John Stanford International Elementary

John Stanford International
Building Leadership Team (BLT)

BLT Bylaws

Bylaws of the Building Leadership Team

According to the guidelines for Building Leadership Teams (BLT) adopted by the Seattle School District and pursuant to terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the District and its teachers and staff, the following Bylaws of John Stanford International School (JSIS) BLT are hereby adopted as of September, 2020.

I. Pupose

A. Purpose of the Bylaws

These Bylaws establish a set of rules and procedures approved by the John Stanford International School community to guide the governance functions of the JSIS-BLT.

B. Mission of the Building Leadership Team

The primary functions of the JSIS-BLT are to promote and facilitate the collaborative decision making process which affects academic achievement. All decisions will be made in accordance with the Decision Making Matrix. The JSIS-BLT serves as one of the governing bodies of JSIS, with responsibilities for leadership, advocacy, financial stewardship, and strategic planning to assure the highest standards of educational excellence and an inclusive, supportive school community.

II. Objectives of the BLT

  • The Continuous Improvement Plan (CSIP). This also includes the school’s efforts to ensure equity in discipline, learning and opportunity for all students.
  • Developing a school wide professional development plan that supports the CSIP.
  • The school’s budget.
  • Creation and yearly review of the Decision Making Matrix (DMM)

In considering matters brought before the JSIS-BLT, the members shall have as their primary focus the best interests of the JSIS students. District policies, collective bargaining and other agreements to which JSIS or the District may be a party will be recognized and observed when formulating plans for JSIS.

A. Norms

The JSIS-BLT will follow the JSIS Meeting Agreements:

  • Maintain focus on what is best for students
  • Stay engaged, exhibit active listening
  • Speak your truth
    • Multiple perspectives
    • Constructive communication
    • Collaborative atmosphere
    • Assume positive intent
  • Experience discomfort
    • Seek first to understand
    • Evaluate ideas not individuals
  • Accept/Expect non-closure
  • Timeliness

III. Membership

A. Expectations of JSIS-Members

Members of the JSIS-BLT represent and are expected to communicate with their constituency, but they vote in the best interests of the school as a whole. Only staff members of the JSIS-BLT shall be compensated for his or her service on JSIS-BLT. The members of the JSIS-BLT shall be elected or appointed as set forth in Sections D and F below.

B. JSIS School Community

The JSIS school community shall consist of the building principal, all certificated and classified staff, all in-building program staff, all parents or legal guardians of the students enrolled at JSIS, and all of the enrolled students.

C. Membership on the JSIS-BLT

The JSIS-BLT shall consist of at least 10 individuals. Efforts will be made to recruit members who are representative of the entire school population, especially with regard to ethnic and economic diversity. The membership of the JSIS-BLT will be determined as follows:

1. Staff Members. The JSIS-BLT shall include six staff members consisting of (a) the JSIS principal; (b) three certificated staff from the following levels: one K-1 teacher, one 2-3 teacher, one 4-5 teacher; (c) one classified staff member; (d) one specialist (ex. PE, Music, ELL…). (Representation of both English and immersion teaching staff members is strongly encouraged.) If a position is unfilled, that constituency will decide how to be represented and communicated with.

2. Parent/Guardian Members. The JSIS-BLT shall include four parent members consisting of one parent/guardian of a child from each of the following levels (a) one parent/guardian of a K-1 student; (b) one parent/guardian of a 2-3 student; (c) one parent/guardian of a 4-5 student; (d) one parent of an ELL student. Parent representation will include parents from both the Japanese and Spanish programs. Parent representatives will serve for a 1 year term.

3. General Criteria for Membership. JSIS-BLT members must be willing to participate in the JSIS decision-making process and to give the JSIS-BLT a satisfactory level of priority and commitment. They must be fair and objective and able to subordinate personal interests to the interests and well-being of the students and the school community as a whole. Of the JSIS-BLT members, every reasonable effort will be made to ensure equitable representation of the demographics of the school population. A person seeking to run for a JSIS-BLT voting position will not be discriminated against on the basis of creed, color, national origin, race, gender, age disability, marital status, sexual orientation or economic status.

D. Election of JSIS-BLT Members

1. Parent Selection Process

A. Four parent representatives will be on the BLT (see section C). “Grade Band” representatives must represent their child’s grade band.

B. In Spring, JSIS principal will communicate to all families the positions for the following year and request interested parent to submit a statement of interest.

C. If more than one parent expresses interest, there will be an election. In the event that there is only one candidate for a particular category, no vote will be required and that candidate will be deemed elected to the open position in that category. Parents must re-apply if they are interested in a second term. Parents may not hold a BLT position for more than two consecutive years. Only the parents/guardians that will have students in that grade band the following fall will participate in the election. Representation of both Spanish and Japanese parents is required.

2. Staff Selection Process

Subject to Section F below and except for the JSIS Principal, the JSIS staff member on the JSIS-BLT will be selected as required by this subsection 2. Nominations for open positions in the categories described in section C above will be sought at a staff meeting. Voting for the staff positions will take place at a staff meeting, after all staff members entitled to vote are advised of the candidates. In the event that there is only one candidate for a particular category, no vote by the staff will be required and that candidate will be deemed elected to the open position in that category. If there is more than one candidate for a particular category, the candidate with the greatest number of votes in his or her category will be elected to represent that category on the JSIS-BLT.

E. JSIS-BLT Membership Terms

Staff members of the JSIS-BLT will serve for two years and efforts will be made to stagger terms so that that some positions of each type will be elected each year. The goal is to have approximately one half of its membership remaining in the next year for the sake of stability and continuity. The JSIS-BLT will conduct an annual review of its membership needs to determine if the number and/or constituencies of members needs to be altered or improved. The JSIS-BLT shall conduct the voting processes described above so as to assure that the first JSIS-BLT meeting of a new school year fills all open JSIS-BLT board positions.

F. Vacancies on the JSIS-BLT

In the event of an unexpected vacancy on the JSIS-BLT of any position held by a parent/guardian, the JSIS-BLT by majority vote may appoint an individual to fill the vacant position until the next general election of the JSIS-BLT members. In the event of a vacancy of a staff position on the JSIS-BLT, the Principal may appoint a staff member to fill the vacant positions until the next general election of staff JSIS-BLT members.

G. Attendance and Removal

JSIS-BLT members will strive to attend all meetings. A JSIS-BLT voting member may be removed for cause (including the failure to attend regularly scheduled meetings) at the discretion of the principal after consultation with the JSIS-BLT.

H. JSIS-BLT Members and Committees

1. Chairperson.  The principal will serve as the chairperson of the JSIS-BLT. The power and duties of the Chairperson will be to have general supervision, direction, and control of the business and affairs of the JSIS-BLT. These duties will include, but not be limited to, the following: setting the agenda for meetings, call meetings once a month and more often based on need, ensuring that meetings are open to all and publicized, presiding over JSIS-BLT meetings, and contacting other committees when necessary to facilitate decision-making. If the Chairperson cannot be present for the meeting, she/he is responsible for requesting another JSIS-BLT member to chair the meeting.

2. Facilitator.  A facilitator will be selected for each meeting. The facilitator will keep discussions on topic and remind the BLT of norms.

3. Recorder.  A recorder will be selected for each meeting. The recorder will keep track of the BLT’s comments and decisions. The recorder will submit the notes to the facilitator and Chairperson for review.

4. Timekeeper.  A timekeeper will be selected for each meeting. The timekeeper will make sure each agenda item has an assigned length of time. The time keeper will keep the BLT apprised of how well it is moving through the agenda and suggest/manage any impromptu adjustments to the agenda.

5. Committees.  The JSIS-BLT chair may establish a committee, consisting of members or nonmembers of the JSIS-BLT, to consider any issue before the JSIS-BLT that requires consideration and analysis by a smaller, more focused group prior to submission to the JSIS-BLT as a whole.

IV. Meetings

A. General Provisions

JSIS-BLT meetings will be open to all interested persons. JSIS-BLT members should encourage the larger JSIS community to provide input to the JSIS-BLT and to be involved in the business of the JSIS-BLT.

The JSIS-BLT will meet at least monthly from September through June on a standard day and time to be decided on the first meeting of the school year. The meeting schedule will also be posted in the weekly bulletin. Meeting reminders will be published in the weekly newsletter preceding each meeting. Emergency meetings will require at least 48 hours advance notice.

B. Meeting Agendas

Throughout the school year, the JSIS-BLT Chair and BLT will prepare a tentative agenda for its future meetings. The final agenda for each JSIS-BLT meeting will be determined by the Chairperson in advance of the meeting. In the case of an emergency session, the agenda for the meeting will be announced at the time the meeting is announced. Three days in advance of each regular JSIS-BLT meeting, the proposed agenda will be delivered to each member of the JSIS-BLT, and posted on the BLT website.

Any community member can bring business before the JSIS-BLT through a JSIS-BLT member, in writing or via email to the Chair.

Non-BLT members are welcome to observe as the meetings are open. Everyone should communicate to their representative, so that their thoughts and voice are communicated by their representative during the meeting. There will be 5 minutes at the end of the agenda for non-BLT members to ask questions or provide comment about agenda items or topics relevant to BLT objectives.

C. Record Keeping

The JSIS-BLT will appoint one of its members to be the recorder of minutes at the meetings. The Chair will review the minutes. The minutes will be posted on the BLT website. An archive of BLT minutes will be kept on the BLT website for one school year.

D. Decision Making

1. Voting members are SEA represented staff.

2. Consensus Decision Making. The JSIS-BLT will make decisions through a process of open dialogue in which issues are presented, defined, discussed and resolved with the goal of reaching consensus. The Facilitator/Chair is responsible for moving the group towards, and listening for, consensus. While everyone present at a meeting is eligible to participate in the discussion, only those named as voting members of the JSIS-BLT will be entitled to vote when a vote is taken. Each SEA represented member of the JSIS-BLT will have one vote. A member who has given advance notice that she/he will not be able to attend a meeting may vote by proxy through another member in attendance at the meeting.

A decision of the JSIS-BLT by consensus will be declared when:

  • All members have had a free opportunity to contribute to or to clarify the issue in question
  • All members have had the opportunity to express their feelings on the issue in question AND
  • All members agree to take responsibility for the implementation of the decision OR
  • Those members who disagree with the decision have indicated that they are willing to abide by the decision for a prescribed trial period.

3. Procedure. Any member of the JSIS-BLT may ask for a call on the strength of the consensus on the proposal in question. At that time, the Chair/Facilitator shall ask the members to indicate their strength of agreement with the proposal. JSIS-BLT members who are firmly committed to the proposal shall so indicate, as will members who are firmly opposed; members who are neither firmly committed nor opposed indicate so by abstaining. Any member indicating opposition shall be encouraged to clarify his/her objection to the proposal and offer an alternative. The Chair/Facilitator shall determine agreement and so announce if the members are in agreement with the issue in question. A quorum of two-thirds of the voting JSIS-BLT members must be present in order for a decision to be made on any action item brought before the JSIS-BLT.

4. Conflict Resolution. If consensus cannot be reached on an issue, the JSIS-BLT shall by simple majority choose one or more of the following alternatives:

  • Continue discussion until consensus is reached
  • Forward the issue to an ad hoc subcommittee representing all expressed points of view
  • Vote on the issue, with 2/3 of voting JSIS-BLT members, voting in favor required for passage

5. Restrictions. No decision made by the JSIS-BLT will be in violation of applicable laws and regulations, School District policy, collective bargaining or other legally binding agreements, or these bylaws. In the event that a decision might be in violation of the above, the Principal will table the decision and refer it to an ad hoc subcommittee for review and comment.

V. Amendments to Bylaws

Proposed amendments to the bylaws will be presented to the JSIS-BLT in writing at a scheduled meeting. Copies of the proposed amendment(s), together with copies of the existing provisions to be amended, will be distributed for consideration. Adoption of changes or amendments to the bylaws will be made by the consensus/decision-making process outline in Section D of this document.

VI. Evaluation

Prior to the end of each school year, the JSIS-BLT shall consider at one of its regularly scheduled meetings a review of its operations for the year and suggestions for improvement. Any suggestions for improvement shall be noted in minutes of the meeting and reported to the members of the JSIS-BLT the next year.