Boston Latin Academy

School Site Council

By-Laws

Article I

Name, Purpose and Role

Section 1.

Name.  The name of the School-Site Council shall be the Boston Latin Academy (BLA) School Site Council (SSC).

Section 2.

   Authority.  The BLA SSC is established as required by the Massachusetts Education Reform Act of 1993 (M.G.L. Ch. 71 Sect. 59 c ) and the collective bargaining agreement between the Boston Teachers Union (BTU) and the Boston School Committee (BSC).  Pursuant to the BTU-BSC Agreement, School Based Management (SBM)/Share Decision Management (SDM) is the model for school governance and the SSC is the appropriate place for most decision-making affecting the education by the school.

 

Section 3.

Purpose. The purpose  of the BLA SSC shall be to establish direction and policy in all matters that relate to the operation of the school. Specifically:

  1. Review and approve the Quality School Plan (QSIP) within the guidelines established by the Superintendent.
  2. Review and Comment on the entire school budget.
  3. Approve the budget for discretionary school materials, supplies, and textbooks, equipment, including the use of the school improvement award funds.
  4. Review and approve recommendations from any other committee or group, including the Instructional Leadership Team and the Personnel Subcommittee, that are established to recommend changes that will have a major effect on the school community.
  5. Approve waivers.

Receive information about all outside programs or outside professionals that come into the school.

Section 4.

Waivers. The SSC may seek and receive a waiver from the appropriate authorities of any provision of the BTU-BSC Agreement or any School Committee rule or regulation or Superintendent’s policy in a manner specified and limited by the BTU-BSC Agreement.

Article II

Membership, Responsibility and Terms

Section 1.

Membership.

Section 2.

Composition.  The number of members and composition of the SSC shall be consistent with the provisions of the BTU-BSC Agreement.

The BLA SSC shall consist of the following:                 

  1. Headmaster The Headmaster serves as one of the two Co-Chairs of the SSC and ensures the implementation of policies developed and decisions made by the SSC.
  2. BTU Representatives Schools with 30 or fewer bargaining unit members shall have 4 council representatives; Schools with 31 but not more than 60 bargaining unit members shall have 5 Council representatives; Schools with 61 or more bargaining unit members shall have 6 Council representatives.
  3. Parent Representatives The number of parents elected to the Council must equal the number of BTU bargaining unit representatives plus the Principal/Headmaster. Parent representatives must have children currently enrolled at BLA.  Parent SSC members are expected to  act as a liaison between the School Parent Council (SPC) and SSC.
  4. Student Representatives There will be two student representatives elected by the student body.  
  5. Alternate Members The SSC shall have individuals to serve as alternate members.  Alternate members shall be selected from the runners-up in membership election of representative groups.  Alternate members will have voting rights only when sitting as alternates for a member of their constituent group.  
  6. Associate Members Associate members may be invited to be members of the SSC.  Associate members do not have voting rights, but shall have voice in Council deliberations, including the making of motions, and shall otherwise participate fully in SSC meetings and activities.  The number of associate members shall not comprise more than fifty percent (50%) of the total SSC membership.  If the pool of candidates is depleted a special election will be held.

Section 3.

Responsibility

Members shall represent the best interest of the school community.  Members should work towards improving quality education through the School Based Management (SBM)/ Shared Decision Making (SDM) process.

Section 4.

Term of Office

The term of office for SSC Parent and BTU members will be two (2) years. The term of office for SSC student members shall be two (2) years.  The staggering of terms may assist in maintaining a balance of continuing and new members.  

SSC members are eligible to run again at the end of their term, with the understanding that it is required that they take a year off the SSC offering to new members an opportunity to serve.

Article III

Elections

Elections for new SSC members shall be conducted as early in the school year as possible, and a first meeting of the new SSC shall be held no later than October 31.

Section 1.

Election of BTU Members

  1. BTU members will be elected following the process defined in the most current BTU-BSC Agreement.
  2. An election of the BTU faculty representatives to the SSC shall be held at the first possible date in the fall.  An announcement of election results shall be published for the BLA community.
  3. BTU members must be elected using secret ballot from the pool of BTU bargaining unit members at the school.
  4. The election is to be run by the BTU Representatives for the school and the number of bargaining unit members is based on the enrollment figures as of October 1st of the year of the election.
  5. Elections will adhere to the diversity guidelines of the BTU contract, including the election of  the highest vote-getting candidate from each eligible racial group.

Section 2.

Election of Parent Members.

  1. Elections will take place at a School Parent Council (SPC) meeting.  School Staff must make every effort to inform all families about elections.  Recognizing that effective school site councils need participation of all the constituent groups present in the school, all elections should strive to promote diversity in the school governance by electing individuals who are representatives of the racial and ethnic diversity of their constituency.
  2. Parent representatives shall be elected from among parents of students currently enrolled in the school.  The SPC and the Headmaster shall post an announcement of the results of the parent election.
  3. Any parent or guardian of a student is eligible to be a parent representative except if a parent of a child is a member of the school or BTU or staff.
  4. Parents may nominate themselves or any other parent but the nominee must be present at the meeting where the vote it taken.
  5. Elections will be held by secret ballot.
  6. Parent members will be chosen from the top vote getter of each ethnic group such that no more than three parents from a single racial/ethnic group are selected.
  7. If enough candidates of a group are unavailable, the next highest vote getting candidate satisfying the ethnic diversity requirement will be selected.  However, it is not required that any seat be reserved for a particular group as long as the above criteria for diversity are met.
  8. A minimum of three (3) alternates will be chosen.  The highest number of votes received will determine the order of succession.
  9. A special election will be held by the SPC to fill any vacancies that cannot be filled by Alternates.

Section 3.

Elections of Student Members.

Each year the Student Forum will vote a student representative to sit for two (2) years on the SSC. The terms will be staggered so that one new student representative will be elected to the council each year.

        

Article IV

Vacancy, Removal and Resignations

  1. SSC members are expected to attend meetings regularly and to participate actively.
  2. Members who wish to resign may do so in writing to the Co-chairs.  A resignation is effective immediately.  
  3. Members who fail to attend three SSC meetings in a school year without reasonable cause shall cause their seat to become vacant. Once a member has failed to attend two SSC meetings, they shall be notified by the co-chairs that their seat will become vacant if they fail to attend a 3rd meeting.
  4. If by resignation, removal or any other reason, a vacancy exists, the alternate with the highest number of votes will complete the term of the vacancy as long as the criteria for diversity is met.  If there is no alternate who satisfies the criteria then new elections will be held.

Article V

Voting

Given the collaborative nature of shared decision-making, it is expected that the SSC will make every effort to function by consensus or general agreement of the members.

Formal decisions of the SSC shall be made by majority vote with the Headmaster voting with the majority.  The Headmaster may not delegate his or her vote except in emergency situations.  The Headmaster is required to account in writing and in person (at a subsequent meeting) for any vote in contradiction to the majority.

The School Site Council may vote to appeal a Headmaster's veto to the Joint Steering Committee of the Boston Public Schools and the Boston Teachers Union.

If at least 2/3 of the members of the council vote to challenge the veto, the Superintendent will designate a mediator to meet with the council within five school days to attempt to resolve the dispute

All available information over which the SSC has authority must be shared with members of the SSC as soon as possible and at least 7 calendar days before they are expected to vote on these issues.

Article VI

Meetings

Section 1.

Meetings.

  1. All meetings are open to the public and may be recorded by audio or visual means so long as the recording does not disrupt the meeting.
  2. Regular meetings of the SSC shall be held at least monthly at  such date, time and place as shall be fixed by consensus of the SSC. 
  3. The date and time of the first meeting is determined at the previous June’s SSC meeting. The date of the first fall meeting shall be held no later than October 31st.  At the first meeting, the dates for the entire year will be agreed upon – ensuring that the times and dates are convenient for all members. Any change to this calendar must be approved by the SSC with at least one week’s notice to staff and parents.
  4. Special or emergency meetings shall be called as necessary and shall be posted 48 hours in advance.
  5. SSC members will be reminded of the upcoming meeting no less than 7 days in advance.   
  6. The SSC will reserve a portion of the meeting agenda for public comment by non-SSC members.

Section 2.

Agenda. School Site Council members set the agenda for their meetings. Agenda items may be submitted orally or in writing at least 5 days prior to the next meeting by any Council member or Associate member to the two co-chairs (the Headmaster and the elected co-chair), so long as they are within the scope of authority of the council.

Section 3.

Notice of the Meetings.  SSC meetings are subject to the Open Meeting Law that requires posting of each meeting notice at least forty-eight (48) hours prior to the meeting at a public place.  In addition, the SSC shall provide all faculty and parents with a listing of all the meetings for the year via the school website or an alternative medium.

Section 4.

Quorum.  A quorum must be present to vote on issues.  A quorum shall consist of the Headmaster, three BTU members and three parent members or their elected Alternates.  


Article VII

Officers

Section 1.

Officers. 

The officers of the SSC shall be two Co-Chairs, Clerk/Recording Secretary, and such other officers as the members may from time to time determine.

Section 2.  

Election of Officers.  The Headmaster shall serve as one of the Co-Chairs.  All other officers shall be elected by the members of the first fall meeting of the SSC held after the October member elections.  With the exception of the Headmaster, officers shall serve for the term of one year, or until their successor shall be elected.

Section 3.

Co-Chairs.  The Co-Chairs shall preside at all meetings of the SSC unless they otherwise designate other members to preside.  The Co-Chairs shall perform and oversee the duties and tasks necessary to the effective functioning of the SSC including but not limited to developing and distribution of meeting agenda, giving notice of SSC meetings, serving on subcommittees, and providing timely information to the SSC members about the school budget, personnel, and programs.  The Co-Chairs shall also perform such other duties, as the SSC shall from time to time designate.  Co-Chairs can serve for more than one successive year.

Section 4.

Clerk/Recording Secretary.  The Clerk/Recording Secretary shall keep accurate minutes of all the meetings for distribution to the SSC members and the wider school community.  The minutes shall include the time, date, location, and attendance of members, the agenda and a brief outline of topics discussed and agreements made.  The minutes will be approved by the entire SSC at the next SSC meeting.  The school community shall be informed of the SSC proceedings by the clerk by means of minutes on the school website for review by interested parties. The Clerk shall also track SSC membership terms as well as perform such other duties, as the SSC shall from time to time designate.

Article VIII

Committees

Section 1.

Committees.  The BLA SSC may elect from their own members or otherwise as they determine, committees to undertake tasks in behalf of the SSC. The number, functions, and terms of any such committee shall be determined by the SSC.

Section 2.

Personnel Subcommittee.  The SSC shall establish a Personnel Subcommittee for the purpose of interviewing and selecting the in-transfer and hiring of new teachers as specified in the most current Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Personnel Subcommittee shall consist of the Headmaster, two teachers, one parent and one student. Alternates shall participate in place of a sub-committee member when necessary. Decisions are made by a majority vote with the Headmaster in the majority. The duties of the Personnel Subcommittee may not be assumed by the full BLA SSC.

Article IX

By-Law Approval and Amendments

Section 1.

Amendments to these articles can be voted on and approved without affecting the body of the by-laws as a whole. Amendments are included by listing them on the end page of these by-laws and attaching them to the By-laws.

Section 2.

All Amendments to the By-Laws must first be submitted in writing to the SSC and read to the members at a regular SSC meeting.

Section 3.

Members shall be notified of pending By-Law changes prior to the meeting at which such changes will be discussed. Voting by the full SSC on an Amendment to the By-Laws shall occur no later than 9 weeks after the initial submission of such By-Law changes.

Sections 4.

If approved by the SSC, these By-Laws shall be approved and/or amended by two-thirds of the BTU members at the school eligible to vote for the SSC and by two-thirds of parents who attend a school-wide parent meeting, such as a Parent Council Meeting.  Two weeks notice must be provided for the SPC meeting, during which the By-Laws will be ratified.