Bylaws: Mary Dana Henshaw Chapter of the National Honor Society

Brattleboro Union High School, October 2019

Article I: Name

The name of this chapter shall be the Mary Dana Henshaw Chapter of the National Honor Society of Brattleboro Union High School (BUHS).

Article II: Purpose

The purpose of this chapter shall be to create enthusiasm for scholarship, to stimulate a desire to render service, to promote worthy leadership, and to encourage development of character in students of Brattleboro Union High School.

Article III: Powers

Section 1. This chapter operates under the direction of and in full compliance with the NHS National Constitution.

Section 2. The chapter advisor(s) are given the authority to supervise the administration of chapter activities, as delegated by the school principal.

Section 3. Final authority on all activities resides with the school principal.

Section 4. Nondiscrimination. Our chapter of NHS maintains policies and practices that are designed to prevent discrimination against any qualified candidate or member on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identify or disability. This policy of nondiscrimination applies to all practices, including  chapter administration and the selection, discipline, and dismissal of members.

Article IV: Membership

Section 1. Membership in this chapter is an honor bestowed upon deserving students by the faculty and is based on the criteria of scholarship, service, leadership, and character.

Section 2. Membership in this chapter shall be known as active members.

Section 3. Eligibility:

  1. Candidates eligible for selection to this chapter must be members of the junior or senior class.
  2. To be eligible for selection to membership in this chapter, the candidate must have been enrolled for a period equivalent to one semester at BUHS.
  3. Candidates eligible for election to the chapter shall have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 88%. Candidates must demonstrate proficient or exemplary work for all critical indicators in each course they take. Candidates must maintain a Habits of Work score (HOW) of 2.0.
  4. Upon meeting the grade level, enrollment, and GPA standards, candidates shall then be considered based on their service, leadership, and character.

Article V: Selection of Members

Section 1.The selection of members to this chapter shall be by a majority vote of the faculty council, which consists of five faculty members appointed by the principal. The chapter advisor(s) shall be nonvoting, ex officio member(s) of the faculty council.

Section 2. The selection of active members shall be held once a year, during the first semester of the school year.

Section 3. Prior to the final selection, the following shall occur:

  1. Students’ academic records shall be reviewed to determine scholastic eligibility.
  2. All students who are eligible scholastically (ie. candidates) shall be notified and asked to complete and submit the candidate packet for further consideration.
  3. Members of the faculty may be requested to evaluate candidates determined to be scholastically eligible using the official form provided by the chapter advisor(s).
  4. The faculty council shall review the candidate information forms, faculty input, and other relevant information to determine those who fully meet the selection criteria for membership.

Section 4. Candidates become members when inducted at a special ceremony.

Section 5.  Active members of the National Honor Society who transfer from this school may be given an official letter indicating the status of their membership.

Section 6. Active members of the National Honor Society who transfer to this school will be automatically accepted for membership in this chapter. The faculty council shall grant to the transferring member one semester to attain the Mary Dana Henshaw chapter membership requirements (based on BUHS GPA only), and thereafter, this member must maintain those requirements for this chapter in order to retain  membership.

Article VI: Obligations of Members

Section 1. Annual dues for this chapter shall be $5.00.

Section 2. Chapter members who are seniors in good standing shall be granted the privilege of wearing the honor NHS sash at graduation.

Article VII: Officers

Section 1. The officers of the chapter shall be president, vice president, and secretary.

Section 2. Student officers shall be elected at the last meeting of each school year. All returning members in good standing with the chapter are eligible to run for a position as an officer. Any active member can nominate an eligible member as a candidate for office.

Section 3. Voting shall be by secret ballot.

Section 4. It shall be the duty of the president to preside at the meetings of the chapter and serve as the official representative of the chapter at school and community functions.

Section 5. The vice president shall preside in the absence of the president.

Section 6. The secretary shall keep the minutes and attendance records for meetings and be responsible for all official correspondence.

Article VIII: Meetings

Section 1. Meetings of this chapter shall be held regularly. Special meetings can be called by the president with approval of the advisor(s).

Section 2. Members are expected to attend all chapter meetings.

Article IX: Activities

Section 1. The chapter shall determine one or more service projects for each year.

Section 2. All members shall regularly participate in these projects.

Section 3. These projects shall have the following characteristics: fulfill a need within the school or community; have the support of the administration and the faculty; be appropriate and educationally defensible; and be well planned, organized, and executed.

Section 4. Each member shall have the responsibility for choosing and participating in an individual service project that reflects individual talents and interests and is approved by the chapter advisor(s). This project is in addition to the chapter projects to which all members contribute.

Section 5. The chapter shall publicize and promote its projects in a positive manner.

Article X: Discipline and Dismissal of Members

Section 1. Members who fall below the standards of scholarship, service, leadership or character may be considered for discipline or dismissal from the Mary Dana Henshaw Chapter of the National Honor Society. Members of the National Honor Society are expected to maintain their academic standing and take an active role in service and leadership in BUHS and the community.

Section 2. If a member’s cumulative grade point average falls below the standard in effect when they were selected (88% GPA), the member will be given a written warning and a reasonable time period for improvement. If the cumulative grade point average remains below standard at the end of the warning period, the student will be subject to further disciplinary action by the faculty council that can include consideration of dismissal from the chapter.

Section 3. Violations of the law or school regulations can result in immediate consideration of the dismissal of a member. These violations include, but are not limited to: DUI; fighting; hazing, harassing or bullying; stealing; destruction of property; cheating; truancy; or possession, selling, or being under the influence of drugs or alcohol at school or school-related activities or in the community.

Section 4. Offenders of the school code of conduct (such as use of profanity, insubordination, unexcused absences, excessive tardiness, etc.) will receive written warning notification. A conference may be requested by either party (faculty council or student). If the member is involved in another violation of the school code of conduct, the member may be considered for dismissal.

Section 5. Chapter officers, as representatives of the chapter, can be removed from their positions as a consequence of disciplinary action taken by the faculty council.

Section 6. In all cases of pending dismissal:

  1. The member and parent/guardian will receive written notification from the advisor/faculty council indicating the reason for consideration of dismissal.
  2. The member will be given the opportunity to respond to the charge(s) at a hearing before the faculty council prior to any vote on dismissal. The member has the opportunity to present a defense in person. Following the hearing, the faculty council will then vote on whether to dismiss. A majority vote of the faculty council is needed to dismiss any member.
  3. The results of the faculty council vote will be presented to the principal for review, and then stated in a letter sent to the student and parent/guardian. Dismissed members must surrender any membership materials to the advisor(s).
  4. The faculty council’s decision may be appealed to the building principal.
  5. A member who is dismissed or resigns may never again be considered for membership in the National Honor Society.

Section 7. In lieu of dismissal, the faculty council may impose disciplinary sanctions upon a member as deemed appropriate.

Article XI: Ratification, Approval and Review

Section 1: These bylaws will be approved upon receiving a majority affirmative vote of the chapter members and faculty council, and approval by the principal.

Section 2. These bylaws shall be reviewed, and revised if necessary within five years from the date of approval noted on this document.

Article XII: Amendments

These bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the chapter, faculty council and principal, provided notice of the proposed amendment has been given to NHS members at least one month prior to the vote. The exceptions are Articles V and X, which are developed by the faculty council with the approval of the principal (selection and discipline).

Approved on: October 17, 2019

Gus Williams, Chapter President

NHS Faculty Council members

Steve Perrin, BUHS Principal