Article I: Name and Role of the Organization

A. The name of this organization will be the St. Mary’s School Council, hereinafter referred to as the Council.

B. The Council is formed by the member parishes as a consultative body to assist the principal and       pastors in overseeing the operation of the school. 

Article II: Authority of the Council

The Council derives its authority and responsibility from the Bishop and the pastors as his representatives.  The Bishop has final authority under Canon Law.  All Council actions are subject to the review and approval of the pastors and the Bishop.

Article III: Membership

       A. Pastors of the supporting parishes.
       B. A regular member of the Council will always include a Pastoral Delegate (refer to Article VI-A).
       C. Selection of Council members should reflect the skills and expertise needed to accomplish the goals and functions of the Council.
      D. The Council is composed of at least Seven (7) lay representatives (refer to Article VI-B) with a           minimum of One (1)  representative(s) of each of the following parishes/institutions: (List                         parishes)
E. Principal.
F. Diocesan Superintendent of Catholic Schools.
G. Chairperson of the Home and School Organization.
H. Chairperson(s) of the Booster Organization(s).

The role of the representatives of the Booster and Home and School Organizations is to serve as a liaison between the Council and their organization. They do not take part in formal policy formation procedures. 

Article IV: Purpose and Function

This Council is established by the pastors to assist them and the principal in the operation and                    governance of St. Mary’s School in the following areas:

1.  Academic Program
2.  Catholic Identity
3.  Development and fundraising
4.  Facilities
5.  Financing and budgeting
6.  Policy formation
7.  Public relations, marketing, and recruitment
8.  Strategic Planning

ARTICLE V: Relationship with Other Groups

In order to appropriately carry out its educational mission, the Council will establish close working relationships with the Department of Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Marquette and the respective Parish Pastoral/Finance Councils.  The Council will also establish close working relationships with the Booster and Home & School Organizations in order to provide educational assistance to parents/guardians in fulfilling their role as primary educators.

ARTICLE VI: Membership Selection and Terms

A.        Pastoral Delegate

  1. The Pastoral Delegate is appointed by the Bishop in consultation with the local pastors.

  2. The Bishop will discuss with the local pastors their thoughts on the Pastoral Delegate.

  3. The Bishop will discuss with the potential Pastoral Delegate his expectation and responsibilities.

  4. The Bishop will make the formal appointment by letter to the Pastoral Delegate with copies going to the other local Pastors and the Superintendent.

  5. The Superintendent shall notify the Principal and Local Commission Chair of the appointment.

  6. The Pastoral Delegate’s term shall be three (3) years, and maybe renewed.

  7. The Pastoral Delegate shall act with the full pastoral responsibilities on behalf of the pastors of the supporting parishes.

  8. The Pastoral Delegate represents all pastors of the supporting parishes and should ensure on-going communication to keep them informed of actions of the Council and to obtain their feedback to the Council.

B.        Lay Representatives

  1.  The Pastors are to appoint the initial selection. Membership on the council will be limited to people who have children attending the school or individuals who support Catholic education; with a maximum of two non-Catholic representatives.  After that, an ad hoc nominating committee from the Council will recommend members to the Pastoral Delegate for approval and appointment.  Lay representatives are to be announced and/or introduced at the June Council meeting and seated at the next regularly scheduled Council meeting.

  2. School or parish employees, or family members of system employees, may not serve as representatives on the Council.

  3. Lay representatives from the parish will serve a 3-year term, or any unexpired part of a                      term, and may be reappointed to one additional 3-year term.  Membership will be staggered over a 3-year period to ensure that no more than one-third of the membership leaves the Council in a given year.  Lay representatives are to be active members, regularly attend Council meetings, serve as a liaison between their parish and the Council, and serve on at least one Council standing committee.  The support of the Catholic education system of St. Mary’s School as determined by the pastors is a required criterion for nomination to the Council.  Lay members who are absent and unexcused from two (2) consecutive meetings without sufficient cause, may be removed by Council consensus after consultation with the Pastors. 

  4. Interim appointments are to be made through a similar process as regular appointments.

ARTICLE VII: Officers and Executive Committee

A.        The officers of the Council will be: Chairperson, and Assistant Chairperson.  They will be elected by and from the regular 7 lay members of the Council. 

            The term of office will be one year.  Officers may be re-elected for two (2) consecutive terms. The Principal will serve as the Executive Secretary of the Council.  A Recording Secretary will either be chosen from the regular members of the Council or may be appointed from the secretarial staff of St. Mary’s School. 

B.        The Chairperson will:

  1. Preside at all meetings and supervise the affairs of the Council.

  2. Serve as the Pastors’ delegated spokesperson for the Council.

  3. Serve as a member of the school Finance Committee.

  4. Serve as an ex-officio member of all other committees.

  5. With the Principal, in consultation with the Executive Committee prepare annual Council goals & objectives and meeting agendas and recommend standing and ad hoc committee members and chairs for approval of the Council.

  6. Ensure that lines of communication are open between the School Council and the parish and the Department of Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Marquette.

C.        The Assistant Chairperson will:

  1. Assume the duties of the Chairperson in his/her absence.

  2. Serve as a member or the Chairperson of the Finance Committee.

  3. Perform such duties as the Chairperson directs.

D.        The Executive Secretary (Principal) will:

  1. Serve as an ex-officio member of all standing and ad hoc committees as Executive Secretary of each committee.

  2. With the Chairperson, prepare annual Council goals & objectives and meeting agendas and recommend standing and ad hoc committee members and chairs for approval of the Council.

  3. Prepare and distribute financial reports to Council members, Finance Committee members, and Diocesan officials.

  4. Keep permanent files of all regular and special meetings.

  5. Keep a permanent record of all financial reports and records.

E.         The Recording Secretary will

  1. Record minutes of all regular and special meetings, providing them to the Executive Secretary/Principal for distribution.

  2. Maintain roll call of members and visitors.

F.         The Executive Committee of the Council will be comprised of the Pastoral Delegate, the Chairperson, the Assistant Chairperson, and the Principal.  This committee may meet as required between meetings of the Council to advise the Pastors and the Principal on Council business.  It will be responsible for preparing recommendations for the Council on matters which do not fall under the guidelines of any other standing committee.  It has the authority to act on emergency matters between meetings. 

The Executive Committee will:

  1. Be responsible to ensure the school is operating in compliance with the goals established in the School’s Strategic Plan.

  2. Work in a collaborative teamwork model with Pastors and Principal.

  3. Act as liaison with the Parish Council, local public school Councils and Diocesan groups.

  4. Act as facilitator between Principal and Council.

  5. Provide direction to standing/ad hoc committees as needed.

  6. Assign Council members to standing and ad hoc committees annually and appoint committee chairpersons upon approval of the pastors.

  7. Assist the Pastors in their annual evaluation of the Principal.

  8. Jointly plan the monthly Council agenda with the Principal.

  9. Work collaboratively with the Diocese of Marquette in the implementation of the             Diocesan Strategic Plan for Catholic Schools.

Article VIII: Standing and Ad hoc Committees

A.        The Standing Committees of the Council will be: Catholic Identity, Executive, Finance, and Marketing/Development.
B.        Ad hoc Committees may be established by the Council as necessary, or upon the recommendation of the Chairperson and Principal.  These committees will dissolve upon completion of their designated task.
C.        The Pastors, after consultation with the Chairperson and the Principal, may appoint members to either the standing or ad hoc committees.  Membership is not restricted to members of the Council.

D.        Committee members and chairpersons established by the Council will be appointed/reappointed by the Pastoral Delegate annually at the first meeting of the academic year.

Article IX: Scope & Responsibilities of the Council

A.       Academic Excellence

  1. Assist school leadership with the implementation of the academic goals and objectives set forth in the School Strategic Plan.

  2. Work with the Principal to develop programs to encourage academic excellence in the school.

B.        Catholic Identity

  1. Work cooperatively with the pastors and principal in order to provide leadership and direction for living the mission and core values of the educational program of the school.

  2. Work to ensure the school is committed to integration of our faith and values into all facets of the learner’s life.

  3. Work to foster the active participation of school families in the life of the parishes.

  4. Work to implement, in cooperation with the diocesan office, an effective program of faith formation for Catholic School teachers.

C.        Development and Fundraising

  1. Continue to expand, plan, and monitor third source fundraising and development activities and policies.

  2. Annually evaluate the effectiveness of the third source fundraising of the school.

D.        Facilities

  1. Assist the Principal and Pastors in an on-going evaluation of the condition and upkeep of the school facilities.

  2. Develop a short and long-term capital budget for school facility maintenance.

  3. Assist the Principal and Pastors in the oversight of repair/construction projects.

E.         Finance and Budgeting

  1. Review and recommend annual budget to the Parish Finance Council.

  2. Review and analyze school budgets vs. actual variances monthly.         

  3. Prepare and monitor cash flow statements for the school monthly.

  4. Approve and monitor tuition assistance levels for the school.

  5. Prepare parish subsidy schedule in collaboration with the Parish Finance Council and Pastors.

  6. Recommend salary adjustments for all staff to the School Council.

F.         Policy Formation

  1. Develop school policies regarding staff and students.

  2. Nominate a slate of officers for the Council annually at the August meeting

  3. All policies formulated by the Council, and approved by the Pastors and the Bishop (or his delegate), will be binding upon all members and the school including: Parish Council/Education committees; Pastors/Parochial Vicars/Pastoral Associates; school Principal and teachers; and all paid and volunteer support staff.

  4. Formulated local policies will be submitted for Diocesan review and approval prior to implementation, to ensure they comply with Canon and Civil law and with the policies and directives of the Diocese of Marquette.

  5. The Council will help implement the policies and regulations of the Diocese of Marquette relative to educational programs and personnel.

  6. All contracted employee grievances will be handled in accordance with Diocesan policy #4112.3 CS.

  7. All non-contracted employee grievances will be handled as outlined in the Multi-Parish/Non-contracted Staff Policies.

G.        Public Relations, Marketing and Recruitment

  1. Assist in the development and implementation of a Local School Marketing Plan.

  2. Assist in the recruitment of students.

  3. Provide a sustained program of news coverage of the Catholic School to all local media.

  4. Evaluate the image of the Catholic School from perspective of parish, media and public.

  5. Provide for a continuing flow of information to the Catholic School’s supporting parishes.

  6. Show appreciation and support for the Catholic Schools’ faculty and staff.

  7. Work in cooperation with Diocesan Marketing Contractor to increase visibility of the Catholic School in the local area.

H.        Strategic Planning

  1. Work with the Pastors and Principal and Department of Catholic Schools to develop both a short (one year) and a long (three-five year) strategic plan which encompasses all areas of the school operation.

  2. Evaluate and update the Strategic Plan on an annual basis.

Article X: Meetings

A.        The Council will meet monthly.
B.        The Chairperson may call additional meetings, after consultation with, and approval by, the Pastoral Delegate and the Principal.
C.        Meeting agendas are to be prepared by the Principal, in consultation with the chairperson and the   Pastoral Delegate, and distributed to each Council member, normally one week prior to the scheduled meeting.  Items submitted for placement on an agenda must be received at least one (1) week prior to meeting.
D.        Council meetings are; generally, open meetings, except during times when the Council decides to go into closed session.  The Chairperson, in consultation with, and approval of, the Pastoral Delegate and/or the Principal, will determine who may remain in attendance at closed meetings.
E.         Council recommendations can only be made with a quorum (50% + 1) of the regular members present.
F.         Policies or revisions of policies are to be formulated or introduced and read at one meeting and recommended to the Pastoral Delegate for approval at a future meeting.  Diocesan policy always supersedes local policy.
G.        The recommendations of the Council will be presented to the Pastoral Delegate for his implementation. The Pastoral Delegate is not in any way bound to implement the recommendations; nevertheless, without what is an overriding reason the Pastoral Delegate is not to act against the recommendations.
H.        The Principal will seek the counsel of the Diocesan Superintendent of Catholic Schools on personnel and other matters involving legality or proper legal procedure.

Article XI: Annual Budget Process

The Council has the responsibility to develop, with the Principal, and in collaboration with the supporting Parishes, an annual budget to be approved by the Pastors. 

Normally, the following schedule is to be followed:

December (early January)

  • Principal and Finance Committee of the Council will fill out the budget analysis form.

  • A meeting is set to do a general analysis with supporting parish on the current status of the current year’s budget.

  • Begin student enrollment projections for next year

  • Begin to determine staffing needs

  • Solicit from staff proposed program additions for next year


  • Consider the costs of any program additions for next year

  • Continue enrollment projections

  • Continue staffing projections


  • In conjunction with the Parishes establish a proposed revenue plan and expense plan       

  • March             

  • Present the proposed budget to the Diocesan School Finance Committee for review and discussion.

  • Present the proposed budget to parish leadership for approval

  • Make revisions as needed

  • Keep the local School Council and Pastors involved in the process


  • School Council approves and adopts budget

  • Hold teacher contracts until budget is approved by Parish/Pastors


  • Recommend any adjustments to budget due to actual enrollment.

Article XII: Amendments:

Any part of the Statutes and By-Laws  of the St. Mary’s School Council can be altered/amended by consensus of the majority of members present at any regular meeting provided that:

  1. The proposed amendment was presented to members at a prior meeting and received a period of study of not less than one month. (Two Readings)

  2. The proposed amendment is consistent with the policies, directives and regulations of the Diocese of Marquette as they pertain to Catholic school.

  3. The pastors approve the amendment.

  4. Approval is granted by the Diocesan School Council.

Diocesan approved  September 2007
First Edits Feb 16, 2010
Second Edits March 1, 2010
Third Edits April 19, 2010
Fourth Edits April 23, 2010
Fifth Edits May 3, 2010