Mount Abraham Union Middle/High School

Community Council



Article I - Name


The name of this organization shall be the Mount Abraham Union Middle/High School Community Council.


Article II - Purpose


The purpose of this Council is to govern school affairs, consistent with school board policy, state policy, or administrative regulations established by the Superintendent of Schools.  This Council will serve as a link between the community, the students, the school board, and the staff of the school.



Article III – Authority


The authority of the Community Council is derived from school board policy that grants the Principal(s) the responsibility to provide a means or structure within which to make decisions and rules necessary to permit the school to function well.  Such decisions and rules must be consistent with Board policy and those regulations promulgated by the Superintendent of Schools pursuant to those policies and state law.  The Council will serve to make decisions and make rules and is entitled to take action consistent with policy and law on issues of importance to the Mt. Abraham Community.  The Community Council shall operate under the guidelines set forth in the Community Council Constitution.  The Council will ensure that any member of the community has access to a defined process of appeal if he/she disagrees with a decision made by any one of the decision making bodies including the Council.



Article IV – Membership


The Council will consist of the following voting members.  Adults on the Community Council will serve as associate members and therefore will not be able to run for Council offices.  The breakdown of Community Council positions are as follows:

Seventh Grade  Representatives            4

Eighth Grade Representatives    4

Ninth Grade Representatives                 4

Tenth Grade Representatives                4

Eleventh Grade Representatives            4

Twelfth Grade Representatives 4

School Staff Representatives                 10

Dean of Students’/Administrator           1

Community Representatives               5  
Town representation to closely reflect the school population

School Board                                       1         

At Large Representatives                      9

(Any Students, Faculty, Community Members)

Student School Board Rep/alternate      2                                                                                              - 1 -

A.  A candidate for class representative must obtain 25 signatures from his/her class to be considered.  The students will be given a reasonable amount of time to campaign.  An assembly will be held for each class where each candidate will be introduced and asked questions by the moderator.  Finally, the candidate will be given a brief time to give a statement and then class members will vote.   The selection process will be reviewed periodically.


B. Those interested in filling an at-large position must come to four consecutive meetings.  At the fourth consecutive meeting he/she will become a voting representative of the council.  At-large members may be students, faculty, staff, OR community members.


C. The representative from the school board will be a current school board member and will be chosen in a manner, which is agreed upon by the school board.


D. Community members interested in filling a “community members” position must submit a letter of interest to the school board.  The school board will select and vote on a representative.  When a vacancy occurs, it will be posted on the school website and the local newspapers.  Community members will serve a one-year term, which is renewable with the approval of the school board.


E. The faculty/ staff representatives will be chosen in a manner upon which the staff has agreed.


F. All elections/ appointments will take place in the spring of each school year with the   exception of seventh graders and at-large members.


Article V – Vacancies


            A Council member may be removed for the following reasons:


1.      An unacceptable number of absences. This will be determined by the Community Council. 

2.      Unacceptable conduct. (Conduct that is not in keeping with the standards of the Mt. Abraham Community.)

3.      Not fulfilling the job for which that he/she is responsible.


Once the infraction of the above rules has been made clear to the Council, there will be a discussion.  A two-thirds vote by the Council is required to remove the representative with the exception of infractions of attendance, which will be dealt with by the Executive Board.


                                                Article VI– Moderator


A.     A moderator will be elected by the Council, from the student body, for the purpose of running the meetings, planning the agendas for all meetings, and interpreting the by-laws.


B.     All candidates, interested in being the moderator must first submit a letter of interest to the Council, and must be nominated by a member of Council. They must have at least one year of experience on the Community Council. Finally, they must appear before the Council and give a speech. The Council will vote on the moderator. This election will take place prior to the general elections in the spring.


C.     The moderator will be a non-voting member. He/she will only vote in the case of a tie.


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D.     If there is ever a question concerning an interpretation of the Constitution during a meeting, and the moderator’s position is not sustained and the majority of the Council votes for a review, it will be brought to the Executive Committee for review.


Article VII – Clerk


A.     The clerk will be elected by the Council for the purpose of taking minutes and attendance at all meetings.

B.      The clerk will serve for one year and will be chosen from the student members. The member must first be nominated for the position by another member. The candidate will give a speech in front of the Council. The Council will vote for the candidate.  This vote will take place after the general elections in the spring.

C.     The clerk is responsible for forwarding the minutes of the meetings to all members of the Council, the School Board members, and the Superintendent of schools.

D.     The clerk is responsible for maintaining council records.

E.      In the event that the moderator is not present, the clerk will run the meetings.


Article VIII– Treasurer


A.     The treasurer will be elected by the Council for the purpose of maintaining the Council’s finances and reporting them at each meeting. The treasurer will also be a member of the executive committee.

B.     Funds will be distributed in accordance with the Community Council policy.

C.     The Council is a non-profit organization and will only raise money for things such as scholarships, and items related solely to the school and its functions.

D.     The treasurer will serve for one year and will be chosen from the student members. The member must first be nominated for the position by another member.  The candidate will give a speech in front of the Council. The Council will vote for the candidate. This vote will take place after general elections in the spring.

E.      In the event that the moderator and clerk are not present, the treasurer will run the meeting.


Article IX – Communicators


A.     Two students will be elected by the Council for the purpose of communicating all         Council business to the Mt. Abraham Union Middle/High School community as well as the five-town community.  One of the communicators will serve on the Executive Committee.

B.     Communicators will use the Community Council bulletin board to post meeting minutes and advertise any upcoming Council events.

C.     Communicators will be responsible for a monthly article in the Mt. Abe Newsletter.



Article X – School Board Representatives


A.     One Community Council member will be elected by the Council to serve as a non-voting member of the Mt. Abraham School Board. The student receiving the second highest number of votes will serve as the alternate Board member. In the case of a tie, a run-off vote will be taken.

B.     The representative and alternate will serve terms of one year. The election for both these positions will take place before class elections. The representative and alternate should have been a member of the Community Council for at least one year prior to their election. 

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C.     The representative to the School Board is required to attend all meetings of the Board and the Community Council.  Should the representative not be able to attend a School Board meeting, the alternate will attend in their place.


D.     The member and alternate elected to serve on the School Board will be given an automatic At-Large position for the following term.  This At-Large position will be in addition to the current positions on Community Council.


Article XI – Meetings


A.  Community Council will meet weekly. The time and place of the meetings       

      will be communicated to the public before each year’s election.

      Additional meetings or cancellations are left to the discretion of the Executive Council. 


B.       Meetings will be run according to a simplified Robert’s Rules.  Only council members may make motions at meetings.


C.      All Community Council meetings are open to the public, however only Council members are allowed to vote. 


D.      For agenda purposes, all proposals shall be submitted to the Executive Committee in writing.  (see Article XII—Proposals.)


E.       The meeting will be run by the agenda that the executive committee has established in the  order of old business and new business.  Any member wishing to add an item to the agenda must speak to the moderator.  The moderator will post an agenda for the meeting.


F.       The minutes of all meetings shall be forwarded to all Community Council members, School Board members, Mt. Abraham Union Middle/ High School Administration and the Superintendent of Schools.  Minutes shall be posted publicly.



Article XII—Proposals


Absolutely anyone may make a proposal to the Community Council.


1.                            The proposal must be submitted in writing to the Executive Committee.


2.                            The Executive Committee will determine if this is an issue for the Council.


3.                            If it is, the Executive Committee will place the proposal on the agenda at the earliest opportunity.  Proposals will make the agenda in the order received.


4.                            The Executive Committee will notify the person making the proposal about the meeting time and date at which he or she can present his or her proposal.


5.                            If the proposal is not the business of the Council or does not fall under its authority, the Executive Committee will do its best to direct the proposal to the appropriate body.                                                                                                            - 4 -


Article XIII – Voting


Voting will take place in the following fashion:


A.     A simple majority (1/2 plus 1) must be present at the meeting. 


B.     An issue must first be discussed during at least two meeting before voting will occur.


C.     A simple majority (1/2 plus 1) of those present at the meeting is needed to pass a vote.


D.     In the event that an emergency vote needs to be taken, the issue may be discussed and voted on at the same meeting.  Discretion for the use of an emergency vote is left to the moderator.  An emergency vote is defined as an issue that needs to be resolved prior to a day after the next meeting.


E.      All votes will be hand votes unless presented otherwise in the motion or deemed necessary by the moderator.


Article XIV – Appeals


Appeals to a decision made by the Community Council may be done in the following fashion:


A.  An appeal should be presented to the Executive Committee in writing and must be made within 30 calendar days of the original vote.


B.     The Executive Committee (acting as the Appeals Committee) will hear the appeal statement and decide within two weeks of receipt if a hearing before the whole Community Council is warranted.  If so, arguments will be made to the Council by the appealing party. Questions, debate and a motion to vote will be made.


C.     If dissatisfied with the vote of the Community Council, the next appeal may be made to the principal(s) and/or their designee using the same process.  Further appeal may be made to the superintendent using the same process.  Review by the School Board will be the final method of appeal.



Article XV – General Committees


Committees will be formed on an ad-hoc basis by the moderator and/or the Executive Committee.  Standing committees shall be formed for annual or recurring events.










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Article XVI – Executive Committee


A.  The Executive Committee will consist of:

            Dean of Students/Administrator




            2 Staff members – elected by Council

            1 Community Member—elected by Council

            1 Student – elected by Council

1 Communicator



B.     The Executive Committee will

1.      Meet before Council meetings to formalize the agenda

2.      Decide which ad-hoc committees should be formed, continued, disbanded, etc.

3.      Serve as a communication committee


C.     Members of the Executive Committee will be expected to participate in full Council meetings and serve on committees.


D.     The Executive Committee will have the authority to make emergency decisions on issues that require a decision before a full Community Council meeting can be called.  The moderator, as in Council meetings, will not have a vote.  In the event of a tie, the moderator will vote to break that tie.


Article XVII – Amendments


Amendments to the Constitution of the Community Council can be made at any time.  Proposed amendments must be submitted to the Executive Committee and then to the Community Council.  They must be discussed at two Council meetings before a vote is taken.  A two-thirds majority will be needed for the amendments to pass.



Article XVIII – Advisory Representative Meetings


Representatives on the Community Council, for each class, are responsible for holding a class meeting with representatives from each advisory group twice a month.  The purpose of these meetings is to gather ideas, issues, and concerns regarding the Community Council from each class.  Minutes will be taken of the meetings and a spokesperson of the class delegation will deliver a summary of the meeting to the Community Council.  If such a meeting is not held before the Council meeting, the class representatives will become non-voting members of the Community Council until they hold their meeting.




Community Council Constitution ratified April 11, 2008

Amended October 5, 2009

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