ARTICLE 1: NAME
The name of this organization shall be “The Parent-Teacher Organization of Houston Academy for International Studies High School” (hereinafter called “HAIS PTO” or “PTO”), as created February 2006, and as amended and restated September 2020.
ARTICLE 2: OBJECTIVES
- To develop between educators and the general public such united efforts as to secure for all students the highest advantages in education.
- To bring into closer relation the home and the school; that parents and teachers may cooperate in the education of students.
- To make available tools and materials to facilitate learning by our students.
- To provide a safe, pleasant environment and an attractive physical facility in which our students can most effectively work and play.
- To raise funds from membership and the community for the benefit of the students, teachers, and the school.
ARTICLE 3: POLICIES
- This organization is organized exclusively for charitable, educational, or scientific purposes, including for such purposes the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue code of 1954 (or corresponding provision of future United States Internal Revenue Law).
- The organization shall be noncommercial, nonsectarian, nonpartisan and non-profit and not carry on other activities not permitted by an organization exempt from Federal Income Tax under section 501 (c) 3 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as from time to time amended.
- In the event of dissolution of the organization, the HAIS PTO shall, after paying or making provisions for the payment of all liabilities of the organization, dispose of all assets to another organization operated exclusively for charitable or educational purposes as shall at the time qualify as exempt under section 501 (c) 3 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provision of future United States Internal Revenue Law).
- The name of the organization or the names of members in their official capacities shall not be used in connection with a commercial concern or with a partisan interest or for a purpose not appropriately related to promotion of the purposes of this organization.
ARTICLE 4: MEMBERSHIP
- Membership in the HAIS PTO shall be open to all parents, legal guardians, or caretakers of a student attending HAIS High School, and to all teachers or staff members of HAIS High School.
- The term of HAIS PTO membership runs from August 1 of one year to July 31 of the following year. While the HAIS PTO may admit persons to membership at any time, membership for any one term shall not automatically carry over to the next.
- Each member shall be eligible to participate in the general meeting of the HAIS PTO. Members are eligible to serve in any elected or appointed position within the HAIS PTO.
ARTICLE 5: PTO BOARD
- The HAIS PTO Board (hereinafter called the “Board”) shall consist of all the officers (see Article 8.1), the chairs of standing committees, the chairs of special committees, a faculty representative and the Principal of the school. Each Board member may cast one vote regardless of how many positions this person holds. Standing committees and special committees may be co-chaired; although both co-chairs are considered voting members, there shall be one vote per person.
- The duties of the Board shall be to:
- Transact necessary business in the intervals between general meetings and such other business as may be referred to it by the organization;
- Create special committees, as needed;
- Present a report at the general meetings of the organization;
- Approve the work of the standing committees;
- Prepare and submit for adoption a budget for the fiscal year;
- Oversee the administration of the budget;
- Disburse funds to assist with the financial support of the school; and
- Any other activities necessary to further the objective of the PTO.
- All Board meeting voting shall be by majority vote of those Board members present.
ARTICLE 6: EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
- The Executive Committee shall consist of the President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, School Volunteer Coordinator, and Faculty Representative. The Principal shall attend in an advisory capacity.
- The Executive Committee shall meet at such times and places before the regular meeting of the Committee as designated by the President to set the agenda, coordinate all Committee activities and committee work, and make proposals and recommendations to the Committee. The Executive Committee shall be subject to the orders of the Board, and none of its acts shall conflict with action taken by the Board.
- A majority of members of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum for a vote of the Executive Committee.
- Action by the Executive Committee may be taken without a meeting by means of a remote electronic communications system provided that all persons entitled to participate consent to that format, and all persons participating in such a meeting can hear one another. Such participation shall constitute presence in person at such meeting for the purposes of determining if a quorum is present.
ARTICLE 7: MEETINGS
- For the purpose of transacting business, a minimum of two general meetings shall be held during the year. The times and places are to be determined by the Executive Committee (see Article 9) and approved by the Board within thirty days from the first day of school in the fall.
- Special meetings of the Board may be called by the President or by a majority of the members of the Board. The Board will announce all such meetings publicly to the HAIS community. All Board meetings will be open to all PTO members and HAIS faculty and staff.
- The Principal, or the Principal’s representative, shall attend the meetings.
- To conduct business at all meetings of the organization, a simple majority of the Board members shall constitute a quorum.
- Each Board member shall be entitled to one vote, regardless of how many positions this person holds.
ARTICLE 8: OFFICERS AND THEIR ELECTION
- The officers of this organization shall be President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and School Volunteer Coordinator. Officers shall serve for a term of the school year, and will carry-over until a successor is duly selected and qualified. An officer may be elected to succeed him- or herself in the same office. Two or more offices may be held by the same person, except the offices of President and Secretary.
- Nomination of officers shall be made by any member of the HAIS PTO. The consent of each candidate must be obtained before this person’s name is placed in nomination. Additional nominations may be made from the floor at the first general meeting, provided written consent of said candidate has been obtained and their membership verified before this person’s name is placed in nomination.
- A vacancy occurring in an office or committee shall be filled by a vote of the members of the Board. If a vacancy occurs in the office of the President, the Vice-President shall become President and the office of Vice-President shall be filled by a vote of the remaining members of the Board.
- Voting may take place either: i) by secret ballot at the first general meeting of the year, or ii) via e-mail.
- If voting occurs at the first general meeting, candidates for contested office shall have five minutes to address the body. Once this is done, voting by secret ballot shall take place, for contested elections only. The Faculty Representative and Principal shall count the votes and announce the winners. Each candidate may have a representative to act as an observer. Any protests shall be voted on by the membership present at the meeting.
- If voting occurs via e-mail, the Faculty Representative and Principal shall count the votes and announce the winners. Each candidate may have a representative to review the votes. Any protests shall be voted on by the membership at the first general meeting.
- An officer may be removed by vote of the members of the Board for failure to perform duties, unethical or criminal behavior, or absences from three consecutive Executive Committee meetings.
ARTICLE 9: DUTIES OF OFFICERS
- The President shall regulate the order of business. This person shall prepare the agenda and preside over all meetings of the organization, the PTO Board and the Executive Board, and shall be an ex-officio member of all committees. This person shall assist in preparing the annual budget, and perform all other duties as may be prescribed in the bylaws or assigned by the organization. The President shall sign checks in the absence of the Treasurer and generate the yearly calendar of PTO activities voted on by the Board.
- The Vice-President shall head the membership committee charged with obtaining new members; oversee the work of the fundraising, yearbook and directory committees, help prepare the annual budget, maintain open lines of communication with the School Volunteer Coordinator, and oversee other committees the Board shall assign. This person shall plan and supervise all programs for the PTO and shall oversee the work of committees the Board shall assign. The Vice-President shall perform the duties of the President in the absence of that officer.
- The Secretary shall keep an accurate record of all meetings of the organization and the Executive board, including attendance records; shall keep a roster of Board members and a copy of the bylaws and amendments; and shall handle all correspondence pertaining to the organization. The Secretary shall distribute minutes to all Board members on or before each general meeting, and to other members upon request. This person shall remind the committee members of Board meetings and special meetings at least seven days before the meeting date.
- The Treasurer shall receive all monies of the organization, help to prepare the annual budget; keep a full and accurate record of receipts and expenditures, and shall pay out funds only as authorized by the Board. Checks shall be drawn upon signatures of the Treasurer and/or President. The Treasurer shall present a statement of account at every meeting of the organization, provided it has been at least four weeks since the last general meeting, and at other times when requested by the Board. At the end of the school year, the Treasurer shall prepare an annual report for the Board. The Treasurer’s accounts may be examined annually by an Auditing Committee of not less than three members who, if satisfied that the Treasurer’s annual report is correct, shall sign a statement of that fact at the end of the report. The Auditing Committee shall be appointed by the President and approved at the last general meeting of the school year. The final report is due at the June meeting
- The School Volunteer Coordinator (SVC) shall recruit volunteers throughout the year and place them with the correct committee chairs and faculty coordinators. This person shall help to prepare the annual budget. The SVC will maintain open lines of communication with the Vice-President. The SVC shall also see that school volunteers are registered with the school district, attend training sessions offered by the district, maintain record of the school volunteers’ hours and report to the VIPS (Volunteers in Public Schools) office as needed. This person also works with the school staff to recognize volunteers at the school and district levels.
- Under the State Charter, HAIS elected to conceptualize the formal Shared Decision Making Committee as a group consisting of the Faculty Advisory Group and the Executive Committee. This group will meet four times a year.
- All officers shall deliver to their successor or the President any records and official materials not later than ten days following the last day of school.
- The Vice-President and other officers shall have such other duties and responsibilities, and shall oversee such other committees, as the Board shall from time to time prescribe.
ARTICLE 10: BUDGET AND EXPENDITURES
- The Executive Committee will prepare the annual budget by the first general meeting of the school year, based on estimates of revenues and spending needs. In preparing the budget, they will consult the chair of each standing and special committee. Expenditures for fund-raising activities will be included in the proposed annual budget.
- The Treasurer is authorized to pay all bills incurred up to the amount approved for that category of expenditures in the budget. The Treasurer must have the approval of the Board to make payments for expenses exceeding the budget amount by $250 or 20% whichever is less. All PTO checks over $250 must have two signatures, the Treasurer’s and the President’s.
- Expenses not allocated in the budget must be approved by a vote of the Board at a regular or special meeting.
- The Board shall leave a balance of at least $1,000 in the treasury at the end of each school year to cover initial expenses for the following school year.
ARTICLE 11: COMMITTEES
- Standing committees shall be created by the Board, as may be required, to promote the objectives and interests of the organization. Nominees for the chair of each standing committee shall be announced as soon as possible, and the chairs shall be approved by the Board at the first general meeting of the school year. These standing committee chairs and co-chairs shall become members of the Board and therefore have voting rights (one vote per person). The term of office shall be one year.
- The Board as required shall create special committees. The chairs of these committees shall be selected by the President and approved by the Board and shall serve for the life of the committee or annually whichever is less. These created special committee chairs and co-chairs shall become members of the Board and therefore have voting rights (one vote per person) the same as standing committee chairs.
- The chairs of all committees shall present plans of work for approval by the Board.
- All expenditures by a committee over the allotted budget must be pre-approved by the Treasurer.
- When the chair of a standing committee becomes vacant, the President shall appoint a new chair. The chair of each committee shall deliver to their successor a permanent portfolio and all official materials.
- The following committees shall be the standing committees of the organization, serving with such special committees, as the Board shall create. In every case where possible and practical, the committees shall have at least two members.
- Membership – The Membership Committee shall be under the Vice-President and shall assist in the membership drive for new members.
- Halloween Dance – The Halloween Dance Committee shall plan and promote the annual Halloween Dance.
- Phoenix Festival – The Phoenix Festival Committee shall plan and promote the annual Phoenix Festival.
- Teacher Appreciation – The Teacher Appreciation Committee shall plan special events throughout the year for teachers and staff, including a luncheon.
- Newsletter/Publicity – This committee shall edit, print and distribute the PTO newsletter and submit articles and photographs of interest to area newspapers and media. They will coordinate with school personnel to accomplish these goals.
- Fundraising – This committee will report to the Vice-President and is responsible for proposing and coordinating all fundraising deemed necessary by the Board to include a minimum of one major fundraising event per semester. Details of collecting money will be overseen by the Treasurer to insure proper controls are followed and timely deposits are made.
ARTICLE 12: STANDING RULES
The Board or membership may, by a majority vote of either body, create standing rules to govern the behavior of officers, members, meetings, and all other matters of the PTO, to the extent that they do not conflict with these bylaws. These rules are expected to include an elaboration of all special committees, meeting schedules and agendas, and membership dues, among other things as seen fit.
ARTICLE 13: RULES OF ORDER
The rules contained in Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall govern this organization in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and with standing or These created special committee chairs and co-chairs shall become members of the Board and therefore have voting rights (one vote per person) the same as standing committee chairs. These created special committee chairs and co-chairs shall become members of the Board and therefore have voting rights (one vote per person) the same as standing committee chairs.
ARTICLE 14: AMENDMENTS
These bylaws may be amended at any regular meeting of the Board by an affirmative vote of the majority of the members present.