Canton Parent Advisory Council for Student Services
Amended and Restated By–Laws
Effective December 11, 2013
Massachusetts Regulation 603 CMR 28.07(4) “(4) Parent advisory participation. Each school district shall create a district wide parent advisory council offering membership to all parents of eligible students and other interested parties. The parent advisory council duties shall include but not be limited to: advising the district on matters that pertain to the education and safety of students with disabilities; meeting regularly with school officials to participate in the planning, development, and evaluation of the school district’s special education programs. The parent advisory council shall establish by-laws regarding officers and operational procedures, and, in the course of its duties, the parent advisory council shall receive assistance from the district without charge, upon reasonable notice, and subject to the availability of staff and resources.”
For the purposes of this document only, the term “parent” will be used to refer to parents as well as to guardians.
ARTICLE I: NAME OF ORGANIZATION
The name of this organization shall be Canton Parent Advisory Council for Student Services, also known as CPACSS.
ARTICLE II: PURPOSE
The mission of CPACSS is to establish better understanding of, respect for, and support of special education to meet the needs of all Canton students with disabilities. To that end, CPACSS will work to:
• Promote a network of parents of children with disabilities and provide the forum to share information
• Promote better understanding and communication between parents/guardians and school officials Advise the Special Education Administrator and School Committee on operations and development of special education programs, parent and teacher training needs, and help to develop policy
Promote communication between CPACSS members, local, State and National organizations, councils, and groups Promote communication and programs within the community to encourage understanding, acceptance, and inclusion Provide informational forums to parents, educators, students, and professionals
ARTICLE III: MEMBERSHIP
Membership is open to all parents, educators, and other interested citizens of Canton. In order to qualify for membership, a person must attend at least one CPACSS meetings per school year.
ARTICLE IV: MEETINGS
General meetings shall be held at least two times a year, from September through June.
Notice of all general meeting dates, elections, and events shall be posted on the CPACSS Website. Meeting minutes shall be posted on the Website or made available upon request.
During the last business meeting of the year, the Officers shall take recommendations for the calendar of meetings for the following school year. The calendar shall include dates and times of general meetings and projected activities for the year.
Connecting remotely to a meeting via telephone or similar technology, pursuant to Open Meeting Laws, does count as being in attendance. Members needing to connect remotely are advised to make arrangements in advance of the meeting.
ARTICLE V: OFFICERS
Officers of CPACSS are elected by the membership and hold offices for one year. (See Article VI: Elections, Referenda, and Voting)
Offices and Officers’ responsibilities are described below.
Offices may be shared by more than one person. One person may hold more than one office.
• Preside at all meetings of CPACSS
• Draft the agenda for each general meeting
• Post the general meeting agenda on the CPACSS Website and provide same to Canton
Public School liaison for publication in compliance with open meetin Recommend the creation of and monitor the function of sub-committees
Monitor and facilitate the activities of other Officers
• Monitor compliance with the By-laws and the Department of Education Regulations
Transition knowledge and expertise to the next President upon end of term Act as liaison with district and school officials and representatives, including the Special Education Administrator, the School Committee, the Superintendent, the Principals, and the Educators Lead efforts to advise the district on matters that pertain to the education and safety of students with disabilities
Coordinate regular meetings with school officials to participate in the planning, development, and evaluation of the school district’s special education programs. Funnel parent feedback to CPACSS Board and the Special Education Administrator Prepare periodic reports for the Special Education Administrator regarding CPACSS activities and needs Identify and pursue ways to collaborate on common goals Coordinate fund-raising activities
• Participate at all meetings of CPACSS
• Assist the President as requested to
• Monitor the function of sub-committees
• Facilitate the activities of other Officers
• Monitor compliance with the By-laws and the Department of Education Regulations Act as liaison with district and school officials and representatives, including the Special Education Administrator, the School Committee, the Superintendent, the Principals, and the Educators Lead efforts to advise the district on matters that pertain to the education and safety of students with disabilities Coordinate regular meetings with school officials to participate in the planning, development, and evaluation of the school district’s special education programs. Funnel parent feedback to the CPACSS Board and the Special Education Administrator Prepare periodic reports for the Special Education Administrator regarding CPACSS activities and needs
• Identify and pursue ways to collaborate on common goals
• Coordinate fund-raising activities
• Draft general meeting minutes and post on the CPACSS website
• Count and record all vote results, and collect absentee votes
Maintain the membership list and the email distribution list
• Assist Officers as requesting to coordinate fund-raising activities
• Coordinate efforts to apply for grants, donations, reimbursements, or any other funds for which CPACSS or Friends of CPACSS may be eligible
• Manage and account for funds collected, donated, and spent for Friends of CPACSS
• Verify and disburse expense reimbursements to Officers
• Assist Officers as requesting to coordinate fund-raising activities
ARTICLE VI: ELECTIONS, REFERENDA, AND VOTING
Elections and Referenda
Elections are for filling an office, and referenda are for removing someone from office.
Officers Term of Office Officers’ terms in office end at the end of the school year. Officers may also resign or be removed from office. If an office becomes vacant for any reason, the President shall appoint an Interim Officer, and an election to fill the vacancy shall be held no later than the next meeting.
The President shall list the election on the meeting agenda.
Nominations for officer positions may be made in advance of the meeting. Any member may make a nomination, and a member may nominate himself or herself. The President shall list which people are running for each office in the agenda.
Removal from Office
Any member may request a referendum to remove an Officer from office. The request must be sent to the President in writing. The request must include the cause/justification for removal, which shall be shared with the voters. The President will add the referendum to the agenda for the next meeting.
Establishment of a Quorum
Each meeting taking actions required by a meeting shall establish a quorum. If the membership is less than 50, a quorum shall be at least 50% (rounding down) of the voting membership. If the membership is greater than 50, a quorum shall be 30% (rounding down) of the membership.
Meetings that fail to establish a quorum will adjourn and a new meeting will be scheduled, notice of which will be published as described in Article IV herein.
Voting Requirements and Minimum Votes Needed
Any member of CPACSS is entitled to voting privileges. Each member’s vote has an equal weight.
Members who cannot be present at a voting meeting may arrange to submit their vote to the
Secretary in writing in advance of the meeting.
An election or referendum must have a minimum number of votes – equal to half of the average attendance count of the previous 2 general meetings, and 2/3 of those votes must be from parents of children with disabilities. Votes shall be cast by a show of hands.
ARTICLE VII: BY–LAW AMENDMENT PROCEDURES
These By-Laws may be amended at any CPACSS meeting, providing that the amendment is submitted in writing in advance of the meeting, and the minimum number of votes are cast (as defined under article “Elections, Referenda, and Voting’).