MINNESOTA STATE ACADEMY FOR THE BLIND
SITE COUNCIL BYLAWS
Minn. Stat. 125A.62 requires the Board of the Minnesota State Academies to establish, and appoint members to, a site council at each academy. The site councils shall exercise power and authority granted by the board. The board must appoint to each site council the exclusive representative’s employee designee from each exclusive representative at the academies. The site councils may make a recommendation to the governor regarding board appointments no more than 30 days after receiving the list of applicants from the governor.
ARTICLE I: NAME
The name of this organization shall be Minnesota State Academy for the Blind (MSAB) Site Council.
ARTICLE II: PURPOSE
The purpose of the MSAB Site Council is to recommend creation, implementation, and evaluation of school-wide functions and programs pursuant to the mission and vision of the Minnesota State Academies. The Site Council facilitates implementation of the MSA vision and mission through shared decision making.
ARTICLE III: MEMBERSHIP
Section 1: Stakeholder Groups
The membership of the MSAB Site Council shall consist of twelve (12) individuals, each representing one of the following stakeholder groups. Each individual is responsible for communicating information with their stakeholder group and soliciting input for topics being addressed at Site Council meetings.
- Parents of current students at MSAB– 2 representatives (It is encouraged that this is split between one parent from the Multiple Challenged (MCC) department and one parent from the Academic department)
- MSAB Students – 1 representative
- MSAB Teachers - 2 representatives (SRSEA) (It is encouraged to include teachers who are blind/visually impaired)
- MSAB Residential Program– 1 representative (AFSCME)
- MSAB SEPAs – 1 representative (AFSCME)
- Related/Support Services (Counselors, Speech, ASL, etc.) - 1 representative
- Shared Services (Business Office, Physical Plant, Special Education, Human Resources, Interpreters, Nursing Staff, etc.) – 1 representative (AFSCME/MMA/MAPE/MNA)
- MSAB alumni - 1 representative
- Blind Community – at least one representative (representing organizations or services unaffiliated with the school – i.e. National Federation of the Blind; American Council of the Blind, Blind, Inc.) More than one representative may be possible, depending on availability/interest of stakeholders.
- State Services for the Blind (SSB) – 1 representative
Ex Officio Representatives:
- Education Resources – Minnesota Department of Education – 1 non-voting ex-officio representative
- Administration – Non-voting ex-officio representatives (Superintendent, Director of MSAB, and any other administrators that the Superintendent invites to Site Council meetings as needed)
Ex-officio representatives do not count towards quorum for meetings.
Section 2: Representatives
- Representatives shall be elected by their respective stakeholder organization or group to serve on the MSAB Site Council. The selection or election process shall be determined by the stakeholder organization/group.
- Names of new representatives shall be determined prior to May’s Site Council meeting. The new representatives shall receive a copy of the bylaws from the Secretary of the MSAB Site Council.
Section 3: Duties
- Each member must review and follow the bylaws.
- Each member must attend MSAB site council meetings regularly and share information with their representative stakeholder organization or group.
- Each member should participate in at least one committee.
Section 4: Terms of Service
- Each member of the Site Council shall serve a term of two (2) years. Each term shall begin with the September meeting.
- There is no limit to the number of times a member may be elected to the Site Council.
Section 5: Unfilled Term Coverage
Stakeholder groups are responsible to elect a new representative to serve the remaining portion of a term when a current representative cannot fulfill their obligation.
Section 6: Additional Stakeholder Groups
Stakeholder representative groups may be added to the MSAB Site Council by consensus of the existing members of the MSAB Site Council, and approval by the Board of the Minnesota State Academies.
Section 7: Attendance
All the board members are expected to attend regularly scheduled site council meetings or inform the Chair in advance of their absence. In the event a site council member has three consecutive unexcused absences, the site council chair shall contact the stakeholder organization or group for a replacement representative.
ARTICLE IV: OFFICERS
Section 1: Officers
- The officers of the MSAB Site Council shall be a Chair and a Vice-Chair.
- The officers shall share the responsibility of being ex-officio members of all committees
Section 2: Duties
- The duties of the Chair shall be:
- to prepare and disseminate meeting agendas;
- to review and edit meeting minutes before the next meeting;
- to facilitate meetings;
- to oversee committee work and reports (including sharing the responsibility of being an ex officio member of committees with the vice-chair); and
- other duties assigned by the MSAB Site Council.
- The duties of the Vice-Chair shall be:
- to assist the Chair and learn the roles of the Chair;
- to facilitate meetings in the absence of the Chair;
- to share the responsibility of being an ex-officio member on all committees with the chair, promoting communication between members and sharing input; and
- to represent the site council as an Ex-Officio Member of the Board of the Minnesota State Academies.
- The secretary of Site Council will be assigned by the MSAB administration. The secretary’s duties shall be:
- to distribute meeting notices and agendas prior to the meeting
- to document the minutes and distribute them to Site Council members within one week after the meetings; and
- to maintain historical records of all meeting agendas and minutes.
Section 3: Term Limits
- The Chair shall serve for a term of not more than one (1) year.
- The Vice-Chair shall serve for a term of not more than one (1) year.
- The Chair/Vice-Chair may serve more than one term but must take a year off in between terms.
Section 4: Election
- A new Vice-Chair shall be elected every year at the May meeting. The Vice-Chair shall automatically become the Chair after one (1) year. Candidates for the Vice-Chair must have a minimum of one year of experience serving on the site council.
Section 5: Vacancy
- If a vacancy occurs in the Chair, the Vice-Chair shall serve the remainder of the term as acting Chair, and upon completion of said term, assume the chair in normal order. The unexpired term of the Vice-Chair shall be completed by a new Vice-Chair elected by the member representatives of the MSAB Site Council.
- The vacancy of a Vice-Chair shall be filled from the member representatives of the MSAB Site Council by an election at the next regular meeting.
ARTICLE V: EX-OFFICIO MEMBER TO THE
BOARD OF THE MINNESOTA STATE ACADEMIES
- The Site Council will send the vice-chair to represent the Site Council as a nonvoting, unpaid, ex-officio member to the Board of the MSA. The vice-chair will begin service on the MSA Board at the first meeting of the next school year.
- The vice-chair must have had previous service as a site council member prior to appointment.
- The Site Council secretary must inform the MSA Board secretary of the new MSAB Site Council representative after a new vice-chair is selected in May of each year.
ARTICLE VI: DECISION MAKING
Section 1: Parameters
- The final authority over the MSAB Site Council is the Board of the Minnesota State Academies.
- The Site Council is available to the school administration and the Board of the Minnesota State Academies as a tool for the collection of information, recommendation regarding policy, and other projects as needed.
- Goals of the site council will be presented to the school administration and Board for review whenever possible.
- The Site Council is not a policy making body; however, discussions may occur and recommendations may come to the Board of the Minnesota State Academies for consideration. The Site Council must work with the superintendent before bringing recommendations to the Board.
- The Board of the Minnesota State Academies is ultimately responsible for setting the work plan of the Site Council. The Site Council supports a unified approach in the work of the two academies and realizes that opposing agendas are counterproductive.
Section 2: Quorum
A quorum will consist of a minimum of 51% of the voting members. Unfilled vacancies on the Site Council do not count towards the quorum (only counting positions that are currently filled). Educational Resource and Administration representatives are non-voting ex-officio members of Site Council and do not count towards meeting quorum. Decisions during meetings cannot be made until a quorum is present.
Section 3: Voting
The MSAB Site Council shall primarily use the process of voting. A decision can be reached by affirmation of a majority of the members present but attempting to reach a general consensus is encouraged.
ARTICLE VII: ORGANIZATIONAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Section 1: Duties
The duties of the MSAB Site Council shall be to develop and promote current and long term goals and activities of the Academy and its students. The Council shall seek input from all stakeholder groups and may give advice on any issue.
Section 2: Public Relations
The MSAB Site Council shall develop public relations plans and activities to promote the students, their activities, the Academy and its programs and services.
Section 3: Legal Considerations
The MSAB Site Council shall follow all applicable Federal, State, and local laws and regulations.
Section 4: MSAD/MSAB Activities
The MSAB Site Council shall, as appropriate, be involved with and support joint MSAD/MSAB projects.
ARTICLE VIII: COMMITTEES
Section 1: Ad Hoc Committees
The Chair may appoint ad-hoc committees as needed to study relevant issues, implement special projects, and make recommendations to the full Site Council. Said Ad Hoc Committees shall be dissolved upon completion of the assigned task.
Section 2: Standing Committees
A new standing committee may be made with the consensus of the member representatives of the MSAB Site Council. Current standing committees are: School Accountability Committee (Joint Committee with MSAD Site Council – see Policy #616); Bylaws Committee; Public Relations Committee; and Activities/Special Projects Committee.
ARTICLE IX: MEETINGS
Section 1: Regular Meetings
The MSAB Site Council shall meet monthly during the school year. Meeting dates will be identified according to the school calendar by the member representatives of the MSAB Site Council. Dates and times of the regular meetings shall be posted by the MSAB Site Council secretary in a public place as well as on the MSAB website.
Section 2: Special Meetings
Notice of special meetings of the MSAB Site Council shall be given not less than one (1) week before the date of the special meeting.
ARTICLE X: AMENDMENTS
Section 1: Amendment Procedure
Amendment(s) to these bylaws must be presented in writing to members prior to discussion and decisions during a meeting and must be published in minutes prior to action. Stakeholder representatives must have the opportunity to share amendment(s) with their groups. The proposed amendment(s) must be adopted by a consensus of the Site Council. Final approval lies with the Board of the Minnesota State Academies.
ARTICLE XI: REVIEW
Section 1: Bylaws
The MSAB Site Council Bylaws will be reviewed every 3 years and updated bylaws must be adopted by a consensus of the Site Council. Final approval lies with the Board of the Minnesota State Academies. The next update is due in 2020.