AMENDED BYLAWS OF THE PARENT COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL CHARTER SCHOOL
ARTICLE I – GENERAL
Section 1. Name.
This organization will be known as the Parent Community Organization of the Environmental Charter School (hereafter given as “PCO”).
Section 2. Eligibility.
All persons as belonging to the following groups are members of the PCO:
- Employees of the Environmental Charter School (hereafter given as “The School” or “ECS”)
- Members of the Board of Trustees of ECS
- Legal Guardians or Parents of ECS (hereafter “parents”)
Corporations, incorporate persons or other organizational entities who fall outside of the above categories may not 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 attending 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.
- Steering Committee Members
The Steering Committee will consist of no more than 15 seats. All Members of the Steering Committee must be parents or legal guardians of children currently enrolled as students at ECS.
Each member will serve as one or more of the following: Officer, Committee Coordinator, PCO Board Representative, or at-large member.
See Appendix A for Steering Committee Member Responsibilities, Officer Responsibilities, Committee Coordinator Responsibilities, and PCO Board Representative 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.
At the Final Business Meeting each year (see Article III Section 2), the Steering Committee will elect by majority vote from among its members a Chair, four Vice Chairs (one representing each school building), a Secretary, and a Treasurer. 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 any officer for failing to fulfill their responsibilities.
- Sub-Committee Coordinators
At the Final Business Meeting each year (see Article III Section 2), the Chair will appoint Steering Committee members to serve as Coordinator (or Co-Coordinator if there are two individuals appointed) of each of the following areas: Communications, Community Support, Events, Fundraising, Volunteering, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. Coordinator terms will be for one year; however, there is no limit to the number of terms an individual may serve as a Committee Coordinator. Mid-year vacancies may be filled by the Chair from among the current Steering Committee members as necessary.
- PCO Board Representative
The PCO Board Representative will have a seat on the Steering Committee and will represent the PCO at meetings of the ECS Board of Trustees as an ex officio member with the right to participate, in meetings of the Board of Trustees.
Nominations for this position will be sought by the Nominating Committee (see Article II Section 5). To be accepted to the slate of nominees for this position, candidates must first submit a letter of interest and resume, in addition to being interviewed by the Nominating Committee. The PCO Board Representative term will be for one year; however, there is no limit to the number of terms an individual may serve in this role. The Steering Committee may, by majority vote, remove the PCO Board Representative from office.
Any members not appointed to the role of an Officer, Committee Coordinator, or PCO Board Representative and who are in their first year of service on the Steering Committee will be considered a member-at-large. If members-at-large wish to continue serving on the Steering Committee after their first year, they must accept one or more of the following roles: Officer, Committee (Co-)Coordinator, PCO Board Representative.
- 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 coordinator 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 coordinator, once appointed by the Steering Committee, will direct the recruitment of other committee members, coordinate and preside over meetings of the committee, and report to the Steering Committee regarding the committee’s progress and activities.
Section 3. Rotation of Membership.
Steering Committee members shall retain their seats until vacated. At the PCO’s Final Business Meeting (see Article III Section 2), up to three seats on the Steering Committee must be vacated if, and only if, up to three new corresponding candidates for membership on the Steering Committee have been nominated for the seats and have accepted the nomination. If any member wishes to voluntarily vacate their seat, their intention must be communicated to the Steering Committee Chair as early as possible and no later than May 1 of each year.
Upon the nomination of candidates for membership on the Steering Committee and the acceptance of such nominations, the Steering Committee shall proceed by random lot to fill all vacant seats from those selected for eligibility by the Nominating Committee (see Article II Section 5).
Section 4. Mid-Year Vacancies.
A Steering Committee seat vacated by resignation more than three months prior to June 30 shall be filled for the remainder of the year by the first nominee listed sequentially pursuant to Article II, Section 5, who does not fill a seat on the Steering Committee.
Section 5. Nominating Committee.
The Nominating Committee shall consist of at least three members of the Steering Committee, each of whom shall be chosen by majority vote of the Steering Committee by February 28 of each year. The Nominating Committee will solicit nominations for Steering Committee members and PCO Board Representative from parents/legal guardians of the ECS community, including self-nominations, by public announcement no later than March 15 of each year.
- Steering Committee nominations
By May 1 of each year, the Nominating Committee shall submit to the Steering Committee a confirmed slate of nominees who shall be eligible for a Steering Committee seat in the following year.
At the PCO’s Final Business Meeting (see Article III Section 2), the Steering Committee shall proceed by random lot to fill all vacant Steering Committee seats from those selected for eligibility by the Nominating Committee. All nominees’ names are to be chosen and listed sequentially, in order to fill any vacant spots throughout the year. The roles and duties of the newly appointed Steering Committee members will be effective the same day that their names are selected.
- PCO Board Representative nominations
By May 1, the Nominating Committee will identify a slate of individuals interested in serving as the PCO Board Representative, including the current Board Representative if they choose to continue serving in this role. During the month of May, the Nominating Committee will review the letters and resumes from each candidate and interview each candidate in person. Each member of the Nominating Committee will submit a written recommendation to the Steering Committee at least one week before the Final Business Meeting. At the Final Business Meeting, the Steering Committee will vote to fill the role of PCO Board Representative. The roles and duties of the newly appointed Board Representative will be effective at the next meeting of the Board of Trustees which both the outgoing and incoming PCO Board Representatives are expected to attend.
Section 6. 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 7. 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 8. 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, or members’ assignments to areas of responsibility can be made by online motion.
ARTICLE III – MEETINGS
Section 1. Meetings.
The PCO will meet a minimum of eight (8) times in each year from August 1 until June 30. According to need, the Chair may call special meetings of the Steering Committee or for General PCO need in excess of this number, weather and/or schedule permitting, at a date, time and place determined by the Steering Committee.
Section 2. Final Business Meeting.
The PCO’s Final Business Meeting shall be held at the last regularly scheduled meeting of the PCO held in each year. It must fall between May 15 and the final school day of the year. The Final Business Meeting is for selecting members of the Steering Committee, selecting sub-committee chairs, receiving annual reports from sub-committee coordinators, reviewing a financial annual report, voting on a budget for the following school year, and conducting other end-of-year business as needed.
Section 3. 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 IV – 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.
The treasurer will present a proposed budget to the Steering Committee for approval at the Final Business Meeting. At each business meeting, the treasurer will provide a year-to-date budget report.
Section 2. Checks.
The Steering Committee and school administration will each designate three individuals (three Steering Committee members and three school administrators) to have the authority to sign checks issued by the PCO. One authorized signature is required for each check issued under $500. Two authorized signatures will be required on each check issued over $500. The Treasurer will verify the legitimacy of all expenditures before checks are issued. One of the authorized signatories will approve expenditures prior to issuance. The approving signatory cannot be the signer(s) on the check to be 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 V – 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 October 14, 2021.