American Cooperative School: NHS Bylaws
Article I: Name and Purpose:
Section 1.The name of this organization shall be the American Cooperative School Chapter of the National Honor Society (ACS NHS).
Section 2.The purpose of this organization shall be to create enthusiasm for scholarship, to stimulate a desire to render service, to promote leadership, and to develop character in the students of the secondary school.
Section 3.NHS is a program of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), 1904 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1537, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit association.
Article II: Local Chapters
Section 1.Any secondary public school is eligible to apply for a charter for a local chapter. Nonpublic secondary schools accredited or approved by state departments of education or by accrediting agencies approved by NASSP are eligible to apply for a charter for a local chapter. Each school shall have its own chapter except in cases where a school's size precludes the formation of full Faculty Council. In such cases, a chapter can be shared as long as all other constitutional requirements can be met. A middle level unit in the same building with a high school unit will be appropriate cause for two separate chapters (one for the National Junior Honor Society and one for the National Honor Society).
Section 2.Each chapter shall pay a chartering fee determined by the NASSP Board of Directors.
Section 3.Each school with a chapter shall pay an annual affiliation fee approved by the NASSP Board of Directors.
Section 4.The ACS chapter will vote annually to collect dues with a maximum fee of US $20.00 for annual membership. The membership fee covers any costs incurred by the members throughout the school year and if charged, no additional or extraordinary fees can be collected from the students for any reason throughout the school year.
Section 5.Duly chartered local chapters shall conform to this Constitution as set forth by the NASSP Board of Directors. Failure to do so may result in the loss of the charter.
Article III: The Principal
Section 1.The principal shall reserve the right to approve all activities and decisions of the chapter.
Section 2.The principal shall annually appoint a member of the faculty as chapter adviser, who may serve consecutive terms.
Section 3.The principal shall annually appoint Faculty Council composed of five members of the school's faculty who may serve consecutive terms.
Section 4.The principal shall receive appeals in cases of non-selection of candidates, and the disciplining or dismissal of members.
Article IV: The Chapter Adviser
Section 1.The chapter adviser shall be responsible for the direct, day-to-day supervision of the chapter and act as liaison between faculty, administration, students, and community.
Section 2.The chapter adviser shall maintain files on membership, chapter history, activities, and financial transactions. The chapter adviser shall send the annual report to the national office.
Section 3.The chapter adviser shall regularly review each member for compliance with Society standards and obligations.
Section 4.The chapter adviser shall help the chapter officers understand and carry out their duties.
Section 5.The chapter adviser shall be an ex-officio, non-voting, sixth member of the Faculty Council.
Section 6.The chapter adviser shall be a member of the faculty, appointed annually by the principal, and may serve consecutive terms.
Article V: Faculty Council
Section 1.The Faculty Council shall consist of five voting faculty members appointed annually by the principal. The chapter adviser shall be an ex-officio, non-voting, sixth member of the Faculty Council. No principal or assistant principal may be included on the Faculty Council.
Section 2.The term of the Faculty Council shall be one year. Members may be appointed to consecutive terms.
Section 3.The Faculty Council shall meet at least once a year to review the procedures of the chapter, select members, and to consider non-selection, dismissal, other disciplinary actions, and warning cases.
Section 4.The Faculty Council will develop and revise, when necessary, all chapter procedures for selection, discipline, and dismissal of members, all of which must remain in compliance with this Constitution and NHS policies.
Article VI: Membership
Section 1.Membership in local chapters is an honor bestowed upon a student. Selection for membership is decided by Faculty Council and is based on outstanding scholarship, character, leadership, and service. Once selected, members have the responsibility to continue to demonstrate these qualities.
Section 2.Membership shall be known as active, honorary, and graduate. Active members shall become graduate members at graduation. Graduate members shall have no voice or vote in chapter affairs.
Section 3.The Faculty Council shall reserve the right to award honorary membership to school officials, principals, teachers, NHS advisers, adults, students with disabilities, or foreign exchange students in recognition of achievement and/or outstanding service rendered to the school in keeping with the purposes of the National Honor Society. Honorary members shall have no voice or vote in chapter affairs.
Section 4.Candidates become members when inducted at a special ceremony.
Section 5.Members who are seniors in good standing are eligible to be nominated by their chapters to compete in the National Honor Society Scholarship Program.
Section 6.An NHS member who transfers to another school and brings a letter from the principal or chapter adviser to the new school adviser shall be accepted automatically as a member in the new school's chapter. Transfer members must meet the new chapter's standards within one semester in order to retain membership.
Section 7.Members who resign or are dismissed are never again eligible for membership or its benefits.
Article VII: Selection of Members
Section 1. Selection of members occurs in August and based on the previous years academic and disciplinary reports. To be eligible for membership the candidate must be a member of those classes (sophomore or junior) designated as eligible in the chapter bylaws and have spent a minimum of one (1) full semester at ACS. The Semester requirement may be waived for students that transfer to ACS and provide evidence that they were members of NHS and in good standing at their prior school.
Section 2. Selection Process:
Part I: Invitations: Students must meet the following criteria to be invited to apply for NHS:
- Academic: The student must have a cumulative scholastic average of at least 3.60 (on a 4.0 scale). Students enrolled in 2 or more AP classes need only maintain a 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale).
- Behavior: The student must have an exemplary disciplinary record with no Major Infractions in accordance with the ACS Student Code of Conduct in the year prior to application.
- Service: The student must have completed the minimum number of community service hours (20 hours) the year prior to application.
Part II: Applications and Interviews: Invited students will complete an application form and will be interviewed by at least one member of the Faculty Council.
Part III: Faculty Council Deliberations: The Faculty Council will review the student’s academic/discipline record, application, and the results of the interviews to determine selection.
Part IV: Selection of Candidates:The selection of each member to the chapter shall be by a majority vote of the Faculty Council. Prior to notification of any candidates, the chapter adviser shall review with the principal the results of the Faculty Council’s deliberations.
Section 4.A description of the selection procedure shall be published in an official school publication that is widely available in a timely fashion to all students and parents of the school. The selection procedure shall be determined by the Faculty Council and shall be consistent with the rules and regulations of NHS.
Section 5.NASSP shall not review the judgment of the Faculty Council regarding selection of individual members to local chapters.
Article VIII: Membership Induction Process
Section 1.The Principal will formally invite students that met the minimum qualifying standards to apply to NHS during the first week of the school year.
Section 2. Qualifying applicants will be provided one week to complete the Application Forms and to get the required signatures to support their application. Applications must be handed in by the date and time established by the Faculty Advisor.
Section 3. Members of the Faculty Council will interview applicants during the third week of school.
Section 4. On the first day of the fourth week of school, the Faculty Advisor will notify the applicants of which students were selected.
Section 5. On the Thursday or Friday of the fourth week of school, a special NHS Induction Ceremony will be held to welcome and induct new members. The ceremony will follow the recommendations of the NASSP.
Section 6. All members and inductees must attend the ceremony. Failure to attend the ceremony will result in dismissal unless an extraordinary situation occurs and the member submits a letter for approval by the Faculty Council.
Article VIX: Discipline and Dismissal
Section 1.The Faculty Council, in compliance with the rules and regulations of the National Honor Society, shall determine the procedure for dismissal. A written description of the dismissal procedure shall be available to interested parties.3
Section 2.Members who fall below the standards that were the basis for their selection shall be promptly warned in writing by the chapter adviser and given a reasonable amount of time to correct the deficiency, except that in the case of flagrant violation (MAJOR INFRACTION) of school rules or the law, a member does not have to be warned. NHS has established the following special conditions that all members must abide by in addition to the rules and regulations established in the Bylaws.
Scholarship: Students must meet the minimum requirement of an accumulated GPA of 3.6 (3.5 with two APs) to join the chapter. Once accepted, members must maintain the minimum GPA at all times. If a student’s GPA falls below the minimum requirement at the end of any quarter of study, the student will receive a warning letter and be placed on probation. If the student does not raise their GPA to the minimum level by the end of the next quarter, they will be dismissed. A student can only be placed on academic probation two times during their membership. Any member that receives a third academic letter is recommended for dismissal to the Faculty Council.
Community Service: Students must complete the Chapter and Individual Project hours during the academic year in addition to the twenty (20) hours required for the high school diploma (20+20+20= 60 total hours) per year. Any student that fails to complete the hours will be placed on probation for a two-month period of time in which they must submit a plan for approval to the Principal to make up the hours during the summer. Students that do not fulfill their plan will be recommended for dismissal to the Faculty Council.
Citizenship and Leadership: Students must maintain exemplary disciplinary records at all times and comply with all NHS and ACS rules and regulations. Students must attend all NHS meetings and maintain a positive attitude toward learning and the school. Students that commit one Significant Infraction while serving and being engaged in an NHS activity or two Significant Infractions during any academic year in non-NHS related activities would be placed on probation. Students that do not fulfill the conditions of probation will be recommended for dismissal to the Faculty Council. Probationary periods last no more then 5 months and include clear descriptions of the consequences for further infractions. Students that receive a Major Infraction will automatically be recommended for dismissal to the Faculty Council.
Section 3.The Faculty Council, upon recommendation of the Faculty Advisor or NHS Officers, will examine cases for potential dismissal. Upon receiving a recommendation, the Faculty Council will examine the evidence and may interview community members as required.
Section 4.In all cases of pending dismissal, a member shall have a right to a hearing before the Faculty Council.
Section 5.For purposes of dismissal, a majority vote of the Faculty Council is required.
Section 6.A member who has been dismissed may appeal the decision of the Faculty Council to the principal and thereafter under the same rules for disciplinary appeals in the student handbook.
Section 7.NASSP shall hear no appeals in dismissal cases.
Note -To maintain compliance, all local procedures must conform to the full provisions of this article. Faculty Councils can consider disciplinary actions that are less severe than dismissal if circumstances warrant.
Article IX: Chapter Officers
Section 1.The officers of the chapter, their duties, and the method of their election shall be determined by the members of the chapter, approved by the Faculty Council and the principal, and described in the chapter bylaws. The ACS Officer Positions are President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Secretary.
Section 2.New officers shall be installed at a special ceremony at the end of each academic year.
Section 3. Officer Roles and Responsibilities:
NHS President: The President is responsible for creating the agenda and leading all meetings and leading the planning and implementation of activities. This includes forming committees and delegating responsibilities to NHS Officers and Members. The President is also responsible for ensuring that the NHS ACS Chapter Bylaws are enforced at all times.
NHS Vice-President: The Vice-President is responsible for assisting the President during meetings and checking in with each member or committee that are assigned specific duties. They are responsible for supervising members and keeping track of any disciplinary cases and following up with probationary conditions. In case the President is absent or dismissed, the Vice-President takes the role of President.
NHS Treasurer: The Treasurer is responsible for maintaining an accurate record or NHS funds. The treasurer must submit a quarterly report to the President to review and a semester report to the Superintendent for review.
NHS Secretary/Vocal: The Secretary/Vocal is responsible for taking minutes, taking attendance, recording tardies, and sending minutes to the NHS Faculty Advisor (within 2 days of the meeting) so the Advisor can post them to the conference. The Secretary/Vocal is also responsible for all correspondence (internal and external) and for creating methodologies to communicate information about upcoming events and results to the members and general student body.
Note – NHS Officers may modify and/or adjust these duties as seen fit.
Article X: Executive Committee
Section 1.The executive committee shall consist of the officers of the chapter and the chapter adviser.
Section 2.The executive committee shall have general supervision of the affairs of the chapter between its business meetings, make recommendations to the chapter, and determine and perform such other duties as are specified in the chapter bylaws. All actions and recommendations of the executive committee shall be subject to the review of the chapter membership.
Section 3.The executive committee shall have the responsibility for ensuring that chapter activities and procedures follow school policy and regulations.
Section 4.Procedures for electing Executive members:
During the first week of May, existing members are given opportunities to put forth their name as a candidate for executive positions provided that they meet the following requirements.
- must be in good standing (cannot be on probation); and
- have served a minimum of one year on NHS.
The following special conditions exist to run for President:
- held an Officer position on an Honor Society (TSA, etc.) or STUCO.
Note - If no candidates meet this requirement, the position will be opened to any member that has served a minimum of one year on NHS.
During the second week of May, an election will take place during a special election meeting. Candidates are not permitted to campaign in any form; however, members are welcome to address NHS members for two-five minutes before the election occurs to state their goals as a potential officer. Senior/graduating students are not eligible to vote.
The Faculty Advisor will provide the ballots with the nominated candidates names and positions they were nominated for and each member will vote in a private manner. The Principal will observe the voting and witness the Faculty Advisor receive the ballots, count the ballots, and announce the winners directly following the voting.
Article XI: Meetings
Section 1.Each chapter shall have regular meetings during the school year on days designated by the executive committee.
Section 2.The regularity of the meetings (weekly, monthly, bimonthly, etc.) shall be designated in the chapter bylaws.
Section 3.The chapter president or other designated student leader may call special meetings approved by the executive committee.
Section 4.Chapters shall conduct meetings according to Robert'sRules of Order, Newly Revisedin all points not expressly provided for in this Constitution or the chapter bylaws.
Section 5. The chapter President will send warning letters and assign conditions of probation for any student that:
- is late to three meetings in a semester;
- is absent or more then 5 minutes late for any meeting without providing an approved excuse in a semester;
- does not demonstrate a positive attitude; and
- is disruptive or incite negative behaviors;
Article XII: Activities and Service
Section 1.Each chapter shall determine one or more service projects for each year (Chapter Project). The chapter will organize fundraisers to support the project and visit periodically throughout the year. Students must complete a minimum of 20 hours of service as a group dedicated to the selected project(s).
Section 2.All members must participate in all components of the Chapter Project. Members that miss some component of the project will receive a warning letter with probationary conditions and must make up the hours on the individual project component.
Section 3.Chapter Projects shall have the following characteristics: Fulfill a need within the school or community; have the support of the administration and the faculty; be appropriate and educationally defensible; be well planned, organized, and executed.
Section 4.Each member shall also have the responsibility for choosing and participating in an Individual Service Project that reflects his or her particular talents and interests. This is in addition to the chapter project to which all members contribute. Each member must develop a proposal and submit the project for approval by the end of the first month of membership to the chapter. Each member must track and submit a quarterly report that demonstrates their progress on their individual project. An approved project supervisor must sign the report. Members who do not make adequate progress will be given a warning letter and placed on probation with defined conditions in order to remain a member of NHS.
Section 5.Each chapter shall publicize its projects in a positive manner and present their accomplishments at the NHS Induction Ceremony.
Section 6. Students must complete the Chapter and Individual Project hours during the academic year in addition to the twenty (20) hours required for the high school diploma (20+20+20= 60 total hours) per year. Any student that fails to complete the hours will be placed on probation for a two-month period of time in which they must submit a plan for approval to the Principal to make up the hours during the summer. Students that do not fulfill their plan will be dismissed from NHS.
Article XIII: Official Insignia
Section 1.This organization shall have an official emblem or signature item.
Section 2.Each active, graduate, or honorary member in good standing with the chapter shall be entitled to wear this emblem.
Section 3.Any member who resigns or is dismissed shall return the emblem to the chapter adviser.
Approved: May 24, 2016 Amended: