Montana School Counselor Association

BOARD POLICIES
& PROCEDURES

 

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APPENDIX

Montana School Counselor Association
Policies and Procedures
First adopted August 13, 2007
Amended January 26, 2010
Amended April 16, 2011
Amended April 20,2012

These are the Policies and Procedures for the Montana School Counselor Association first adopted in August of 2007.  These operational policies guide the work of the Executive Board and the membership. They should be reviewed annually, but also may be changed by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Board at any board meeting.


I.      Legal Status
MSCA is a legal non-profit corporation with Articles of Incorporation filed with the State of Montana.  MSCA has been designated as a 501c-3 non-profit corporation by the Federal Government.  It is necessary that an annual report be filed each January with the Secretary of State (Montana).  In addition, tax reporting is required based upon the organization’s annual finance status.  The 501c-3 status allows tax deductible donations.  The organization also has an Employer Identification Number kept with the President’s and Treasurer’s files. 

II.     Affiliation
MSCA is a State Division of the American School Counselor Association chartered in accordance with ASCA’s bylaws.  MSCA was granted its first charter in 1982.  That charter was most recently reissued in May 2007.  MSCA is also a division of the Montana Counseling Association as is ASCA a division of the American Counseling Association.

III.    Organization Direction and Planning
The work of the Montana School Counselor Association is guided by MSCA Bylaws, the Strategic Plan, the Policies and Procedures and the annual Work Plan.  The job descriptions of the Executive Board guide the division of the work of the organization.  All actions taken should support the organization’s mission

IV.    Board Member Code of Ethics
As a leader who helps to promote excellence in the profession of school counseling, it is each board member’s ethical responsibility to see to it that the work of Montana School Counselor Association board results in significant progress for the profession in Montana.  Therefore, it is of the upmost importance that board meetings operate as efficiently as possible.  To not do so will only hinder the collective work towards advancement of the profession of school counseling.  Annually at each Fall Executive Board meeting, each member of the MSCA Executive Board will review and sign the Montana Board Member Code of Ethics.  For a full copy of the Montana Board Member Code of Ethics, please see Appendix A.

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V.     Board Resolution Policy                                              
The board is responsible for holding accountable for its actions, including actions taken by individuals that may undermine the efforts of the organization, the board or other individuals.  For a full copy of the Montana Board Resolution Policy, please see Appendix B.

VI.    Financial Policies

A. Financial records
The Treasurer is charged with keeping the Financial Records of the organization.  All expenditures and receipts are to be recorded and then reviewed annually by the finance committee.  Quarterly reports are to be submitted to the Executive Board and an annual report will be provided to the membership at the Annual Meeting.

B. Banking
This Association has created a business checking account (currently at Wells Fargo Bank).  Three members of the Executive Board are listed on that account at any time.  They are the President, President-Elect and the Treasurer. These three officers will each be able to sign checks and will possess an association card for the account. 

A decision to change the bank utilized for the Association will require a two-thirds majority vote of the Executive Board.

Bank statements will be sent to the Treasurer monthly for reconciliation purposes and then filed with the Treasurer’s files.  A copy of that reconciled statement will then be sent to the President for his/her files.  In addition, an original copy of the bank statement will be sent to the President from the bank each month by mail.  The President will review the bank statement and file this original with the reconciled statement from the Treasurer.  Any officer or member of MSCA may request to view a statement and financial records with the Treasurer.  A record of that will be maintained and submitted to the board.

This account is not to be used as a cash account and therefore cash will not be obtained through the use of the check card.  All purchases made with the check card are recorded in the Account Register with the identifying card number, ensuring that all purchases can be traced to the specific card used.  The Expenditure Log sent by the card user is then reconciled monthly with that statement by the Treasurer. (A copy of the Expenditure Log is included as Appendix C).  At this time, the account has no regular user fees or monthly transaction fees associated with it.

C. Check card purchases
When using the check card to make purchases, a check card expenditure form must be complete with receipts attached.  These must be mailed to the Treasurer by the last day of each month for reconciliation. The Treasurer will have his/her check card expenditure forms initialed by the President each month, as a checks and balances safeguard.

D. Purchases
Purchases of goods less than $100.00 must have prior approval of the President.  Goods for more than $100.00 require approval of the Executive Board.  All expenditures require receipts to go on file with the Treasurer.

E. Monthly Expenses
At this time, MSCA does not have any regular monthly expenses.  The Association pays no wages or salaries and does not have an Association office. Future expenses that are or may become regular monthly transactions must be approved by a majority vote of the Executive Board.

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F. Reimbursement Policy
MSCA members representing the Montana School Counselor Association at conferences, meetings, and events is subject to approval by the President of MSCA and the Executive Board.  Representatives may be elected board members or other MSCA members appointed to act on behalf of the Association.  Representatives of MSCA are expected to be fiscally responsible and make an effort to minimize expenses.  The following is a breakdown of the expenses covered:

1. Lodging  
MSCA pays for one half the room rate for the event for each representative.  If two representatives share a room, each receives half so that the room rate is covered by the Association.  If an individual representative chooses not to share the room, the additional half is the personal responsibility of the representative, with the exception of such situations when no other representative is available to share the room or the representatives are of the opposite sex.  No set guidelines for costs per night are mandated as the Association recognizes that rates vary depending upon location and season.

2. Mileage
MSCA will pay roundtrip mileage from the representative’s home city to the event location at the current state government rate.  When two or more representatives are traveling from the same home city to the same event, carpooling is strongly encouraged.

3. Meals
Meals for representatives will be reimbursed at the following rates:

In State:  
Breakfast  
  $  5.00
Lunch
   $  7.00
Dinner
$12.00
Total
$24.00
Out-Of-State:
Breakfast  
  $  8.00
Lunch
   $ 12.00
Dinner
$20.00
Total
$40.00

Receipts for meals are not required and representatives may request meal payment in advance by submitting the MSCA Reimbursement Form to the Treasurer a minimum of 10 days prior to the event.

On occasion, when the Board hosts a lunch or dinner meeting/gathering, the Board will assume the cost of the meal for all attendees at the out-of-state rate.  The Board will not pay for alcoholic beverages during this meal; however attendees may choose to purchase their own alcoholic beverages.

When determining meals to be reimbursed, representatives may begin on the day at the time they leave their home city.  If meals are included as part of the conference, meeting, or event, the representative may not be reimbursed for those meals.


4. Travel

Travel to events should occur as close to the date and time of the event as is possible based on distance and time.  MSCA will pay lodging and meals for the day before and the day after the event when time and distance require it.

Mileage and related expenses (i.e. parking fees), will also be paid to those representatives who are required to travel more than 15 miles by car to an airport when flying for MSCA purposes.  Transportation costs to and from the site of the conference/meeting will also be covered.

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G.  Reimbursement schedule

1. Before the event
Travel reimbursements may be requested prior to the event as an advance per diem by completing the MSCA Reimbursement Form and submitting it to the Treasurer a minimum of 10 days prior to the event.

2. After the event
Complete the MSCA Reimbursement Form, attach receipts for all expenses other than mileage and meals (hotels, shuttles, parking) and submit the form to the Treasurer within 30 days of the event.

The Treasurer will process the claim and send payment within 10 days of the receipt of the form.  The Treasurer’s reimbursement claims will be initialed by the President, as a checks and balances safeguard.

The MSCA Reimbursement Form is located in Appendix D.

H. Standard events covered by reimbursement
Representatives listed below will receive reimbursement for travel and expenses from MSCA providing that they do not receive reimbursement from any other sources.

1. Executive Board meetings:
All elected and appointed Board Members.

2. Fall Conference (currently MEA/MFT) and Board Meeting:
All elected and appointed Board Members.

3. Spring Institute/Conference and Board Meeting:
All elected and appointed Board Members.

4. Board Approved State Committee Meeting:
Counseling Leadership Initiative: Carrie Burnham, Learning First Alliance: Renee Schoening, School Mental Health Initiative: Renee Schoening.

5. ASCA Conference:
President-Elect-Elect

6. ASCA Conference and Delegate Assembly: 
President and President-elect

7. ASCA Leadership Development Initiative (LDI):

President-Elect and President-Elect-Elect (when the President and President-Elect will change in October of any year, the new officers will be the ones representing MSCA at LDI).

8. Advocacy and Public Policy Institute(APPI):
On years approved by the Board

9. Other events representing MSCA with Board approval.

10. School Counseling Leadership Initiative Training:
Board members

I.  Annual Tax Filing
The Treasurer will complete the annual tax forms, including IRS form 990, to determine if the organization needs to file tax returns with the IRS.  If the organization exceeds the income guidelines for not filing, the Treasurer will file IRS form 990 by the May 15th deadline each year.  MSCA will use the calendar year as its tax filing year.  The Treasurer will report to the Executive Board during the summer meeting on the status of the tax filings.  Copies of any tax returns will be sent to the President.

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VII.   Records                                                                       

A. Legal documents
The President shall keep in the President’s files the original legal documents of the organization.  Copies of each shall also be kept with the Treasurer.  The following documents should be in those files:

1. ASCA charter
2. Articles of Incorporation
3. 501c3 application and designation
4. Annual Corporation report with the Montana Secretary of State
5. Minutes of the Annual Meeting
6. Annual Financial Report
7. Any tax documents filed (copies)

B. Minutes
The Secretary is responsible to record and maintain minutes of the Association and Executive Board meetings.  Minutes should be distributed to the Executive Board within two weeks of each meeting.  Minutes of the Annual Meetings are provided to the Association at the next Annual Meeting or upon request.  Each member of the Executive Board shall keep copies of these minutes in their Executive Board notebook.

C. Financial records
The Treasurer is responsible for maintaining the financial records of the Association. (See Section III, A - Financial Records).

VIII.  Meetings                    

A. Association
The Association will have an opportunity to meet two times annually.  One meeting will be held in conjunction with the Fall Conference and the second, the Annual Meeting, will be held in conjunction with the Spring Institute/Conference.

B. Executive Board: The Executive Board will meet four times each year (quarterly):

FALL
In conjunction with the MEA/MFT Educators Conference the third week of October. The location is determined by MEA/MFT.
WINTER
Generally in January.  Location determined by the Executive Board.
SPRING
In conjunction with the Spring Institute/Conference, usually in April.  Location is determined by the Executive Board.
SUMMER
Generally in July or August. Location determined by the Executive Board.

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IX.    Job Descriptions                                                  

A. President

  1. Shall serve as the primary spokesperson and advocate for MSCA and school counselors in Montana
  2. Shall provide leadership and facilitate the work of MSCA.
  3. Shall preside over all general meetings and Executive Board meetings of MSCA.
  4. Shall oversee the work of the officers and the Executive Board to ensure the completion of the Mission of MSCA.
  5. Shall serve as a regular member of the Bylaws and Policies Committee and the Finance Committee and shall be an ex-officio member of all committees.
  6. Shall represent MSCA or designate a representative to other organization and committees relevant to school counselors.
  7. Shall communicate regularly with the membership through the newsletter and e-mail communication.
  8. Shall represent MSCA at the ASCA Delegate Assembly and Annual Conference.
  9. Shall represent MSCA at the ASCA Leadership Development Institute on years approved by the Executive Board.
  10. Shall prepare an annual report for ASCA and the membership.
  11. Shall attend all Executive Board Meetings, the Spring Institute, and the Fall Conference.
  12. Shall perform such duties as are incidental to the office or as directed by the Governing Board.
  13. Shall ensure that the educational opportunities identified within the Strategic Plan occur each year as scheduled.
  14. Shall maintain the President’s binder, including Bylaws, Policies and Procedures, Strategic Plan, Minutes, Financial Reports and other information pertinent to this position.

B. President-Elect

  1. Shall, in the absence of the President, assume the role of the President with all of its authority and responsibility.
  2. Shall, upon request, serve as an advisor to the President and the Executive Board.
  3. Shall serve as Ethics Chair and have the task of reviewing the ASCA Ethical Guidelines and assisting the membership in understanding the ethical standards of the profession as defined by ASCA.
  4. Shall serve as chair of the Nominations and Elections Committee.
  5. Shall serve as a member of the Finance Committee.
  6. Shall represent MSCA at the ASCA Delegate Assembly and Annual Conference.
  7. Shall represent MSCA at the ASCA Leadership Development Institute on years approved by the Executive Board.
  8. Shall, in a capacity to be agreed upon by the MSCA board, help with facilitation of the annual MSCA Spring Institute and attend the Fall Conference.
  9. Shall submit articles/information to each newsletter relevant to school counselors.
  10. Shall maintain the President-Elect’s binder, including Bylaws, Policies and Procedures, Strategic Plan, Minutes, Financial Reports and other information pertinent to this position.

C. President Elect Elect

  1. Shall, in the absence of the President-Elect, assume the role of the President-Elect with all of its authority and responsibility as a member of the MSCA Executive Board.
  2. Shall, upon request, serve as an advisor to the President, President-Elect and the Executive Board.
  3. Shall support the President-Elect, who is the Ethics Chair, and assist the membership in understanding the ethical standards of the profession as defined by ASCA and in consultation with the President-Elect.
  4. Shall represent MSCA at the MSCA Annual Conference in the spring and in the fall at MEA.
  5. Shall represent MSCA at the ASCA Leadership Development Institute if approved to attend on years it is decided for the Executive Board members to attend.
  6. Shall, in capacity to be agreed upon by the MSCA Board, help with facilitation of the annual MSCA Spring Institute and other conferences as deemed appropriate.
  7. Shall submit articles/information to each newsletter relevant to school counselors.
  8. Shall maintain the President-Elect-Elect’s binder, including Bylaws, Policies and Procedures, Strategic Plan, Minutes, Financial Reports and other information pertinent to this position.

D. Past-President

  1. Shall attend all meetings of the Executive Boar.d
  2. Shall provide support as necessary to the President and the Executive Board.
  3. Shall perform such duties as maybe requested by the President or the Executive Board.
  4. Shall serve as chair of the Bylaws and Policies Committee.
  5. Shall serve as a member of the Finance Committee.
  6. Shall, in a capacity to be agreed upon by the MSCA Board, help with facilitation of the annual MSCA Spring Institute and attend the fall conference as appropriate.
  7. Shall submit articles/information to each newsletter relevant to school counselors.
  8. Shall maintain the Past-President’s binder, including Bylaws, Policies and Procedures, Strategic Plan, Minutes, Financial Reports and other information pertinent to this position.

E.  Secretary

  1. Shall attend and record all meetings of the Executive Board, the general membership and any committee meetings as appropriate.
  2. Shall prepare and send minutes to the President and the Executive Board within two weeks of the meeting.
  3. Shall maintain the permanent file of the organization and the Secretary’s binder.  The Secretary’s file should contain all minutes of the organization, the current Bylaws, Policies and Procedures, Strategic Plan, Work Plan, past newsletters, minutes of any committee meetings, and any correspondence.
  4. Shall, in a capacity to be agreed upon by the MSCA Board, help with facilitation of the annual MSCA Spring Institute and assist with the fall conference as appropriate.

F. Treasurer

  1. Shall develop a financial plan of action and budget for consideration, revision, and eventual adoption by the Executive Board.
  2. Shall inform the Executive Board of the financial status of the organization through quarterly financial reports or when requested by the President.
  3. Shall suggest financial policy statements and make fiscal recommendations to the Executive Board.
  4. Shall prepare and present a financial report to the membership at the annual meeting.
  5. Shall transact all financial business of the Association.
  6. Shall keep accurate records of all monies received and disbursed.
  7. Shall update and maintain the membership database as new and renewal memberships arrive.
  8. Shall collect and organize conference registration information and fees.
  9. Shall attend all Executive Board Meetings, the Spring Institute and the fall conference as well as other meeting appropriate to the position and the organization.
  10. Shall chair the Finance Committee.
  11. Shall prepare and file appropriate tax paperwork each spring as necessary.
  12. Shall maintain the Treasurer’s binder, including Bylaws, Policies and Procedures, Strategic Plan, Minutes, Financial Reports and other information pertinent to this position.

G. Level Vice-Presidents

  1. Shall serve as a resource and spokesperson for MSCA, promoting the needs and interests of counselors at the represented level in the state of Montana.
  2. Shall submit articles/information to each newsletter relevant to counselors at the represented area.
  3. Shall, in a capacity to be agreed upon by the MSCA Board, help with facilitation of the annual MSCA Spring Institute and assist with the fall conference as appropriate.
  4. Shall facilitate level sharing at conferences whenever offered.
  5. Shall attend MSCA Board meetings.
  6. Shall maintain the Level Vice-President’s binder, including Bylaws, Policies and Procedures, Strategic Plan, Minutes, Financial Reports and other information pertinent to this position.
  7. Shall attend conferences/trainings to help further their ability to better provide leadership and serve as a resource and spokesperson for the represented counselors in the State of Montana. 

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X.      Communications                                                       
           A. Newsletters

1. Purpose
The MSCA newsletter is a regular publication intended to foster communication among school counselors at all levels in the state of Montana.

2. Content

a. Each Executive Board member, with the exception of the Treasurer and Secretary, must submit an article relevant to his/her area of representation for each newsletter within the time frame requested.
b. Article submissions from persons, other than the Executive Board, will be included provided they meet the mission of MSCA.  If an article submission is deemed to be too lengthy, the editor may shorten the script and could provide a link on the MSCA website where more information will be available if deemed appropriate by the board.
c. Submission information may include, but is not limited to:
  1. Best Practices.
  2. Conference Opportunities.
  3. Programs and Services.
  4. General information pertaining to counseling issues.

3.  Editor Duties:

a. Publish three newsletters a year and special issues as necessary.
b. Solicit news from Executive Board members.
c. Decide format, style, content and layout of newsletter.
d. Edit all copy received from contributors.
e. Submit a camera-ready copy to the President for final review according to time frames established by the Executive Board.

4. Publication

a. The newsletter will be published at least three times per year, according to the following schedule:

September 15 (Contribution deadline August 15)
December 15 (Contribution deadline November 15)
March 15 (Contribution deadline February 15)

b. All newsletter publication will be electronically distributed in PDF form to all MSCA members by the President.
c. All newsletter publications will be published to the MSCA website.
d. Complementary newsletters may be mailed or emailed to persons or organizations as a means of communication from MSCA.

5. Newsletters to be distributed by mail will be sent to the Secretary for printing and mailing. 

6. Advertising

a. Advertisements for each newsletter may be submitted according to the following fee scale:

1/8 Page
50.00
1/4 Page
75.00
1/2 Page
125.00
Full Page
150.00

b. The editor reserves the right to reject any advertising that does not support or is in conflict with the organization’s mission.  MSCA also reserves the right to reject any advertisers whose mission does not support the mission and vision of the Montana School Counselor Association.  MSCA does not endorse any product to advertisers as an organization.  MSCA offers these advertisements as a service to our members.  It is the responsibility of each person to investigate the validity of each advertiser’s claims regarding their service or products.  MSCA accepts no responsibility for the service or advertiser themselves.
c. Advertisements must be received by the Editor at least one month prior to the to the publication of the newsletter.
d. Fees for advertisements will be directly to the Editor who will then forward payment to the Treasurer on the Newsletter Advertisement Form.  A copy of the ad will be attached.  Those should be submitted within 10 days following the receipt of the ad and payment. (See Appendix D for Newsletter Advertisement Form and Guidelines).
e. Editor Contact Info: Vicki Bisbee, Wolf Point Schools, 213 6th Avenue So., Wolfpoint, MT, 406-653-1200, vbisbee@wolfpoint.k12.mt.us

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B. Website

1. Site Information
The Montana School Counselor Association will maintain a website at  www.mtschoolcounselor.org.  The domain name is registered with Network Solutions (www.networksoltutions.com) and paid through 1/17/2015. The account number is 27040008.  Montana State University/Bozeman hosts the site.

2. Content
The website will serve as a communication tool for counselors and other individuals interested in School Counseling and school counselors in Montana.  The following content will be on the website:

a. Current Executive Board.
b. Bylaws of the organization.
c. Montana School Counseling Program Model.
d. Journal for School Counseling (maintained by Dr. Mark Nelson).
e. Best Practices.
f. ASCA and MSCA Conference information.
g. Current MSCA information.
h. Other information and links relevant to MSCA.

3. Management

a. Information will be posted to the site under the direction of the President in consultation with the President-Elect or Newsletter Editor.
b. Board members should also review the site periodically to provide suggestions or corrections when appropriate.

4. All content shall support the mission and goals of the Montana School Counselor Association (MSCA).

C. E-mail   

1. An electronic database will be maintained by the Treasurer as part of the membership roster.
2. The President will use the electronic database for the distribution of news or newsletters provided to the membership.  All full membership electronic communication will come from the President.
3. The database will not be provided to other organizations for their use.  Information may be submitted to the President for forwarding to the membership, provided it fits with the goals and purposes of MSCA.
4.  Level Vice-Presidents will have the electronic database for their level.  Information sent to their constituency should also be sent to the board which includes the President.
5. Any communication directly affecting the Association in a negative way or having any kind of legal ramification should be directed immediately to the President.  The President will address the board for further consultation once fully informed of the situation.
6. E-mail communication should not be considered confidential communication.
7. Board Members will adhere to the highest ethical standards when dealing with all electronic communication.

D. Mail

1. The board will determine what items will be mailed to the full membership.
2. The board may apply for the Postal Service Non-Profit rating at any time that the board determines a savings would occur for the organization.
3. The board will follow financial protocols regarding mail by gaining the correct authorization before mailing items out.  Receipts will be submitted under the financial protocols.

XI. Awards

 A. Board Member Recognition

Upon expiration of their terms, or when they are no longer serving on the board in another capacity, board members will be recognized by the association.  Exception:  the President-Elect/President will be recognized at the end of the Presidential Term.  The Treasurer and one other board member will be responsible for procuring appropriate acknowledgments to be presented at the Fall Membership Meeting.

Note:  Personal recognition from the board to board members or officers will occur at board meetings.

B. Counselor of the Year Awards

  1. Each  year at the Spring Conference, Counselor of the Year Awards will be presented by the Association.
  2. MSCA will recognize counselors and/or administrators from all categories nominated.
  3. Nominees may not be current board members.
  4. Nominees must have been in current position for at least three years.
  5. The appointed board member will be responsible for getting the nomination form out, sending nominations to board members, tallying votes, procuring plaques/awards and presenting them at the conference, and contacting local newspapers of the winners.  A letter will also be sent to the recognized counselor/administrator’s district.
  6. Each nominated candidate will receive a letter from MSCA recognizing their nomination.

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Appendix                                                                              

 

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