BY-LAW NO. 1/90
“A BY-LAW TO PROVIDE FOR THE ORGANIZATION OF THE BOARD”.
Revised: 1992-03, 1994-06, 2006-11, 2013-02, 2013-03, 2019-11, 2021-05
Reviewed: 1997-12, 2021-04
1.1 Each electoral year, the first meeting of the Board shall be called by the Secretary-Treasurer and shall be as soon as possible after the general election, and, in any event, no later than November 30th of that year.
1.2 Until such time as the Board Chairperson has been elected, either the Secretary-Treasurer or Superintendent of Schools shall serve as the interim Chairperson.
1.3 Each Trustee will declare any relationship that exists which may be interpreted as a conflict of interest.
1.4 Following the swearing in of new Trustees, the interim Chairperson shall call for nominations by secret ballot for the position of Board Chairperson. The election shall be conducted by secret ballot. The person receiving a clear majority shall be declared Board Chairperson. If no person receives a clear majority, further secret ballots shall be taken until the same is achieved or, should a tie occur; the election shall be decided by drawing of lots.
1.5 Following the election of Board Chairperson, the order of business shall be election of a Vice-Chairperson.
The election of Vice-Chairperson shall be conducted in the same manner as the election of Chairperson.
An election of Provincial Councilor and alternate shall be conducted.
An election of a British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) representative and alternate shall be conducted.
1.6 A majority of the Board may elect a new Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson at any time by proposing a motion to elect by secret ballot at the following meeting.
CHAIRPERSON AND PRESIDING OFFICERS
2.1 The Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson shall be elected at the first meeting held after the general election, as referred to in Clause 1.1. In a non-electoral year, the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson shall be elected at the first meeting in November.
2.2 The Chairperson shall preside at all meetings of the Board, but may vacate the chair in order to enter substantive debate. The Chairperson should vacate the chair to propose or second a substantive motion and should not resume the chair until his/her motion has been fully disposed of.
2.3 The Vice-Chairperson shall preside in the absence of the Chairperson or when the Chairperson vacates the chair.
2.4 In the event that neither the Chairperson nor the Vice-Chairperson are able or willing to take the chair, the presiding officer shall be elected by the Board for that meeting.
2.5 The Chairperson shall rule on all points of order and shall state his/her reasons and the authority for ruling when making a ruling. The Chairperson’s ruling shall be subject to appeal of the Board. An appeal may only be requested immediately after a ruling and before resumption of business.
2.6 The Chairperson shall vote in accordance with Section 11.4.
MEETINGS – GENERAL INFORMATION
3.1 The Secretary-Treasurer must be present at the time that a decision of the Board is rendered and must record any decision.
3.2 If the Secretary-Treasurer is unable to attend the meeting or if the meeting concerns the work performance for employment of the Secretary-Treasurer, the Board may designate another employee of the Board to attend the meeting in place of the Secretary-Treasurer to perform the duties of the Secretary-Treasurer at the meeting.
3.3 Minutes shall be a record of matters discussed and decisions reached.
3.4 All regular meetings of the Board shall be open to the public. If, in the opinion of the Board, the public interest so requires, persons other than Trustees and the Secretary-Treasurer may be excluded from meeting.
3.5 The Chairperson may expel and exclude from a Board Meeting any member of the general public or staff person who he/she considers has been guilty of improper conduct.
3.6 A majority of the Trustees present at a meeting of the Board may expel a Trustee from the meeting for improper conduct.
4.1 A regular meeting shall be held a minimum of once per month, unless otherwise decided by a motion of the Board.
4.2 The quorum for a regular meeting shall be a majority of Trustees holding office at that time.
4.3 All regular meetings shall stand adjourned at four hours after their commencement unless a resolution is passed by a two-thirds majority to extend the hour of adjournment.
4.4 At the appointed time for commencement of a meeting, the Chairperson shall ascertain that a quorum is present before proceeding to the business of the meeting. If a quorum has not been made within one-half hour after the appointed time, the meeting shall stand adjourned until the next regular meeting date or until another meeting shall have been called in accordance with these by-laws.
4.5 After a meeting has commenced, if notice is drawn to a lack of quorum, the Chairperson shall ascertain whether there is a lack of quorum and, if so found, adjourn the meeting to a time certain or to the next regular meeting date, at his/her discretion.
4.6 The agenda and notice of meetings shall be prepared by the Secretary-Treasurer under the direction of the Chairperson. The proposed agenda must be available to each Trustee at least seventy-two (72) hours in advance of the meeting.
4.7 A change to the prescribed order of business may be proposed by a Trustee and shall be accepted by consensus.
4.8 The Board may conduct its meetings electronically providing that two-way communication is possible.
5.1 A Special Meeting of the Board may be called by the Chairperson or, upon request of a majority of the Trustees, may be called by the Secretary-Treasurer. No business other than that for which the meeting was called shall be conducted at the meeting.
5.2 (a) Notice, either written or verbal, of a special meeting shall be given to each Trustee at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance of the meeting.
(b) Notwithstanding Section 5.2 (a) above, a special meeting of the Board may be held at any time without previous notice if every Trustee agrees to waive notice.
ELECTRONIC MEETING EXPECTATIONS
6.1 Rationale for Developing Expectations for Trustees for Electronic Meetings
- Fully electronic meetings or blended electronic meetings will be needed for quite sometime
- All trustees have expressed some concerns related to the “electronic meetings” that we have held
- As more meetings have been done electronically, our understanding of our needs and how to do things has developed
6.2 Prior to the Meeting
- Make sure you have log in information available
- Sign into the meeting at least 10 minutes ahead of the meeting start time; this gives us time to sort out technical difficulties ahead of the meeting’s scheduled start time
6.3 Guidelines for Trustees Joining an Online Meeting
- Use district provided devices and school district provided emails for board business, this addresses security concerns
- A recommended browser works best for accessing Online Meetings
- Location where trustees are calling in from to attend the meeting should be one where there is minimal background disruption
- Ensure good lighting to avoid appearing in shadow. Avoid uncovered windows or bright light sources behind you
- Let others know that you are participating in a meeting and that you can’t be interrupted during the meeting
- If you use earphones, the meeting will not be audible to others in the location that you are calling in from
- It is especially important during the in-camera portion of the meeting that the meeting is not audible to others and others can’t see your computer screen
6.4 Guidelines for Trustees During the Meeting
- Roll call should be done so that everyone is aware of who is attending the meeting. This is especially important during our Regular Meetings where quorum must be established.
- Speak clearly and slowly; this is important to the minute taker and shows consideration for the fact that minute taking in an electronic and blended environment is more difficult. This also assists the understanding of others in the meeting.
- Trustees should give their full name when making or seconding a motion
- There should be one conversation at a time
- The Online meeting “chat” function will be available for use during the meeting. Use chat to confirm that you wish to speak and add your questions/comments there.
- Mute your microphone when you are not talking
- Leave your webcam on for the duration of the meeting. Body language is an important aspect of communication. It is also important that others can note your presence especially if you are needed for meeting the number requirement for quorum. An informed vote can only be cast if you have been listening to the full conversation around the issue. If a participant is needing to leave for a break during the meeting, notify the chair so that your absence for a portion of the meeting can be noted, if necessary (ie. ensuring quorum is met or for voting on a motion). If you have to leave a meeting early, notify the chair so that the time that you left can be documented appropriately in the minutes.
- When voting is required, either physically raise your hand and/or verbally give your response (eg. For, Against, Abstaining)
- Be present in an electronic meeting the same way that you would be during a regular meeting. Silence your phone. Stay seated and focused.
- Return from breaks on time
CLOSED SESSION (The “In Committee” portion of regular or special meetings.)
7.1 The Board may conduct meetings without the public, or without the public and staff present, at which matters of a confidential nature shall be discussed. No Trustee shall disclose to the public the proceedings of a closed meeting unless a resolution has been passed at the closed meeting to allow disclosure.
7.2 Minutes of a closed meeting shall be kept in the same manner as a regular meeting but shall be approved only by the Board in closed meeting and shall be filed separately.
In addition to the minutes, a record containing general statements of matters discussed and decisions reached shall be prepared. The record is open to inspection to anyone excluded from a meeting.
7.3 Unless otherwise determined by the Board, the following matters shall be considered in closed session:
(1) Personnel Matters
– salary claims and negotiations
– evaluation, discipline or retirement of employees
– employee assignment, promotion or termination.
(2) Legal Matters
– accident claims
– legal actions brought by or against the Board
– legal opinions respecting any matters which are to be considered in private session.
(3) Student Matters
– indigent students
– student discipline.
(4) Property Matters
– negotiations regarding purchase, lease or sale of property
– future site planning and designation
– investigations regarding possible school closures.
(5) Auditors’ Management Letter
(6) Medical matters respecting individual students or employees
(7) A statement referring to the safety, security or protection of students, personnel or Board property.
(8) Such matters as the Board may in public session determine.
(9) A member of the Board may make a motion to place a closed-session item of business onto the agenda of the public session and, upon the motion being seconded and discussed, a simple majority vote in favor of the motion shall be sufficient cause to move the item into the public session.
RULES OF ORDER
8.1 Where these rules are silent and where not inconsistent with these rules, Robert’s Rules of Order shall apply to the conduct of meetings, provided further that, where both these Rules and Robert’s Rules of Order are silent, the Standing Orders of the British Columbia legislature shall be followed. Where there is an inconsistency between these rules and the School Act, the School Act shall apply over the rule in question.
8.2 The Board may adopt a procedural rule for one or more meetings by resolution of a majority of two-thirds of the Trustees present at the meeting. A rule other than the requirement for notice of meetings may be suspended by unanimous consent of the Trustees present.
8.3 The rules may be amended by By-law only, at a meeting of which notice of intention to propose the amendment has been given at a previous meeting.
8.4 The Chairperson’s ruling on a point of order shall be based on rules of order as stated in paragraph 7.1 herein.
8.5 An appeal of a ruling of the Chairperson shall be decided without debate by a majority vote of Trustees present. When an appeal is successful, it does not necessarily set a precedent.
8.6 All questions shall be decided by a vote on motion.
9.1 Motions shall be phrased in a clear and concise manner so as to express an opinion or achieve a result. A preamble does not form part of a resolution when passed.
9.2 The Chairperson may divide a motion containing more than one subject if he feels this would produce a fairer or clearer result and the same shall be voted on in the form in which it is divided.
9.3 No motion, other than to postpone consideration of a question or a procedural motion, shall be repeated during the calendar year except by the reconsideration process.
9.4 All motions shall be seconded.
9.5 All motions are debatable except the following:
(a) Motion for adjournment of debate or for adjournment of a meeting unless such a motion contains a time for re commencement of debate or for a new meeting;
(b) Motion to fix time for adjournment of a meeting;
(c) Motion to proceed to the next business;
(d) Motion to go into committee of the whole or closed session.
9.6 All motions shall be subject to amendment except the following:
(a) Motion that the question be now put;
(b) Motion for adjournment of debate or adjournment of a meeting;
(c) Motion to table unless such a motion contains a date for further consideration of the matter tabled;
(d) Motion to refer to committees;
(e) Motion to proceed to next business.
9.7 An amendment to a motion does not require notice. Only one amendment to an amendment shall be allowed and the same shall be dealt with before the amendment is decided. Amendments must be strictly relevant to the main motion and not alter in a material way or be contrary to the principle embodied in the main motion.
10.1 A question may be reconsidered only if notice of a request for reconsideration has been given at a previous meeting and if reconsideration is approved by a two-thirds majority.
11.1 Debate shall be strictly relevant to the question before the meeting and the Chairperson shall warn speakers who violate this rule.
11.2 No Trustee shall speak more than once to a question except the mover of a motion, who shall have the right to speak first and to make a reply when all other Trustees who wish to speak have spoken. No Trustee shall speak for a period in excess of three minutes at one time. The Chairperson may caution a Trustee who persists in tedious and repetitious debate and may direct him to discontinue if he persists.
11.3 A matter of privilege (a matter dealing with the rights or interests of the Board as a whole or a Trustee personally) may be raised at any time and shall be dealt with forthwith before resumption of business.
11.4 No Trustee shall interrupt another Trustee who has the floor except to raise a point of order to a point of privilege.
12.1 All Trustees present at a meeting must vote, although a Trustee must abstain from voting in the event that he has a conflict of interest by reason of having a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in a vote. A Trustee may also abstain from voting if he states at the meeting his reasons thereon.
12.2 Voting shall be by a show of hands and only the results recorded unless a Trustee requests recording of names. Where names are recorded, both positive and negative votes shall be recorded.
12.3 Where a Trustee is present at a meeting and abstains from voting without stating a reason that shall be deemed to be an affirmative vote.
12.4 The Chairperson shall vote at the same time as the other members of the Board and, in the case of equality of votes for and against a motion, the question is resolved in the negative and the Chairperson shall so declare.
12.5 All questions shall be decided by a majority of the votes of the Trustees present and voting save as otherwise provided by these Bylaws.
13.1 Standing Board Committees of the whole will address issues/topics brought forward for both in-camera or regular in-depth discussions. The Board Chairperson will chair the meetings or assign another Trustee to act as Chair for specific topics.
13.2 The Committee Chairperson may invite resource persons as required.
13.3 Committees shall report to the Board on a regular basis.
13.4 Standing committees shall have jurisdiction to consider and make recommendations to the Board in matters assigned to them or in other matters within their terms of reference. No action shall be taken on the Standing Committee report until the report has been formally approved by the Board.
13.5 Special or ad hoc committees for any purpose may be appointed by the Board Chairperson as required.
BY-LAWS AND RESOLUTIONS
14.1 All matters shall be dealt with by Motion, Notice of Motion or By-Law.
Notice of Motion shall have one reading and a By-Law shall have three readings.
14.2 The following shall only be resolved by By-Law:
(a) amendments to By-Laws;
(b) acquisition or disposal of property owned or administered by the Board.
(c) where required by the School Act or the Act gives the Board the power to develop.
PROCEDURE ON BY-LAWS
15.1 With the exception of School Loan By-Laws, Budget By-Laws and/or
Budget and School Referendum Tax Rate By-Laws, written notice of intention to pro pose a By-Law shall be given at the meeting prior to the first reading.
15.2 Every By-Law shall be dealt with as follows:
(a) Before it is passed, a By-Law of the Board must be given 3 distinct readings.
(b) Except as provided in subsection (c), at each reading of a By-Law, the By- Law must be read in full.
(c) If a written or printed copy of a By-Law is in the possession of each Trustee and is available to each member of the public in attendance at the meeting at which the By-Law is to be read, a reading of a By-Law may consist of a description of the By-Law by:
– its title, and
– a summary of its contents.
(d) The Board shall not give a By-Law more than 2 readings at any one meeting unless the members of the Board who are present at the meeting unanimously agree to give the By-Law all 3 readings at that meeting.
15.3 When a By-Law has been amended, it shall be reprinted as amended and shall not be further proceeded with until the amended version has been distributed, except by vote of a two-thirds majority.
15.4 A By-Law may be advanced two or more stages in one day by a two-thirds majority, or on urgent or extraordinary occasions, the determination of which shall be by the Chairperson.
15.5 The Secretary-Treasurer shall certify on a copy of each By-Law that the By-Law was read a first, second and third time, and shall note the date that the By-Law was finally passed and adopted. Any amendments passed shall also be noted in the same manner.
15.6 The Trustee who introduces a By-Law may withdraw the same at any stage with unanimous consent.
PROCEDURE FOR NOTICES OF MOTION
16.1 A Notice of Motion permits the Board to consider and prepare for the question or questions that will be placed before them for consideration, thereby facilitating discussion and contributing to the efficient and satisfactory discharge of the matter.
If a substantial issue is to be raised affecting the constitution, policies or procedures of the Board, notice will be given at one meeting that such issue will be introduced by Motion at the next or a subsequent meeting.
16.2 The following shall only be resolved by Notice of Motion:
– election of Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson as defined in
– Section 1.6;
– variances to the budget;
– items brought forward for closure at next meeting;
– all new Board By-Laws;
– amendments to all Board By-Laws.
16.3 Notices of Motion shall be dealt with in the following stages:
– Notice of Motion made by Trustee.
– Notice of Motion brought forward to the agenda of either public or committee meeting
– Motion seconded and voted on unless referred for further consideration.
If referred for further consideration, a date shall be given as to when the item is to be brought back.
This By-Law may be cited for all purposes as “School District No. 60 (Peace River North) By-Law No. 1/90” – a By-Law to provide for the conduct to meetings of the Board and is passed in compliance with the requirements of the School Act.
Read a first time the 17th day of May, 2021.
Read a second time the 17th day of May, 2021.
Read a third time, passed and adopted the 17th day of May, 2021.