WISPA Constitution

(Revised May 24, 1994; June 3, 2003; April 4, 2011; May 15, 2013)

Article 1 – Name
The name of this association shall be Washington International School Parents Association, referred to herein as WISPA.

Article 2 – Status
WISPA shall be a non-profit, voluntary association of parents of students attending Washington International School, referred to herein as WIS.

Article 3 – Purpose and Mission Statement
The Washington International School Parents Association (WISPA) recognizes that the active participation of parents working closely with faculty and administrators of a school is essential to good education. WISPA works to enhance the educational experience of their children by:
  • Providing a forum for discussion among parents concerning issues related to the development of their children and of common interest;
  • Representing the views of the parents before the WIS administration and Board of Trustees; 
  • Facilitating communication and cooperation between WIS and parents and building a sense of community;
  • Serving as the umbrella organization for parent volunteer activities, working in close cooperation with the appropriate members of the administration, faculty and staff.
Article 4 – Membership and Dues
Parents and guardians of students attending WIS are members of WISPA and have the right to vote at general meetings. All members are encouraged to contribute to the cost of running WISPA through an annual fee determined by the Board of Directors.

Article 5 – Directors, Officers, Division Representative and At-Large Members
Board of Directors
WIS is divided for administrative purposes into the Primary School, the Middle School, and the Upper School, each of which is referred to herein as a “school” and which are referred to collectively herein as “WIS”. The WISPA Board of Directors shall consist of the Officers, Chairpersons, and Vice-Chairpersons from each of the schools. The immediate WISPA Past-President is a non-voting member of the WISPA Board.

The officers of WISPA’s Board of Directors shall be the President, Vice-President (who shall be the President-Elect), Secretary, and Treasurer – each of whom may serve up to three one-year terms. The Secretary and Treasurer may be re-elected for up to a total of two consecutive one-year terms. These positions may be shared by two people if approved during the election. Each officer shall have one vote, and hold only one position at a time. Officers may vote by proxy if they are unable to attend a meeting. The officers shall have the following responsibilities:
  • The President shall be the spokesperson for WISPA, shall convene and preside at the WISPA meetings and shall be responsible for overseeing the coordination of WISPA activities with WIS. The President shall also be available to serve as a member ex officio of the Board of Trustees at the invitation of the President of the Board of Trustees. The President shall be the person who was Vice President the year before. If the previous year’s Vice President is unable or unwilling to serve as President, then a new President shall be elected at the general election.
  • The Vice President (who shall be the President-Elect) shall assume the duties and responsibilities of the President in the absence of the President and shall be available to undertake special assignments at the request of the President. The Vice-President shall be familiar with Robert’s Rules of Order. 
  • The Secretary shall arrange the location of WISPA meetings with the WIS administration, keep the minutes of the meetings, ensure the timely distribution of meeting notices and minutes, and maintain WISPA’s files. The Secretary shall be familiar with all articles of the WISPA Constitution.
  • The Treasurer shall collect membership dues or verify the WIS Business Office collection of dues, manage WISPA’s funds, and keep track of WISPA-generated funds deposited in WIS accounts for the benefit of WISPA, and regularly report on sources and uses of WISPA funds. The Treasurer shall also deal with any tax matters and account for receipts and expenditures to WISPA members and auditors.
Division Representatives
Each Division shall appoint one Representative to serve on the WISPA Board, with the exception of the Primary School, which shall appoint two Representatives. These positions are responsible for assisting with, or coordinating, activities of interest to parents of their respective school division. The WISPA Board Representative may also serve as a Class Parent Coordinator. Class Parent Coordinators for each school shall be the liaison with the division’s Principal and Assistant Principal and class parent organization. Division Representatives and Class Parent Coordinators, in coordination with each other, shall:

Attend meetings of both the class parent organization and WISPA to ensure good communication; and
Act as spokesperson for the parents to WISPA; and Represent WISPA to the Division Heads and the class parent organization.

At Large Members
At-Large Members, identified by the President and/or Board, are non-voting members who coordinate specific events, organize specific tasks, take on various duties and support activities such as school representatives, or other tasks as deemed necessary by the President.

Article 6 – Finances
WISPA’s fiscal year is July 1st to June 30th. None of WISPA’s funds shall be used for the personal benefit of or to remunerate the services of a member. WISPA’s accounts shall be reviewed and revenues/expenses verified annually, by auditors or by a Verification Committee selected by the President. Beginning in 1998, WISPA revenues and expenditures accounts have been maintained by WIS staff accountants, utilizing WIS computer systems and similar control framework, which will facilitate the task of the Verification Committee (or WISPA Treasurer) to review accounts to ensure funds were used appropriately. WIS Auditors perform a full accounting audit on all WIS accounts, which include WISPA, in August of every year. This report may be requested from the business office for review by treasurer/WISPA Board.

Article 7 – Meetings
The President shall call general meetings of members at least twice a year, one of which shall be held in the Spring and include on its agenda the election of the Board of Directors for the following year. The President shall also call a general meeting upon petition of at least forty members of WISPA.

The President shall call such meetings of the Board of Directors as necessary for the efficient conduct of WISPA’s affairs. In order to facilitate the flow of information between the administration and WISPA, the Head of School, the Deputy Head of School, and a representative of the Advancement Office (Parent Liaison) are generally invited to participate in WISPA meetings and activities.

The President shall also call a meeting of the Board of Directors upon petition of at least three of its members. Notice of at least one week shall be given for meetings.

Article 8 – Election Procedures
WISPA Board of Directors shall appoint a nominating committee and shall solicit candidates for various WISPA elective positions (Officers and Chairpersons). Any member of WISPA may stand for election to any WISPA Board position, subject to the consecutive term limitations and the restrictions set forth in Article 5 hereof. Nominations shall be published at least two weeks before elections are held in the Spring, preferably in May, to allow sufficient transition time during final meetings of the year. Votes may be by secret ballot, and no proxies shall be accepted.

Each member of the Board of Directors shall serve until (a) term expiration, (b) resignation by written notice to the Secretary, or (c) removal – either by a vote of the majority of members present at a general meeting, or by petition by a majority of members. The term of office shall begin on July 1 and end on June 30. In the event of a Board vacancy during the year, the Board of Directors may appoint a replacement by majority vote.

Article 9 – Amendments
This Constitution may be amended by the vote of two-thirds of those members present at a general meeting held no less than ten days after notice of the meeting and the text of the proposed amendment have been mailed, or made readily available, to members.

Article 10 – Dissolution
WISPA shall cease to exist upon the vote to that effect of two-thirds of those members present at a general meeting held no less than fifteen days after notice of the meeting and the proposal of dissolution have been mailed to members. In the event of dissolution, WISPA’s net assets shall be donated (a) to its successor organization, if any, (b) in the absence of any successor organization, to WIS, or, (c) in the absence of a successor organization and, in the event that donation to WIS is not possible, to another charitable organization which has been determined by the Internal Revenue Service to be exempt from federal taxation.

Article 11 – Procedural Rules
Robert’s Rules of Order shall be followed if a question of procedure not covered by this Constitution shall arise.