GBA SA Constitution

 

Article I

NAME: This organization shall be known as Greater Boston Academy School Association, which includes a secondary school of the same name, Edgewood Elementary and Early Childhood Center.

Article II

PURPOSE: The purpose of this organization shall be to conduct an elementary and a secondary school in harmony with the standards of the Department of Education of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, the Atlantic Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, the Southern New England Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, and the applicable laws and regulations of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY: The Seventh-day Adventist Church, in all of its church schools, admits students of any race to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at its schools, and makes no discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnic background, country of origin, or gender in the administration of education policies, applications for admission, scholarship or loan programs, and extracurricular programs.

Article III

OWNERSHIP: Greater Boston Academy School Association (hereafter also referred to collectively as the “Schools”) are legally owned and sponsored by the Southern New England Conference Association of Seventh-day Adventists (hereafter referred to as SNEC), a religious corporation having its principal office in South Lancaster, Massachusetts. Operation of the Schools is the responsibility of the constituent churches identified in Article IV through the duly appointed School Board. 

Article IV

CONSTITUENCY: The constituency of the Schools shall include:

     a. The members of the following Seventh-day Adventist church:

          1. Stoneham Memorial Church

     c. Members of such neighboring churches as may become members of the Association pursuant to Article XVI of this constitution.

     d. Parents or guardians of attending students who are not already members of a constituent church will be entitled one vote per family unit.

Article V

CONSTITUENCY MEETINGS:

Section 1. The Principal of the Schools shall arrange with the School Board to hold at least two annual meetings. Such meetings to be held in the first semester no later than November and in the second semester no later than March 1. The dates for the annual meetings shall be published.

Section 2. At a regularly called church business meeting, any constituent church may vote to have the Principal of the Schools in counsel with School Board call a constituency meeting within 60 days.

Section 3. Meetings shall be announced to all constituents, including announcements in the bulletins of the constituent churches, on the two consecutive Sabbaths preceding the date of the constituency meeting. The announcements shall include the agenda of the meetings and inform the constituency that if constituent member(s) desire(s) to place an item on the agenda, to contact the secretary of the school board.

Section 4. The School Board Chair or his/her designee shall be the chairperson of the constituency meeting. The secretary of the School Board is to serve as the secretary for all constituency meetings.

Section 5. A quorum to transact business shall consist of the members present at any properly called meeting of the constituency.

Article VI

DUTIES OF THE CONSTITUENCY:

Section 1. The constituency of the Schools at duly called meetings shall:

     a. Receive reports of the operation of the Schools.

     b. Consider and act upon plans and policies for the operation of the Schools as may be presented by the School Board.

     c. Consider and act upon such matters of School policy as may be presented for consideration.

     d. Consider and approve yearly financial plans (including the operating budget and capital appropriations) and policies of the Schools, and take such action as may be required to finance those plans. Only members of constituent churches with ownership and debt responsibility may vote on matters of financial import to the Schools. ONLY members of constituent churches may vote on fiscal issues.

     e. Encourage the organization and maintenance of a Home and School Association to act as a connecting link between home and the Schools.

     f. Consider such other matters as may properly come before the constituency for consideration.

Article VII

ORGANIZATION: The plan of organization shall combine the schools into one administration unit having one School Board, one principal and such vice-principal or assistants as the School Board may determine.

Article VIII

AFFILIATIONS:

Section 1. Operating church:

     a. Committed and united to encourage regional SDA Christian education by the spoken word and financial support.

     b. Church student aid program to provide student tuition grants.

     c. Provide an annual operating subsidy proportionalized per formula Article XIV.

     d. One seat on the local K-12 Board for the church.

     e. Tuition at constituent rate for attending students from church.

     g. Operating Churches will not be responsible for GBA debt or capital responsibilities as defined in the GBA constitution.

     f. Operating churches are:
           Beverly
           Billerica
           Boston Portuguese
           Boston Temple
           Boston Ghanian
           Braintree
           Dorchester Cape Verdean
           Everett Portuguese
           Merrimack Valley 
           Salem
           Stoneham Spanish
           Waltham

Section 2. Supporting church:

     a. Committed and united to encourage regional SDA Christian education by the spoken word and financial support.

     b. Church student aid program to provide student tuition grants.

     c. Provide an annual operating subsidy per student enrolled equal to the difference between constituent and non-constituent rate or 4% of tithe as devined in Article XIV, which ever is greater.

     d. One seat on the local K-12 Board for the church.

     e. Tuition at constituent rate for attending students from church.

Section 3. Constituent and Affiliate churches who support grades 9-12 only, will be assessed 60% of the full subsidy rate as figured by the formula provided for in Article XIV, Section 3. 

Section 4. Phase in schedule for churches and affiliates

      Constituent church
          1st yr - 1/3 annual subsidy (not less than the amount calculated from the difference between constituent and non-constituent rate per student enrolled)
          church student aid program
          1/2 board membership
          tuition at constituent rate for attending students from church

          2nd yr - 2/3 annual subsidy
          full board membership

          3rd yr - full subsidy
          full constituency of church membership

      Operating church
          1st yr - 1/3 annual subsidy (not less than the amount calculated form the difference between constituent and non-constituent rate per student enrolled)
          church student aid program
          1 seat on board
          tuition at constituent rate for attending students from church

      Supporting church
          1st yr - 1/2 annual subsidy (not less than the amount calculated from the difference between constituent and non-constituent rate per student enrolled)
          church student aid program
          1 seat on the board
          tuition at constituent rate for attending students from church

          2nd yr - full annual subsidy

Article IX

BOARD OF TRUSTEES:

Section 1. Election of members: Members of the School Board shall be elected by July 1 and shall serve for the ensuing three fiscal or school years.

Section 2. Membership of the School Board:

     a. The duly elected members from the churches comprising the constituency of the Schools. (Each constituent church is entitled to elect one member to represent the church, plus one additional member for each 100 church members or major fraction thereof.)

     b. Duly elected members from affiliates, Article VIII. The school board shall preserve the ratio of representation provided each constituent church under this constitution.

     c.The Superintendent of Schools of the SNEC.

     d. The Principal of the Schools.

     e. The senior pastors of the constituent churches.

     f. The Chairperson and Vice-chairperson of the School Board.

     g. Officers of the SNEC.

     h. Education Director of the Atlantic Union Conference

     i. The Treasurer(s) of the Schools.

     j. The Home and School leader appointed by the school board.

     k. Greater Boston Academy Alumni Association President or designee

     l. Such other persons as the School Board may appoint, who are member in good standing of the Seventh-day Adventist church in order to provide better balance of experience and expertise. In selecting additional persons to serve as members of the School Board, the School Board shall preserve the ratio of representation provided each constituent church under this constitution. The number of additional persons selected under this paragraph shall not exceed three (3) persons. These members will serve for one-year terms.

          Sunset clause: The above amendment to the constitution shall automatically expire five years after its adoption unless a formal vote at a duly called constituency meeting approves its extension.

      m. Board members should be supportive of Seventh-day Adventist education in a whole-hearted, positive way by having their own school-age children enrolled in Adventist schools.

Section 3. School Board Meetings:

     a. The organizing meeting shall be the first meeting of the school fiscal year. Meetings shall be held on a regular basis, and at least seven (7) regular meetings held per year.

     b. Meetings shall be announced to the constituents, including announcements in the bulletins of the constituent churches on the Sabbath preceding the scheduled School Board meeting. Meetings shall be open to the constituency except when the School Board is meeting in executive session.

     c. For any action to be taken, a quorum must be present. For regularly scheduled meetings, a quorum would consist of 50% of the local board members (representatives of constituent churches and administrative/ faculty members of the board.)

     d. Extra meetings scheduled to transact urgent business (i.e. during summer vacation) shall have as a quorum 25% of local board members.

Article X

OFFICERS OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES:

Section 1. Each officer of the School Board shall serve until his/her duly elected successor assumes office.
   The Officers shall be:

     a. Chairperson – At the first meeting of the School Board members in the fiscal year, the President of the SNEC or his/her designee shall preside pro tem for the election of the School Board Chairperson for the ensuing year. The chairperson chosen must be from the constituent churches but not necessarily from among the School Board members.

     b. Vice-chairperson – As elected by the School Board members.

     c. Secretary – The Principal of the Schools.

Section 2. It shall be the duty of the Chairperson:

     a. To call meetings of the School Board.

     b. To preside as Chairperson over all the meetings of the School Board.

     c. To execute such actions of the School Board as would naturally fall under his/her supervision, and also to perform such duties as the School Board may delegate to him/her from time to time.

     d. To keep in touch with constituent church boards in an advisory capacity on matters pertaining to the Schools.

Section 3. It shall be the duty of the Vice-chairperson to preside as Chairperson over all meetings of the School Board in the absence of the Chairperson.

Section 4. It shall be the duty of the Secretary:

     a. To keep the minutes and other records of the School Board.

     b. To carry on the necessary correspondence of the School Board. 

     c. To render a monthly financial statement as prepared by the Schools’ treasurer(s), to the members of the School Board.

     d. To conduct any business of the Schools as directed by action of the School Board.

Article XI

DUTIES OF THE BOARD:

Section 1. The duties of the School Board shall be as follows:

     a. To organize itself at the initial meeting of the fiscal year.

     b. To appointment such sub-committees as finance and personnel and others as it deems necessary with members who are constituents and empowered to serve in such capacity to effectively accomplish the purpose of the committee for such duration as the board shall direct.

     c. To study, review and make recommendations for a short and a long-term educational vision for the Schools to include value and mission statement, a strategic educational goal statement and position statement.

     d. To recommend to the SNEC Board of Education a well-qualified faculty for the Schools.

     e. To carry out all plans and policies voted by the constituency in session and to provide for the general welfare of the Schools.

     f. To recommend an annual operating budget to the constituency.

     g. To determine needed capital improvements not provided for in the annual operating budget and to recommend an equitable apportionment of required funds among the constituent churches. 

     h. To send to each constituent church boards for review and any recommendations, all constituency churches’ subsidy line items in the operating and capital budget prior to the school budgets being recommended to the constituency for approval.

     i. To authorize the expenditure of any funds which are in excess of limits determined annually by the School Board.

     j. To hold regular meetings at determined times.

Article XII

DUTIES OF THE INDIVIDUAL BOARD MEMBERS: The members of the School Board deem it their responsibility to be present at all meetings of the Board and to take an active interest in the transactions of whatever business may come before the School Board at the time of a regularly called meeting. Excessive absences (more than one-third) from regularly scheduled meetings may be grounds for replacement. The School Board functions only when in official session. Individual Board members have no authority regarding school matters.

Article XIII

VACANCIES IN THE BOARD: Whenever for any cause a vacancy in the School Board is created, it shall be the duty of the local church, whose member has vacated his/her office, to elect a new member and to notify the secretary of the School Board of such election.

Article XIV

FINANCIAL PLAN:

Section 1. The Schools shall be operated on a combination of tuition, subsidy from constituent church(s) budget(s) and SNEC subsidy.

Section 2. Upon acceptance of the recommended budget at the spring and/or fall constituency meetings, that portion of the budgetary operating subsidy as allocated by the formula to each constituent church in Article XIV, Section 3, shall be considered mandatory and obligatory.

Section 3. The formula for computing the operating and capital improvement subsidy schedules shall be as follows.

Tithe-membership-enrollment formula: The basis for tithe is the year-end tithe statement for the churches involved in the constituency. The basis for the membership is to be the “Year-end” membership from the church clerk’s report as submitted to the conference office at the close of the preceding period. The enrollment is to be taken from the beginning second semester enrollment report for the year in which the new budget is established. One week after the semester begins, the pastor of each constituent church shall be provided with a copy of the report identifying the students or members of the immediate families of students who are reported to be members of their church. (The “Year-end” is December 31. The determining factor will be the statistical practice as determined by the conference office.)

(Note: Subsidy Formula – 2-2-1:)

The tithe for each church is divided by the total tithe for the constituent churches of the Schools which gives the percentage for that particular church. The membership for any church is divided by the total membership of the constituent churches, which will give the membership percentage for that particular church. The student enrollment from each constituent church is divided by the total enrollment from the constituent churches, which gives the enrollment percentage. The tithe and membership percentages are added twice and the enrollment is added once. This gives a total which is divided by five to give the average percentage which is used in determining the subsidy for each church. This is why it is called the 2-2-1 basis for division of subsidy. This average percentage is then multiplied by the total subsidy in the budget, which will give the subsidy due from each church. The total percentages will add up to 500 and the total of the averages will add up to 100 percent. The formula could be further described by the four equations.

     1. 2 X Church Tithe, total Tithe/Constituent Churches = Tithe %.

     2. 2 X Church Membership, Total Membership .Constituent Churches = Membership%.

     3. Church/Students Enrolled, Total Students Enrolled/Constituent Churches = Enrollment%.

     4. (Tithe % + Membership % + Enrollment %) divided by 5 = % of total subsidy which constituent church must pay.

Article XV

STAFF/PERSONNEL: The administration of finances, curriculum and staff/personnel is determined by the School Board according to denominational conference policy and the needs of the local constituency.

Article XVI

MEMBER CHURCHES:

Section 1. No church may withdraw its membership from the constituency without evidence of a two-thirds vote of the members present at a regularly called business meeting.

Section 2. Churches applying for admission to this association shall be received by a majority vote at a duly called constituency meeting. If it is impossible to wait for such a meeting without suffering loss of school privileges, the School Board may grant temporary membership subject to the approval of the constituency at its next meeting.

Section 3. A church shall lose its membership in this association when it is delinquent greater than one year in meeting its financial responsibilities and after a voted action at the next regularly scheduled constituency meeting.

Article XVII

AMENDMENTS: This constitution may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the members present at any regularly called meeting of the constituency providing a two-week previous notice of the proposed amendment has been given to the constituency including announcements in the bulletin of the constituent churches. A copy of the text of the proposed amendment shall be maintained at the principal’s office and made available for review and inspection by the constituency for a period of not less than two weeks before the constituency meeting during which action is to be taken on the proposed amendment.

Article XVIII

Dissolution

Section 1. In the event that 104 Pond Street property is sold, any proceeds shall be distributed as follows: First $75,000 distributed to Edgewood/GBA. The remaining between SNEC (16%) and SMC (84%),proportional to the original contributions. SNEC share to be capped at $30,000

Section 2. In the event of the dissolution of one of the schools, the assets (such as buildings, equipment, financial accounts, and accounts receivables) remaining after all claims have been satisfied shall be transferred to the remaining school(s). In the event of dissolution of all schools, the assets remaining after all claims have been satisfied shall be used to establish an educational trust fund. The purpose of this trust fund is two fold:

     1. To primarily provide K-12 tuition grants for students who are members and for students whose parents or guardians are members of a constituency church.

     2. Secondarily, funds could be used to open a local school or subsidize a conference-wide owned and operated school. To receive grants, students must attend a Seventh-day Adventist owned and operated school.


Adopted - Constituency Meeting : December 11, 1991
Revised - Constituency Meeting : January 8, 1992
Revised - Constituency Meeting : November 8, 1995
Revised - Constituency Meeting : April 13, 1999
Revised - Constituency Meeting : November 29, 2000
Revised - Constituency Meeting : October 22, 2001
Revised - Constituency Meeting : February 12, 2002
Revised - Constituency Meeting : April 30, 2002
Revised - Constituency Meeting : January 21, 2003
Revised - Constituency Meeting : October 2004
Revised - Constituency Meeting : February 24, 2008
Revised - Constituency Meeting : October 28, 2008
Revised - Constituency Meeting : February 24, 2009
Revised - Constituency Meeting : February 23, 2012
      Sunset clause 2017 Article IX, Section 2L
Revised - Constituency Meeting : November 27, 2012
Revised - Constituency Meeting : February 26, 2013
Revised - Constituency Meeting : October 29, 2013