Archdiocese of Miami
School Advisory Council
BYLAWS – PARISH CONSULTATIVE SCHOOL BOARD
Catholic schools in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Miami are established to carry out the teaching ministry of the Catholic Church. As such, the religious and educational work shall at all times continue to be in accordance with the teachings and laws of the Roman Catholic Church and the Archdiocese of Miami.
At this time, it is the intention of the Pastor of School Name School to establish a Consultative School Board* to assist him and his appointed principal in the governance of (School Name) School.
INTRODUCTION AND RATIONALE
This Consultative Board shall have as its primary concern the ministry of Catholic elementary school education: the spiritual, intellectual, physical, emotional, and social development of the students. The Consultative Board, operating in conformity with the policies of the Archdiocese of Miami, under the guidance of the Pastor of (School Name) School and Superintendent of Schools, shall concern itself with local school policy matters pertaining to the general excellence of Catholic education at School Name.
Working in close collaboration with its administrative officer, the Principal, and hearing its many publics, this Consultative Board shall recommend local school policies that will enable the school to reach its agreed upon goals. These goals will be related to and aligned with, but not limited to, the overall goals established by the Archdiocese of Miami.
ARTICLE I – NAME
The name of this body shall be the (School Name) Consultative Board, herein after referred to as the Board.
*The Consultative Board shall operate as a Consultative Board as defined in A PRIMER ON EDUCATIONAL GOVERNANCE IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH (NCEA, 1987).
ARTICLE II – PURPOSE AND FUNCTION
Section 2.1 – Establishment
The Consultative Board is established by the Pastor as defined for a Consultative Board in A PRIMER ON EDUCATIONAL GOVERNANCE IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH (J. Steven O’Brien, Ed., Washington, D.C., NCEA, 1987).
Section 2.2 – Purpose
The Consultative Board is established to assist the Pastor and Principal by providing advice and counsel particularly in the following areas:
- Strategic Planning
a. To assist in formulating strategic goals for the long-term direction of the school.
b. To assist in formulating the school mission statement.
- Policy Formulation
a. To provide advice and counsel with regard to policies in areas determined by the Pastor
- Evaluation of policies, plans, mission effectiveness and Board self-evaluation.
- Financial Planning and Financial Management
a. To provide advice and counsel with regard to long-range financial planning, annual
budget development, budget monitoring, and financial reporting.
- Institutional Advancement/Development
a. To provide advice and counsel with regard to the establishment and maintenance of
comprehensive programs of institutional advancement and to enhance the image,
enrollment, and financial viability of the school.
- Communication and Mission Effectiveness
a. To provide advice and counsel with regard to communicating school policies and
activities to the various school constituencies.
b. To provide advice and counsel with regard to both mission effectiveness and mission
The Consultative School Board has no authority for formulating policies separate from the Pastor and Principal.
ARTICLE III – RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER GROUPS
Section 3.1 – Archdiocese of Miami
Regular information from the Archdiocese of Miami concerning Archdiocesan policies impacting Catholic elementary education shall be provided by the Principal as in service to the Board. The Principal shall implement Archdiocesan policies approved by the Archbishop and promulgated by the Superintendent of Schools.
Section 3.2 – Pastor
A Pastor is appointed by the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Miami. The Pastor is the administrative and spiritual leader of (School Name) School. The Consultative Board shall work in close collaboration with the Pastor.
Section 3.3 – Parent Organization (PTO)
An officer of the parent organization, or a designated representative appointed by the Principal, shall serve as an ex officio member of the Board. The relationship between the Board and the parent organization shall be characterized by a common vision, clarity of responsibilities, good communication, and collaboration.
Section 3.4 – Faculty
The relationship between the Board and the faculty shall be characterized by mutual support, good communication and cooperation. The Principal represents the faculty to the Board. From time to time, teachers and/or administrative team members may be invited to share information with the Board on matters concerning the school. The Board shall have no role in hiring, evaluating, terminating, or renewing teachers.
ARTICLE IV – MEMBERSHIP
Section 4.1 – Membership Defined
Ideally, the Board shall consist of a minimum of nine (9), but not more than seventeen (17) members approved by the Principal and appointed by the Pastor with categorical membership as follows:
- Parents (no more than 33% of membership).
- Alumni/ parents of alums.
- Leaders within the civic, business, and professional communities.
Section 4.2 – Ex Officio Member
An officer or a designee of the parent organization and an officer or designee of the alumni association shall serve as ex officio members of the Board with full voting rights. In addition, the Principal shall serve as non-voting, ex officio member of the Board. The Principal shall act as administrative officer to the Board.
Section 4.3 – Nominations
The Board shall establish an internal policy with regard to nominations. The Committee on Board Members shall seek out and prepare a slate of prospective nominees who meet the following criteria:
- Interest in and commitment to Catholic education in general, and a specific commitment to the mission and philosophy of (School Name) School.
- Availability to attend meetings and periodic in-service programs and to participate in committee work.
- Ability to maintain high levels of integrity and confidentiality.
- Ability to deal with situations as they relate to the good of (School Name) School.
- Capacity to give witness to Catholic and moral values within the school community.
- Willingness to participate in and provide leadership for resource development programs for the school. It is the expectation that all Directors will financially support the school to the best of their ability, consistent with the Board’s goal as presented in the annual development plan.
Section 4.4 – Exclusions
Employees of the school or parish, and their immediate family, other than those who serve in
ex officio positions, may not sit on the Board. The term immediate family shall be defined as spouse, child, parent, brother, sister, or in-laws.
Section 4.5 – Appointments and Terms
Each Board member, other than a Board member who serves ex officio, shall be appointed by the Pastor for a three-year term. Each ex officio Board member shall serve only during the time he or she serves in the designated position for which they were appointed to the Board.
In order to provide for staggered terms, the initial Directors shall be divided into three groups of as nearly equal membership as possible with the term for one group of Directors expiring each year during a three-year period. Directors may be reappointed provided, however, that no Board member shall serve more than two terms consecutively regardless of whether any such term shall be less than three years. Directors shall be eligible for reappointment after having not served on the Board for one year.
Section 4.6 – Resignation and Removal of Directors
Any Board member may resign at any time by giving written notice to the chairperson of the Board. Such resignation shall take effect at the time specified therein.
A Board member may be removed by the Pastor if it is deemed by the Pastor that removal is in the best interest of the school.
Section 4.7 – Vacancy
Any vacancy on the Board may be filled by the Pastor upon recommendation of the Board chairperson and Principal for the unexpired portion of the term in the same manner as provided for in the original appointment.
Section 4.8 – Attendance
Any Board member who shall be absent from a total of three (3) Board meetings in a year shall be deemed to have resigned as a Board member unless reinstated with written approval of the Pastor.
ARTICLE V – OFFICERS
Section 5.1 – Titles/Positions
The officers of the Board shall be the chairperson, vice-chairperson, and secretary. They shall be elected annually by the Board membership, subject to ratification by the Pastor.
Section 5.2 – Election of Officers
The election of officers shall take place at the annual meeting in June.
Section 5.3 – Executive Committee
The Executive Committee shall consist of the Principal serving as administrative officer and the chairperson, vice-chairperson, and secretary.
Section 5.4 – Duties
The duties of the officers shall be:
- Chairperson – The chairperson shall preside at all regular and special meetings of the Board. The chairperson shall also preside at Executive Committee meetings at which the Board agenda and packet is prepared. The chairperson, with Board approval, shall have authority to assign additional duties and responsibilities to individual Directors.
No individual shall be eligible to serve as chairperson of the Board without having completed two years of service on the Board. The chairperson of the Board shall be required to be a practicing Catholic.
- Vice-Chairperson – In the absence of the chairperson, the vice-chairperson shall perform all duties of the chairperson. The vice-chairperson shall also be a member of the Executive Committee.
- Secretary – The secretary shall be responsible for keeping accurate minutes; for keeping a record of the appointment of all committees of the Board; and for all correspondence. Any of the duties of the secretary may be performed by an assistant secretary who shall be responsible to and report to the secretary. The secretary shall also be responsible for keeping a permanent record of attendance, terms and committee assignments, and all reports and documents related to Board activities.
The secretary, in cooperation with the Principal, acting as administrative officer to the Board, shall ensure the timely distribution of Board member packets in advance of Board meetings.
- Administrative Officer – The Principal shall serve as administrative officer to the Board. The Principal may also call meetings of the Executive Committee and shall be responsible for bringing information to the Board, including Archdiocesan policies, procedures, regulations, Best Practices, and plans.
Section 5.5 – Term
The term of office for Board officers shall begin with their election in June and end with the election of their successor after a two year term.
ARTICLE VI – MEETINGS
Section 6.1 – Regular Meetings
Regular meetings of the Board ideally shall be held bimonthly, at least five (5) times per year.
Section 6.2 – Special Meetings
Special meetings may be called by the Pastor, the chairperson, the Principal, or by written request of one third (1/3) of Directors. Written notice must be provided at least five (5) days prior to special meetings.
Section 6.3 – Meeting Protocol
All regular meetings of the Board shall be open to all interested parties, and notice of all regular meetings shall be posted and publicized in school memos and newsletters.
The Board shall establish an internal policy addressing how and when non-Directors may address the Board. The Board shall establish an internal Board policy dealing with “closed meetings” or executive sessions.
ARTICLE VII – RULES OF ORDER
Section 7.1 – Consensus
As much as possible, the Board shall reach consensus on all actions.
Section 7.2 – Parliamentary Rules
Where necessary, parliamentary rules may be employed using Robert’s Rules of Order (latest copyright) as a guide. The chairperson shall appoint a parliamentarian when appropriate.
Section 7.3 – Policy Issues
Decisions which establish policy or deal with other major issues cannot be made at the meeting at which they are introduced. The formulation of policy occurs after additional consultation and clarification. At that time, the Board begins its decision-making process.
Section 7.4 – Quorum
A simple majority of the voting members of the Board shall constitute a quorum for each meeting.
ARTICLE VIII – COMMITTEES
Section 8.1 – Standing Committees
The standing committees of the Board shall be:
- Executive Committee;
- Mission Effectiveness Committee;
- Policy and Planning Committee;
- Buildings and Grounds Committee;
- Finance Committee;
- Board Membership Committee;
- Institutional Advancement Committee.
Section 8.2 – Committee Charges
Specific committee charges shall be adopted each year by the Board at its annual meeting. Members of standing committees shall be appointed by the chairperson of the Board. Committee chairpersons must be members of the Board, although committee members may be drawn from outside of the Board membership. The chairperson of the Board and the administrative officer of the Board shall be ex officio members of all standing committees.
Section 8.3 – Special or Ad Hoc Committees
Special or ad hoc committees shall be established by action and approval of the Board.
ARTICLE IX – COMPENSATION
Directors shall not receive compensation for their services. However, bona fide expenses may be reimbursed.
ARTICLE X – CONFLICT/DUALITY OF INTEREST
Any Board member having an interest in a contract or other transaction (including academic and/or student affairs) coming before the Board or a committee of the Board shall give prompt, full, and frank disclosure of said interest to the Board chair prior to the Board acting on such contract or transaction. Upon such disclosure, the Board member’s interest shall be presented to the full Board. The Board shall determine, without participation by the interested member, at such time as disclosure is made to that body, whether the disclosure shows that a conflict of interest exists or can reasonably be construed to exist. If the Board determines that such a conflict is deemed to exist, such member shall not vote on, or use personal influences on, or participate in the discussions or deliberations with respect to such contract or transactions.
For purposes of this section, a person shall be deemed to have an interest in a contract or other transaction if he or she is a party (or one of the parties) contracting or dealing with the school, or is a director, partner, officer, or spouse of a director, partner, officer, or has a significant financial or influential interest in, the entity contracting or dealing with the school.
ARTICLE XI – INDEMNIFICATION
The Archdiocese of Miami shall indemnify all Directors for any alleged act of negligence or omission resulting in damage or injury if such person was acting in good faith and within the scope of his or her official capacity, unless such damage or injury was caused by willful or grossly negligent conduct of such person.
ARTICLE XII – AMENDMENTS
These bylaws may be amended only following a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the Board and written approval by the Pastor and the Superintendent of Schools. Directors must receive written notice about amendments one month before the vote to amend.