Bylaws of the School Leadership Team of PS9 Sarah Smith Garnet
Adopted February 11, 2013
Revisions Adopted April 15, 2013, November 15, 2016, June 18, 2019
These bylaws were last amended on June 18, 2019 and are on file in the Principal's office.
The mission of PS9 is to help each child develop into a learner who is literate, creative, culturally aware, and technologically competent. As a Whole Child school, PS9 strives to create a lifelong love of learning through innovative programs that keep each child healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. PS9 will create an environment that honors excellence in student achievement and encourages each child to respect individual differences. To achieve our mission, PS9 will draw upon the diverse contributions of parents, community, teachers, and professional staff to provide the best educational opportunities for our children. PS9 encourages a strong collaborative environment consisting of parents, faculty, and staff to ensure that each child reaches their academic and learning goals.
Article I - Purpose and Scope of the School Leadership Team
Section 1 - Core Responsibilities
The School Leadership Team's work includes: choosing annual goals for school improvement; creating action plans to meet those goals; evaluating progress towards those goals; reviewing the school's budget to ensure that it supports the achievement of the goals. Under Chancellor's Regulation A-655, the SLT must submit PS9's annual Comprehensive Educational Plan (CEP), a mandatory document detailing school wide goals and plans for achieving them. As part of its planning work, the SLT will evaluate PS9's educational programs and their effects on student achievement. The SLT will modify the CEP and request budget changes on an as-needed basis throughout the year, as a result of changing educational needs.
Section 2 - Other SLT Aims
More generally, the SLT is the school's central coordinating body. The SLT will help shape and support a collaborative school culture at PS9. The team will also facilitate communication among the various school committees and constituencies to ensure that all are working toward the same goals set forth in the CEP. The team may address additional school policies or issues when they relate to student achievement or parent involvement. The principal is responsible for the hiring and reassignment of any school staff, not the SLT. The principal is also responsible for developing the budget, but must consult with the SLT. The team is committed to improving PS9 so that each of its students can learn, explore, and maximize her or his potential, all while experiencing academic success.
Article II - Team Composition
Section 1 - Size of Team
The School Leadership Team will have ten members. The team shall maintain an equal number of parent and staff members.
Section 2 - Mandatory Members
The SLT has three mandatory members: PS9's Principal, the President of the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), and the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) Chapter Leader. Mandatory members of the SLT may designate another member of their constituent group to serve in their stead. In the case of such substitutions, the mandatory member shall tell the other members in writing.
Section 3 - Other Members
The SLT will include 4 other parents and 3 other staff members. At least 2 of the staff members shall be classroom teachers. The SLT may include other teaching staff, non-teaching staff, and representatives of community-based organizations that work with the school. Consistent with Chancellor's Regulations, the parent coordinator and staff of PS9's school support organization are encouraged to participate in meetings but may not serve as a member.
Section 4 - Election of Team Members
Parent and staff SLT members must be elected by their own constituent group in a fair and unbiased manner determined by each constituent group. All elections must be advertised widely, with reasonable advance notice given. Elections must be open to all members of the constituent group and must accord with the term limits set forth in these bylaws.
The PTO may elect parent members during spring elections, or parents may elect members during a separate election. The school administration or the PTO officers must give parents a minimum of ten calendar days notice prior to the election. The terms of the parent members should be staggered. Parent members may be: a birth parent; a step-parent; a foster parent; a legally-appointed guardian; or a relative who has assumed the daily care of a PS9 child because the child's parents or guardians are not available. Staff members who have a child at PS9 may serve only as a representative of the staff, not as a parent representative.
A community-based organization member must write a letter of application to the SLT, and must have authorization from the organization's governing body.
Elections held to fill vacancies due to resignation, cessation of member eligibility, or removal pursuant to Article IV will be conducted by the appropriate constituent group prior to the next scheduled team meeting. Team members elected to fill vacancies shall be eligible to serve until the completion of that term.
Section 5 - Chairperson/Co-Chairpersons Selection Method
The chairperson shall be selected by consensus of the team and may serve up to 2 years. If the team selects co-chairpersons, they will share the role of chairperson as outlined in these bylaws. The selection shall take place at the September meeting.
The chairperson shall: make meeting agendas; facilitate discussion at meetings; ensure that team members have the information necessary to guide their planning; focus the team on educational issues of importance to the school; ensure that voices of all team members are heard; secure records; coordinate team and committee efforts.
Section 6 - Additional Leadership Roles
The secretary will be responsible for sending SLT meeting notices and for keeping the minutes of SLT meetings. Such minutes must be maintained at PS9. A copy must be provided to the secretary as well as the president of the PTO. The school principal may designate an office staff member to assist the SLT secretary. The team may select co-secretaries to share the role.
The timekeeper ensures that the team has allotted time to discuss all agenda items, then monitors that time limits are observed, so that all agenda items are addressed (which may include tabling them for other meetings). The timekeeper will help assure uninterrupted time for each speaker.
The financial liaison(s) will maintain SLT meeting attendance records in a file throughout the year, to verify participation for the annual SLT member remuneration (eligible participation activities are listed in Section 9 of these bylaws). The financial liaison will bring PS9's line-item budget to each meeting to allow the team to discuss its alignment with CEP and current needs of the school. The team will fill these leadership roles by consensus and may serve up to 2 years in any one leadership role.
Section 7 - Length of Term and Term Limits
Non-mandatory team members are elected for terms of 2 years. All members must remain eligible to serve pursuant to Chancellor's Regulation A-655 for the duration of their term. Non-mandatory members may not serve more than 2 consecutive terms. The team must approve any members from community-based organizations each year.
Section 8 - Responsibilities of School Leadership Team Members
Team members must develop an annual school Comprehensive Educational Plan (CEP) that is aligned with the school-based budget for the school year. The budget provides the fiscal parameters within which the SLT will develop the goals and objectives to meet the needs of students and the school's educational program. To ensure the alignment of budget and CEP, SLT members may request the Galaxy Table of Organization Report entitled "Public/SLT View" up to 2 times each semester and the principal must provide it within 5 school days.
The principal shall consult with the SLT members during the development process for the budget, so that the CEP goals may inform the budget. Team members must work collaboratively by sharing their ideas and concerns. They must listen to the ideas and concerns of others, and engage in collaborative problem-solving and solution-seeking that will lead to consensus-based decisions. Team members must communicate effectively with their constituent groups and share the views of their constituencies with the team.
SLT members may disagree with the principal's written justification (submitted to the superintendent) that the CEP and budget arc aligned. SLT members may respond in writing to the principal's submission to the superintendent. In the case of such a dispute, the SLT and principal must abide by the superintendent's written response to these submissions. Similarly, SLT members may submit a written complaint to the District 13 superintendent that the principal has made a decision that is inconsistent with the CEP's goals and policies.
The SLT members each shall provide an annual assessment to the District 13 superintendent of the principal's record of developing an effective shared decision-making relationship with the SLT members during the year.
The team will remove members who miss three consecutive meetings without supplying, in writing, a good and valid excuse for each.
Section 9 - SLT Member Remuneration
Team members qualify for the full annual remuneration from the Department of Education when they fulfill the training requirement mandated by the Chancellor's Regulations and serve for 30 hours. Members who fulfill the service requirement yet serve fewer than 30 hours may request remuneration on a pro-rata basis. Service includes the following activities: attending a team meeting; preparing minutes for meetings; drafting the CEP, a committee action plan, bylaws, or other major team document; attending trainings (including participating in trainings via computer); planning SLT or committee events. For all activities besides scheduled team meetings, members will notify the financial liaison of the date and time of the service in writing or via an e-mail message.
Article III - Team Meetings
Section 1 - Schedule of Meetings
The School Leadership Team will meet at least once a month during the school year. Additional meetings will be scheduled by the chairperson as needed or upon request by the team members. Meetings will be scheduled at a time convenient for parent members on the team. Parent members will be polled each year to determine a convenient time for team meetings.
Section 2 - Notice of Team Meetings
The SLT will establish a yearly calendar, and post it in the lobby at the beginning of each school year. The team will also post minutes of the meetings in the lobby and on the school's website or via other electronic channels.
Section 3 - Meeting Attendance
Team members are expected to attend all meetings. If members are unable to attend a meeting, they are expected to notify the chairperson beforehand. They must explain the absence to the chairperson no later than 2 days after the meeting.
Section 4 - Quorum
A majority of SLT members (50% + 1) shall constitute a quorum, if it includes at least 2 representatives of parents and staff; to constitute a quorum the meeting must include each mandatory member or that mandatory member's designee.
Section 5 - Meeting Business
Meetings shall include a call to order, an approval of the previous meeting's minutes, discussion of new business and unfinished business agenda items, creation of an action plan between meetings, creation of a draft agenda for the next meeting, and adjournment. The team encourages committee reports.
Only after the team has finished discussing the new and unfinished business agenda items will the team consider any proposed agenda items from non-members.
Section 6 - Open Meetings
PS9's SLT meetings are open. Any non-member may ask to speak after the team concludes discussion of new business. Non-members may not introduce new agenda items.
Observers from outside the school may distribute school-related material to the team after discussion of new business.
Under state law, meetings may be audio recorded as long as the recording devices are unobtrusive. Persons recording the meeting must notify the team.
Article IV- Removal of a School Leadership Team Member
Section 1 - Removal Process
Team members will remove members who fail to attend 3 consecutive meetings, or behave in a manner that is disruptive and undermining to the work of the team. Flagrant failure to perform roles and responsibilities outlined in these bylaws are also grounds for removal from team, or from leadership position.
The School Leadership Team must have a quorum of members present when deciding to remove a member. The team will decide by consensus. The team shall provide a written notice of its decision. The letter shall include the reason for the removal and the member's right to appeal the decision. The letter shall be signed by the chairperson and sent by registered return receipt mail delivery to ensure proper notification and receipt.
Section 2 - Filling a Vacancy
When a member resigns or is removed, the vacancy will be advertised to the appropriate constituent group and an election will be held in accordance with these bylaws.
Article V - Decision-Making
Consensus-based decision-making will be the primary means of making team decisions. Consensus is defined as reaching an agreement acceptable to all members. Secondarily, the team may rely on consensus minus one, if one member stands against the consensus.
Article VI - Conflict Resolution
If members cannot reach agreement on an issue discussed at a meeting, they may decide by consensus to seek assistance from the District 13 Leadership Team (DLT), the District 13 (or other appropriate) superintendent, or the Office for Family Engagement and Advocacy (OFEA). If the team cannot reach agreement on an issue after three consecutive meetings, they must seek assistance from these parties.
If team members have difficulty obtaining information or have issues involving the school principal, they should contact the chairperson. If the chairperson is not able to resolve the situation within 5 school days, team members may seek assistance from the DLT. When seeking assistance from the DLT or other party, team members will provide a copy of their request to the chairperson.
Article VII - Bylaws Review and Amendment
The bylaws may be amended at any regular meeting of the team, provided notice of any proposed changes has been given at a previous meeting. In addition, the bylaws will be reviewed annually, at the start of the school year to ensure that the document's provisions meet the needs of the team and remain consistent with Chancellor's Regulation A-655.