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School Council Constitution and Bylaws


Section A: The name of this organization shall be J.R. Masterman School Council.


Section A: The purpose of the Council shall be:

1. To distribute and disseminate academic standards, curriculum and education plans to the school community.

2. To review, and if necessary, develop a school discipline policy consistent with the District's policy and the publication of this policy to the entire school community.

3. To review, and if necessary, develop a Home and School Association engagement plan to involve parents/guardians with their child's education.

4. To review the School Improvement Plan (SIP).

5. To review the School Budget.

6. To review, and if necessary, develop and disseminate a public engagement plan to involve the wider community and civic leaders in understanding the efforts of the school and Central Region Office.

7. To consult with the school administration in the development of initiatives within the school.

8. To report council initiatives and school activities, and to disseminate school data, to the school community each report period, including academic achievement, student attendance, safety, and school climate. Consistent with School District policy governing confidentiality, information on individual School District employees or students may not be publicly disseminated by School Council members.



Section A: Establishment

1: Membership in the council shall conform to the agreement between the School District of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT), the Philadelphia Home & School Council, and the Commonwealth Association of School Administrators.



Section B: Composition of the Council

  1. The Council will be comprised of at least 51% PFT teachers selected by a process determined by the building committee and the remaining participants shall be composed of the principal, parents (selected under the supervision of the Home and School Association), students, and non-instructional staff. Representatives from community, business or college/university partners of the school may be invited to provide information and input deemed necessary by the Council.


2. One (1) position shall be the Principal.

3. One (1) position shall be the PFT Building Representative or his/her designee.

4. One (1) position shall be a department head, if any on staff.

5. Ten (10) positions shall be teachers from among those defined as teachers in the contract. (Members of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers)

6. The selection of all PFT bargaining unit members shall be determined by the Building Committee. Typically, a PFT election is held every 2 years.

7. One (1)-position shall be the Home and School Association President or his/her designee.

8. Four (4) voting positions, and four (4) additional alternate positions, shall be parents/guardians of current students of the Masterman School. Efforts will be made to balance the composition between Middle School & High School representatives.

9. Election of parent/guardian representation shall be conducted by the Home and School Association (HSA). Every 4 years (every other election), the HSA shall declare that it has made a good faith effort to gather votes from at least 35% of the school's parent/guardian households to ensure that the Council is certified.

10. One (I) position shall be the Student Government Association President - High School, or his/her designee.

11. One (1) position shall be the Student Government Association President - Middle School, or his/her designee.

12. One (1) position shall be from non-instructional staff.


Section C: Terms and Certification

1. All members serve a two (2) year term.

2. In a certification year (every 4th year), at least 35% of the parent/guardian households within the school community must vote for parent/guardian representatives. Elections in non­-certification years do not have the 35% requirement.

3. Ballots results from the Home and School Association shall be secured at the
 school for the 2-year term of the members.

4. If a parent/guardian member wishes to serve another term, the member must become a candidate on the ballot for the next election.

5. The PFT Building Committee decides the selection process to be used for its members.

Section D: The Office of School Council, Philadelphia Home and School Council, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, and Commonwealth Association of School Administrators shall review the composition of the School Council at least once a year for the purpose of re-affirming the existing composition or recommending to the Board of Education that the composition be changed.


Section A: The elected officer shall be a Facilitator/Co-Facilitator.

Section B: The term of office shall be one (1) year.

Section C: Election of officer(s) shall be held in the first meeting of the school year by School Council members.

Section D: Any vacancy in office between annual elections shall be filled by an Election at the next meeting.

Section E: The office of Secretary shall rotate alphabetically among Council Members.



Section A: Duties of the Facilitator/Co-Facilitator

1. To develop the agenda for each meeting.

2. To distribute the agenda to all Council members prior to each meeting.

3. To chair the meeting.

4. To keep copies of the minutes for archival purposes.

5. To keep a record of any amendments to rules the Council may make from time to time.

6. To keep the Council within time limits established for agenda items.
7. To remind all Council members of an upcoming meeting at least one week prior to such meeting.


Section B: Duties of the Secretary

1: To take minutes at each meeting and distribute them to all Council members prior to the subsequent meeting.


Section A: The first meeting of the School Council each year shall be conducted in September. Councils shall meet at least once a month thereafter.

Section B: Meetings may not be cancelled because a single person is not able to, or does not attend.

Section C: The Council shall review and/or amend the by-laws during the first meeting.

Section D: Council shall establish and publish clear rules governing the role of Community-Based Organization members, should they be invited to offer advice in the specific area of their expertise consistent with a matter of interest to the council. Community-Based Organizations may not be voting members of a council.

Section E: The schedule of council meetings shall be mailed to each council member and made known to the school community.

Section F: Council shall elect a facilitator during the first meeting,

Section G: The facilitator is to conduct and direct the meeting, including but not limited to setting an agenda.

Section H: Minutes of council meetings shall be kept in one location in the building and available for public review. All council members are to receive copies of the most recent meeting minutes prior to their next meeting.



Section A: The principal must send a list of active Council members together
with monthly scheduled meeting dates and times to the Office of School Council Support no later than October 31st of each year.

Section B: The Building Representative shall be responsible for communicating
Council business to all school PFT members.

Section C: The Home and School Association President shall be responsible for communicating Council business to parents/guardians.

Section D: The Principal shall be responsible for communicating Council business to the Central Region Office, Office of School Council Support, and Central Administration.



Section A: Agenda items for each meeting shall be generated by Council members at the prior meeting.

Section B: Council members may also submit to the facilitator/co-facilitator prior to any meeting, agenda items subsequent to any meeting.

Section C: Council members may also bring up items during any meeting pertinent to the duties of the council.

Section D: Non-Member participation in the agenda development.

1. Non-member may submit the insertion of any item into the Council Agenda by submitting their request in writing to any Council member. The Council member shall then submit to the entire Council at its next meeting the non-member request whereupon the Council members present shall approve or disapprove the non-member request.

2. Non-members may request to make an oral presentation to the Council by submitting a request in writing to the facilitator/co­-facilitator, which should suggest the amount of time required for presentation. It will be presented as an agenda item at the following meeting whereupon the council shall approve or disapprove of the non-member request.

3. The council may elect to invite a non-member to make an oral presentation at a council meeting. No council approval shall be required should any of its members solicit a written submission in lieu of an oral presentation.

Section E: The facilitator/co-facilitator shall include all written submissions as part of the record of a Council meeting.

Section F: The council may elect to discuss the content of any submissions during any meetings.



Section A: Council members who miss four (4) consecutive meetings shall be removed from Council.

Section B: Council members who miss fifty percent (50%) or more of meetings in any given school year shall be removed from Council.

Section C: Should a terminated Council member be a parent/guardian representative, an alternate parent/guardian member shall fill the vacancy.

Section D: Should a terminated Council member be a teacher, the PFT shall fill the vacancy.



Section A: Members of the Masterman community, (parents/guardians, staff and students), may attend any or all council meetings as guests of the council.

Section B: Non-members of the Masterman community may submit a request for guest attendance for any council meetings through council members only.

Section C: Council members may invite guests, both members and non-members of the Masterman community, to any council meetings.

Section D: All guests are non-voting attendants.


Section A: The Council shall meet for approx. two (2) hours on the same agreed-upon day of every school month (such as the third Tuesday), with special meetings to be held as necessary.

Section B: The Council upon extenuating circumstances may decide to meet at a time other than the agreed-upon regular day noted in Section A above, in any given month.

ARTICLE XI: Decision Making

Section A: The Council shall come to decisions by consensus on any issues, procedural or administrative.

Section B: A quorum of nine members should be present for any decision.