281 US Highway 46, Great Meadows, NJ 07838

 

BYLAWS

Article I:  Name of Organization

  The Great Meadows Regional School District Parent Teacher Organization

 Article II:  Objectives

  1. To promote the welfare of the children in the home, school and the community.
  2. To improve and secure a more communicative relationship between school and home.
  3. To assist the educational system to raise educational standards and facilities of education.
  4. To offer supplemental enrichment to our children’s education through the public-school structure.

Article III:  Policy and Procedures

  1. The organization shall be noncommercial, nonsectarian and nonpolitical in its function.
  2. The organization will cooperate with the Board of Education, teachers and administrators in the education of our children.
  3. No officer of this organization may speak individually on the behalf of the organization without the authorization of the Executive Committee.
  4. If the GMRSD PTO should vote to disband, the PTO Officers shall, after paying or making provision for the payment of all the liabilities of the corporation, dispose of the remaining assets of the corporation by turning same over to the Great Meadows Regional School District Board of Education to be allocated for use by the current Principals at Central Elementary School and Liberty Elementary School, exclusively for one or more exempt purposes, within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provision of any future Federal Tax Code.)  Any such asset not disposed of shall be disposed of by order of Superior Court of the State of New Jersey in the judicial district where the principal office of the corporation is then located, exclusively for such purpose or to such organization organized and operated exclusively for such purposes as said court shall determine. (Amendments to this provision made & approved January 2012)
  5. Finances (Amendments to this provision made & approved May 2019)
  • A tentative budget shall be drafted in spring for the following school year and approved at a fall meeting by a majority vote of the members present
  • The treasurer shall keep accurate records of any disbursements, income, and bank account information.
  • The board shall approve all expenses of the organization
  • Two authorized signatures shall be required on each check.
  • Authorized signers shall be any officer member.
  • The treasurer shall prepare a financial statement at the end of the year, to be reviewed by the Audit Committee
  • The fiscal year shall coordinate with the school year
  • Upon the dissolution of the organization, any remaining funds should be used to pay any outstanding bills and, with the membership’s approval, spent for the benefit of the schools

Article IV:  Membership

  1. Membership is made available to all parents and guardians of any child enrolled in the Great Meadows Regional School District grades PreK-8 and all teachers and administrators who subscribe to the objectives of the organization. (Amendments to this provision made & approved September 2016)
  2. No annual dues are collected.
  3. All members are eligible to participate in the monthly business meetings, voting and in elected and appointed positions.

 Article V:  Officers and Election

  1. Each officer shall be a member of the organization.
  2. Officers shall consist of at least one of the following positions.  Each position can have a co position role: (Amendments to this provision made & approved June 2019)
    1. President or Co-President
    2. Vice President or Co-Vice President
    3. Treasurer or Co-Treasurer
    4. Secretary or Co-Secretary
  3. The Executive Board shall consist of the officers, principals, and standing committee chairs.
  4. The duties of the Executive Board shall be to transact business between meetings in preparation for the general meeting, create standing rules and policies, create standing and temporary committees, prepare and submit a budget to the membership, approve routine bills, and prepare reports and recommendations to the membership. (Amendments to this provision made & approved June 2019)
  5. Officers will be elected by a majority vote at the April business meeting.
  6. Nominations for officer positions shall be proposed at the March business meeting by any non-officer PTO member or as communicated by an officer if the nominee cannot be present.
  7. Officers are elected for a term of two (2) years.  The term of office may not exceed two (2) successive terms of the position unless no one steps forward to assume the responsibilities of the position.
  8. Newly elected officers shall begin training with current officers immediately following the April elections through the last day of school in June.
  9. Newly elected officers will assume full duties at the start of summer recess once April-June training is completed.
  10. Outgoing officers shall attend the 1st PTO meeting (September) of the new school year following their term to transition and assist the incoming officers.
  11. Outgoing officers shall remain in an advisory position and accessible to newly elected officers through the date of the 1st PTO meeting of the elected school year.
  12. Officers may opt out of their position at any time for personal reasons.
  13. Should a vacancy occur during the term of an officer; the remaining officers have the authority to appoint a replacement.
  14. The President or Co-Presidents and Vice President or Co-Vice Presidents shall fill Presidential vacancies.
  15. The officers have the authority, by majority vote of the officers, to make disbursements, not approved in the budget, under the amount of $250.00 without the approval of a majority vote at a scheduled meeting. Disbursements made shall not exceed two (2) between scheduled meetings and have a fiscal year limit of $1,000.00.
  16. Neither officers nor committee members shall receive any salary or reimbursement and shall not accept gifts or compensation for their services unless they are of a nominal amount.

Article VI:  Duties of Officers (Amendments to this article made & approved May 2019)

  1. The President shall serve as leader and key contact for the PTO; preside at all PTO meetings; ex-official member of most committees; appoint chairpersons for special committees; coordinate the work of the officers and committees so that the PTO’s objectives can be met.
  2. The vice president shall assist the president and carry out the president’s duties in his or her absence or inability to serve. The vice president shall also oversee the committees of this organization.
  3. The Recording Secretary and Communications Secretary shall keep the minutes of all general meetings and all meetings of the Executive Board; prepare correspondence and perform all other duties assigned; maintain master documents;  help recruit committee chairpersons for all vacant standing committees of the board; keep the calendar of events for the PTO. The secretary will also oversee communications and marketing for the PTO, including but not limited to PTO newsletters, email broadcasts, website, bulletin boards, etc.  
  4. The treasurer shall receive all funds of the organization, keep an accurate record of receipts and expenditures, and pay out funds in accordance with the approval of the executive board. He or she will present a financial statement at every meeting and at other times of the year when requested by the executive board and make a full report at the end of the year.  The treasure shall oversee all incoming teacher grants and confirm funds are available.

Article VII: Committees

  1. Only members of the organization shall be eligible to serve in any elected or appointed position.
  2. Any member is eligible to volunteer and participate on any and all committees.
  3. The PTO Officers may create any committee they feel is necessary to promote the objectives of the organization.
  4. The chairpersons of any and all committees shall present a plan of action to the PTO Officers and report the status of such committee to the membership during business meetings. If the chairperson is unable to attend the business meeting, they can apprise the President of the committee status.
  5. The chairperson of any and all committees shall be responsible for keeping the President apprised of any and all committee activities and meetings.
  6. Chairperson positions are volunteer positions. All committee chair positions are available to every member of the organization on a yearly basis on a first come, first served basis. If a sitting committee chair expresses interest in returning to her/his position the following year, and they are not contested, that member shall continue to oversee her/his chosen committee.
  7. The Executive Committee can, at any time, ask a committee chair to step down from their position if the chairperson is found not to be working in the best interest of the organization. (i.e.; incomplete projects, monetary discrepancies, insubordination)
  8. If an officer cannot be present at an event where money is being collected for the organization that responsibility will fall upon the chairperson of the committee. The chairperson will then make every attempt to get all monies to the Treasurer as soon as possible.

Article VIII: Meetings

  1. At least five (5) business meetings (unless due to an unforeseen circumstance beyond the control of the organization) shall be held during the course of the school year.  All meetings will be held on school premises.  In the event of a prolonged school closure due to an unforeseen circumstance, meetings can be conducted online.  (Amendments to this provision made & approved June 2020)
  2. All general meetings shall be publicized at least thirty (30) days in advance and special sessions at least fourteen (14) days in advance.
  3. The members present at any general meeting shall constitute a quorum.
  4. Election will be held at the April business meeting.
  5. At no time shall a PTO meeting be used as a forum to air personal grievances.

Article IX: Voting

  1. All expenditures over $250.00, not in the previously approved budget, must be presented at a regularly scheduled business meeting to the general membership for a vote.
  2. All members shall have an equal vote on operational and financial issues before the organization.
  3. All voting for officer positions and chairperson positions shall be done in ballot form to ensure objectivity and privacy.
  4. An email vote may be used between meetings in special situations that would be beneficial to the organization.
  5. The President shall have the tie-breaking vote in all matters before the organization
  6. Results of all votes will be entered into the minutes.

 Article X: Books and Records

  1. The corporation shall keep correct and complete books and records of all accounts and shall keep minutes of the proceedings of its members, officers and committees.
  2. Any member of the organization may inspect all books and records of the corporation for any proper purpose at any reasonable time.

 Article XI: Amendments

  1. The by-laws must be reviewed by the membership annually in November.
  2. The by-laws may be amended at any regular business meeting by a two-thirds vote of the members present.
  3. The by-laws must be posted and available for review by the membership annually.
  4. A proposed amendment to the by-laws shall be announced at a regular business meeting at least thirty days prior to the next business meeting. If a regular meeting is not planned a special session can be called if fourteen days advance notice is given to the membership.

Article XII: Parliamentary Authority (Article added May 2019)

  1. Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern meetings when they are not in conflict with the organization’s bylaws or any other special/ standing rules.
  2. Standing rules may be approved by the Executive Board, and the secretary shall keep a record of the standing rules for future reference.

Article XIII: Conflict of Interest Policy (Article added May 2019)

  1. Purpose

The purpose of the conflict of interest policy is to protect this tax-exempt organization’s interest when it is contemplating entering into a transaction or arrangement that might benefit the private interest of an officer or director of the organization or might result in a possible excess benefit transaction. This policy is intended to supplement but not replace any applicable state and federal laws governing conflict of interest applicable to nonprofit and charitable organizations.

  1. Definitions.
    1. Interested Person. Any director, principal officer, or member of a committee with governing board­ delegated powers who has a direct or indirect financial interest, as defined below, is an interested person.
    2. Financial Interest. A person has a financial interest if the person has, directly or indirectly, through business, investment, or family: 
    3. An ownership or investment interest in any entity with which the organization has a transaction or arrangement.
    4. A compensation arrangement with the organization or with any entity or individual with which the organization has a transaction or arrangement; or a potential ownership or investment interest in, or com­pensation arrangement with, any entity or individual with which the organization is negotiating a transaction or arrangement. “Compensation” includes direct and indirect remuneration as well as gifts or favors that are not insubstantial
    5. A financial interest is not necessarily a conflict of interest. A person who has a financial interest may have a conflict of interest only if the appropriate governing board or committee decides that a conflict of interest exists.
  2. Procedures
    1. Duty to Disclose. 
      1. In connection with any actual or possi­ble conflict of interest, an interested person must disclose the existence of the financial interest and be given the opportunity to disclose all material facts to the directors and members of committees with governing board delegated powers who are considering the proposed transaction or arrangement.
      2. Determining Whether a Conflict of Interest Exists. After disclosure of the financial interest and all material facts, and after any discussion with the interested person, he/she shall leave the governing board or committee meeting while the determination of a conflict of interest is discussed and voted upon. The remaining board or committee members shall decide whether a conflict of interest exists.
    2. Procedures for Addressing the Conflict of Interest.
      1. An interested person may make a presentation at the governing board or committee meeting, but after the presentation, he/she shall leave the meeting during the discussion of, and the vote on, the transaction or arrangement involving the possible conflict of interest.
      2. The chairperson of the governing board or committee shall, if appropriate, appoint a disinterested person or commit­ tee to investigate alternatives to the proposed transaction or arrangement
      3. After exercising due diligence, the governing board or committee shall determine whether the organization can obtain, with reasonable efforts, a more advantageous transac­tion or arrangement from a person or entity that would not give rise to a conflict of interest.
      4. If a more advantageous transaction or arrangement is not reasonably possible under circumstances not producing a conflict of interest, the governing board or committee shall determine by a majority vote of the disinterested directors whether the transaction or arrangement is in the organization’s best interest, for its own benefit, and whether it is fair and rea­sonable. In conformity with the above determination, it shall make its decision as to whether to enter into the transaction or arrangement.
    3. Violations of the Conflict of Interest Policy
      1. If the governing board or committee has reasonable cause?to believe a member has failed to disclose actual or possible conflicts of interest, it shall inform the member of the basis for such belief and afford the member an opportunity to explain the alleged failure to disclose
      2. If, after hearing the member’s response and after making further investigation as warranted by the circumstances, the governing board or committee determines that the member has failed to disclose an actual or possible conflict of interest, it shall take appropriate disciplinary and corrective action.