Mira Costa High School

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National Honor Society » Bylaws


Article I. Name and Purpose

Section 1.

The name of this chapter shall be the Mira Costa Chapter of the National Honor Society of Mira Costa High School.

Section 2.

The purpose of this chapter shall be to create an enthusiasm for scholarship, to stimulate a desire to render genuine and sincere service to others, and to encourage the development of leaders of character in students of Mira Costa High School.

Section 3.

The Mira Costa High School chapter of NHS shall maintain policies and practices that are designed to prevent discrimination against any qualified candidate or member on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, and/or disability. This policy of nondiscrimination shall apply to all practices, including the selection, discipline, and dismissal of members.

Article II. National Affiliation

Section 1.

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 I.3 of National Constitution]

Section 2.

The control of the national organization shall be vested in the NASSP Board of Directors.
[Article II.1 of National Constitution]

Section 3.

Any secondary public school is eligible to establish a new chapter. Each school with a chapter shall pay an annual affiliation fee approved by the NASSP Board of Directors.

[Article IV.1-3 of National Constitution]

Section 4.

Duly chartered local chapters shall conform to the Constitution as set forth by the NASSP Board of Directors. Failure to do so may result in the loss of the charter.

[Article IV.5 of National Constitution]

Section 5.

NAASP shall not review the judgment of the principal, advisor, or Faculty Council with regards to selection of individual members to local chapters, nor shall the NAASP hear appeals in the discipline or dismissal processes outlined below.

[Article IX.2; Article X.7 of National Constitution]

Section 6.

NAASP outlines minimum standards for NHS membership, but reserves the right for local chapters to increase standards for any of the criteria (Scholarship, Service, Leadership, and Character) as fit for the local environment.

[Article IX.2, note of National Constitution]

Section 7.

Official Insignia [Article XV of National Constitution]

a.      The Mira Costa High School chapter of National Honor Society shall use the authorized and approved official emblem as controlled by NASSP.

b.     The advisor and principal shall have authority to purchase official insignia and bestow it upon duly elected active or honorary members. [section 2]

c.      Any member who resigns or is dismissed shall return the emblem to the chapter advisor. [section 3]

d.     The National Honor Society’s motto shall be Noblesse oblige. [section 5]

e.      The official colors of the National Honor Society are blue and gold. [section 6]

f.      The official flower of the National Honor Society is the yellow rose.

g.     Leadership pins will be bestowed upon elected leaders and may be worn for official chapter events, meetings, and graduation.

h.     Leaders who resign or are demoted from leadership position forfeit the right to wear their pins and must return them to the advisor. Pins denoting leadership may only be worn during chapter events for the year in which the member is a leader. If a leader is not elected in subsequent school years, they may only wear their pins for graduation.

i.      Gold cords shall be bestowed upon graduating seniors who are in good standing to be worn for graduation ceremonies.

Section 8.

These bylaws are designed to amplify provisions of the National Constitution and cannot contradict components thereof. The chapter is obligated to adhere to the provisions of the National Constitution as ratified, revised, and sustained by the NASSP in all activities it undertakes.

Article III. 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 to serve as chapter advisor, who may serve consecutive terms. Co-advisors may be appointed where necessary.

Section 3.

The principal shall annually appoint the Faculty Council, composed of five members of the school’s faculty, who may serve consecutive terms.

Section 4.

The principal shall be responsible for payment of the annual affiliation renewal fee.

Section 5.

The principal shall receive appeals in cases of non-selection of candidates, and the disciplining or dismissal of members.

Section 6.

The principal may delegate the duty of choosing or reviewing the status of the chapter advisor each year, by discretion, to the Faculty Council.

Article IV. Advisor

Section 1.

The chapter advisor shall be a member of the faculty, appointed annually by the principal, and may serve consecutive terms.

Section 2.

The chapter advisor shall be responsible for the direct, day-to-day supervision of the chapter and act as liaison between faculty, administration, students, and community.

Section 3.

The chapter advisor shall maintain files on membership, chapter history, activities, and periodically oversee and verify chapter financial transactions, which are made through the student store (with the school accountant). The chapter advisor shall complete the annual survey and submit it to the national office.

Section 4.

The chapter advisor shall regularly review each member for compliance with Society standards and obligations. This includes—but is not limited to—cumulative GPA verification each semester, as well as periodic checks with the school ethics policy, discipline matrix, and attendance records.

Section 5.

The chapter advisor shall help all chapter officers understand and carry out their duties.

Section 6.

The chapter advisor shall be an ex officio, nonvoting, sixth member of the Faculty Council and shall facilitate all meetings of the council.

Section 7.

In cases of discipline or dismissal, it shall be the advisor’s duty to give due diligence to the collection of all information and data collection of the facts to be considered in the individual case. This ensures that students receive fair reviews, and that the council remains objective, and considers only relevant and valid information.

Article V. Faculty Council

Section 1.

The Faculty Council shall consist of five (5) voting faculty members appointed annually by the principal. Members of the Council shall recognize that they are working on behalf of the total faculty of the school—all judgments reached by members of the Council should, therefore, be both sound and professional. Members of the Council shall be fully knowledgeable of the guidelines for their chapter and follow carefully all stated guidelines and procedures.

Section 2.

Members of the Faculty Council should be from the professional staff on campus, and not from supporting staff. Parents and students cannot serve as members of the Faculty Council.

Section 3.

The term of the Faculty Council shall be one year. Members may be appointed to consecutive terms.

Section 4.

The Faculty Council shall meet at least once at the beginning of the school year to review the procedures of the chapter, select members, and to consider non-selection, dismissal, other disciplinary actions, and warning cases.

Section 5.

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.

Section 6.

a.      Neither the principal nor vice/assistant principal(s) may serve as chapter advisor or as a member of the voting Faculty Council.

b.     The principal may delegate responsibility for choosing members of the Faculty Council to an assistant/vice principal or advisor, as needed.

c.      In the case where more information is needed (for selection process, discipline, or dismissal), the principal may appoint additional nonvoting members to the Council for special consideration (for example, if twelve academic departments on campus, a representative from each department, or may seek input from school guidance office).

Section 7.

a.      The chapter advisor facilitates all meetings of and works with the Faculty Council in selecting, disciplining, or dismissing members, but shall only act as an ex officio, nonvoting, sixth member of the Faculty Council.

b.     Before any decisions of the Faculty Council are made public, the chapter advisor must share the results first with the principal.

Section 8.

The identities of Faculty Council members shall remain confidential as much as possible in order to maintain objectivity with regards to chapter decisions, removing for students, parents, and other staff members the temptation to influence the Faculty Council in order to achieve membership. This does not apply to decisions regarding discipline and dismissal, as students will be granted the right to a hearing.

Section 9.

If a council member falls ill, or is undertaking other professional responsibilities at the time of an official vote of the Faculty Council, or there is a conflict of interest when the council is called to meet, the principal shall also name one or more official alternate members to the Faculty Council. These members shall also receive the same orientation to chapter guidelines, and shall be available for service in the event that one (or more) of the official five members is unavailable for the above noted reasons.

Article VI. Members

Section 1.

Status and Privileges

a.      Membership in the Mira Costa High School chapter of National Honor Society is an honor and a privilegebestowed upon deserving students, and not considered a right inherent to any student—NHS is more than an honor roll, and so members must demonstrate not only good grades. Selection for membership is by a Faculty Council and is based on a combination of outstanding scholarship, character, leadership, and service. Once selected, members have the responsibility of continuing to demonstrate these qualities in order to maintain membership. Membership shall take the form of one of the following three categories:

b.     Active Membership. A candidate for membership shall first be selected by the Faculty Council and then inducted to become an active member of the chapter. Active members have a voice and vote in chapter affairs, and are expected to maintain the standards by which they were selected. They also fulfill certain responsibilities as detailed below.

c.      Honorary Membership. The Faculty Council shall reserve the right to award honorary membership to students who warrant special consideration—including those who receive accommodations for a disability, 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. The Faculty Council might also award honorary membership to school officials, principals, teachers, NHS advisors, or other adults. Honorary membership grants to the recipient all of the privileges of membership without the obligations associated with active membership status, as detailed below.

d.     Alumni Membership. Active members become alumni members upon graduation. Alumni members have no voice or vote in chapter activities. Similarly, because alumni members are no longer within the jurisdiction of the chapter’s Faculty Council, they cannot be dismissed once graduated.

e.      Members who are seniors in good standing are eligible to apply and compete in the National Honor Society Scholarship program.

f.      Members who are seniors in good standing shall be granted the privilege of wearing the honor cords at Mira Costa High School’s graduation ceremony.

Section 2.

Transferring Membership

a.      Membership transfers automatically when a member moves from one school to the next.

b.     In the event that membership requirements differ between school chapters being transferred to and from, the Faculty Council shall declare a students’ membership as temporarily inactive (for example, in the case that an underclassmen is transferring to a program that only accepts upperclassmen), or may be given a grace period to fulfill the new chapter’s requirements (for example, in the case that the incoming chapter’s GPA requirements are higher than the chapter which bestowed original membership).

c.      Students transferring must notify, in a timely fashion, the advisor of the new school’s chapter of previous membership, and must give proof in the form of a membership card, induction certificate, or official designation on the previous school transcript.

d.     To facilitate informing the new school’s chapter advisor of the transfer, transferring students may request a confirmation letter of good standing be sent from the previous school’s advisor to the new chapter advisor.

e.      Transferring students will receive written notice of all specific information pertinent to the maintenance of membership on an individual, case-by-case, basis from the Faculty Council upon completion of the above.

Section 3.

Responsibilities of Membership

a.      All members are to maintain the standards by which they were selected (for example, continued performance at or above the required GPA, involvement in service and leadership projects, etc.)—see Eligibility information below.

b.     Members are expected to attend and be active in chapter meetings. See Article X for Meeting information.

c.      Members are expected to participate in both individual and chapter service activities. See Article XI for Activities information.

d.     Members shall submit the annual dues of $20.00 for this chapter, to the school Accountant in the Student Store, within 30 days following Induction. Checks should be made out to “Mira Costa High School” with the memo line “National Honor Society Dues.”

e.      No member will be denied membership due to an inability to pay chapter dues. An appeal process shall be in place in which the member will have a meeting with the chapter advisor. If in that meeting the chapter advisor determines that the member is unable to pay the dues, the advisor will notify the treasurer that the member’s dues are waived.

Section 4.


a.      Candidates eligible for selection to this chapter must be members of the Junior or Senior class (freshmen and sophomores shall not be considered).

b.     To be eligible for selection to membership in this chapter, the candidate must have been in attendance for a period of one semester at Mira Costa High School (for transferring members, see Article VI, section 2).

c.      Candidates eligible for election to the chapter shall have a cumulative (9-12) grade point average of 3.8, academic weighted. This scholastic level of achievement shall remain fixed, and shall be the minimum scholastic level of achievement required for admission into candidacy. All students who can rise in scholarship to or above such standard may be admitted to candidacy for selection to membership.

d.     Upon meeting the grade level, attendance, and GPA standard requirements, candidates shall be considered on the basis of Service, Leadership, and Character.

e.      Service. Candidates must show significant, sustained, active, and genuine involvement in service activities in the community. Activities in which candidates received remuneration do not qualify for service consideration, and service involvement does not necessarily equate with leadership experience.

f.      Leadership. Candidates must show dedication to school and/or community through leadership opportunities with clubs, organizations, projects, etc. involvement and membership does not necessarily equate with leadership experience, and neither does being an active employee. Leadership should be demonstrated through involvement in leading things like project planning, managing groups, creating or founding clubs or organizations, chairing committees, and going above and beyond the simple requirements of any project or position.

g.     Character. Candidates must maintain good standing with regards to the school discipline matrix, including no violations in the Mira Costa High School Ethics Policy. Candidates seeking membership should attend school regularly, receive high citizenship marks, and maintain professional relationships with faculty, staff, and administration.

Section 5.

Members who resign or are dismissed are never again eligible for membership or its benefits.

Article VII. Selection Process

Section 1.

Notification of Candidacy

a.      During the month of August, the chapter advisor, in conference with the school principal or vice principal(s) shall verify the minimum GPA and behavior requirements (i.e., attendance, ethics policy, behavior, citizenship) for all students in the junior and senior classes.

b.     Students who meet the minimum requirements shall then be notified, in writing, of their election to Candidacy. At this time, students may choose to access, complete, and submit Forms for Consideration for review by the Faculty Council.

Section 2.

Application Process and Review

a.      Upon notification of Candidacy, students have two weeks to submit their forms. Late forms shall not be accepted.

b.     A detailed description of the selection procedure shall be published in official school publications (i.e. school website, newsletters, etc.) in a timely fashion to all students and parents of the school. The selection procedure shall be determined, reviewed, and revised by the Faculty Council and shall be consistent with the rules and regulations of NHS.

c.      All Candidates who have submitted the necessary information shall be considered by the Faculty Council.

d.     The selection of each member to the chapter shall be by a majority vote of the Faculty Council.

e.      Prior to notification of any candidates, the chapter advisor shall review with the principal the results of the Faculty Council’s deliberations.

f.      NASSP shall not review the judgment of the Faculty Council regarding selection of individual members of the Mira Costa High School chapter of NHS.

Section 4.

Forms for Consideration for membership will become available at the start of each school year for that school year’s membership. Current Juniors and Seniors may be elected to Candidacy and then considered for membership for the current school year.

Section 5.

Candidates who are accepted into membership become active members upon Induction. Once students are inducted they do not need to submit for reconsideration in subsequent school years.

Section 6.

Students whose candidacy are not selected for membership during the current school year may be reconsidered in subsequent school years if they receive notification that they still meet the minimum requirements.

Section 7.

Students who were active members who resigned or were dismissed are not eligible for reconsideration, even if they meet the minimum requirements again.

Article VIII. Member Discipline and Dismissal

Section 1.

Any member who falls below the standards of scholarship, leadership, character, or service may be dismissed from the Mira Costa High School chapter of National Honor Society. A member of the National Honor Society shall be expected to maintain academic standing and take an active role in service and leadership in the school and community.

Section 2.

Members who fall below the standards that were the basis for their selection shall be promptly warned in writing by the chapter advisor and given a reasonable amount of time to correct the deficiency, except in the case of flagrant violation of school rules or the law—a member does not have to be warned, but will be provided a hearing with the Faculty Council on the grounds for dismissal (see section 6).

Section 3.

If a member’s performance in any responsibility remains below standard at the end of the warning period, the student shall be subject to further disciplinary action by the Faculty Council that may include dismissal from the chapter.

Section 4.

The Faculty Council shall determine when an individual has exceeded a reasonable number of warnings.

Section 5.

Violation of the law or school regulations (as found in the Student Handbook, the Discipline Matrix, and Ethics Policy) can result in dismissal of a member. These violations include—but are not limited to—DWI, stealing, destruction of property, cheating, truancy, or possession, selling, or being under the influence of drugs or alcohol at school or school-related activities.

Section 6.

Offenders of school conduct code (such as failure to comply, behavior referrals, unexcused absences, excessive tardiness, etc.) will receive written warning. A conference may be requested by either party (Faculty Council, or student). If the member is involved in another violation of the school conduct code, the member may be dismissed.

Section 7.

Dismissal Procedure

a.      The Faculty Council, in compliance with the rules and regulations of the National Honor Society, shall determine the procedure and outcomes for dismissal within the chapter. Written notification and details of procedure will be provided on a case-by-case ruling for interested parties.

b.     The member shall receive written notification indicating the reason for possible dismissal from the advisor and/or Faculty Council. The member and advisor will discuss the notification in a conference, prior to dismissal hearing.

c.      Situations that involve flagrant violations of school rules or the law can warrant disciplinary action without a written warning, although a hearing shall still be held (see below).

d.     The member shall be given the opportunity to respond to the charge against him or her at the hearing before the Faculty Council prior to the vote on dismissal (in accordance with due process as identified in Article X of the National Constitution). The member has the opportunity to present a defense either in person or in writing. The Faculty Council will then vote on whether to dismiss.

e.      A majority vote of the Faculty Council shall be necessary for dismissal of any member.

f.      The results of the Faculty Council vote will be reviewed by the principal and if confirmed, expressed in a letter sent to the student, parents, and principal.

g.     Dismissed members must surrender any and all membership emblems to the advisor.

h.     The Faculty Council’s decision may be appealed to the principal, and afterwards through the school district discipline policy.

i.      Any student who is dismissed shall no longer be an active member, and shall not be considered again for membership within the National Honor Society.

Section 8.

In lieu of dismissal, the Faculty Council may impose disciplinary sanctions upon a member as deemed appropriate.

Article IX. Chapter Leadership

Section 1.

The Mira Costa High School chapter of National Honor Society shall have a two-tiered system of student leadership which includes the Executive Board and Chapter Council.

Section 2.

Executive Board Officers

a.      The Executive Board officers of the chapter shall be President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Parliamentarian, and Historian.

b.     President: The President must be a member of the senior class and serve a single term as President (junior vice president will become acting senior president the following year, unless in the event of a dismissal, in which case a new election will be held). It shall be the duty of the President to preside at the meetings for this chapter. It shall also be the responsibility of the President to act as the public face of the Mira Costa High School chapter of National Honor Society. The President must be able to handle many types of situations, be mature, be organized with good time management skills, have sound judgment, have energy, be able to work with many different kinds of people and personalities, and have a good relationship with the chapter, faculty, and student body. The President shall manage and oversee all chapter activities, including the meeting and event schedules, committee work, and individual student projects and attendance. The President should have a functional and deep understanding of all the relationships between Board members, the Chapter Council, and active members and the inner workings of the processes involved from the top down. The President should help to ensure that all aspects of process are happening on a timely, consistent, and regular basis, requiring significant organization and communication. The President may delegate some of the position’s responsibilities to the Vice President with discretion.

c.      Vice President: The Vice President must be a member of the junior class and serve a single term as Vice President, and will then assume the role of president the following school year (and will become senior President automatically the following year, elected for a two-year term/function). The Vice President’s primary (and necessary) function is to serve as the official replacement for the President should the president fail to function or be unable to fulfill responsibilities, given any problems or absences. The Vice President must be able to work closely with the President to create a productive Honor Society. The Vice President shall help plan, organize, schedule, and oversee meetings and activities to make sure chapter work is done. The Vice President must be able to know how to handle many types of situations, be mature, be organized with good time management skills, have sound judgment, have energy, be able to work with many different kinds of people and personalities, and have a good relationship with the president, chapter members, committees, and the student body. The Vice President shall help the President manage and oversee all chapter activities, including the meeting and event schedules, committee work and individual student projects and attendance. Members elected to the Vice Presidency must have a vision for club mission and goals for the two years of service. The vice president should also have a functional and deep understanding of all the relationships between Board members, the Chapter Council, and active members and the inner workings of the processes involved from the top down. The Vice President should help the President to ensure that all aspects of process are happening on a timely, consistent, and regular basis, requiring significant organization and communication.

d.     Secretary: The Secretary may be a student from any grade level and will serve a single term. The Secretary’s primary responsibility is to keep official records of chapter business and serve as the official correspondent for the chapter within the school and local community. The Secretary must be able to keep records and organize the agenda (to be verified by the Vice President and President), be organized, know nearly everything about every meeting, be alert to the calendar and the progress of committees, be knowledgeable about meeting procedures, and take accurate records of chapter meeting and official event minutes and agendas. The Secretary may also delegate some of these responsibilities to one of the Chapter Council officials where necessary.

e.      Treasurer: The Treasurer may be a student from any grade level and will serve a single term. The Treasurer’s primary responsibility is to work closely and maintain accurate records of all financial transactions of the chapter and periodically report a summary of these transactions at meetings (specifically, money raised by chapter events, committees, etc.). The Treasurer shall also keep record of membership dues, and shall help predict how money can and should be used in the future to make concrete suggestions for saving money or increasing efficiency. The Treasurer should be the person concerned with regulating the flow of money, including such things as leadership camps, awarding scholarships, purchasing goods and services for events such as induction or graduation, etc. The Treasurer expected to be the chief financial officer for the chapter, know about money, accounting, and budgeting, be called upon to give financial advice, be able to research and develop cost analyses, keep accurate records of the chapters finances, and develop a good relationship with the school accountant. The Treasurer shall fill out a report form biannually to report during Executive Board meetings.

f.      Parliamentarian: The Parliamentarian may be a student from any grade level and will serve a single term. The role of the Parliamentarian is to ensure that meetings are orderly and civil, and to help the chapter operate according to its constitution and bylaws. The main function of the Parliamentarian is to advise the President or chairperson on procedure during meetings, but cannot rule members out of order or call for votes (only the President may do so). However, if a Parliamentarian notices any violation in procedure, it is the Parliamentarian’s job to notify the board so that the President may rule from the chair. The Parliamentarian is expected to act as the keeper of the Constitution and Bylaws and be familiar with their contents, to be knowledgeable about meeting procedures, to offer procedural opinions during Executive Board meetings and work closely with the Secretary in establishing things like schedules or agendas or meetings, to know everything about every meeting, and chair the constitution/bylaws revision committee if the need arises.

g.     Historian: The Historian may be a student from any grade level and will serve a single term. The primary responsibility of the Historian is to collect and preserve information that provides a clear and concise record of all chapter activities for the year.  The Historian shall collect information, including—but not limited to—membership rosters, contact information, meeting agendas (attained prior to each meeting with the help of the Secretary and Parliamentarian), meeting minutes (attained after each meeting with the help of the Secretary), event information, and physical records of events (i.e., pictures). The Historian shall also work closely with the Public Relations chair in the Chapter Council, who will be responsible for posting these records for public consumption.

Section 3.

Executive Board Responsibilities

a.      The Executive Board alone (without the Chapter Council) may vote and rule on approval of standing committees, mission and/or goal setting for the school year, any chapter-awarded (non-national) scholarships, or other decisions which may present a conflict of interest with the Chapter Council at-large.

b.     The Executive Board, alone, shall meet with the advisor to discuss chapter business once a month.

c.      The Executive Board shall have general charge of the organization and flow of meetings and the business of the chapter, with the President as the head; however, any action by the Executive Board, made both during public full-membership meetings and as decided during closed board meetings, shall be subject to review of the chapter members (minutes for Executive Board and Chapter Council meetings must be made public within a week of meeting, as taken by the Secretary and recorded by the Historian and publicized by the Public Relations chair).

d.     The Executive Board should also meet once a month with the full Chapter Council, upon which meeting minutes should follow the same protocol as above.

Section 4.

Chapter Council Officers

a.      The Chapter Council officers shall include all members of the Executive Board, as well as the Senior Class Chair, Junior Class Chair, ASB Club Council Representative, Public Relations Chair, and all approved Standing Committee Chairs. (For information about standing committee approval and leadership, see Article XI, section 4.)

b.     Class Chairs. Class Chairs shall be elected by class members only (juniors for junior chair, seniors for senior chair) for a single term. Class Chairs are responsible for keeping record of membership within their classes, and taking attendance during official chapter meetings and events. Chairs shall coordinate any grade-level-specific chapter events, and help facilitate and encourage individual service projects with their class members. Regular active members should refer to their Class Chairs for all specific chapter information, and pose questions and concerns to their Class Chairs for representation and discussion within the Chapter Council meetings. Chairs may then refer members to particular Board officers for specific information if necessary. Class Chairs should expect to be working closely with specific Executive Board officers on larger projects, events, or issues when the need arises, as designated by Executive Board decision.

c.      ASB Club Council Representative. The Club Council Representative may be a student from any grade level and will serve a single term. The Club Council Representative shall be actively engaged in Chapter Council meetings, taking notes on chapter events and scheduling, with the express purpose of reporting to the school ASB Club Council organization which meets periodically throughout the school year. The Club Council Representative shall also take notes during the ASB Club Council meetings, and will report back any pertinent information to the Chapter Council. The Representative should be a person who is willing to actively listen and engage in discussion, and act as a mature and capable liaison between the two functioning organizations, with great understanding of the chapter procedures and bylaws, and pay particular attention to the needs of the school and offer up ways in which the Mira Costa High School chapter of NHS can facilitate any ASB missions and goals for the given school year. The Representative should expect to work closely with both the Secretary and Parliamentarian of NHS.

d.     Public Relations Chair. The Public Relations Chair may be a student from any grade level and will serve a single term. The Public Relations Chair should be a creative individual with knowledge of technology and creative design, and have good interpersonal skills. The Public Relations Chair shall ensure that all pertinent information (i.e., meeting agendas, meeting minutes, membership rosters, event information, etc.) are publicized for chapter and community consumption. The Public Relations Chair shall work alongside the Historian to ensure the information is accurate, and disseminated through systems including—but not limited to—the school Learning Management System, the official school and chapter website(s), PTSA newsletters, local newspapers (these previous two should be done in conjunction with the Secretary who is the acting liaison between the club and the general public), etc. Public Relations Chairs may benefit from knowing code or software programs related to web design, creative processing, photo publishing, document design, and so on.  

e.      Standing Committee Chairs. Standing Committees shall be approved by the Executive Board alone and may grant a representative from each approved committee to serve on the Chapter Council to report on Committee issues and progress. Standing Committee Chairs are often (but not limited to) standing committee founders, though leadership and representation may be chosen on an individual basis as each committee sees fit. Only one Standing Committee Chair may represent each official, approved standing committee. Unapproved standing committees shall not have official representation until properly approved. Standing Committee Chairs shall present progress and ask questions specific to their committee work during Chapter Council meetings, and may also be asked by the Executive Board to produce presentations for full membership meetings throughout the year.

Section 5.

Chapter Council Responsibilities

a.      The Chapter Council will meet monthly (on different days than just the Executive Board alone) to report on class projects or problems, to report committee progress or problems, to discuss chapter missions and goals, or other chapter-related business aside from the exclusions enumerated in Article IX, section 3.

b.     The Chapter Council may pose issues for Executive Board consideration, but do not have a voting voice. The Executive Board will then consider the issues and vote during their monthly meetings, of which minutes will be posted for all Chapter Council Chairs and active members.

c.      The Chapter Council may request the appointment of special committees for specific purposes, which will then be approved by the President. Council members should come prepared with a proposal, including the names of requested member appointments to these special committees, as well as the basis of the project and its duration prior to being approved. These records will then be given to the Historian, who will work with the Public Relations chair to ensure publication. The Secretary may also provide aid in terms of member contact information and suggestions for appointments. (More information regarding special committees can be found below in Article XI, section 3.)

Section 6.

Executive Board and Chapter Council Elections

a.      The election of all leadership positions shall happen at the beginning of each school year as soon as new candidates are selected for active membership.

b.     Leadership elections will occur prior to Induction of new members. Information will be posted for all members—new and returning—regarding the application process, procedure, and schedule.

c.      All active and newly-elected members are eligible to run for the positions described. All active members are eligible to vote, unless specific grade-level requirements exist. (See specific job descriptions for the specific grade level requirements in Article IX, sections 2 and 4.)

d.     Upon completion and submission of statements of intent, candidates for office shall give speeches to full membership in a special meeting. Voting will then be available to all members, in which a majority vote shall be necessary to elect any officer of the chapter.

e.      If the first vote does not yield a majority (50%+1), a second, run-off vote shall be taken of the top two candidates receiving the highest number of votes for the given position. The one exception to this rule shall be the office of the vice-president, in which case co-vice presidents (and thus, co-presidents in the subsequent year) may exist.

d.     All members of the Chapter Council, including the Executive Board, who are serving single terms may serve consecutive terms, unless otherwise indicated by chapter descriptions above. They must, however, run on the election ballot again.

e.      All members of the Chapter Council, including the Executive Board, who are serving single terms may run for other positions in subsequent years, unless otherwise indicated by the chapter descriptions above. They are not, however, guaranteed any leadership position should they lose the election.

f.      Officers-elect shall be presented for the first time to all members during Induction, and will be honored in a special ceremony, meeting, or other special event prior to Induction, thus beginning their active service.

g.     The Faculty Council and/or advisor and/or principal may designate or revise election procedures not explicitly given in the chapter bylaws as deemed necessary to ensure active participations of as many members as possible. Voting for elections should aim for a quorum, and can be held in person or online depending on the most useful method for the current chapter membership. 

Section 7.

Failure to Fulfill Leadership Responsibilities

a.      Failure to maintain the standards outlined for each leadership position above may result in disciplinary action, which includes—but is not limited to—prompt warning in writing by the chapter advisor. Warnings shall give reasonable amount of time to correct the deficiency.

b.     Further warnings shall be at the behest of the Faculty Council, at the request of the advisor. The Faculty Council shall determine when an individual has exceeded a reasonable number of warnings.

c.      If warnings are not heeded, the Faculty Council may remove a leader from the elected position. The student in question shall receive written notification of the decision. The student may request hearing with the Faculty Council, and may appeal the decision with the principal who has final ruling on the issue.

d.     The student removed from leadership returns to active member status, and must return any leadership emblems bestowed upon them in ceremony. The student maintains the benefits of membership, but revokes special privileges and responsibilities earned from the original election to leadership.

e.      If a student’s offending actions are more flagrant violations of school code or law, the discipline and dismissal process may be invoked, and shall follow the procedures outlined in Article XIII, section 6 and automatically revoke leadership status.

f.      Unoccupied positions that result from demotion, dismissal, transfer, or resignation of a student leader shall invoke a special election for the Executive Board, unless it is the President which is vacant in which case the Vice President will become the acting President and a special election will be held for the Vice President vacancy. Chapter Council officer vacancies that result from demotion, dismissal, transfer, or resignation shall be filled by appointment of the Executive Board, who will nominate and then vote. New appointments require a majority vote of all Executive Board members.

Article X. Meetings

Section 1.

Meeting Scheduling

a.      Regular Full Chapter meetings shall be once monthly on days designated by the advisor and/or Faculty Council, in accordance with school facility availability and in line with the school calendar.

b.     Chapter Council meetings shall take place the week after designated Full Chapter meetings.

c.      Executive Board meetings shall take place the week before designated Full Chapter meetings.

d.     Approved standing committees may set their own scheduled meeting times and meeting regularity as per necessary to complete their designated function. All standing committee schedules shall be submitted to the Secretary for approval, who will then hand off to the Historian and Public Relations Chair to record and post publically so that active members have access to standing committee meeting information. (For more information about committees, see Article XI, section 3.)

Section 2.

The Mira Costa High School Chapter of National Honor Society shall conduct all official meetings according to Robert’s Rules of Order (newly revised):

a.      The president shall call the meeting to order.

b.     Class Chairs (or Advisor for leadership meetings) shall take roll of all members present, to be recorded in the minutes by the Secretary.

c.      Secretary shall present a summary of minutes from the last meeting, as posted in more detail publically for all members by the Historian and Public Relations chair (should members desire)

d.     The Executive Board shall present its reports on official chapter business as defined by the Secretary in the agenda, and posted previous to the meeting by the Historian and Public Relations chair.

e.      Chapter Standing Committees shall present reports on individual business as defined in the agenda approved by the Secretary, and posted previous to the meeting by the Historian and Public Relations chair.

f.      Any special orders, new business, or unfinished business shall be presented by leadership and/or the advisor, including—but not limited to—important business previously designated for consideration at this meeting. Active Members may make any motions, ask questions, or speak publically during this time. Voting may also take place, and may take a variety of forms depending on the item presented for consideration.

g.     Any announcements regarding scheduled meetings, special meetings, events, or pertinent membership information shall be given by the executive board and/or advisor.

h.     The President shall call for adjournment at the conclusion of the allotted meeting time.

(A detailed outline of the Robert’s Rules for Order, newly revised, and all related meeting procedures shall be publically published for members who desire it.)

Section 3.

Chapter Attendance

a.      All chapter members are expected to attend all regularly scheduled chapter meetings as part of the requirements of maintaining Active Member status.

b.     If a member is unable to attend a regularly scheduled meeting, they are required to notify the Vice President at least 24 hours prior to the meeting. Students must present a valid excuse for missing the meeting in order for the absence to be qualified as excused.

c.      Each member is allowed four (4) excused absences per school year.

d.     If a member does not notify the Vice President of absence prior to the meeting, then the member will incur an unexcused absence.

e.      Members who incur three (3) unexcused absences in a school year shall be put on probation, which the faculty advisor shall determine the terms of said probation.

f.      Failure to meet the terms of the probation shall then begin the discipline process, and may be grounds for dismissal as per procedures outlined in Article VIII.

Article XI. Activities

Section 1.

Chapter Goal Setting

a.      During the first regular chapter meeting after officer elections and new member Induction, the agenda shall include a Goal Setting brainstorm for the year, as well as information regarding committee creation to facilitate that goal (and others—see Committee information in Article XI, sections 3 and 4).

b.     The Chapter Council shall then deliberate brainstormed information and select a chapter goal by majority vote of the Executive Board members.

c.      The Chapter Council shall then select one or more service projects for the year based in the chapter goal.

d.     These goals and projects shall have the following characteristics: fulfill a need within the school or community, have the support of the administration and faculty, be appropriate and educationally defensible, and be well-planned, organized, and executed.

e.      All members shall regularly participate in these projects as part of the requirement for maintaining membership in good standing. Failure to do so without prior notification to the Executive Board, with acceptable reason for excusal, shall result in disciplinary action as determined by the disciplinary structure outlined in Article VIII.

f.      The chapter shall publicize and document its projects in a positive manner, as per the duties of the Historian with the help of the Public Relations Chair.

Section 2.

Individual Service Projects

a.      Each member shall have the responsibility of choosing and participating in an individual service project that reflects particular talents and interests. This is in addition to the chapter projects to which all members contribute (see above).

b.     Members shall submit proposals for their individual service projects to their Class Chair by the end of October each school year. The Class Chair will organize with the President who will grant approval, and then along with the Historian and the Public Relations Chair, and make public records of each member’s service project for the year.

c.      Members whose projects which are not approved initially by the President shall be notified by the Class Chair. They shall then submit a revised proposal within two weeks to the chair who shall confer with the President. Class Chairs may be very helpful in helping members create proposals which may be approved. The advisor may also be a helpful resource.

d.     Members may create standing committees within NHS and work on these service projects jointly with other members in fulfillment of the requirement for maintaining membership, or members may work on individual projects outside of school in order to fulfill the same requirement.

e.      The basic requirements for the individual service project is that it be a sustained, meaningful, and impactful project. Members must dedicate at minimum 20 hours to this project. It must be documented throughout the school year.

f.      This project may be a continuance of a previous project, and all 20 hours must happen within the school year (summer hours are encouraged, but not considered for the fulfillment of this requirement).

g.     Members shall reflect on their service projects at the end of the year as part of the service requirement.

h.     All individual service projects shall be publicized in a positive manner; members shall submit end of the year reflections, along with documentation in the form of signatures from adult supervision of the project (i.e., non-profit leaders, parents, etc. who were involved in the project or supervised the volunteer program), pictures, etc.—to the Class Chair, who will work alongside the Historian and Public Relations chair to publicize all projects.

i.      Individual service projects shall not benefit the member in anyway (i.e., remuneration), or benefit the member’s family (i.e., building a family fence, helping at a family-owned business, etc.).

j.      Election to leadership and active participation as a leader automatically qualifies for the member’s 20-hour and NHS-sanctioned service activity requirement, and need not submit an Individual Service Project Proposal. Elected leaders should still document and reflect upon their time as leaders and their service to the organization as submitted at the end of the year (this does not include chapter committee leaders, who are not elected through the official process outlined in Article IX, section 6).

Section 3.

Chapter Committees

a.      There are two basic types of committees useful to the Mira Costa Honor Society chapter of NHS: Standing Committees, and Special Committees

b.     Standing Committees: Members may choose to create committees in order to collectively enact individual service projects with the collective help of others (they may happen collaboratively if members’ desired volunteer work coincide). These committees are sustained throughout the school year, and must be approved through the Standing Committee Approval Process (see Article XI, section 4). Upon approval, the standing committee’s selected chair will serve as the representative voice of the committee in Chapter Council meetings for the school year. Standing committees shall also periodically be asked to report on progress or present to the full membership at regular chapter meetings throughout the school year.

c.      Special Committees: these committees are requested by the Chapter Council and specially appointed by the President to do definite tasks for projects with time limits, such as fund drives, dances, elections, specific short-term events, chapter business, etc. Special committees meet with the President regarding their tasks outside of the regular meeting structure during the times in which they are relevant, and are dissolved upon task completion. They do not receive representation in Chapter Council meetings. They do, however, count toward the official chapter hour commitments.

d.     Committees should include both new and old members of the chapter to ensure continuity of leadership in the following school year.

e.      Committees should not duplicate or interfere with other school organizations on campus—however, they may serve to complement and serve the best interests of the school as a whole.

f.      Committees shall foster comfortable atmospheres where everyone’s ideas are valued, have clearly defined purpose and specific goals, exhibit proper communication among all members internally and in coordination with other committees and members, engage is self-assessment, and understand the authority and limitations while recognizing and appreciating the contributions of all members within the organization.

Section 4.

Standing Committee Approval

a.      After Induction, all active members will have access to the Standing Committee Proposal Form. This is a rolling proposal form which can be submitted at any time during the school year, though members should consider these proposals earlier in the school year in order to have time to enact a specific goal.

b.     Proposed standing committees shall submit their forms to the Vice President for consideration of the Executive Board, who will deliberate on approval of the proposal.

c.      A majority vote of the Executive Board is required for approval.

d.     Written notification of approval will be given to the proposed committee chair as indicated on the proposal.

e.      Approved committees must then submit, revise, and update schedules, meeting minutes, committee events, and committee rosters periodically with the Historian. This information will be made public for all members of the chapter.

Section 5.

Committee Discipline or Disbanding

a.      Should a committee fail to make progress on its task, hold regular and productive meetings, or foster a proper working environment for all members, the Executive Board may motion to discipline or disband as they see fit for the circumstances.

b.     Discipline may take the form of warnings, removal of offending committee members, demotion/removal/replacement of the committee chair, probation on condition of growth or project completion by a strict timeline, or other forms which the Executive Board deem fit.

g.     The Executive Board shall decide at which point the offending committee has exceeded a reasonable number of warnings.

c.      The committee chair shall be notified of a move for discipline or disbanding. The committee chair and/or particular members in question, shall have the right to a hearing with the Executive Board in a special meeting. The Board shall then deliberate and issue its ruling on the basis of a majority vote.

d.     Upon disbanding a committee, all members must arrange other means by which to fulfill the basic requirements for maintaining active membership regarding chapter and individual service for the school year. Hours worked within the committee up to the point of disbanding shall count toward the requirement.

e.      If a committee has been disbanded, the committee chair shall no longer serve on the Chapter Council.

f.      If a committee chair is removed on the basis of individual discipline, the committee shall choose a new chair on whatever basis it deems fit for its individual purpose. The removed chair shall no longer serve on the Chapter Council, but may continue as a member of the committee, unless otherwise ruled by the Executive Board. The new committee chair shall begin serving on the Chapter Council immediately.

g.     Any changes that result from discipline or disbanding shall be communicated to the Secretary for proper public documentation.

Section 6.

Individual service projects and standing committees are one-year commitments, and must be renewed each year of a member’s tenure. Resubmission of proposals can be granted for extension, given they reflect growth from the previous year’s submission.

Article XII. Amendments

Section 1.

These bylaws may be amended by a two-third vote of the chapter quorum, provided notice of the proposed amendments has been given to members at least on month prior to vote. The exceptions to this are Articles VII and VIII, which are developed and revised by the Faculty Council with the approval of the principal.


By-laws reviewed, revised, and submitted by the Faculty Council, Administration, and Advisor
By-laws ratified by 50%+1 of voting active members of Mira Costa National Honor Society on 25 September 2018 
Updated 15 October 2018