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Henderson Elementary School


 Advisory Council By-Laws



Vision Statement of
Alexander Henderson Elementary School

Henderson is a focus school for Children's Engineering integrating S.T.E.M. into the curriculum.

We strive to inspire the learner and ignite the potential in all students. Our staff and students are

Leaders of the P.A.C.K.



Under the philosophy of site-based management in Prince William County Public Schools, and pursuant to Prince William County Schools Regulation 230.01-1 (See Appendix A), the Henderson Elementary Advisory Team is hereby established to assist and support The Henderson Elementary School leadership team. The Council and the leadership team will work collaboratively to develop the School Plan, align it with the District Strategic Plan and school budget, and ensure that it will reflect the vision and mission of Henderson. The Team will also review the Professional Development Plan with the School Plan. The Henderson Advisory Team will identify concerns, obtain community and staff feedback, and support the goals of the educational system.

These by-laws will provide H.A.T. with an established set of rules and procedures under which to function.


Membership will be comprised of volunteers representing a cross-section of parents/guardians and staff, to include:

  1. At least five (5), but no more than nine (9), parents or guardians representing each of nine community subsections (see appendix B). Parents may only serve as a representative for the community subsection in which they reside. Parents/guardians will fill positions on a volunteer basis until all vacant seats are filled. Each community subsection will have no more than one representative. In the event the number of volunteers exceeds the number of vacant seats, a lottery shall be held.
  2. One staff member representing the classified personnel nominated and elected by the staff.
  3. Three (3) members of the instructional staff, encouraging representation from primary (K-

    2) and intermediate (3-5) grade levels as well as a specialist, or teacher of students in special education. Members will be nominated and elected by the staff to represent each division of school staff.

  4. An administrator (Principal or Vice Principal) who will also serve as a liaison to the staff.
  5. A Facilitator (optional). The responsibility of the facilitator (when used) is to ensure that the process is followed when the Council collaborates as a decision-making committee. The facilitator is an external observer who provides consultation, feedback, or intervention (if needed) to the chairperson, principal, and council members, as established by the Council.
  6. PTCO Liaison (1 Parent) to serve as a connection between the PTCO and the Advisory Team.


If a member misses two meetings without notification during an academic year, the member will be notified in writing by the secretary that if a third meeting is missed, he/she will be replaced.

Vacant Council positions will be advertised monthly as positions become available, or until filled.

Council Officers

Officers will be nominated for open positions for the next school year HAT at the May meeting of each school year. The length of the term for all officer positions will be two years with no board members serving two consecutive terms in the same officer position. Elections will be held in odd numbered years for the following positions: Chairperson, Secretary, and Superintendent Advisory Committee Representative. Elections will be held in even years for the following positions: Vice­ Chairperson, Parliamentarian, and Public Relations Officer.

  1. Chairperson

    The chairperson shall preside at all meetings and have general supervision of the affairs of the Council. The chairperson will work with administration in planning the agenda and ensure the agenda is distributed to all members one week prior to each meeting. It is recommended the chairperson be a second-year member or have prior Prince William County Schools experience and/or training.

  2. Vice-Chairperson

    The Vice-Chairperson shall preside in the absence of the chairperson. Primary duties will include maintaining membership lists and soliciting new members.

  3. Secretary

    During each regular meeting, the secretary will record minutes in the style prescribed by Robert's Rules of Order. Copies of these minutes will be kept in the Principal's office and distributed to

    H.A.T. members two weeks prior to the next meeting. The minutes for all meetings will also be posted to the Henderson Elementary School website.

  4. Parliamentarian

    The parliamentarian will advise the Council on matters of parliamentary procedure, as prescribed by Robert's Rule of Order. The Parliamentarian will also ensure the team follows the timeline on the agenda as closely as possible, as well as the Norms established at the beginning of the school year.

  5. Superintendent Advisory Committee Representative

    The Superintendent’s Advisory Committee Representative will attend the meetings of the Superintendent's Advisory Committee and report to the Council what was discussed.

  6. PTCO Liaison

    The PTCO Liaison will communicate between the PTCO and the Advisory Team. This is not an elected position and is appointed by the PTCO.

  7. Public Relations Officer


The Public Relations Officer (PRO)will assure that the minutes, agenda, and meeting times are posted on the Henderson web page. The PRO will partner with the Vice Chairperson on recruitment.



Subcommittees shall be established in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order Revised and staffed, by the Chairperson, with parent and staff volunteers (including council members and non- council members). In the event no volunteers avail themselves to serve, the Chairperson shall appoint parents and staff to serve.


be conducted in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order. At the first meeting of the school year, the Council will determine a meeting time and place to convene monthly during the school year. Meeting dates will be publicized in the weekly Administrative Henderson Happenings video, posted on the PTCO Website, Facebook, and Twitter pages, and posted on the Henderson Website, Facebook, and Twitter.

The focus for the next meeting will be shared after each meeting. The length of each meeting will be determined by a prepared agenda. An opportunity for the members to add to this agenda will b provided.

The beginning of each meeting will be designated as Citizen's Time, during which any parent or staff member may address the Council to briefly state their opinions or concerns. Speakers will be allotted no more than 3 minutes to state their concerns. The Council will respond, in writing, to expressed concerns, if warranted, before the next meeting. A copy of the response, drafted by the secretary, will become part of the agenda distributed to each member prior to the next meeting.

This response will also be part of the minutes.

Decision Making

Eligible Voting Members



The voting members of the Henderson Advisory Team are the sitting parent/guardian members, PTCO liaison, Henderson staff positions, and administration representative.


There must be a quorum at the meeting before any vote may be taken. A quorum is two- thirds of eligible voting members being present. Guests making presentations or attending as Open Chair have no voting rights. If the Team is using a facilitator, he/she does not have voting rights.

Consensus/Majority Vote
Decisions will be attempted first by consensus; if this is not achieved within a reasonable time, then decisions will be made by two-thirds majority vote of only those H.A.T.Members listed in the membership section of these by-laws. Only H.A.T. Members will be permitted to speak during deliberations.

By-Law Changes
Changes in the by-laws can be made by suggestion, followed by review at the next meeting, and then the suggested change put to a vote. A quorum must exist in order to initiate any change to the by-laws. A majority vote two-thirds is needed before any changes may be adopted.

Training will be provided on an annual basis for all council members. This training may include the following techniques for:

  • conducting better meetings
  • team-building
  • Robert's Rules of Order
  • developing vision and mission statements
  • assessing school needs
  • developing goals, strategies, and plans
  • evaluation