Head Start Policy Council ByLaws

OZARK OPPORTUNITIES, INC. 701 E. PROSPECT P.O. BOX 1400 HARRISON, ARKANSAS 72602 (870) 741-9406 FAX: (870) 741-0924

This agency is in compliance with Titles VI and VII Civil Rights Act “Equal Opportunity Employer”


Section 1. NAME: The name of the policy group shall be the Ozark Opportunities, Inc. Head Start Policy Council.


Section 1. The purpose of the Head Start Policy Council shall be to provide parents and interested community citizens an opportunity to participate in the process of making decisions about the nature and operation of the Head Start program.

Section 2. The functions of the Policy Council are:

a) Planning

b) General Procedures

c) Human Resources


Section 1. The primary responsibilities of the Head Start Policy Council shall be to carry out the following functions:

a) Governance, as outlined in the Head Start Performance Standards and Head Start Law.

b) Serve as a link between public and private organizations, Parent Center Committees, grantee and delegate agency governing bodies, public and private organizations, and the community it serves.

c) Assist Parent Committees in communicating with parents enrolled in all program options to ensure that they understand their rights, responsibilities, and opportunities in Head Start and to encourage their participation in the program

d) Assist Parent Committees in planning, coordinating, and organizing program activities for parents with the assistance of staff, and ensuring that funds set aside from program budgets are used to support parent activities.

e) Assist in recruiting volunteer services from parents, community residents, and community organizations, and assist in the mobilization of community resources to meet identified needs.

f) Establish and maintain procedures for working with the grantee or delegate agency to resolve community complaints about the program.


Section 1. Schedule: The Head Start Policy Council may meet seven (7) times a year, but can meet more often as the need arises. The Executive Committee may meet during months not scheduled for full Policy Council, as needed.

Section 2. Election/Attendance of Members: All Policy Council members must make application to the parents at their local Center Parent Meetings. Parents then vote on and approve their choices for Policy Council Representatives as well as Alternates to the Policy Council. In the event that the Center Representative to the Policy Council cannot attend a meeting, the Representative will notify the Alternate to attend in their place, thus insuring that each center is represented. Alternates are invited to attend monthly Policy Council meetings in order to remain informed of Policy Council actions.

Section 3. Transition: The first official council meeting is usually held in the fall. Agency staff will follow the Service Plan and official Policy & Procedure on this matter to insure transition is done appropriately.

Section 4. Called Meetings: Special meetings may be called by the Policy Council Chairperson, or upon written request of twenty percent (20%) of the voting members of the Head Start Policy Council.


Section 1. Membership shall consist of one elected Parent Representative from each OOI Head Start Center, and one additional member for every site serving more than 40 children. There shall be one Community Representative selected from each of the six (6) counties in which Head Start Centers are located. There shall be, at the discretion of the OOI Board of Directors, one (1) Representative from that body serving on the OOI Head Start Policy Council.

Each individual classroom may have their own parent meetings at their site adhering to the policy of one Policy Council Representative for every 40 children at any one site.

Section 2. Eligible Members: At least fifty-one percent (51%) of the membership must be parents of Head Start children presently enrolled in the grantee’s program. All parents serving on policy groups must be elected by parents of Head Start children currently enrolled in the program.

All other members (i.e. “Community Representatives”) are drawn from the communities served by Ozark Opportunities, Inc. and may include businesses; public or private community, civic, and professional organizations; and others who are familiar with resources and services for low-income children and families, and parents of formerly enrolled children. In no case shall Representatives of the community exceed forty-nine percent (49%) of the total Head Start Policy Council.

Parents are involved Policy Council level through approval of selected candidates.

No Policy Council Representative or Alternate may be related to any Ozark Opportunities, Inc. employee as described in the OOI Personnel Policies and Procedures (please see that document for further explanation on this matter.) 3

Section3. Term of Membership: Membership on the Council shall be for one (1) year. However, more than one (1) term may be served if the person is re-elected. A term of membership must be limited to no more than three (3) years.

Section 4. Vacancies: Vacancies created by the withdrawal of a child from the Head Start class or the parent otherwise unable to serve will be filled with a Parent from the same Head Start center on a timely basis. Vacancies created by the resignation of a community representative will be filled by the policy group on a timely basis. Any representative, whether parent or community, may be terminated after missing three consecutive meetings. This does not apply to alternates.

Section 5. Voting Rights: Only elected members may vote. Each member of the Head Start Policy Council shall have one (1) vote. All questions or issues of an official meeting of the Policy Council shall be decided by a majority vote of the members who are entitled to vote (which includes Community representatives and Alternates who are serving as the proxy for the regular member) that are present at any given meeting.

Section 6. Quorum: A quorum shall be constituted as 9 (nine) voting members of the Head Start Policy Council who are present (whether in person or via other electronic means) at an officially scheduled meeting. No official business can be conducted by the Head Start Policy Council unless there is a quorum.


Section 1. The officers of the Head Start Policy Council shall consist of a Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, and Secretary who shall be elected or re-elected for a one (1) year term at the first regular meeting of the Council each year.

Section 2. Duties of Officers:

a) Chairperson: The Chairperson shall preside at all meetings of the Head Start Policy Council, appoint Committees, call Special Meetings, and perform all other duties of that office. The Chairperson shall have the authority to call for a special vote by mail or telephone balloting when a called meeting is not possible or impractical (and may delegate this authority to a program staff-person when needed.)

b) Vice-Chairperson: The Vice-Chairperson shall perform the duties of the Chairperson in the absence of the Chairperson and assume such other duties and responsibilities as may be assigned by the Chairperson.

c) Secretary: The Secretary, under the direction of the Chairperson, shall record all activities of the Head Start Policy Council, keep the records of the council and perform all other duties of the office.

d) Executive Committee: These officers become the “Executive Committee” for conducting official Policy Council business between meetings or as delegated by the Council during the summer months and other times as necessary.


Section 1. The Executive Committee shall consist of the Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary and others appointed by the Chairperson to represent the centers. There shall be six (6) Standing Committees of the OOI Head Start Policy Council known as PLANNING, BY-LAWS, FINANCE, PERSONNEL, ERSEA (Eligibility Recruitment, Selection, Enrollment, & Attendance), & SELF-ASSESSMENT.

Section 2. Special Committees may be appointed by the Chairperson to take on certain responsibilities such as publicity, or special programs. These committees will be appointed only as a need arises and for a limited time.


Section 1. Amendments by the Head Start Policy Council. These by-laws may be amended only by a vote of a quorum of the Head Start Policy Council, provided that the proposed amendments have been submitted in writing to the council at least five (5) days in advance of the meeting.

Section 2. All amendments, alterations or revision of these by-laws shall be promptly transmitted in writing to the central office of Ozark Opportunities, Inc. Head Start Program and OOI Board of Directors.


Section 1 Travel & Childcare Reimbursement Policy- Each Policy Council attendee may be reimbursed for travel & childcare costs according to OOI Financial Policies and Procedures.

Section 2 Occasional Substitute Policy

Definition of Occasional Substitute: A person who is called upon to substitute in the classroom for regular Head Start staff 30 hours or less per month shall be defined as an occasional substitute for the purpose of addressing this Standard. A person who subs more than 30 hours per month and is also a Policy Council member must resign from the Policy Council to avoid a conflict of interest.

Hiring of a Policy Council member: It will be the policy of Ozark Opportunities, Inc. Head Start Program to allow a person who has applied for a position with the Agency to continue to serve on the Policy Council until that person has actually been hired as an employee of Ozark Opportunities, Inc. At that time, the person shall resign their position on the Policy Council and the affected center must re-elect a Policy Council Representative.

Liaison Position: This position allows a Policy Council member to sit in on OOI Board Meetings as an observer and advocate for the Head Start Program. This position promotes shared governance between the Policy Council and the OOI Board of Directors. This is not a voting position.


Section 1 By-Laws will be reviewed annually and updated when deemed necessary.

Section 2 By-Laws amended and approved by the Ozark Opportunities, Inc. Head Start Policy Council on the following date(s):

February 24, 2014