By-Laws

Article I – The Bedford Elementary Schools Together/Parent Teacher Organization (BEST/PTO)

Section 1
Membership in BEST/PTO shall be limited to parents, natural or by operation of law, and guardians, custodians, conservators, or similar official of the students of the LT. Eleazer Davis and Job Lane Schools and their principals, vice-principals and the teaching staff in the town of Bedford, Massachusetts. Any such person shall not be refused membership for any reason.

Section 2
The membership in BEST/PTO shall consist of the Executive Board and the members at large.

Section 3
Each member present to vote shall be entitled to one vote on each matter submitted to a vote of the members.

Section 4
Membership in BEST/ PTO shall be on a year to year basis. For the purposes of these bylaws, a year shall refer to the BEST/PTO fiscal year as defined in Article VII.

Section 5
Dues shall be established as required by the Executive Board.

Section 6
Committees are formed to provide a specific service or expertise, as defined in Article VIII. Committees may be formed for one year or more. Coordinators support service functions within the schools and representatives serve as liaisons to other school or Town of Bedford organizations. Core committees are Enrichment, Fundraising, Good Cheer, Grants, Hospitality, Newsletter, Student Directory and Publicity.

Article IIOfficers

Section 1
The officers of the BEST/PTO shall be president, vice-president(s), secretary, and treasurer.

Section 2
The president shall be the principal executive officer of the BEST/PTO and shall, in general, be responsible for, supervise and coordinate all the business of the Executive Board, as defined in Article III. S/he shall preside at all meetings of the members and of the Executive Board, and, in general, s/he shall perform all duties as prescribed by the Executive Board. The President serves as primary liaison between Bedford school administration, Bedford School Committee and the BEST/PTO.

Section 3
The vice-president(s) shall perform the duties of the president in the absence of the president or in the event of his/her inability or refusal to act, and when so performing shall have all of the powers and be subject to all of the restrictions of the office of the president. The vice-presidents(s) shall perform such other duties as, from time to time, may be assigned to them by the president or the Executive Board. The vice-president(s) shall be aligned by school, specifically Lt. Eleazer Davis and Job Lane School, and responsible for specific committees, coordinators or representatives.

Section 4
The treasurer shall be the principal financial officer of the BEST/PTO and shall have charge and custody of and be responsible for all funds of the BEST/PTO. S/he shall receive and give receipt for money due and payable to the BEST/PTO. The treasurer has the authority to sign all checks, notes, and drafts and make payment of bills and money owed by the BEST/PTO. In the absence of the treasurer, the designated vice-president shall assume the aforementioned responsibilities, pending replacement of the treasurer. S/he shall maintain all funds of the BEST/PTO in a general checking account at a recognized financial institution or such other accounts as directed by the Executive Board of the BEST/PTO. S/he shall prepare a full financial statement at the end of the fiscal year. If required by the Executive Board, the treasurer shall give bond for the faithful discharge of his/her duties in such a sum and with such sureties as the Executive Board shall reasonably determine. The BEST/PTO shall bear the expense of any such bond or surety. In general, the treasurer shall perform those duties incident to the office and such duties as may be prescribed by the president of the Executive Board.
The treasurer is responsible for
a. Financial integrity, quarterly report of income and expense, year end reporting of an income statement and preparation for independent audit of financial statements
b. Signing checks up to the amount of $500, with all check and liabilities over that amount requiring the co-signature of the president or secretary.
c. Preparing the annual budget, with the president, for presentation to the BEST/PTO constituents and approval by the Executive Board before December.

Section 5
The secretary shall keep all minutes of the meetings of the members and of the Executive Board, and shall be the primary custodian and caretaker of the official records of the BEST/PTO. S/he shall see that all notices are duly given in accordance with the Articles of the BEST/PTO and these by-laws or as required by law. The secretary shall maintain a roster of all current members of the Executive Board together with their addresses. In general, the secretary shall perform all duties incident to the office and such other duties as may be prescribed by the president or the Executive Board. The secretary is responsible for maintaining records of physical property belonging to the BEST/PTO and copies of operating manuals.

Section 6
In the event of a vacancy in any other elected offices through death, resignation, removal or any other cause, the Executive Board by majority vote, may fill such vacancy for the remaining portion of the term. Officers may be removed from office for violation of Articles of Organization or lack of participation at the majority of officer, Executive Board and constituent meetings. The Executive Board must approve request for resignation.

Section 7
Officers are representatives of the BEST/PTO constituents and act on behalf of the whole, without regard for race, religion or other personal factors.

Section 8
The Board of Directors shall consist of the president, vice president(s), treasurer and secretary.

Article III – The Executive Board

Section 1
The government of BEST/PTO shall be vested in an Executive Board elected from and by the members as provided in Article IV. The officers may make decisions on an ad hoc basis between Executive Board meetings.

Section 2
The Executive Board shall consist of the president, vice-president(s), treasurer, secretary, and the chairs of the Standing Committees, Coordinators, and Representatives. Each member of the Executive Board shall have one vote on all matters submitted for voting.

Section 3
An annual meeting of the BEST/PTO shall be held in June of each year, time and place to be determined by the president. The secretary shall give at least seven days notice. The purpose of this meeting will be to meet newly elected Executive Board members. The treasurer provides a written guideline of financial process and parameters for spending to each Executive Board member.

Section 4
Regular meetings of the BEST/PTO shall be held on a monthly basis during the regular school year. Special meetings may be called by the president or by a minimum of three members of the Executive Board upon at least seven days notice given by the secretary. Executive Board meetings will be called by the officers. A minimum of two Executive Board meetings is required per year, in November and May.

Section 5
A tie vote will be construed as a negative vote in cases where a simple majority is required.

Section 6
The act of the majority of those present at a meeting shall be the act of the Executive Board, unless the act of a greater number is required by law or by these Bylaws or the Articles of Organization of the BEST/PTO.

Section 7
All officers and chairs shall perform the duties outlined in these bylaws and those assigned from time to time. Upon the expiration of the term of office or in case of resignation, each officer or chairperson shall turn over to the president, without delay, all records, books and other materials pertaining to the office.

Article IV – Elections

Section 1
The offices of president, vice-president(s), treasurer, secretary and members of the standing committees shall be elected to serve one year. The chairs of the Standing committees, each elected by the members of their committees, shall serve one year. The officers shall recommend and the Executive Board shall approve the number of positions to be filled for each office prior to the formation of the Nominating Committee. Said election is to be held in the month of May. No officer or chairperson shall serve more than three consecutive terms in the same office.

Section 2
The Nominating Committee shall consist of five members:
a. The chairperson who was a member of the prior Nominating Committee;
b. Two members of the Executive Board;
c. Two members who were not on the Executive Board and are appointed by the officers.
The Nominating Committee represents the constituency as a whole, with families from both schools represented. The Executive Board shall fill vacancies on the Nominating Committee.

Section 3
The Nominating Committee shall inform the BEST/PTO members of committee, coordinator and representative positions. Nominations may be made by BEST/PTO members (with prior approval of the nominee) or through direct contact with members. Nominating Committee members are not eligible for officer positions.

Section 4
Candidates will be presented to the officers during the first week of May, with Executive Board members from committees selected by the committee in the month of May. In the event a member is chairing two committees, s/he must send an alternate representative to the Executive Board meeting on behalf of the second committee. Representatives from each committee should be sent to the Executive Board meetings, in the event chairpersons are unavailable.

Section 5
In the event that two candidates are seeking the same position, an election will be held. A candidate may seek nomination to only one seat on the Executive Board. This election must take place at the May meeting.

Section 6
A standard tear-off ballot will be used in an election. The candidate receiving the majority of votes of the members present at the meeting shall be elected. In the event of a tie, a run off election will be held.

Section 7
The newly elected Executive Board shall take office at the beginning of the fiscal year, as defined in Article VI.

Article V – Notice

Section 1
Whenever notice, written or otherwise, is required by the Articles of the BEST/PTO, or by these bylaws, or otherwise prescribed by law, such notice shall be sent to the members through their children or wards attending the Davis and Lane Schools either in the newsletter or separate correspondence. Meeting notice is seven days or more, unless for the Executive Board, which requires thirty days notice.

Section 2
The BEST/PTO website will not carry phone numbers, e-mail addresses or photos of BEST/PTO members or their children.

Article VI – Operations

Section 1
BEST/PTO material and resources may not be used for solicitation for political causes or profit (e.g., the newsletter, flyers, student directory or website). Material may not contain photos of children.

Section 2
Members of the BEST/PTO are invited to participate in a variety of volunteer functions in a minimum of two volunteer solicitation forms per year, e.g. Fall Package and Winter/Spring or Summer. Opportunities outside of formal BEST/PTO Executive Board are offered for involvement of the whole constituency for all interested families.

Section 3
Each officer, committee chair, coordinator and representative will maintain an operating manual for the specific function or expertise provided. The manual is presented to the next committee chair, or individual thus maintaining institutional history and guidelines. Summary pages in the Officer Operating Manual are updated periodically.

Section 4
Financial policies include:
a. The Best/PTO concludes each fiscal year with a reserve of $3,000.
b. Funds above the reserve balance at the end of a fiscal year (June) are to be placed in a general pool for distribution or reserved for use in the next fiscal years. Funds might be used in an additional distribution of teacher’s grants, special projects that are concrete and beneficial to a broad number or for next fiscal year. The Executive Board must vote on how these funds are to be distributed.
c. Operating funds are raised though direct family contributions (with a spring and fall family contribution solicitation) and one major fund-raiser. Families are asked to make one contribution of their choice
d. Gifts to Executive Board members or officers are not funded by operating funds. Gift giving is restricted to Good Cheer, school administrators when resigning, and teaching tools/resources for teachers.
e. The treasurer and president prepare the Operating Budget for presentation to the BEST/PTO membership, with final approval by the Executive Board.
f. Traditionally, 85% of all operating funds are for the benefit of the students, staff of Davis and Lane schools and concrete school improvements through BEST/PTO programs and committees.
g. Funds for BEST/PTO operations, programs or projects may only be received from foundations, trusts, corporations or personal donations, without explicit or implied political or financial obligation on the part of BEST/PTO or its members.
h. The fiscal year begins July 1 and ends June 30.
i. Donations from BEST/PTO are limited to organizations servicing elementary school children in the town of Bedford, or directly benefiting students in grades K-12. Paid admission to family events is optional, with funds or goods collected to be donated to a worthy cause for families in the Town of Bedford.

Article VII – Amendment

Section 1
These bylaws may be amended by an affirmative two-thirds vote of the BEST/PTO members present at a meeting of the general membership, provided that at least seven days notice of the proposed amendment(s) is given.

Section 2
The Articles of Organization shall be amended by a two/thirds vote of the BEST/PTO members present at any regular meeting of the Executive Board provided that notice of the proposed amendment(s) shall be given in writing to the Executive Board seven days prior. Amendment will be effective immediately following the vote.

Article VIII – Committees

Section 1
The standing committees of the BEST/PTO shall be:

Boston/Bedford Committee, Community Service, Enrichment Grand Writer, Enrichment Program Coordinator, Events, Fundraising, Good Cheer, Hospitality, Newcomer Welcome, Newsletter, Publicity and Marketing, Student Directory, and Webmaster.

Coordinators: Art, Box Tops, Davis Cafeteria, Fifth Grade, Gardens, Greeters, Library, Room Parent, Sponsor-a-Class, Volunteer, and World Language.

Representatives: BSA, Bedford Youth and Family Services, Parent Advisory Council, Transportation Safety Committee.

Section 2
Additional committees may be appointed, or existing ones dissolved, from time to time by the Executive Board.

Section 3
A written job description, policies, and procedures for these committees shall be kept by the president or a delegate and reviewed as necessary by the Executive Board.

Article IX – Removal

The Executive Board, by majority vote, may remove any member thereof or any chairperson of any standing committee, for just cause, provided that the individual sought to be removed is provided an opportunity to contest such action. Any vote of the Executive Board shall be final.

Article X – Parliamentary Authority

Robert’s Rules of Order, revised, shall govern the BEST/PTO in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are consistent with these bylaws or the Article of the BEST/PTO.

Article XI – Voting

At the discretion of the Executive Board, ballots may be distributed to the members through their children or wards attending the Davis or Lane School.

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