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 will 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”) are 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 will be made or imposed.

Section 3. Mission.
The mission of the ECS PCO, as a model of sound environmental practice, is to build and support positive relationships between families, staff, the Board, and the community.

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 will act in accordance with the School’s non-profit mission, will review and coordinate the PCO’s business, operations, and functions with the administration of the School as needed, will be covered by the School’s liability insurance, and will disclose its financial affairs to the administration of the School to be consolidated with the financial reporting of the School.

Section 5. Voting.
In the event that a PCO agenda item requires a vote, any PCO member present at the meeting may vote. Simple majority rules. 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 – STEERING COMMITTEE

Section 1. Purpose and Function.
In accordance with the mission of the PCO, the Steering Committee will:

  • direct and plan the activities of the PCO in general;
  • coordinate 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. Steering Committee
The Steering Committee will consist of no fewer than nine and no more than thirteen seats. The composition of the Steering Committee will strive to reflect the diversity of the school population. The six officers are the Chair, Lower School Vice Chair, Upper School Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, and Technology Officer of the PCO. All Members of the Steering Committee must be be parents or legal guardians of children currently enrolled as students at ECS. In addition, the Principals of the School, an ECS faculty member, and a designated representative to the Board of Trustees of the School selected by a vote of the Steering (the “PCO Representative”) will have the ex officio right to participate, but not vote, in meetings of the Steering Committee.

See Appendix A for Steering Committee Responsibilities.

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 Steering Committee and confirmed by a majority vote of the Steering Committee.

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

  • attend both PCO and Board of Trustees meetings each month
  • 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 as requested
  • commit to this role for two years
  • fulfill the Board of Trustees’ membership requirements.

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

Section 3. Rotation of Membership.
The Steering Committee will strive to maintain a balance between experienced and new committee members. To fulfill this objective, the committee will recruit at least one new member each school year.

Recruitment and nomination of new members will be the ongoing responsibility of all Steering Committee members. In the process of recruitment, members will make an effort to identify potential members who fulfill the diversity objectives of the Steering Committee.

At any given time that a new member wants to join, nominees will be accepted according to the following procedures:

  • If the number of nominees does not exceed the number of available seats, nominees will be accepted at the PCO meeting subsequent to their nomination.
  • If the number of nominees exceeds the number of available seats, then:
    1. At a PCO meeting, the Chair of the Steering Committee will draw lots to fill the available seats and create a waiting list with the remaining names.
    2. As seats become available throughout the year, they will be filled by names on the waiting list, followed by individuals subsequently nominated.

In the event that no seats are available for new members to join the Steering Committee, all non-officer Steering Committee members will be entered into a lottery and the first name drawn will be asked to resign from the Steering Committee.

The roles and duties of the newly appointed Steering Committee members will be effective the same day that their names are selected.

Every two years, the Steering Committee will identify a slate of PCO Representative nominees by May 31. The Steering Committee will elect the PCO representative by majority vote from among its members no later than June 30.

Section 4. Meetings.
The Steering Committee will 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 Steering Committee in excess of this number. Additionally, motions may be proposed and votes taken via e-mail, according to the rules specified in Section 7 (Voting) below.

Section 5. Notification and Public Attendance.
To the extent practicable, notice of meetings of the Steering Committee will be given to PCO members by reasonable means. Attendance at meetings of the Steering Committee will ordinarily be open to all members of the Board of Trustees, school employees and parents. A motion to restrict public attendance will require the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members of the Steering Committee.

Section 6. Quorum.
Meetings of the Steering Committee, or of any sub-committee thereof, will require a simple majority (one more than one-half of the members), present in person, in order to conduct or transact business.

Section 7. Voting.
Each member of the Steering Committee is entitled to vote on each matter submitted to a vote at meetings of the Steering Committee, and a simple majority vote of those members present will decide any question put to a vote.

Motions concerning PCO business and policy can be made, debated and voted on by the Steering Committee online. A simple majority vote of the Steering Committee will decide any question put to a vote through a motion made by electronic means. The results of the vote will be recorded in the minutes of the next occurring meeting of the Steering Committee. No proposals to change the PCO by-laws, Steering Committee membership, members’ assignments to areas of responsibility, or committee chairmanship can be made by online motion.

ARTICLE III – OFFICERS

The Steering Committee will elect by majority vote from among its members, a Chair, two Vice Chairs, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and a Technology Officer. Officer terms will be for one year; however, there is no limit to the number of terms an individual may serve as an elected officer. The Steering Committee may, by majority vote, remove from office the Chair, Vice Chairs, Secretary, Treasurer, or Technology Officer.

See Appendix A for Officer Responsibilities.

ARTICLE IV – SUB-COMMITTEES

Section 1. Standing Sub-Committees.
By majority vote the Steering Committee may create or dissolve standing sub-committees (“action committees”) for particular purposes, and will 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 from the Steering Committee. The chairperson, once appointed by the Steering Committee, will direct the recruitment of other committee members, preside over meetings of the committee, and report to the Steering Committee regarding the committee’s progress and activities.

ARTICLE V – MEETINGS

Section 1. Meetings.
The PCO will hold a minimum of three meetings during the school year, weather and/or schedule permitting, at a date, time and place determined by the Steering Committee.

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

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

ARTICLE VI – FINANCES AND OPERATIONS

Section 1. Financial Practices and Reporting.
All financial procedures and policies in the ECS Financial Manual must be upheld by the PCO and its treasurer. The PCO finances will be included in the annual ECS financial audit by a third party CPA firm.

Section 2. Checks.
Two authorized signatures will be required on a requisition for each check issued by the PCO. At least one signature on each check will be an officer. The Steering Committee will designate up to five Steering Committee members and school administrators to have the authority to sign checks issued by the PCO. The second signature will be one of the designated individuals. The Treasurer will 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 must be authorized by a vote of the Steering Committee.

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

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

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

ARTICLE VII – AMENDMENTS

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

These Bylaws were approved at a meeting of the Steering Committee of the PCO on May 1, 2017. 


Appendix A: PCO Steering Committee Responsibilities

All Steering Committee members are expected to:

  • Act as positive role models for the PCO.
  • Attend and participate in PCO and Steering Committee meetings throughout the school year.
  • Respond to or acknowledge all PCO related communication within 48 hours.
  • Demonstrate willingness to participate in committee work.
  • Volunteer at schoolwide events and fundraisers.
  • Help to create agendas for all PCO Meetings.
  • Contribute at least one idea to each Steering Committee business meeting.
  • Actively identify potential Steering Committee members.
  • Provide input for and assist in planning PCO meetings.
  • Follow the bylaws of the PCO.
  • Abide by the will of the majority.
  • Respect the privacy of all members of the Steering Committee.
  • Meet deadlines and fulfill commitments.
  • Resign if unable to perform these responsibilities as a member of Steering Committee.

Officer Responsibilities

Chair

  • Create the agenda and preside over all PCO Meetings and Public Forums, unless another Steering Committee member has been designated to do so.
  • Receive all email sent to a designated PCO/Steering Committee email account.
  • Work directly with the principals as a main point of contact between the school and the PCO.
  • Act as a positive role model and spokesperson for the PCO.
  • Work with Treasurer to set up a budget and review it with the Steering Committee at the first meeting of the year.
  • Plan the calendar for PCO meetings for the school year and assign Steering Committee members to run general PCO meetings.

Vice Chairs

  • Each Vice Chair should represent one school building.
  • Assist the PCO Chair and other Steering Committee members to ensure all PCO events are successful.
  • Fill in for Chair on an as-needed basis.
  • Check PCO mail box at Lower or Upper School or designate someone to check the mailboxes on a weekly basis.

Secretary

  • Record minutes of PCO Steering Committee and general meetings as well as record voting and make minutes available to view online.
  • Send out thank you letters for monetary donations from families.
  • Conduct Steering Committee correspondence or other communication.
  • Check PCO voice mail regularly.
  • Act as the point person or designate a point person to compile PCO information for the Monday Blast each week.

Treasurer

  • Direct the financial operations of the PCO. This includes keeping records on and reporting on budgets, monthly statements and other financial activities as follows:
  • Work with Chair to set up a budget and review it with the Steering Committee at the first meeting of the year. Update the budget at least once mid-year and at the conclusion of the year for Steering Committee review.
  • Maintain financial records electronically via Quickbooks.
  • Prepare monthly Treasurer’s Report to be presented at PCO meetings and archived on PCO website.
  • Write checks for PCO expenses in coordination with designated check signers on record at the bank.
  • Receive and process reimbursement requests from PCO committee chairs and volunteers.
  • Organize and file PCO receipts, financial forms, and financial statements.
  • Assist committee chairs with obtaining opening cash and closing out events and fundraisers.
  • Act as PCO contact with bank where PCO’s checking account is hosted.
  • Attend quarterly meetings with ECS COO/Business Manager.

Technology Officer

  • Update PCO website regularly with PCO information including meeting announcements, meeting minutes, upcoming events, fundraisers, volunteer opportunities, etc.
  • Manage PCO email account by adding mailboxes or updating forwarding addresses for committee chairs and Steering Committee as needed.
  • With the Treasurer, manage the PCO’s Paypal/Square accounts and set up shopping cart webpages for events and fundraisers.
  • Administer the PCO’s discussion group on Facebook or other online forums. Approve new members, update usage guidelines as needed, and consult with Steering Committee and ECS Home Office when controversial discussions arise.
  • Receive webmaster@ecspco.org email.
  • Act as PCO contact with web/email hosting company.
  • Connect regularly with ECS Director of Technology.