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Catholic School Council Constitution

Father Henri Nouwen
Catholic School Council

CSC Constitution Committee
April 5, 2006
Mission Statement       3
Regular Meetings        3
Voting on Motions       3
Consultation    3
Quorum  3
Composition     3
Officers        3
Chair   3
Co-Chair        3
Secretary       3
Treasurer       3
Principal       3
CSC Members     3
Elections       3
Vacancies       3
Attendance      3
Ad Hoc Committees       3
Election Committee      3
Article 11. Funds       3
Article 12. Expenditures        3

Constitution of Father Henri Nouwen Catholic School Council

Mission Statement:

The mission of Father Henri Catholic School Council is to work in harmony with the students, school, School Board and school community to maintain a Christian learning environment.  (ADD:   To inspire the joy of learning in each child to achieve their full academic potential).

Article 1. Name

The name of this council shall be Father Henri Nouwen Catholic School Council, Hereinafter referred to as the CSC.

The elected or appointed members of the CSC shall be referred to as Council Members.

Article 2. Objectives

  • Help the school achieve a high quality of Catholic education for the students
  • Provide advice to the school principal and, if necessary, the school board on matters listed under the regulations of the YCDSB Policy for Catholic School Councils
  • Review objectives, goals and priorities on an annual basis at the beginning of each school year
  • Encourage parents, legal guardians, and teachers to work together for the benefit of the students and school
  • (Add: Engage in activities that improve the quality of the school experience for FHN students)
Article 3. Catholic School Community

The Catholic School Community, hereinafter referred to as School Community, consists of:
  • The students
  • The parents/guardians of the students enrolled in the school
  • The school teaching and non-teaching staff
  • The pastor and the parish designate
  • The school trustees
  • The Catholic ratepayers within the area serviced by the school
Article 4. Meetings
Regular Meetings

The CSC shall hold a minimum of four(4) meetings during the school year.  The meetings should be held on a regular date and time and shall be open to all members of the School Community.  The following applies to the meetings of the CSC:

  • Chaired by the CSC Chair or Co-Chair (in absence of Chair)
  • CSC shall meet within the first 35 days of the school year, after the elections, on a date fixed by the principal of the school (meeting dates, times and locations for upcoming year are determined)
  • A meeting of the CSC cannot be held unless: (a) majority of the current members of the CSC are present at the meeting; and (b) a majority of the members of the council who are present at the meeting are parent members
  • Called by the Chair (in consultation with the Principal), by the Principal or the Secretary of the CSC as requested in writing by any five(5) members of the CSC

The Chair, in consultation with the Principal and the CSC members, shall prepare and distribute the agenda of all CSC meetings.  These agendas shall be distributed at least one(1) week prior to the meeting.

Decision Making

Questions arising at any meeting of the CSC shall be decided by majority vote of the CSC present.  No proxy votes accepted.

For the purpose of recording its decision, a vote by a show of hands shall be taken in an open forum of the School Community, following the tabling and seconding of a motion by a member of the CSC.

The Chair shall call a second vote in case of a tie.  If the tie is not broken by the second vote, the Chair shall declare the question defeated.

Voting on Motions
• Each voting member of school council is entitled to one vote.
• The Principal and Vice Principal of the school are not entitled to vote at school
council meetings.
• Voting at council meetings can only take place if the following two conditions are
a) Either the Chair or Vice Chair is present; and
b) The Principal or Vice Principal or designate is present.
• Prior to voting, issues shall be “moved” and “seconded”.
• Decisions shall be made by a majority of the votes of the members present.
• Decisions shall be made by a show of hands unless any member requests a secret
• In the case of a tie vote, the Chair of the meeting shall call a second vote after
review and discussion, and if a tie vote still occurs the Chair shall declare the
question defeated.)


The CSC shall communicate regularly with parents and other members of the School Community to seek their input with regard to matters of being addressed by the CSC.


Two-thirds (2/3) of the CSC members, with the majority being parents/guardians, shall constitute a quorum.  A quorum is required for the transaction of business at any CSC meeting.

Article 5. Catholic School Council(CSC)

The CSC consists of elected or appointed individuals from the Catholic School Community to carry out the listed Objectives.

The CSC shall be composed of representatives from the School Community, with the parents and guardians forming the majority of its members.  The  CSC shall be comprised of no more than twenty-one (21) members to be determined as follows:

  • The CSC parent/guardian representatives will consist of a Chair, Co-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and four(4) to a maximum of twelve(12) Parent Representatives
  • (ADD:An optional choice of) a  Student Representative elected in September by the Grades 7 and 8 students of the school
  • One community representative appointed by the CSC who has good understanding of the School Community
  • The parish priest or his representative
  • The Principal of the school
  • A teacher as elected by the members of the teaching staff (ADD: or acclaimed)
  • A non-teaching staff member as elected by the non-teaching staff members (ADD: or acclaimed)

All positions will be elected by secret ballot by the CSC one half(1/2) hour prior to the first meeting.  Meeting dates for the upcoming year will be decided at that time as well.

The officers of the CSC and their duties shall be as detailed below:

The Chair of the CSC shall

  • Act as the official spokesperson for the CSC
  • Chair all meetings of the CSC
  • Provide the necessary and effective leadership of the CSC
  • Be an advisor of all CSC committees
  • Consult with senior Board staff and trustees as required
  • Communicate regularly with school Principal
  • Ensure that there is regular communication with the members of the School Community
  • Liaison between all committees, CSC and school
In consultation with the Principal, the Chair shall:

  • Call and prepare the agenda for all CSC meetings
  • Prepare an annual report of the activities of the CSC
  • Participate in information and training programs

The duties of the Co-Chair are:

  • Fulfill the role of the Chair in the Chair's absence
  • Assist the Chair in the discharge of his/her duties
The duties of the Secretary are:

  • Keep a record, via "minutes of meeting" of the proceedings of the CSC (ADD: located in the office and library)
  • Submit the minutes of meeting for approval by the CSC

The duties of the Treasurer are:

  • Keep a full and accurate account of all receipts and disbursements of the CSC
  • Provide, at the regular CSC meetings, an account of all transactions and the financial position of the CSC
  • Submit a full financial statement for the annual report
  • Pay all bills authorized by the CSC
  • Receive all moneys and dues payable to the CSC and deposit them to the account of the CSC in a bank approved by the CSC
  • Provide financial records to the auditors of the School Board
  • Shall be a member of the Fundraising Committee

(DELETE:The Principal of the school shall:

  • Act as a resource on laws, regulations, Board policies, and collective agreements for the CSC
  • Obtain and provide information required by the CSC to enable it to make informed decisions
  • Communicate with the Chair to facilitate the establishment of the CSC and assist in its operations
  • Support and promote the activities of CSC
  • Seek input from the CSC in areas where it has been assigned advisory responsibility
  • Assist the CSC in communicating with the School Community

  • Encourage the participation of parents from all groups and the public within the School Community
  • Ensure that copies of the CSC Meeting Minutes are kept as part of the school records
  • Facilitate the election of teaching and non-teaching staff to the Council
  • Facilitate the elections to the CSC officer's positions, following the elections of the Council members, prior to the AGM)
The Principal and Vice Principal of the school shall:
• Facilitate the establishment of the Council and assist in its operation
• Support and promote council’s activities that are consistent with the Board’s
policy statement dealing with Catholic School Councils
• Seek input from the council in areas for which it has been assigned advisory
• Act as a resource on laws, regulations, board policies, and collective agreements
• Obtain and provide information required by the council to enable it to make
informed decisions
• Communicate with the Chair of the council, as required
• Ensure that copies of the minutes of the council’s meetings are kept at the
• Assist the council in communicating with the school community
• Encourage the participation of all parents/guardians and of other people within
the community
• Assist the Chair in developing the agendas
• Perform the duties as outlined in Ontario Regulation 613 – Operation of Schools.

CSC Members

The members of the CSC shall:

  • Participate in all CSC meetings
  • Be active members of one or more subcommittees
  • Provide informed advice to the school Principal on matters related to student learning and      school improvement
  • Maintain a school-wide perspective on issues
  • Participate in information and training programs
  • Act as a link between the CSC and the School Community
  • Encourage the participation of all parents/guardians and of other people within the School Community

Elections of the CSC members shall be as follows:

  • Shall be held during the first 30 days of each school year, on a date that is fixed by the Chair or Co-Chair of the School Council after consulting with the Principal
  • Date of election announced at least 14 days before election
  • The constituents for this election shall be the parents/guardians of the students enrolled in the school
  • Members may be re-elected or reappointed
  • A person elected or appointed as a member of the Council holds office from the date elected or appointed until the date of the first meeting of the Council after the election held in the next school year
  • Should the number of candidates be five (5),or less, membership on the CSC will be by acclamation
The teachers and the non-teaching staff will each hold their own separate meetings, for the purpose of electing their representative to the CSC.

The students will hold an election in September for their Student Representative to the CSC.

Upon notification of a vacancy, the Election Committee shall suggest and then vote on candidate(s) for appointment at the next regular meeting of the CSC. In the absence of an Election Committee, any officer of the CSC can suggest an appointment to the vacancy.

A member of the CSC must attend a minimum of three (3) of the meetings and must not miss more than two (2) consecutive meetings in order to retain his/her membership on the CSC. CSC may relax this requirement if circumstances warrant it and provided notice is given to Principal, Secretary or Chair.

Conflict of Interest

(ADD: Each school council member shall avoid situations that could result in an inconsistency between the overall goals and vision of the school council and a personal or vested interest, that arise in connection with his or her duties as a school council member.  Should an issue or agenda item arise during a council meeting where a council member  is in a conflict of interest situation, he or she shall declare conflict of interest immediately and decline from the discussion and resolution.)

Conflict Resolution

(ADD: From time to time, school councils may find that they are not able to come to
agreement on matters under their consideration. If conflicts within council are
unresolved, or if occurrences persist, the council risks losing its credibility. It is
important that firm and consistent action be taken by the Chair to restore order.)

Article 6. Auditors

The books of the CSC shall be available for auditing by the auditors of the School Board.

Article 7. Committees

The CSC shall facilitate the establishments of committees required to carry out its activities. Membership on committees shall be sponsored and supported by the CSC. Every committee must include at least one parent member of the CSC.

Each committee shall consist of a Committee Chair who is a member of the CSC, if he/she desires to Chair such a committee, and as many members as the CSC may deem necessary to carry out the mandate of the particular committee. Committee members may be CSC members and/or School Community members. The duties of the Committee Chair shall be:

  • Call and Chair any required meeting(s) of the committee
  • Report to the CSC Chair and CSC on a regular basis on the status of the mandate of the committee
  • Take the lead role in carrying out the objectives of the committee
Both the CSC Chair and Principal shall be ex-officio members of each committee sponsored by
the CSC
Standing Committees

Standing Committees meet on a regular basis and have an on-going role in the activities of the CSC. The Treasurer of the CSC will oversee all funds.
Fundraising Committee

The Fundraising Committee is a subcommittee of the CSC. This subcommittee consists of coordinators of all the fundraising activities and social events held at the school.

In the beginning of the school year, the Principal and CSC create a budget which is based on what is needed in the school (i.e. computers, library books, gym equipment, etc.). Once the goals have been set, the role of the Fundraising Committee is to run fundraising activities required to raise the funds to be spent. The chosen fundraising activities should be researched and presented to the CSC for approval.

See Article 7. Committees for role of Chair. The Treasurer of the CSC will oversee all funds.
Extra-Curricular Committee

The Extra-Curricular Committee is a subcommittee of the CSC. The Extra-Curricular Committee coordinates extra-curricular activities (i.e. other courses for our school children such as baby-sitting courses, Safe Day Education, etc.). These chosen activities should be researched and presented to the CSC for approval. Our children shall be a priority when filling these courses.

See Article 7. Committees for role of Chair. The Treasurer of the CSC will oversee all funds.

Ad Hoc Committees (meet as needed)

Ad Hoc committees are committees set up to carry out a specific and non-repetitive task. The Constitution Committee is an example of an Ad Hoc Committee.
Election Committee

The CSC shall appoint an Election Committee in May. Early to Mid-June a plan should be put in place to deal with how the CSC election will occur. By the last CSC meeting of the school year, the date, time and location of the election shall be determined, as well as how the election will be advertised in the fall. A nominations form is also developed.

In the welcome-back-to-school newsletter in September, the Principal shall include the nomination form with a cover letter which includes: the date nomination form must be received at the school, who is eligible to stand for election, date of election and other information about the election. This package must be in parents/guardians hands at least fourteen (14) days prior to the election.

The Election Committee shall consist of a Committee Chair and as many members of the School Community as may be deemed appropriate by the CSC. The duties of the Election Committee shall be as follows:

  • Ensure that the School Community is notified of election procedures and election dates, at least fourteen (14) days in advance of the election (early September)
  • Prepare nomination forms, which request a profile from all candidates (given to Principal to include in first school newsletter)
  • Prepare a list of candidates willing to serve on the CSC and post it in a location that is accessible to parents/guardians of the School Community or send it home (early to mid--September)
  • Conduct the elections by secret ballot (mid to end-September)
  • Count the ballots
  • All individuals standing for election shall be notified of the results before the results are released to the School Community
  • Notify the candidates of the results and keep all results and related information confidential (only    the names of the successful candidates shall be made public)
  • Publicize names of the new members to the School Community within thirty days of the election
Article 8. Amendments to the Constitution

Procedures for amending the Constitution shall be as follows:

  • A proposed amendment is to be submitted for consideration at a CSC meeting
  • The proposed amendment will be submitted for-discussion and voting by CSC membership
Article 9. Remuneration

The members of the CSC and the committees of the CSC shall receive no remuneration for acting as such.

Article 10. Fundraising
Fundraising is used to support initiatives that enhance and enrich the academic and faith experiences of the students and school community. Council must have a treasurer to fundraise.
Fundraisers: As stipulated by Board Policy (No. 212; Section: Students):
• A fundraiser is any activity where monies are collected, whether or not profit is realized or intended.
• Council fundraisers shall be coordinated and approved by Council and the school’s administration.
• Fundraising activities are understood to be voluntary efforts, administered by members of the school community (e.g., parents, staff, students) without any undue pressure on any student to contribute or participate.
• In any fundraising activity, there will be no levy or fee imposed upon any student.
• It is stipulated by the Board that a school conduct no more than two Major Fundraisers.
• A major fundraiser is an activity:
  • in which over half of the students participate,
  • involves canvassing, and
  • where the proceeds are for the benefit of the students or are used on behalf of the students.
  • For students at Father Henri Nouwen, the annual major fundraiser  may (but not restricted by) typically involves incentives (i.e., prizes) and tools (e.g., sellers’ packages) to request family and friends (with parental approval) to support the school.
• A minor fundraiser directly involves less than half the students and does not involve incentives or tools. Examples of minor fundraisers include, but are not limited to, hot lunches, poinsettia plant sales and picnic raffles.
• There shall be no door-to-door canvassing by any student. This would include sales at local malls, plazas, or similar public location.)

Article 11. Funds

Funds raised by the CSC or any of its committees shall be used for school related activities, for programs that benefit the students of the school and for general expense incurred in carrying out the business of the CSC.

The determination of CSC fundraising priorities will be held in September of each school year. At that time, the Principal, along with the CSC, will identify school priorities and areas where funds are needed. The CSC and Fundraising Committee will then establish their projects/priorities.

Funds raised must be spent within the current school year, with exception of the year-end float.

(Delete:All funds raised by the CSC or any of its committees shall be held in one (1) bank designated local bank, recommended by the signing officers and approved by the CSC.)

Article 12. Expenditures
The CSC Chair, Treasurer (ADD: and school principal) shall have cheque signing authority on the CSC bank account.

Two signatures are necessary to validate cheques. (DELETE: The Principal's signature is only required if the Chair or Treasurer is not available.)

Expenditures shall be defined as money outlay without expectation of monetary return.

Expenditures for events wholly or partially funded by the CSC are to be presented in budget form for approval by the CSC.

Receipts must be furnished for all expenditures.

Providing receipts are furnished, CSC expenditures of up to three hundred dollars ($300.00) may be authorized by any two (2) of the Chair, Principal and Treasurer without first having been approved by the CSC.

The purchase of any single items over three hundred dollars ($300.00) must have the prior specific approval of the CSC.

All fundraising activities must be in accordance with York Catholic District School Board Policy 212 re: Fundraising.

The CSC shall not operate in a deficit.

The year-end balance of the CSC bank account shall be kept to a minimum of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) to provide for a sufficient operating balance to initiate CSC activities in the following school year.)
Article 13. Management of Financial Records
  • Father Henri Nouwen Catholic School Council’s bank account shall be at a Chartered Bank.
  • There shall be only one Council bank account; sub-committees of Council shall not open their own bank accounts.
  • The Father Henri Nouwen Catholic School Council bank account must be a chequing account with cheque stubs, monthly statement, deposit books and returned cheques. These facilities are necessary so that the treasurer can maintain control of the banking entries and records.
  • Signing Officers shall be any two of Chair, Treasurer, and Principal.  If
a cheque is made out to a signatory, that signatory should not sign that cheque.
  • The Chair has the authority to approve exception spending up to $300 per month, to be reported to Council at the council meeting immediately following the expenditure.
  • An accounting ledger must be maintained. Transactions shall be entered into the
ledger as they occur, dated the day they occur. Transactions must be complete with dates, amounts, references and explanations.
  • To issue a cheque, the Treasurer must have the corresponding invoice in hand.
  • Expenditures must have a cheque stub showing amount and payee. An invoice, receipt or other authentic backup document, marked with the date, amount paid and cheque number must be attached to the corresponding cheque stub.
  • Other expenses or receipts originated by the bank (i.e. NSF cheques, errors etc.) must also be entered in the ledger when the monthly bank statement is analyzed.
  • All monies received shall have a documented audit trail so that funds can be verified and accounted for. All cash and cheques that have been collected by the council or any committee must be deposited in the council bank account and recorded in the ledger. Under no circumstances will purchases be made from monies collected before deposited.
  • Funds collected should be spent within the school year.
  • To allow for start up expenses at the beginning of the following school year, a
minimum of $1,000.00, unencumbered, shall be maintained in the council bank account as at June 30th of each school year.
  • The Treasurer shall record and keep track of allocations passed by Council.
  • A Ledger balance must be drawn, as at the last day of each month. This balance is
       reconciled with the bank statement balance for the month.
  • The Chair and Principal must check the bank reconciliation each month and initial the ledger, bank statement and financial report. These members of the executive must be familiar with all ledger entries.
  • A monthly report shall be prepared for Father Henri Nouwen Catholic School Council by the Treasurer. This report must show the opening balance at the beginning of the month, details of income and expenditure during the month and the closing balance for the month. A copy of the report shall be retained by the Treasurer and the Chair and a copy filed in the office.
  • The Treasurer shall present a year-end written financial report detailing Council
fundraising and expenditures to the Principal and Chair for the Annual General Meeting, copies of which are to be filed in the office and distributed to council members
  • Financial Commitment: When an agreement, service or project with financial
implications is encumbered by the existing Council, the newly elected Council shall assume such financial liability to expiration or termination.
  • Where it is practical, purchases for the school should be made by the school. This can be achieved by transferring amounts to the school so that the school can make the purchase. In this way it can be ensured that the purchase conforms to Board standards.
  • All fundraising activities must be in accordance with York Catholic District School Board Policy 212 re: Fundraising.
  • The CSC shall not operate in a deficit.
  • Invoices or receipts, together with bank statements and cancelled cheques shall be retained for seven (7) years and be accessible for reference. Prior to destruction of records in excess of seven years, the activity should be proposed to council for approval.
  • The ledger record books or printouts shall be kept on a permanent basis.)

Article 14. Conflict of Interest

Anytime the CSC is considering doing business with a member of the CSC or a member of any committee of the CSC, whether with the member directly or with a business enterprise with which the member is directly or indirectly associated, the member shall declare a conflict of interest and shall not vote on any resultant resolution.

Article 15. Rules of Order at CSC Meetings

The CSC shall conduct its business according to the rules of order in the articles of this Constitution. For cases where no specific provision is made in this Constitution, the rules and practices of the current revision of Robert's Rules of Order (Scott, Foresman & Co.) shall govern.

Article 16. Resolution of Disagreements
Whenever a disagreement arises, for which no provision is made in the Constitution, the CSC shall be governed by the current revision of Robert's Rules of Order (Scott, Foresman & Co.).

Article 17. Dissolution

The CSC shall be dissolved when, and if, the school ceases to operate. In the event of dissolution, the disposal of funds ,in the Treasury and disposition of any financial commitment shall be voted upon at the final CSC meeting.

Article 18. Code of Ethics
A member shall:
  • consider the best interest of all students.
  • be guided by the school’s and the school board’s mission statements.
  • act within the limits of the roles and responsibilities of a school council, as identified by the school’s operating guidelines, the school board, and the Ontario Ministry of Education.
  • become familiar with the school’s policies and operating practices and act in
accordance with them.
  • maintain the highest standards of integrity.
  • recognize and respect the personal integrity of each member of the school
  • treat all other members with respect and allow for diverse opinions to be shared without interruption.
  • encourage a positive environment in which individual contributions are encouraged and valued.
  • acknowledge democratic principles and accept the consensus of the council.
  • respect the confidential nature of some school business and respect limitations this may place on the operation of the school council.
  • not disclose confidential information.
  • limit discussions at school council meetings to matters of concern to the school community as a whole.
  • use established communication channels when questions or concerns arise.
  • promote high standards of ethical practice within the school community.
  • declare any conflict of interest.
  • not accept any payment or benefit financially through school council involvement.
  • Not be paid honorarium nor receive any remuneration for serving as a member of council.
Article 19. Amendments to the Constitution
This Constitution may be amended as follows:
  • The proposed amendment shall be submitted to Council. The amendment shall be read by the Chair as new business and shall be made available to the Council for review and discussion prior to voting.
  • After such notice, the proposed amendment shall become part of the Constitution if, at the next meeting of the Council, it is approved by two-thirds of the members of Council.
  • The amended Constitution shall be forwarded to the Board, retained at the school and provided to all Council members.)
Article 20. Dates of Record


This Constitution was approved at the CSC meeting on December 9, 1998

Paul Murphy – Principal, Father Henri Nouwen Catholic School
Michelle Self – Chair, Father Henri Nouwen Catholic School Council

Amendments made to Article 7. Committees approved at the CSC meeting on March 10, 1999

Paul Murphy – Principal, Father Henri Nouwen Catholic School
Michelle Self – Chair, Father Henri Nouwen Catholic School Council

Amendments made to Article 4 and 7  approved at the CSC meeting on September 12, 2001

Paul Murphy – Principal, Father Henri Nouwen Catholic School
Michelle Self – Chair, Father Henri Nouwen Catholic School Council

Re evaluation and amendments were made to FHN Constitution and approved at the CSC meeting

________________________________                        ______________________
Julia DiGuiseppe-Ryan                                   Date
Principal, Father Henri Nouwen Catholic School

________________________________                        _______________________
Stephen Crocco                                          Date
Chair, Father Henri Nouwen Catholic School Council