The Neighborhood School Parent Teacher Association Bylaws
Article I — Name
The name of the Association shall be The Neighborhood School Parent Teacher Association, hereafter referred to as TNSPTA.
Article II — Objectives
The objectives of the TNSPTA are to provide support and resources to the school for the benefit and educational growth of the children; to develop a cooperative working relationship between the parents and staff of our school; to develop parent leadership and build capacity for greater involvement; to foster and encourage parent participation on all levels; to engage parents on city and state wide educational issues; to provide opportunities for parents to participate in school governance and decision making as well as local, state and national education policy; to leverage parental involvement in unique ways; and to sustain the involvement of all parents to strengthen the school and public education.
Article III — Membership
Section 1: Eligibility
Parents or Guardians of students currently attending The Neighborhood School are automatically members of TNSPTA. The term parents includes parents by birth or adoption, step-parents, legally appointed guardians, foster parents, and persons in parental relation to a child currently attending The Neighborhood School. Parents of a child who is attending school full time while on the register of a citywide program are automatically members of TNSPTA. Teachers and Paraprofessional Teachers who are currently employed by the Neighborhood School are automatically members of the TNSPTA. The term teacher includes all employees who hold the title of Teacher or Paraprofessional Teacher as verified by the Administrative Office at the Neighborhood School, the NYC Department of Education and the United Federation of Teachers. At the beginning of each school year, the current President and/or Secretary shall send a welcome letter to inform parents and teachers of their automatic membership status and voting rights. Hereafter, any reference to “the membership” includes any parent or teacher (as defined above) of a student currently attending The Neighborhood School.
Section 2: Donations
Donations are not a requirement for membership, voting, or candidacy. Each member shall be asked to make a voluntary donation per child of any amount they can afford based on their income. Parents may give in full or over a payment period.
Section 3: Voting Privileges
Each parent of a child currently enrolled at The Neighborhood School shall be entitled to one vote. Each teacher currently employed at The Neighborhood School shall be entitled to one vote. Proxy voting or absentee balloting is prohibited. The right of a member to vote may be limited by, conflicts of interest restrictions as outlined in the Chancellor’s rules.
Section 4: Notices
All meeting notices, agendas, and correspondence coming from the TNSPTA shall be available in English, and shall be provided to PTA members in any other language, upon written request submitted to the PTA secretary. Verbal translations may also be available if requested. Hereafter, all mention of “written” material includes printed material and those distributed digitally. Material is distributed at least ten days before an event.
Article IV — Meetings
Section 1: General Membership Meetings
The general membership meetings of the TNSPTA shall be held each month from September through June. The scheduled times will alternate between morning and evening times each month, unless such day falls on a legal or religious holiday. Notice should be sent at least seven days prior to the scheduled meeting.
All official meetings during the school year, including committee and officers meetings, must be held at The Neighborhood School. All eligible members may attend and participate during general membership meetings and may speak to agenda items subject to restriction in these bylaws.
Observers may speak and otherwise participate if acknowledged by the chair.
Section 2: Order of Business
The order of business at the meetings of the TNSPTA, unless changed by the Officers, shall be:
- Call to order
- Reading and approval of minutes
- President’s report
- Treasurer’s report
- Principal’s report
- Committee reports
- Old business
- New business
Section 3: Quorum
A quorum of eight, including a minimum of two Officers and six parent members of the TNSPTA, shall be required in order to conduct official Association business. A teacher member is not required to meet a quorum.
Section 4: Minutes
Minutes of the previous meeting will available in written form and read for approval at every general membership meeting. If the TNSPTA fails to approve the minutes from the previous meeting, those minutes should be approved at the subsequent TNSPTA meeting. The minutes of any TNSPTA meeting must be made available upon request to any member.
Section 5: Parliamentary Authority
Meeting rules of order should be adopted for use as a guide and included in these bylaws. Where no meeting rules of order are adopted, the most recent version of Robert’s Rules of Order will be deemed to apply, provided that it is consistent with laws, policies, rules, and regulations.
Article V — Officers
Section 1: Titles
The Officers of the TNSPTA shall be: President (or co-Presidents), Vice-President of Events and Fundraising (or co Vice-Presidents), Secretary (or co-Secretaries), and Treasurer (or co-Treasurers). The TNSPTA must elect the mandatory Officers: President, Secretary, and Treasurer, in order to be a functioning Parent Association. There shall be no qualifications for any office other than to be a parent or guardian of a child attending The Neighborhood School. Hereafter any reference to Officers, includes President (or co), Vice-President, Secretary (or co), and Treasurer (or co).
Section 2: Term of Office and Term Limits
The term of office shall be from July 1st through June 30th. All parents (as defined in Article III, Section 1, above) are eligible to run for any office.
Section 3: Duties of Officers
President (or co): The President shall preside at all meetings of the TNSPTA and shall be an ex-officio member of all official committees except the Nominating Committee. The President may appoint Chairpersons of TNSPTA committees with the approval of the Officers. The President shall delegate responsibilities to other TNSPTA members and shall encourage meaningful participation in all parent and school activities. The President (or his/her designee) shall be a mandatory member of the School Leadership Team (SLT). In the event that the TNSPTA elects co-Presidents, the remaining Officers in consultation with the TNSPTA will determine which co-President will serve as the core member on the SLT and which co-President will serve as the school’s representative to the region/district Presidents’ Council. The President shall meet regularly with the Officers in accordance with these bylaws to plan the agendas for the general membership meetings. The President shall be one of the eligible signatories on checks. The President shall assist with the June transfer of Parent TNSPTA records to the incoming Officers.
Vice-President of Events and Fundraising (or co) (VPEF): The Vice President of Events and Fundraising (VPEF) shall be responsible for overseeing the activities of the Events and Fundraising Committees and supervising there members. The VPEF may designate sub-committees for events as needed. Members of said committees, with the assistance of the VPEF, are responsible for planning and executing special and fundraising events. The VPEF shall work with the Treasurer to: establish budgets, set fundraising targets, provide summary reports of earnings on a quarterly basis, manage the annual family donation drive, identify grant opportunities and prepare grant applications. The VPEF will strive to improve TNSPTA’s capacity to solicit funds, raise revenue, manage receipts and acknowledge donations.
Secretary (or co): The Secretary shall maintain the official record (minutes) of the proceedings and actions of all TNSPTA meetings (individual committees are responsible for recording and communicating their own minutes). The Secretary’s responsibilities shall include the preparation of notices, agendas, sign-in sheets, and materials for distribution. The Secretary shall prepare and read the minutes of each TNSPTA meeting and shall distribute copies of the minutes at the next scheduled meeting for review and approval by all attendees. The Secretary shall maintain custody of the TNSPTA’s records on school premises or online in a password-protected area, with access and passwords given to all Officers and to any member of the TNSPTA who wishes access. The Secretary shall incorporate all amendments into the bylaws and shall ensure that signed copies of the bylaws with the latest amendments are on file in the principal’s office or the TNSPTA office. The Secretary shall be responsible for reviewing, maintaining, and responding to all correspondence addressed to the TNSPTA, unless specifically addressed to another member. The Secretary shall assist with the June transfer of all Parent Association records to the incoming Officers.
Treasurer (or co): The Treasurer shall be responsible for all financial affairs and funds of the TNSPTA. The Treasurer shall also be responsible for maintaining an updated record of all income and expenditures on school premises or online in a password-protected area, with access and passwords given to all officers and to any member of the TNSPTA who wishes access. The Treasurer shall NEVER be one of the two required signatories on official TNSPTA checks. The Treasurer shall adhere to and implement all financial procedures established by the TNSPTA. The Treasurer shall be prepared to present and provide copies of financial reports at all TNSPTA meetings. The Treasurer shall also prepare and provide copies of the interim and annual financial reports. The Treasurer shall make available all books or financial records for viewing by members upon request and for audit. The Treasurer is responsible for filing the annual city, state, and federal taxes of the TNSPTA or ensuring that such forms are filed. The Treasurer shall assist with the June transfer of all Parent Association records to the incoming Officers.
Article VI — Committees
Section 1: Formation of a Committee
Committees may form and disband on an as needed basis. To form a committee, a written proposal must be made to the current Officers, who will determine whether such a committee is warranted, can be combined with an existing committee, and can exist in the short term to address short term needs. Longstanding committees (Advocacy, Events, Fundraising, Wellness, Class Parents, and Communication) can choose a chairperson, who will serve on the TNSPTA Leadership, and such person will be given a vote on such matters requiring a vote. In the event that the committee chair is also an Officer, the committee can choose another member of the committee to serve as a voting member on leadership issues. If a TNSPTA member wishes to form a committee and does not receive a timely response from the Officers, such a committee can form by notifying the entire TNSPTA, given a responsible response time. Committees can determine for themselves how often they should meet. Committees are responsible for notifying the entire TNSPTA of their goals and objectives and updates on their progress and proposals. Committees must work in partnership with Officers and complement the goals and objectives of the entire TNSPTA. Committee can make recommendations to TNSPTA for a position the TNSPTA can take or request the TNSPTA spend resources on an activity. That recommendation must be voted on at a full membership meeting.
Section 2: Standing Committees
Standing committees, otherwise referred to as long-term committees, must appoint a chair to represent such committee on leadership issues. If no chair is appointed, the President has the right to appoint such a chair. Only the chairpersons of the standing committees will be allowed to vote on issues raised by Officers. The current standing committees of the TNSPTA are the following:
Advocacy Committee: Acts as a liaison between TNSPTA and the overall educational community. Advises TNSPTA on educational issues identified as important to the continued operation and philosophy of the Neighborhood School. Assist TNS administration, TNSPTA and individual parents on increasing their understanding of said issues and responding to them in a unified and organized manner.
Class Parent Committee: Acts as liaison between TNSPTA and class parents for distribution of information, including but not limited to Parent Association meeting times (exec and general), distribution of meeting minutes, school-wide events, and solicitation for parent participation. Class parents will create Google group to coordinate information and exchange ideas. The Chair of this committee will serve as contact person for class parents to the Officers for comments, issues, etc.
Communication Committee: The Communication Committee is responsible for encouraging parent participation, outreach, and recruitment. The communication committee will have responsibility along with event organizers for preparing and printing flyers and ensuring distribution to bulletin boards and backpacks as well as external sites where necessary. The committee will ensure that bulletin boards in the yard and on the second and fourth floors are updated on a monthly basis with news, events, sales items, etc. The Committee will also have responsibility for coordinating a table in the yard for distribution of flyers and information at drop-off and pickup. The Committee will have primary responsibility for maintenance of the website. The committee will also monitor the presence on the Internet and ensure that profiles, etc. are up-to-date on parenting, department of education, and other websites. The Chairperson for the Communication Committee shall make every effort to coordinate their outreach efforts and strategies with the school’s parent coordinator and the Parent Association chair and Secretary. The Communication Committee will also document the activities of the Parent Association digitally, on film, or in writing, and share this information as widely as possible.
Events Committee: The Events Committee shall be responsible for: 1) planning and executing special events; 2) working with the Fundraising Committee to coordinate fundraising events; and 3) designating sub-committees for events as needed.
Fundraising Committee: The Fundraising Committee shall be responsible for: 1) working with the Treasurer in setting fundraising targets each year and providing summary reports of earnings against plans on a quarterly basis to members of the Parent Association; 2) identifying grant opportunities and preparing grant applications throughout the year; 3) working with the co-Presidents to manage the annual family contribution drive; and 4) improving the Parent Association’s capacity to solicit funds, raise revenue, manage receipts and acknowledge donations, and provide the Parent Association with timely updates on fundraising activities.
Wellness Committee: The Wellness Committee shall be responsible for working with the appropriate school officers and committees to ensure healthy menus at breakfast and lunch for all children, and work to increase environmentally friendly products and practices within the school.
Section 3: Other Committees
Other committees, also known as short-term committees, may form and disband on an as-needed basis to address immediate needs (such as Audit, Nominating, Review, etc.)
Article VII —TNSPTA Leadership
Section 1: Composition
Officers shall be composed of the elected Officers of the TNSPTA and may or may not extend to include chairpersons of select committees, as determined by the current TNSPTA. (See above for a current list of committees.) All committees will be considered for this position, but not all committees must comply. This is at the discretion of the Officers. Employees of The Neighborhood School shall be ineligible to serve as elected officers of the TNSPTA. Officers shall be expected to attend all meetings.
Section 2: Meetings
Regularly scheduled meetings of the Officers shall be held monthly, September through June. Meetings must happen at the discretion of the officers, they must take place on TNS school property, and they must commence before the last Thursday of every month.
Section 3: Voting
Each Officer shall be entitled to one vote.
Section 4: Quorum
Two members of the executive board shall constitute a quorum, allowing for official business to be transacted.
Article VIII — Elections
Section 1: Election of Officers
Officers shall be elected between the third Wednesday in May and the third Friday in June for a one-year term beginning July 1. Any timeline established by the TNSPTA to complete the nominations and election process must adhere to this timeframe. The principal must be notified in writing of the date of the election by May 1. Employees of the school, including parent coordinators, may not serve as TNSPTA officers.
Section 2: Nominating Committee
A Nominating Committee must be established before March of each year. The Nominating Committee shall consist of three to five members. The majority of the committee members must come from the TNSPTA. The nominating committee shall choose one of its members to serve as chairperson. No person employed at The Neighborhood School shall be eligible to serve on the nominating committee. No person who is running for office may serve as a member of the nominating committee. Should a member of the Committee decide to run for an office, they must resign from the Nominating Committee before their nomination can be considered. The Nominating Committee shall solicit candidates from the TNSPTA in writing and verbally. The Nominating Committee will also be responsible for conducting the election. This includes the following:
1. Canvassing the membership for eligible candidates; preparing and distributing all notices of any meeting pertaining to the nomination and election process, in accordance with existing regulations. Employees of the school, including parent coordinators, may not serve as an Officer.
2. Preparing ballots, attendance sheets, a “ballot box,” tally sheets, and/or other materials pertaining to the election; verifying the eligibility of all interested candidates prior to the election; ensuring that an opportunity is provided to all TNSPTA members allowing for nominations, including self-nomination, to be considered; officially closing the nominations in order to ensure for a timely election. All candidates must be listed in alphabetical order by surname under the office for which they are nominated.
3. Scheduling the election at a time that ensures maximum participation and ensuring that the principal has been notified of the date of the election by May 1.
4. Ensuring that all TNSPTA members receive a ballot for voting and that the election is finalized and then certified by the principal or his/her designee immediately following the election.
Section 3: Contested Elections and Use of Ballots
Written ballots shall be used in all contested elections. Names of candidates shall appear on the ballot in alphabetical order by surname under the title of the office(s) for which they were nominated. Names of candidates for the positions of co-Presidents must be listed as a team. Ballots shall be printed with voting instructions in English and other languages spoken by parents in the school whenever possible. Ballots shall be distributed once voter eligibility has been established. Ballots shall be counted immediately following the election and in the presence of the members. Ballots shall be retained for six months by the Chairperson of the Nominating Committee. If the Chairperson will no longer be an eligible member after June 30, the ballots shall be turned over to the incoming Secretary.
Section 4: Uncontested Elections
In the event there is only one candidate for an office, a member must make a motion for the recording Secretary to cast one vote to elect the candidate for office. A vote of the membership is required for approval of the motion. The result of the motion must be recorded in the minutes.
Section 5: Officer Vacancies
All officer vacancies must be filled by succession of the next highest ranking officer until a special election can be held. For example, a vacancy in the position of President will be filled by the co-President or the Vice-President. An office can be filled through succession, until an expedited election can be held to fill the vacancy. Officers who wish to resign their positions once an election has been certified must submit their written resignation to the Secretary and immediately turn over all TNSPTA records. The ranking of officers for succession purposes shall be: President; co-President; Vice-President; Secretary; Treasurer.
Section 6: Special Election Process
Special elections shall be held to fill vacancies in the event they cannot be filled through succession. The Officers shall be responsible for announcing vacancies and distributing written notice of an expedited election. If the election is contested, written ballots must be used in accordance with Article 4.2 of these bylaws.
Section 7: June Transfer of Records
The outgoing Officers shall arrange for the orderly transfer of records and information of the TNSPTA, which shall include an overview of all TNSPTA transactions for the school year, to the incoming Officers. At least one meeting will be scheduled during the month of June for this purpose. Any Officer may request the assistance of the School Leadership Team (SLT) during this process.
Section 8: Disciplinary Action
Any officer who fails to attend three (3) consecutive meetings may be removed from office by recommendation of the Officers or motion from a member and two-thirds vote of the membership present. The Officer shall be given the opportunity to submit in writing an explanation showing good cause that explains his/her reason for not attending these meetings for the Board’s consideration. Officers may also be removed for unsatisfactory performance by following the procedure outlined below:
- At any meeting, a TNSPTA member may make a motion to begin the process of removing an Officer for unsatisfactory performance.
- If the motion is approved by two-thirds of the assembled members, the TNSPTA must agree to create a temporary review committee by majority vote. Officers may not serve on the review committee. The review committee will disband after the stated action/s is resolved. In the instance of needing another review committee, a new such committee will be formed with the same stipulations stated above.
- The review committee will gather relevant information and present its findings to the TNSPTA to allow the members to make an informed decision about the motion. Findings must be presented in writing at a meeting within 30 school days of the date the motion was presented. The notice and agenda must indicate that a vote will be taken by the TNSPTA regarding the removal of an Officer.
- The result of the motion must be submitted in writing to the principal, which the principal must forward to the appropriate superintendent.
Article IX — Financial Affairs
Section 1: Fiscal Year
The fiscal year of the TNSPTA shall run from July 1st through June 30th.
Section 2: Signatories
All checks require at least two signatures. The two signatories of a check may not be related by blood or marriage. Under no circumstances may spouses, siblings, in-laws, or other relatives or members of the same household sign the same TNSPTA check. A TNSPTA member may not sign a check if she/he has any direct or indirect interest in the expenditure.
Section 3: Budget
3.1 The Officers shall be responsible for the development and/or review of the budget process, which includes:
- The outgoing Officers must review the current budget, annual financial status, accounting, expenditures, and outstanding bills, and prepare a proposed budget for the next school year. The proposed budget must be presented to and approved by the membership no later than the June meeting.
- The incoming Officers must review the proposed budget in September for presentation and discussion during the September meeting. Budget amendments may be proposed at this time.
- The Officers must present the budget process for membership approval no later than the October meeting.
The counting and handling of any cash, checks, or money orders received by the TNSPTA must be completed by at least two members, including one Officer. These TNSPTA members cannot be related by blood or marriage. Funds must be counted in the school on the same day of receipt. The Parent TNSPTA’s financial records must display the total amount of funds and the signatures of the TNSPTA’s members who participated in counting the funds.
All funds shall be deposited in the bank account by authorized Officers within 24 hours of receipt, whenever possible. Once accounted for by at least two TNSPTA members, one member may assume responsibility and take such deposit to the bank for deposit.
Documentation related to every transaction must be maintained at the school and/or online (e.g., cancelled checks, deposit receipts, purchase orders, Parent Association minutes related to the financial transactions, etc.). As noted elsewhere, if online, this must be in a password-protected area that all Officers have immediate access to and with access granted to any TNSPTA member who asks for access.
3.2 The budget may be amended by vote of the general membership at any membership meeting.
3.3 All expenditures not included in the budget at the time of its adoption must be approved by resolution of the membership.
3.4 The Officers are authorized to make an expenditure, not to exceed $2,500, with a two thirds approval by the Officers. These expenditures shall be reported to the general membership at the next TNSPTA meeting in writing by the Treasurer. The minutes of the meeting must reflect a vote taken by the Association to accept this action.
3.5 Expenditures that exceed $2,500 must be voted on at a general meeting and require a two-thirds approval by Association members.
Section 4: Financial Accounting
4.1 The Treasurer shall prepare the interim financial report by January 31st and the annual financial report by the June meeting, including all income, expenditures, and other transactions. These reports shall be presented and reviewed by general membership. Copies of these reports shall be provided to the principal.
4.2 The Treasurer shall be responsible for all funds of the Association and shall keep accurate records in a form consistent with these bylaws and applicable regulations of the chancellor. The Treasurer and at least one other TNSPTA Officer shall transport all funds to the bank, and deposit slips shall identify the source of all deposited funds, unless Treasurer and one other TNSPTA member document and record the amount to be deposited and the Treasurer assumes responsibility for such a deposit. All parties involved in financial transactions shall initial the deposit slips. All records of the Association, including checkbooks, ledgers, cancelled checks, invoices, receipts etc., shall be maintained and secured on school premises.
Article X — 501(c)(3) requirements for purpose, earnings, and dissolution
TNSPTA is organized exclusively for charitable and educational purposes, including for such purpose as the making and distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the internal revenue code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
No part of the net earnings of the TNSPTA shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that TNSPTA shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in the purpose clause hereof. TNSPTA may attempt to influence legislation up to the fullest extent available under law. However, TNSPTA shall not participate in or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this document, the TNSPTA shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on by an organization exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the internal revenue code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
Upon the dissolution of the TNSPTA, assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the internal revenue code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government, for a public purpose. any such assets not disposed of shall be disposed of by the court of common pleas of the county in which the principal office of the organization is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organization or organizations, as said court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.
Article XI — Amendments and Regular Review of By Laws
These Bylaws may be amended at any regular meeting of the TNSPTA by a two-thirds vote of the members present, provided the amendment has been presented in writing to the membership at the previous meeting and appears in the notice of the meeting at which it is to be amended. Amendments are effective immediately unless otherwise specified. A thorough review of these bylaws may be conducted every three years. All provisions of these Bylaws must conform to The Department of Education guidelines. Any TNSPTA member may present a motion at a general membership meeting to amend a provision of the Bylaws.
These Bylaws as set forth above have been voted on and approved by the membership.
The most recent amendment was approved, in accordance with the provisions of Article XI at the membership meeting held on, Thursday, January 17, 2013
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