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By-Laws

BY-LAWS

MARTHA'S VINEYARD PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL BOARD OF TRUSTEES·

October 2008


ARTICLE 1

Purposes and General Powers

Section 1: The schools Mission Statement: It is the mission of the Martha's Vineyard Public Charter School to create a public school that will cultivate lifelong learners in a multi-aged project based setting.

Within an environment that models interdependence as the foundation for society:

·        The individual student will learn to direct his or her learning;

·        The group will make decisions together and recognize the unique contributions of each member;

·        The community will support and interact with the school body.

Section 2: In accordance with the charter of July 1, 1996, the Board of Trustees shall operate the Martha's Vineyard Public Charter School, chartered by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as public agents in accordance with the provisions of M.G.L. c. 71, s. 89 and regUlations promulgated pursuant thereto, all other applicable state and federal laws and regUlations, and such conditions as the Secretary of the Massachusetts Department of Education may from time to time establish, all of which shall be deemed conditions of the charter.

Further, the Board of Trustees shall operate the school in accordance with the representation made in the Charter School Application submitted to, and approved by the Secretary of Education, and in accordance with any approved written amendments to such application, as well as in compliance to state and federal law.

Section 3: The Board of Trustees shall be responsible for ensuring that the school is an academic success, that 'it is a viable organization, and that it is faithful to the terms of its charter, includihg the effective dissemination of innovative practices. The Board of Trustees will not exercise managerial powers over the day-to-day operations of the school.

Section 4: The Board of Trustees shall provide the MVPCS school community with the original Charter School Application, proposed amendments, subsequent re-certification applications and annual reports and invite it to participate in the advancement of the school through Board of Trustees membership, Standing Committee and Task Force participation.

Section 5: The Board of Trustees will manage the financial affairs of the school and will approve the annual budget of the school.


ARTICLE II Board of Trustees

Section 1: The Board of Trustees (lithe Board") shall consist of nine (9) Trustees who are considered special state employees and may in addition at the discretion of the Board include one (1) MVPCS graduate. A quorum shall consist of a minimum of five members.

Section 2: The Trustees will ensure that its membership shall have the necessary areas of expertise to operate the school in accordance with its obligations and responsibilities to the State pursuant to the school's charter and to the school community.

The Board of Trustees may not discriminate against a potential member on the basis of age, sex, sexual orientation, race, national origin, ancestry, religion, marital status, or non-disqualifying handicap or mental condition.

Section 3: Nominations of new Trustees to fill vacancies created by expiration of terms shall be made by a nominating committee, known as the Trusteeship Committee. The Trusteeship Committee shall, at the regular Board of Trustees meeting in April, present to the Board for approval a slate of nominees to serve as trustees. The Board-approved slate will be presented to the school community at the Annual Meeting in May. The school community shall receive written notice of the full slate of nominees at least fourteen (14) days prior to the Annual Meeting.

Vacancies on the Board of Trustees occurring for reasons other than expiration of term may be filled, upon nomination by the Trusteeship Committee, by consensus of the Board. A Trustee selected to fill the vacancy shall serve the remainder of the term of his/her predecessor in office.

The names of approved Trustees shall be submitted forthwith to the State for approval.

Section 4: Trustees shall serve a term of three (3) years, or until their successors are seated. Terms shall be staggered. No Trustee shall serve more than two (2) consecutive three-year terms. Fulfilling an incomplete term is not considered part of the term limit. A Trustee who has served to term limit is eligible for renomination one year after leaving office. Trustees shall take office on July 1 following the Annual Meeting at which their selection is approved.

Section 5: A Trustee may resign at any time by filing a written resignation with the President of the Board.

Section 6: The Board, and only Board of Trustees, may remove any Officer or Trustee with or without cause or take any other action with majority vote of the entire Board. This action may take place at any regular or special meeting of the Board, provided that a statement of the reason or reasons shall have been mailed by Registered Mail to the Officer or Trustee proposed for removal at least thirty (30) days before any final action is taken by the Board. This statement shall be accompanied by a notice of the time when, and the place where, the Board is to take action on the removal. The Officer or Trustee shall be given an opportunity to be heard and the matter considered by the Board at the time and place mentioned in the notice.

Section 7:The graduate position on the Board is to be held by a MVPCS graduate. If more than one (1) candidate would like to be in this position the Trusteeship Committee will choose one (1). This is a one (1) three (3) year term, but can be re-nominated to one ofthe nine (9) positions on the Board. This position can remain unfilled if there are no interested or eligible candidates. This position falls under all of the other guidelines of the Board of Trustees Bylaws except as stated in this article.

Section 8: It is required that the majority of membership to the Board of Trustees may not be bound or affected by any other entity.

ARTICLE III Officers


Section 1: There shall be four (4) elective Officers of the Board: a President, A Vice President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer.

a. The responsibilities shall be as follows:

i. President: The President shall preside at all meetings of the Board of Trustees at which he/she is present. The President shall have general supervision of the affairs of the Board of Trustees.

ii. Vice-President: The Vice President shall assist the President and perform the duties of the President in his/her absence.

iii. Secretary: The Secretary shall keep the records of the Board of Trustees and its meetings and shall attend to giving notice of meetings of the Board of Trustees.

iv. Treasurer: The Treasurer shall have general charge of the financial matters of the Board of Trustees in accordance with the Finance Policy and the care and custody of its funds and valuable papers. He/she shall have the power to endorse for deposit all notes, checks, drafts, and other obligations payable to the Board of Trustees. He/she shall keep or cause to be kept accurate financial records of all accounts and oversee the annual audit.

Section 2: The Trusteeship Committee shall present a slate of Officers to the Board of Trustees. The nominated Officers shall be drawn from among the members of the Board of Trustees. The Officers shall be approved at the July meeting of the Board.

Section 3: The newly elected Officers shall take office on July 1, pending Board approval at the July meeting, and pending State approval of Board membership. The term of office shall be one year, or until respective successors assume office. A Trustee may serve more than one (1) term in the same office, but not more than three (3) consecutive terms in the same office.

Section 4: I n the event that the office of the President becomes vacant, the Vice­President shall become President for the unexpired portion of the term. In the event that the office of Vice-President, Secretary, or Treasurer becomes vacant, the President shall appoint interim Officers to fill such vacant offices until a scheduled meeting of the Board is held.

ARTICLE IV Meetings

Section 1: The conduct and announcement of all meetings of the Board of Trustees shall be in compliance with M.G.L. c. 30A, s. 11 a. 1/2, the Open Meeting Law of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The law requires in part that the Board, whenever a quorum meets,

·        hold open discussions regarding its actions (unless a specific exemption permits an executive session),

·        inform the public of all meeting times at least 48 hours in advance (unless an emergency meeting),

·        keep accurate records of what occurs at meetings including the time, date, and location of the meeting, the members present or absent, and all action taken at the meeting, and any information about formal votes taken.

Section 2: Regular Meetings

a.       Regular meetings of the Board of Trustees shall be held monthly from July through June (except as needed during August.)

b.      A yearly schedule of regular meetings will be determined by the Board of Trustees in July, and that schedule will be posted at the school, and submitted to the Secretary of State.

Section 3: Special Meetings

Special meetings of the Board of Trustees may be called either by the President or at the request of three Trustees in accordance with Open Meeting Law.

Section 4: At any regular or special meeting of the Board of Trustees, a majority of the Trustees then in office and attending the meeting shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of voting on the transaction of business, except where otherwise required by these Bylaws. The Board of Trustees may not participate in meetings by email or proxies.

Section 5: It is the goal of the Board of Trustees to reach decisions by consensus, through collaborative discussion. All Trustees shall be committed to this form of decision-making. If the Board of Trustees fails after diligent effort to


reach consensus on any matter about which a decision must be made the matter will be put toa vote. Under this circumstance, a majority of those Trustees present and voting will decide any question of that matter.

Section 6: Annual Meeting

An Annual Meeting of the Board of Trustees will occur in May of each year. At this meeting the slate of nominated Trustees and the budget will be presented for approval by the school community.

  ARTICLE V School Director and Other Agents

Section 1: The Board of Trustees shall be responsible for hiring, firing, evaluating, and establishing the terms of employment ofthe School Director. The Board may not select, appoint, evaluate, and/or remove the school staff other than the school leadership.

Section 2: The Board of Trustees may appoint from time to time such agents as it shall deem necessary, who shall serve, have such authority, and perform such functions as the Board of Trustees determine. Compensation for such agents, if any, will be determined by the Trustees.

ARTICLE VI Committees and Task Forces

Section 1: The Board of Trustees may appoint committees and task forces to assist the Board of Trustees in the fulfillment of its duties,

(a) Thereshall·be Standing Committees on~Finance, Teaching and Learning, and Trusteeship.

(b) Task'Forces may be formed on an ad hoc basis to accomplish specific tasks:'

Section 2: The Board of Trustees shall select the chairpersons for the Standing Committees from 'among the Trustees at its July meeting, following the approval of officers. The term of office shaH be two years. Trustees may serve consecutive terms if reappointed as Trustees.

Section 3: The Board of Trustees shall select the chairpersons for the Task Forces from amoDg the Trustees or the school community. The term shall be for the duration of the Task Force or two years, whichever is shorter.

Section 4: Committee and Task Force Chairs will present to the Board a list of committee members. Members may include Trustees, Advisors, administrative staff, teachers, parents, students, or other interested persons.


Section 5: All regular and special meetings of Standing Committees and Task Forces are subject to the same laws and regulations as the meetings of the full Board (Open Meeting Law), and they are governed by the same procedures.

Section 6: There shall be a standing nominating committee, known as the Trusteeship Committee. This committee shall be composed of five (5) to seven (7) persons recommended by the President and Vice President and approved by the Board. It shall be chaired by a member of the Board. Membership shall include a total of at least three Board members and at least two persons from the school community who are not Trustees and whose membership on the committee would not constitute a conflict of interest as defined in the school Conflict of Interest Policy.

Section 7: The duties of the Trusteeship Committee shall be:

a)      to follow an open process in seeking candidates and studying their qualifications and to present a slate of the best qualified as nominees for the vacant Trustee positions on the Board;

b)     to present a slate of nominees for Officers to the Board for approval at the July meeting;

           c)    to recommend candidates to the Board to fill vacancies that arise outside the regular nominating process;

d)     to provide orientation to new Trustees;

e)      to oversee a Trustee assessment process to ensure optimum performance.

ARTICLE VII School Community

The school community shall be defined as students presently attending and their parents (defined as family units), the faculty, the administration, the Trustees, and the members of the Advisory Board of the MVPCS. A minimum of 33% of the school community must.be present to constitute a quorum at the Annual Meeting or other school community meetings.

It is the goal of the school community to reach decisions by consensus, through collaborative discussion. If the school community fails after diligent effort to reach consensus on any matter about which a decision must be made at the Annual Meeting, the matter will be put to a vote. Under this circumstance, two­thirds of those present and voting will decide any question of that matter, according the folloWing voting procedure:

Individual Trustees, Advisory Board members, and all employees have one vote. Family units shall have one vote, which can be split into two parts of 1/2 vote each.

In addition to the Annual Meeting, the school community may convene to make policy recommendations to the Board of Trustees. All recommendations made by the school community that are consistent with the representations in the Charter may be ratified by the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees shall have final responsibility and authority to act or to decide not to act with respect to any recommendation made by the school community.

ARTICLE VIII Fiscal Year

The fiscal year of the Martha's Vineyard Public Charter School shall begin on July 1 of each calendar year and terminate on June 30 of the following year.

ARTICLE IX Indemnification


The MV Public Charter School shall indemnify its Directors, Officers, employees, and volunteers to the fullest extent permitted by the law of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

ARTICLE XI Amendments


These Bylaws may be amended at a regular meeting of the Board of Trustees with final approval of the Board of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, provided any proposed amendment has been read and discussed at a minimum of two prior regular meetings.

 

These Bylaws may be amended at a regular meeting of the Board of Trustees, provided any proposed amendment has been read and discussed at a minimum of two prior regular meetings.