membership.
Executive members shall retain their seats until vacated. At the first meeting of the Executive nearest after May 31 of each year, up to two seats on the Executive must be vacated if, and only if, a new candidate for membership on the Executive has been nominated for the seat and has accepted the nomination. If any member wishes to voluntarily vacate their seat, their intention must be communicated to the Executive no later than May 31 of each year.

Upon the nomination of candidates for membership on the Executive and the acceptance of such nominations, the Executive shall proceed by random lot to fill all vacant seats from those selected for eligibility by the Nominating Committee (see Nominating Committee, below). All nominees’ names are to be chosen and listed sequentially, in order to fill any vacant spots throughout the year.

If the number of seats voluntarily resigned is fewer than the number of new candidates for membership on the Executive that have been nominated for seats and have accepted such nominations, the Executive shall choose by random lot from among those who have served as members of the Executive for at least two full years to vacate their seats on the Executive until the number of seats vacated is the lesser of two or the number of new candidates that have been nominated and have accepted such nominations. In no case may more than one officer be chosen to vacate a seat by lot; a choice by lot of an officer after the first shall be null and the lot repeated. After sufficient seats have been vacated by lot to make a total of two, the Executive shall present the confirmed slate of nominees (see Nominating Committee, below) to be chosen by random lot at the PCO’s Annual Meeting.

Section 4. Mid-Year Vacancies.
An Executive seat vacated by resignation more than three months prior to July 30 shall be filled for the remainder of the year by the first nominee listed sequentially pursuant to Article II, Section 3, above, who does not fill a seat on the Executive.

Section 5. Nominating Committee.
The Nominating Committee shall consist of at least two (2) members of the Executive, each of whom shall be chosen by majority vote of the Executive by March 31 of each year. The Nominating Committee will solicit nominations for Executive Committee members from parents of the PCO, including self-nominations, by public announcement no later than April 15 of each year. By May 31 of each year, the Nominating Committee shall submit a confirmed slate of nominees to the Executive who shall be eligible for an Executive seat in the following year (see Tenure and Rotation of Membership, above). At the PCO’s Annual Meeting, the Executive shall proceed by random lot to fill all vacant seats from those selected for eligibility by the Nominating Committee. The roles and duties of the newly appointed Executive Committee members will be effective the same day that their names are selected.

Every two years, the Nominating Committee shall also present a slate of PCO Representative nominees for consideration to the Executive Committee by May 31. The Executive shall, in a duly constituted meeting, elect the PCO representative by majority vote from among its members no later than June 30.

Section 6. Meetings.
The Executive shall meet a minimum of eight (8) times in each year from July 30 until the next, either separately or in combination with a regular meeting of the PCO. According to need, the Chair may call special meetings of the Executive in excess of this number. Additionally, motions may be proposed and votes taken via e-mail, according to the rules specified in Section 9 (Procedure and Voting) below.

Section 7. Notification and Public Attendance.
To the extent practicable, notice of meetings of the Executive shall be given to members and parents by reasonable means. Attendance at meetings of the Executive shall ordinarily be open to all members of the Board of Trustees, school employees and parents. A motion to restrict public attendance shall require the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members of the Executive Committee.

Section 8. Quorum.
Meetings of the Executive Committee, or of any sub-committee thereof, shall require a simple majority (one more than one-half of the members), present in person, in order to conduct or transact business.

Section 9. Procedure and Voting.
Meetings of the Executive Committee shall be conducted according to the ordinary rules of parliamentary procedure. In particular, each member of the Executive Committee shall be entitled to one vote upon each matter submitted to a vote at meetings of the Executive Committee, and the two thirds (2/3) majority vote of those members present and entitled to vote at a duly organized meeting of the Executive Committee shall decide any question put to a vote.

Motions concerning PCO business and policy can be made, debated and voted on by the Executive online, via e-mail. Provided that a quorum of the Executive participates in the electronic vote, the two thirds (2/3) majority vote of those members participating in the vote shall decide any question put to a vote through a motion made by electronic means as described herein. The results of the vote will be recorded in the minutes of the next occurring meeting of the Executive. No proposals to change the PCO by-laws, Executive membership, members’ assignments to areas of responsibility, or committee chairmanship can be made by online motion.

ARTICLE III – OFFICERS

The Executive shall, in a duly constituted meeting, elect by majority vote from among its members, a Chair, a Secretary and a Treasurer. Officer terms shall be for one year; however, there is no limit to the number of terms an individual may serve as an elected officer. The Executive may, by majority vote, remove from office the Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.

Section 1. Chair.
The Chair shall:

  • set the agenda for meetings of the Executive and general meetings of the PCO;
  • preside as chairperson at those meetings;
  • speak for and represent the Executive Committee and PCO as the Executive Committee authorizes.

They shall also carry out other duties as may from time to time be assigned to them by the Executive Committee. In the physical absence or temporary incapacity of the Chair, an alternate chair may act as chairperson at meetings of the Executive, and carry out all of the Chair’s other duties by the consent of a simple majority of the Executive.

Section 2. Secretary.
The Secretary shall:

  • maintain or supervise the maintenance of the minutes of all Executive Committee meetings;
  • conduct or supervise the conduct of Executive Committee correspondence or other communication;
  • administer or supervise the administration of a PCO website, discussion board, blog or other official means of electronic communication.

They shall also carry out other duties as may from time to time be assigned to them by the Executive Committee.

Section 3. Treasurer.
The Treasurer shall:

  • direct financial operations of the PCO including raising and spending money for PCO activities;
  • keep records relating to PCO financial operations and report to the Executive Committee regarding the same;
  • prepare an annual financial report to be presented at the annual meeting of the PCO.
  • liaise as required with the Principal of the School and/or the school staff regarding PCO financial operations.

ARTICLE IV – SUB-COMMITTEES

Section 1. Standing Sub-Committees.
By majority vote the Executive may create or dissolve standing sub-committees (“action committees”) for particular purposes, and shall appoint a chair for each such standing committee. Other particulars of membership and procedure will ordinarily be determined by the standing sub-committee itself, in accordance with the requirements of its charge or remit from the Executive. The chairperson, once appointed by the Executive, will direct the recruitment of other committee members; preside over meetings of the committee, and report to the Executive regarding the committee’s progress and activities.

ARTICLE V – MEETINGS

Section 1. Regular Meetings.
The PCO shall hold a business meeting once a month during the school year, weather and/or schedule permitting, at a date, time and place determined by the Executive.

Section 2. Annual Meeting.
The PCO’s annual meeting shall be held at the last regularly scheduled meeting of the PCO held in each year. The annual meeting is for selecting members of the Executive, selecting committee chairs, receiving annual reports from standing sub-committees, reviewing a financial annual report, and conducting other end-of-year business as needed.

Section 3. Public Forums.
Public forums may be called by the Chair, any two members of the Executive, or by the Board of Trustees of the school. Notice of a public forum shall be sent to members at least three (3) days before the meeting.

Section 4. Notice.
It is the responsibility of the Executive to give notice of meetings via the PCO website, ECS electronic newsletters, and/or other reasonable means.

ARTICLE VI – FINANCES AND OPERATIONS

Section 1. Annual Report.
The Treasurer shall prepare an annual financial report to be presented at the annual meeting of the PCO.

Section 2. Checks.
Two authorized signatures shall be required on a requisition for each check issued by the PCO. At least one signature on each check shall be an officer (Chair, Secretary or Treasurer). The Executive Committee shall designate up to five Executive Committee members and school administrators to have the authority to sign checks issued by the PCO. The second signature shall be one of the up to five designated individuals. The Treasurer shall verify all expenditures before checks are issued. Expenditures by the PCO in excess of one hundred and fifty dollars ($150.00) and outside of the approved annual budget shall be authorized by a vote of the Executive.

Section 3. Grants.
All proposals and/or grant applications to funding organizations shall be disclosed to and reviewed by the Principal of the School before they are submitted to said organizations.

Section 4. Fiscal Year.
The fiscal year of the PCO shall be the same as the fiscal year of the School.

Section 5. Books, Lists and Records.
The PCO and its Executive shall keep in written form, correct and complete books and records of account and minutes of the meetings of the Executive and standing committees, and such special committees as from time to time may be designated by the Executive.

ARTICLE VII – AMENDMENTS

Section 1. Amendments.
These Bylaws may be amended, altered or repealed by the Executive Committee by a vote of two-thirds or more of the members of the Executive Committee.

These Bylaws were approved at a meeting of the Executive Committee of the PCO on October 8, 2015.