National Honor Society

  • Preamble
    A need was determined by the membership that the National Honor Society of Chester Academy needed to adopt an official set of by-laws and then later update them. Adviser Patricia Rivas worked with the 2017-2019 NHS students to adopt the by-laws found below in accordance with the National Honor Society Handbook, 17th Edition.

    Chester Academy National Honor Society By-Laws

    Article I – Name and Purpose
    Section 1. The name of this organization shall be the National Honor Society of Chester Academy.
    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 Chester Academy.
    Section 3. The rules and regulations of this chapter/organization shall be vested in the national level of the National Honor Society.
    Section 4. The operational control of the National Honor Society at the national level is sponsored by the National Council and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).

    Article II – 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.
    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, serving as a facilitator of discussions, keeping the council focused on relevant data used
    to review each case.
    Section 6. The chapter adviser shall be a member of the faculty, appointed annually by the principal, and may serve consecutive terms.

    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 a Faculty Council composed of five members of the school’s faculty who may serve consecutive terms.
    Section 4. The principal cannot serve as chapter adviser and is not a member of the voting Faculty Council.
    Section 5. The principal cannot attend the Faculty Council meetings but entrusts the adviser and members of the Faculty Council with the authority over selection and dismissal.
    Section 6. The principal shall receive appeals in cases of non-selection of candidates, and the disciplining or dismissal of members.

    Article IV – Faculty Council
    Section 1. The Faculty Council shall consist of five voting faculty members appointed annually by the NHS Adviser. The chapter advisor shall be an ex-officio, non-voting, sixth member(s) 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, disciplining, and dismissal of members, all of which must remain in compliance with the national guidelines (See Article VI, VII, & VIII).

    Article V – Membership
    Section 1. Membership in local chapters is an honor bestowed upon a student. Selection for membership is by a 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. Candidates become members when inducted at a special ceremony held annually in Fall of their Junior or Senior school year.
    Section 3. A National Honor Society member who transfers to Chester Academy and brings a letter from the former principal or chapter adviser to the new school advisor 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 4. Members who resign or are dismissed are never again eligible for membership or its benefits.

    Article VI – Selection of Membership
    Section 1. The Faculty Council of the chapter selects students who demonstrate outstanding performance in all four criteria of scholarship, leadership, service, and character.

    Scholarship:

    The scholarship requirement is a 90 GPA or higher (on a 0 to 100) based on a student’s cumulative grade point average after his or her 4th semester or 6th semester and must be maintained through graduation.

    Leadership:

    The number of offices a student has held in school or community organization, also including effective participation in other co-curricular activities.
    The student who exercises leadership:
    - Exercises positive influence on peers in upholding school ideals.
    - Successfully holds school offices or positions of responsibility; conducts business effectively and efficiently; demonstrates reliability and dependability.
    - Is a leader in the classroom, at work, and in other school or community actions.
    - Is thoroughly dependable in any responsibility accepted.

    Service:
    Actions undertaken by the student which are done with or on behalf of others without any direct financial or material compensation to the individual performing the service.
    The student who serves:
    - Volunteers and provides dependable and well organized assistance, is gladly available, and is willing to sacrifice to offer assistance.
    - Works well with others and is willing to take on difficult or inconspicuous responsibilities.
    - Is willing to represent the class or school in inter-class and interscholastic competition.
    - Shows courtesy by assisting visitors, teachers and students.

    Character:
    A candidate will be able to demonstrate an outstanding record of conduct and behavior with regard to school and community rules, guidelines, and policies or be able to demonstrate sufficient growth and improvement to compensate for previous inadequacies. A person of character demonstrates the following six qualities: respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, fairness, caring, and citizenship.
    In addition, it can also be said that the student of character:
    - Consistently exemplifies desirable qualities of behavior (cheerfulness, friendliness, poise, stability).
    - Cooperates by complying with school regulations concerning property, programs, office, halls, etc.
    - Demonstrates the highest standards of honesty and reliability
    - Manifests truthfulness in acknowledging obedience to rules, avoiding cheating in every regard, and showing unwillingness to profit by the mistakes of others.

    Section 2. To be eligible for membership the candidate must be a member of the junior or senior class.
    Section 3. Candidates must have a cumulative scholarship average of at least a 90 (on a 0-100 scale). Candidates shall then be evaluated on the basis of service, leadership, and character.
    Section 4. Students will fill out an application which will be reviewed by the Faculty Council, along with any other verifiable information about each candidate and his or her activities which define the candidate’s leadership, service, and character.
    Section 5. The selection of each member to the chapter shall be by a majority vote of the Faculty Council.
    Section 6. No quotas or percentages of members per class can be established.
    Section 7. Members who resign or are dismissed are never again eligible for membership or its benefits.
    Section 8. The National Council and the NASSP shall not review the judgment of the Faculty Council regarding selection of individual members to local chapters.
    Section 9. Those students selected are to be notified promptly and personally by the chapter adviser or printed letters.
    Section 10. Chapter by-laws, including the selection process shall be available to the public online at the Chester Union Free School District website.

    Article VII – Non Selection of Members
    Section 1. In cases of non-selection, special efforts should be made to explain the selection process to those students who are unhappy about the results of the selection process.
    Section 2. Chapters are not legally or constitutionally obligated to share with parents and students information concerning specific students not selected for membership in the Society.
    Section 3. Students or parents still not satisfied, may take their discussion to the principal.
    Section 4. The principal may hear appeals and overturn decisions only in cases of technical or procedural mistake. The professional and objective manner of the Faculty Council decision is otherwise final.
    Section 5. The NASSP have no authority to review or overturn the judgment of the Faculty Council regarding selection of individual members to local chapters.

    Article VIII – Dismissal & Discipline
    Section 1. Any member who falls below the standards of scholarship, leadership, character, or service may be dismissed from the Chester Academy chapter of the National Honor Society. A
    member of the National Honor Society is expected to maintain his/her academic standing and take an active role in service and leadership to his/her school and community.
    Section 2. If a member’s cumulative grade point average falls below 89.5, he /she will be given a written warning and a time period for improvement. If the cumulative grade point average remains below standard at the end of the warning period the student will be subject to further disciplinary action by the Faculty Council that may include dismissal from the chapter.
    Section 3. If a member fails to meet the community service and activity requirements, he/she will be given a written warning. If failure to meet NHS requirements continues, their membership will be reviewed and they will have to reapply for NHS the following year.
    Section 3. Violation of the law or school regulations can result in dismissal of a member.
    Section 4. Offenders of the school conduct code (such as use of profanity, failure to comply, unexcused absence, excessive tardiness, etc.) will receive written warning notification. A conference may be requested by either party (Faculty Council or student/parent). If the member is involved in another violation of the school conduct code, the member may be dismissed. Severe offences may result in immediate dismissal, according to the due process guidelines established in Article VIII, Section 5.
    Section 5. In all cases of pending dismissal:
    a. The member will receive written notification indicating the reason for possible dismissal from the adviser/Faculty Council. The member and adviser will discuss the written notification in a conference. Situations that involve flagrant violations of school rules or the law can warrant disciplinary action without a written warning although a hearing must still be held (see below).
    b. The member will be given the opportunity to respond to the charge against him/her at a hearing before the Faculty Council prior to the vote on dismissal (in accordance with due process identified in Article X of the National Constitution). The member has the opportunity to present his/her defense either in person or in writing. The Faculty Council will then vote on whether to dismiss. A majority vote of the Faculty Council is needed to dismiss any member.
    c. The results of the Faculty Council vote will be reviewed by the principal, and then if confirmed, expressed in a letter sent to the student, parents, and principal. Dismissed members must surrender any membership emblems to the adviser.
    d. The Faculty Council’s decision may be appealed to the building principal and afterwards through the school district discipline policy.
    e. When a student is dismissed or resigns, he/she is no longer a member and may never again be considered for membership in the National Honor Society per national NHS policy.
    Section 6. In lieu of dismissal, the Faculty Council may impose disciplinary sanctions upon a member as deemed appropriate.

    Article IX – Chapter Officers
    Section 1. President – Runs monthly meetings, takes care of chapter business
    Section 2. Vice President – Organizes service activities
    Section 3. Treasurer – Manages and does bookkeeping for club fundraising/activities.
    Section 4. Secretary – Notifies members of meetings and keeps minutes.
    Section 5. Bookkeeper - Keeps the log of service hours for each member.
    Section 6. Student officers shall be elected at the last meeting in May of each school year. All returning, active members are eligible to run for a position as an officer. Senior members of the chapter are eligible to vote.
    Section 7. A majority vote (over 50% of votes) shall be necessary to elect any officer of this chapter. If the first vote does not yield a majority, a second vote shall be taken of the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes.
    Section 8. If an officer is unable to continue in the position in which he or she was elected to, either through removal, relocation, or lack of performance a special election of all active members may be held to fill the vacated position.
    Section 9. All voting for officers will be completed utilizing paper ballet and counted by the adviser and at least 2 current officers who will serve as witness to the accuracy of the count.

    Article X – Meetings
    Section 1. Meetings will be held minimally once a month during the school year.
    Section 2. Special meetings approved by the executive committee may be called by the Chapter president or Chapter adviser.
    Section 3. All members are expected to attend meetings with attendance taken by the secretary. Members are allowed 5 absences per year with speaking to the adviser prior to the absence. Students absent for more than five meetings are eligible for dismissal from Chester Academy National Honor Society. Failure to attend two consecutive meetings will result in a warning.

    Article XI – Activities
    Section 1. The Vice President will publicize service activities at regular monthly meetings.
    Section 2. Each member shall have the responsibility for choosing and participating in a service project that reflects his or her particular talents and interests.
    Section 3. First-year National Honor Society members shall be responsible for completing a minimum of 8 hours of community service per quarter. Second-year National Honor Society members shall be responsible for completing a minimum of 7 hours of community service per quarter. Chester Academy NHS members must fulfill the required number of hours every semester from the time they are inducted through graduation to be eligible for honor distinction and to wear the honor stole at graduation.
    Section 4. Each member shall be responsible for participating in a minimum of 5 Chester Academy NHS sponsored activities. In addition, each first-year NHS member shall be responsible for participating in a service project run by a second-year member.
    Section 5. The responsibility of chapter records will be kept current and complete by the chapter bookkeeper.

    Article XII – Provisions for amending the by-laws.
    Section 1. The entire chapter, Adviser and administration will approve any changes before they become the law of the organization.
    Section 2. These bylaws may be amended by a 2/3 vote of the chapter, provided notice of the proposed amendment has been given to members at least one month prior to the vote.
    Section 3. By-laws and amendments must be consistent with the Constitution of the National Honor Society.

    Article XIII: Emblem
    Section 1. Each member of this chapter who is in good standing with regard to the membership standards and member obligations shall have the privilege of wearing the emblem adopted by the National Honor Society.
    Section 2. Any member who withdraws, resigns, or is dismissed from the chapter shall return the emblem to the chapter.
    Section 3. Chapter members who are seniors in good standing shall be granted the privilege of wearing the honor stole at graduation.

    Article XIV: Dues
    Section 1. Annual membership dues for this chapter shall be $10.00 by Jan 31. The NHS of Chester Academy shall provide partial or full scholarship for students experiencing financial hardship and cannot afford the dues. Dues collected after January 31 will be $15.

    Chester Academy National Honor Society By Laws